October 23, 2009

State Roundup, October 23, 2009

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WBAL TV has a piece about Baltimore City’s proposed slots site, and an interview with an analyst who questions whether the facility is going to raise the kind of revenue that officials have projected. An analyst from T. Rowe Price says he can “almost guarantee the slots facility in Baltimore won’t produce the kind of money the city slots group is promising,” according to the report.

Apparently, Gov. Martin O’Malley doesn’t have a hugely strong opinion about the zoning debate over slots in Anne Arundel County, as he tells the Post’s John Wagner that whatever the County Council decides will be “fine.”

More slots coverage: Sean Sedam at The Gazette takes a look at Rocky Gap in Allegany County, the only approved slots site without an active bid. Former Sen. Robert Neall, who sits on the panel reviewing the proposals, brings up the idea of going back to the General Assembly for a possible change in the tax rate for slots at the site.

Paul West at The Sun reports that Rep. Frank Kratovil, an “endangered” Democrat from the Eastern Shore, has raised $691,000, more than twice what likely rival Andy Harris has raised. Kratovil defeated Harris last year.

Maryland Politics Watch has a wider roundup of congressional fundraising in Maryland.

Capital News Service’s Aleksandra Robinson reports that Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown got some praise from President Barack Obama for his service in Iraq at an veterans Health Care event Thursday.

In The Gazette, Marcus Moore looks at what school districts are already doing to tighten their budgets, after Gov. Martin O’Malley urged superintendents to start looking for savings this week.

Alan Brody has a story in the Gazette about how the poor economy is affecting fundraising in the run-up to the General Assembly session, when lawmakers are not allowed to solicit donations.

The Gazette’s weekly Reporter’s Notebook feature is full of good stuff, including an explanation of the strategy that Gov. Martin O’Malley used when he appeared on HBO with Bill Maher. Press Secretary Shaun Adamec explains. The Sun’s Maryland Politics blog reports that O’Malley donated his pay for the appearance to House of Ruth Maryland.

The notebook also talks about the start of mixed martial arts in Maryland, and Luke Broadwater at Patuxent has a fuller account.

Michael Dresser has a long piece on the Gov. Harry W Nice Bridge in Southern Maryland, which probably needs to be replaced and modernized, he reports. Nobody answers the question of where the state will get the about $1 billion that it would need to do that.

The Daily Record has an editorial that describes “room to be cautiously optimistic” about the Maryland racetracks owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., which is set to auction the facilities out of bankruptcy.