November 13, 2009

State Roundup, November 13, 2009

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The tropical storm combined with a northeaster are big news on the Eastern Shore, as the Salisbury Daily Times reports. ‘Hybrid’ storm hits Maryland with wind and flooding, WBAL reports with audio, of course.

SLOTS: Reversing its earlier stand, the Video Lottery Location Commission is now ready to approve the license at Arundel Mills, The Daily Record’s Nick Sohr reports, as do the Sun and the Post in shorter pieces.

Magna, which is looking to sell its Maryland thoroughbred race tracks out of bankruptcy, is continuing the auction of the tracks without naming a top bidder, reports Liz Farmer in The Daily Record. Prospective buyers are not deterred.

There’s the usual abundance of news in Friday’s Gazette, including Sean Sedam’s advance piece on next week’s latest round of budget cuts, with speculation that new taxes might be needed to fill the gap. The counties are hoping to keep budget cuts to a minimum, according to Erin Cunningham. Organized labor is sticking with Gov. Martin O’Malley, Alan Brody reports.

“Republican or Democrat, you take care of your base,” Senate Finance Chairman Thomas “Mac” Middleton says of tort reform in The Gazette’s Reporters Notebook. “You recognize the people that get you there. It’s labor and trial lawyers that get Democrats in office. And you don’t bite off the hand that feeds you. That’s the stark reality of it.”

Also in the notebook, Sen. Andy Harris says he might introduce legislation to force state universities to come up with a policy on showing porn films. (The Sun editorial page thinks the regents were right, and Harris is wrong.)

And the usual interesting perspectives from Blair Lee, Barry Rascovar and Laslo Boyd.

School boards in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties are petitioning legislators to require students to stay in school until they are 18, Leah Fabel in the Washington Examiner reports.

The Post blog has quite a political roundup, including the fundraising letter from State Democratic Party Chair Susan Turnbull going after former Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich. The Post also has an interview with Del. Gerron Levi, a candidate for executive of Prince George’s County, where she’s lived only seven years. Maryland Politics Watch has Turnbull’s full letter to Ehrlich.

We’re not planning to aggregate the ubiquitous daily coverage of Mayor Sheila Dixon’s trial, but we’d be interested to hear from readers if you’d find that useful. E-mail Len@MarylandReporter.com if you can’t get enough Dixon coverage.

Home foreclosures are down in the D.C. region, The Washington Post’s Renae Merle reports.

Not enough is being spent to repair Maryland’s roads, says Maryland PIRG, according to a WJZ report by Mike Schuh that includes video. The report blames the shortcomings on contributions to politicians from construction companies that want new highways,

Maryland inmates in Sykesville were washing 6,000 bras donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, WJZ’s Alex Demtrick reports. One of the all-male inmates at the main prison laundry commented: “I haven’t see one in six years.”

Martin Watcher puts his own spin on the memo put out by O’Malley campaign manager assessing the governor’s re-election chances.