October 14, 2010

State Roundup, October 14, 2010

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ANIMOSITY REIGNS: Allusions of racism, rude interruptions and burning glares between Maryland’s two leading candidates for governor have revealed anew an ugly tension fueling the rematch between Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Gov. Bob Ehrlich. They really don’t like each other, Aaron Davis and John Wagner report for the Washington Post. And Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com explores this very issue in an essay.

RACE CARD: Washington Examiner columnist Greg Kane says O’Malley was playing the race card when he criticized Ehrlich in Monday’s debate for “putting down the achievements of poor children and children of color.”

FLIP IT: Ehrlich is dogged by a Democratic operative with a flip cam, writes Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com. It’s a constant presence in campaigns these days, forcing candidates to be vigilant.

TAX REPORT: The Daily Record’s Nick Sohr reports that Ehrlich has jumped on a report that says that professional and financial services companies pay higher taxes in Maryland than in neighboring states, but biotech firms often pay less.

MYSTERY AD: Laura Vozzella of the Sun writes that it appears an unknown third party has sent out a casting call as it attempts to create an ad for Ehrlich. His campaign is unaware of the move.

2nd TV DEBATE: Annie Linskey blogs for the Sun that when O’Malley squares off with Ehrlich today at noon, it will likely be their last televised debate. Here are the details of the debate. You can stream the noontime debate at washingtonpostlive.com.

DNA FACT-CHECK: Fred Kunkle of the Post fact-checks the candidates’ claims on DNA and their public safety records.

GOV RACE EXPLAINED: In a humorous Q&A, Kevin Robillard of TBD.com attempts to explain Maryland’s race for governor.

ASK THEM: Patch.com will be sitting down with the candidates for Maryland governor and is asking readers to submit questions for the candidates.

CORPORATE BUCKS: In an opinion piece for the Sun, Paul Loeb writes that only you can stop corporate money in campaigns.

EARLY VOTING: Red Maryland’s Mark Newgent examines the new early voting regulations and speculates that they could allow vote counts to be released to elected officials, but not the general public.

COMPTROLLER CANDIDATE: An article by Jim McElhatton in the Washington Times raises questions about the handling of a financial crisis at Amtrak two years ago by GOP comptroller candidate William Campbell, who was chief financial officer at the railroad corporation at the time. The problem involved Amtrak’s rail-car leaseback agreements with banks.  

CON-CON: Andrea Appleton of the City Paper writes that the last time Maryland had a constitutional convention, society was weathering the influences of “[a] population explosion, inferior schools, congestions, unemployment, racial hatred, the hippies and flower children, H. Rap Brown, and glue sniffing,” in the words of one delegate at the time. On Nov. 2, four states — Maryland, Michigan, Montana and Iowa — have referendums on the ballot asking voters whether they want to convene a state con-con. Never before in U.S. history have so many such referendums been on the ballot at one time, J.H. Snider and Alan Tarr write in the Huffington Post. MarylandReporter.com’s Megan Poinski explored the issues yesterday.

SENATE WRITE-IN: Ellicott City resident Claud Asbury, 87, is hoping to get elected to the U.S. Senate as a write-in candidate. “I’m not running against any particular opponent,” he said. The seat has been held for years by Barbara Mikulski, writes Lindsey McPherson of the Columbia Flier.

PG SHORTFALL: Prince George’s County Exec Jack Johnson expects that the county can cover a $50 million budget gap, but won’t give details until he’s briefed his likely successor, Rushern Baker, Miranda Spivack blogs for the Post.

WRITE-IN AGAINST CURRIE: A 63-year-old Largo community activist has thrown her hat into the ring to run against state Sen. Ulysses Currie as a write in candidate, writes Miranda Spivack of the Post.

MOONEY RACE: Why did more than 2,000 (nearly one-fourth) of 7,800 Republicans who voted in the primary election leave their ballots blank, rather than vote for incumbent Alex Mooney (District 3) for state Senate? Elizabeth Marsh Cupino ponders this in the Frederick News Post. Mooney challenger Ron Young has pledged to limit his term in office should he win, Meg Tully reports for the News Post. And Young is stepping up his campaign with support from a Democratic slate, Sherry Greenfield reports for the Gazette.

HOUSE 42: Tyler Waldmann of Patch.com gives a rundown on the answers the six candidates for House of Delegates from the 42nd District gave at a forum at Towson University. The candidates are Democrats Stephen Lafferty, Lori Albin and Oz Bengur; and Republicans Susan Aumann, Bill Frank and John Fiastro.

HOUSE 12B: Incumbent state Del. Elizabeth Bobo and challenger Robert Wheatley say they are the District 12B candidate who will make the hard decisions needed in the House of Delegates. They differ on what decisions need to be made, writes Lindsey McPherson of the Columbia Flier.

DISTRICTS 37 & 38: New political hopefuls promise to bring a fresh approach to politics. Incumbents vow to see the Eastern Shore through troubled times on state and local fronts. House of Delegates and Senate candidates for District 37 and 38 offered their platforms during a forum, Deborah Gates reports for the Salisbury Daily Times.

DEFAMATION SUIT: The Republican candidate for clerk of the Baltimore County Circuit Court filed a $2 million defamation lawsuit against his Democratic rival, claiming that his name was sullied over implications that he may have destroyed or taken campaign signs, Danny Jacobs reports for the Daily Record.

CITY SUIT: A former City Hall manager filed a lawsuit alleging that in 2008 then-City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pressured her to circumvent the city’s termination process and summarily fire the only white worker in an office, Julie Scharper writes for the Sun.

FORECLOSURE PROBE: The attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia have banded together to investigate the practice of “robo-signing” and other concerns that have arisen about banks and mortgage processing firms, Ben Mook reports for the Daily Record.

SLOTS CONFUSION: Erin Cox of the Annapolis Capital reports that a forum held to clear up voter confusion about the slots referendum aired conflicting information.