June 22, 2010

State Roundup June 22, 2010

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RUNNING MATE: With the deadline for filing to run for governor closing in, former Gov. Bob Ehrlich still needs to pick a running mate, but there are few clues as to who that will be, write Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey in the Baltimore Sun.

FAUX NEWS: Veteran TV reporter Andy Barth promotes his boss, candidate Bob Ehrlich, with Internet savvy video “reports,” part of a growing trend of candidates sending their messages directly to the public, writes John Wagner of the Washington Post.

EHRLICH CHALLENGED: Callers to Ehrlich’s radio show acted like a fact-check organization as they got under the skin of the ex-gov and challenged him point by point. David Zurawik of the Sun writes that if the callers are not organized partisans, O’Malley would do well to recruit them.

CASA CONFLICT: Meanwhile, Sun columnist Dan Rodricks vollies with readers who don’t believe that, as governor, Ehrlich supported the immigrant assistance group Casa de Maryland.

PARTY FUNDS: Paul West of the Sun writes that the latest fundraising numbers by the national party committees showed the RNC falling just short of the DNC in total receipts for May, $6.5 million to $6.6 million.

DIVERSE PG: As voters prepare to choose a new county executive this fall, Prince George’s remains majority African-American, but its identity is more diverse and its vision of itself less clear, writes the Post’s Paul Schwartzman.

PRINCE GEORGE’S: A state prosecutor is calling witnesses to testify to a grand jury about potential bribes to the Prince George’s county executive and council members, Daniel Valentine reports in the Gazette, citing an unnamed source.

UNIONS ENDORSE: Unions picks sides as Democrats Joe Bartenfelder and Kevin Kamenetz seek to become the next Baltimore County executive, blogs Bryan Sears for Patuxent Publishing.

APG GROWTH: A Glen Burnie firm seeks workers to run cable at Aberdeen Proving Ground, where it has been awarded a $5.3 million contract. APG is expanding by almost 9,000 jobs, reassigned from New Jersey, blogs Daniel Sernovitz in the Baltimore Business Journal.

VETERANS HOME: A potential $189 million contract to operate Maryland’s only state-run veterans home is being protested by the low bidder, who contends the winner and current operator failed to disclose significant information, reports Barbara Pash for MarylandReporter.com.

ENVIRONMENT SCORES: Del. Steve Schuh was the only Republican to earn a perfect score from the League of Conservation Voters, Alan Brody reports in the Gazette.

GOP CONGRESS?: Analyst Charles Cook told legislative leaders that Republicans might pick up enough seats this fall to take back the House of Representatives, Alan Brody writes in the Gazette, reporting on an Annapolis talk last week.

SIGN LAW: Attorneys for Baltimore County ask a judge to deny a man’s request for a preliminary injunction against a county law limiting the size of signs on residential land. The man, who posted a large pro-Ehrlich sign, says the law violates his free speech right, Bryan Sears reports for Patuxent.

FATHER’S DAY INVITEE: The first openly gay Maryland state senator, Richard Madeleno of Montgomery County, who has two children, was invited to Obama’s Father’s Day mentoring barbecue on Monday, blogs Paul West in the Sun.

BOTTLE TAX: The Baltimore City Council has passed a $2.2 billion budget and is giving an initial green light to a modified tax on bottled beverages — 2 cents as opposed to 4 cents. Julie Scharper reports for the Sun. And check out Andrea Fujii’s report on WJZ-TV.

NAACP LAWSUIT: Baltimore city has agreed to pay $870,000 to settle a 4-year-old NAACP lawsuit targeting the constitutionality of the city police department’s arrests, writes Brendan Kearney of the Daily Record.

HOSPITAL EXPANSION: A Bethesda hospital’s long-stalled plans to expand were dealt another blow, largely thanks to neighborhood complaints, writes Ben Fischer in the BBJ.

SENATOR THEATRE: Tom Kiefaber, the outspoken operator — and former owner — of the Senator Theatre, said he will defy a city order to vacate the historic property by Sunday to make way for new ownership, reports Melody Simmons in the Daily Record.

ARCHIVE AUDIT: Auditors found the state archives department did not keep adequate records about its equipment, Erin Cunningham reports in the Gazette.

JIM SMITH: Josh Kurtz at Center Maryland wonders what Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith is going to do with his campaign stash now that he’s not running for state Senate.