August 18, 2010

State Roundup, August 18, 2010

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PEPCO PROBE: Gov. Martin O’Malley called into morning radio programs and held a news conference outside the State House to draw attention to the start of an investigation of Pepco following lots of power outages, mostly in Prince George’s and Montgomery County, Aaron Davis and John Wagner write for the Washington Post.  Meanwhile, the Post’s Joe Stephens and Aaron Davis report, a Pepco vice president told Maryland regulators that the company was “not terribly disappointed” with its response to recent storms that left nearly a half-million people in the dark. Here’s the Associated Press story in the Carroll County Times.

NEW UM PRES: Wallace Loh, the new UM president, believes his job is a calling, reports Childs Walker of the Baltimore Sun. Daniel de Vise writes about Loh for the Post.  Here’s Scott Dance and Emily Mullin’s report for the Baltimore Business Journal.

UNIVERSITY SPENDING: In an op-ed for the Sun, several researchers write that in Maryland and across the nation, universities are increasing administration faster than instruction.

EHRLICH STUMPS: Annie Linskey of the Baltimore Sun writes that gubernatorial candidate Bob Ehrlich put himself in the middle of a hot political contest in Hagerstown with rival Republican state Senate candidates on either end.

O’MALLEY ON BUSINESS: Gov. O’Malley disputes assertions that Maryland is anti-business, writes Meg Tully of the Frederick News-Post.

CANDIDATES ON MOSQUE: State Sen. Andy Harris calls the proposal to put a Muslim community center near Ground Zero in NYC “blatantly disrespectful.” Matthew Brown blogs for the Sun. John Rydell also reports on the views of gubernatorial candidates Bob Ehrlich and Martin O’Malley. Here’s Adam May’s report for WJZ-TV.  The AP also reported the story.

MURPHY IN FREDERICK: Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy will hold a town hall in Frederick this week, Aaron Messer of the Frederick News-Post reports.

MONEY LOOK: Stephanie Mlot of the Frederick News-Post reports that voters got a first look at how campaign fundraising for state candidates  — O’Malley and Ehrlich among them — has gone in the past six months. Jayne Miller of WBAL-TV also reports on the state and local fund-raising efforts.

MD DEM COFFERS: The Maryland Democratic Party has raised $1.5 million this year and is heading into the final months of the 2010 election season with $1.3 million in the bank, John Wagner blogs for the Post.

TORRES TOUTED: Annie Linskey blogs for the Sun that Hector Torres, who wants to unseat state Sen. Joan Carter Conway, is touting an endorsement from Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry, providing one establishment stamp of approval.

DISTRICT 19: Megan Poinski of MarylandReporter.com reports that while he campaigns to keep his seat representing District 19, Sen. Mike Lenett meets many people who are still trying to figure out why the freshman Democrat has a challenger. This is part three of a seven part series on hotly contested Senate primaries.

DISTRICT 16: Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is coming to Montgomery County to campaign for Kyle Lierman, one of 13 Democrats competing for the House of Delegates in District 16. Those 13 include Ariana Kelly, a former head of Maryland NARAL, reports Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland.

ETHICS VOTE: Baltimore County Councilman and would-be exec Joe Bartenfelder calls his vote on an ethics bill a ‘tough one’ to explain to chief campaign ally, reports Bryan Sears for Patuxent Publishing.  That bill became law while languishing on Jim Smith’s desk, Sears reports.

PUBLIC CAMERAS: Bartenfelder’s rival for county exec, Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, is hoping to put more mobile surveillance cameras around shopping malls, Bryan Sears writes for Patuxent.

RACE SPENDING: Kamenetz has spent over $1 million on his campaign, more than three times what Joe Bartenfelder has spent, reports Arthur Hirsch for the Sun.

COUNCIL CANDIDATE: Bryan Sears of Patuxent profiles Gordon Harden, who is running for Baltimore County Council from the 5th District.

SMITH SPENDING: Outgoing Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith began the year with a pile of cash – more than $1 million – and designs on a state Senate seat. But he spent thousands trying to determine if he could win a state Senate seat, blogs Julie Bykowicz of the Sun.

ULMAN BUCKS: The Sun’s Andy Rosen blogs that Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, a Democrat running for re-election, has added to a sizable cash advantage over challenger Trent Kittleman this year.

BOBO BACKS KLEIN: Del. Elizabeth Bobo throws support behind Alan Klein over incumbent Mary Kay Sigaty for Howard County Council, Larry Carson reports for the Sun.

PG EXEC RACE: Miranda Spivack for the Post blogs that PG exec hopeful Michael Jackson outlined a jobs plan that he said would quickly put people back to work in the county, where the unemployment rate is among the region’s highest. And former County Exec Wayne Curry made it official: He’s banking on Rushern Baker, a former state delegate, to succeed Jack Johnson in that post.

IVEY ENDORSES: Angela Alsobrooks tallied another high-profile endorsement in her bid to succeed Glenn Ivey as the state’s attorney in Prince George’s County: Ivey himself, blogs Ruben Castaneda for the Washington Post.

PETITION SAGA: The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, the lead group behind efforts to repeal a newly passed ambulance fee, has accused the State Board of Elections of foul play upon learning that one of every three signatures collected for a referendum petition process has been rejected by the county board of elections, Glynis Kazanjian reports for the Montgomery Sentinel.

NO TO MACO: The Montgomery County Council has decided not to attend MACo in an effort to save taxpayer money, Erin Cunningham reports for the Gazette.

GANSLER’S BIG BUCKS: What do you do when you have more than $2 million in your campaign coffers and no opponent in either the primary or general election? That’s Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler’s enviable predicament, Julie Bykowicz blogs for the Sun.

VITALE INJURED: Annapolis City Councilwoman Cathy Vitale, who is running for state delegate in District 33A, was one of three women injured in a serious crash in Severna Park, reports Heather Rawlyk for the Annapolis Capital.

APPEALS JUDGE: Maryland gets its first African-American woman appeals judge in Judge Michele Hotten, blogs the Sun’s Julie Bykowicz.