July 23, 2010

State Roundup, July 23, 2010

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JOBS: O’Malley and Ehrlich are both campaigning on job creation, writes The Gazette’s Sean Sedam — O’Malley hailing his initiatives like tax credits, and Ehrlich saying the state has too many regulations.

SLOTS BOOM, BUST: While Charles Town, W.VA., gaming booms with Maryland customers, Maryland entrance into the casino world is filled with fits and starts, writes Liz Farmer of the Daily Record. The Sun’s editorial board says that while the state’s high court gave Anne Arundel County voters a chance to cast a ballot that could decide the fate of slots at Arundel Mills Mall, it’s a high-stakes gamble for all.

WASTE FUND: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said the state’s health department has found $26 million in fraud and waste in the state Medicaid program. The money won’t close the deficit, he says, but it will help, blogs Annie Linskey for the Sun.

TAX FREE WEEK: Neil Bergsman says in an op-ed for the Sun that the costs of the state’s “tax-free” week drains the state coffers of needed revenues while providing little benefit to consumers.

TOP SECRET: Ron Smith opines in the Sun that it’s clear after the Washington Post’s 3-part report detailing the gargantuan, secrecy-shrouded alternate world of the American intelligence community that the federal government is in over its head.

ONE MAN’S VIEW: Steve Berryman writes for the Frederick News-Post on the good, the bad and the ugly of state, local and national politics.

DISTRICT 2B RACE: Andrew Schotz of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail profiles Republican Ted Brennan, who worked on Capitol Hill and served one year on the Emmitsburg town council. Brennan is running for the state delegate from Subdistrict 2B.

DISTRICT 2 RACE: After more than 35 years as a state legislator, state Sen. Donald Munson of Hagerstown says he’s just as eager to serve as he ever was, reports Andrew Schotz of the Herald-Mail.

NEW BLOOD: Joe Schanno, a 26-year-old Ocean Pines Republican, is seeking to be the new blood in the state House of Delegates. But he’s got a large, experienced field to beat first in September’s primary for a chance to represent District 38B, reports Jenny Hopkinson of the Salisbury Daily Times.

AA POLITICAL NOTES: Social media campaign regs, Mikulski foe touts poll, Del. Dwyer to sign-wave, political mud-slinging, and campaign events around Anne Arundel County make up Political Notes in the Annapolis Capital.

ATHEY DIES: The AP reports in the Salisbury Daily Times that former Secretary of State and Del. Tyras Athey, who represented Anne Arundel County, is dead. He was 83.

LAROUCHE PROTEST: LaRouche supporters seek Obama’s impeachment at Westminster MVA, Christian Alexandersen reports for the Carroll County Times.

SHARP SIGNS: Robert Lang of WBAL-Radio learned that 19 disposable straight-edge razor blades were placed around a “Kevin Kamenetz for Baltimore County Executive” campaign sign in Essex.

RUPPERSBERGER ENDORSEMENT: Timmy Ruppersberger, an attorney running for Baltimore County Council, picked up an important endorsement, writes Bryan Sears for Patuxent Publishing — that of her cousin, four-term U.S. Rep. and former County Exec Dutch Ruppersberger.

UNRETIREMENT: Tom Peddicord, Baltimore County Council’s legal adviser and secretary, says, “I’ve decided to unretire,” blogs Bryan Sears for Patuxent.

GOP SHERIFF: Allegany County’s next sheriff will be Republican since the Democratic Central Committee did not supply a candidate by deadline, writes the Cumberland Times-News.

LIVING WAGE DEAD: The Sun’s Julie Scharper writes that after more than four hours of testimony, a bill that would have required major retailers to pay workers the city’s living wage died on a tie vote in a Baltimore City Council committee. View Karen Parks’ report for WBFF-TV. Read Matthew Brown’s Sun blog on the topic. And Suzanne Collins’ story for WJZ-TV.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY?: Business leaders and analysts give Kevin James Shay, Lindsay Robbins and Chris Huntermann from the Gazette their outlook on the state’s economic future.

NOTEBOOK: The Gazette Reporters’ Notebook this week looks at House of Delegates candidate Mark Fisher turning door-to-door campaigning into a drug bust in Huntingtown, O’Malley’s band rocking Capitol Hill for a fundraiser next week, and Progressive Maryland Education Fund’s 2010 legislative scorecard.

ALL THUMBS: CORRECTION The Gazette gives thumbs up to bond ratings, thumbs down to Prince Arora (not to be confused with Sam Arora, as this roundup did initially)

MURPHY ENDORSEMENT:Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy last week, shocking frontrunner Ehrlich’s camp, writes the Gazette’s Katherine Heerbrandt.

RIVER AUDIT: Attorney General Doug Gansler, unopposed for re-election, talked to business and community leaders near the Patuxent River in his annual “river audit” this week, writes The Gazette’s Jeff Newman.

NALLEY SUSPENDED: The Maryland Court of Appeals approved a five-day suspension of Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert Nalley, who deflated the tire of a car parked in his spot in the courthouse, reports The Gazette’s Bethany Rodgers.

TEA PARTY: Maryland’s sole Republican in Congress, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, has joined the Tea Party Caucus, reports The Gazette’s C. Benjamin Ford.

INVESTIGATION: The Gazette’s Erin Cunningham writes about a Department of Human Services employee on paid administrative leave and under investigation for posting Social Security numbers and other personal information for about 3,000 people on a website.

MONEY WOES: The Gazette’s Barry Rascovar writes in his column about $400 million in transportation money taken from county governments and Baltimore City to close a budget gap without raising taxes. Lazlo Boyd writes in his column about the projected $1.5 billion FY 2012 deficit the next governor will have to deal with.

PROPERTY TAXES: An incomplete insert detailing services provided by counties and municipalities included with some property tax bills has left anger and confusion in its wake in Frederick County and should have had input from local leaders, The Gazette opines.

REPORTED ELSEWHERE: The Gazette’s Alan Brody writes about Attorney General Doug Gansler’s de facto victory, since he is unopposed. The Gazette’s Daniel Valentine examines what’s wrong with candidates for Prince George’s County Executive. The Gazette’s Sean Sedam takes a closer look at Montgomery County Delegate candidate Sam Arora’s public refusal of a lobbyist’s campaign contribution last week, and what it actually means for politics. Alan Brody from the Gazette gives his roundup of the sweltering political climate at Wednesday’s Tawes Crab and Clam Feast in Crisfield.