HIKE + CUTS: Almost half of Maryland voters favor a combination of tax hikes and budget cuts to solve the $6 billion in budget deficits the state faces in the coming four years, according to an exclusive poll done by Gonzales Research last week for MarylandReporter.com, writes Len Lazarick.
TURNOUT IS KEY: A Gonzales poll released yesterday that shows Gov. Martin O’Malley leading over former Gov. Bob Ehrlich also predicts that turnout among Democrats and independents will drop in the general election while Republican voters will increase. Bryan Sears blogs the story as he awaits his new job at Patch.com. The survey shows that 72 percent of the state’s Democrats have fallen in line with O’Malley, Annie Linskey reports for the Sun.
O’Malley still has not captured 50 percent of the electorate, writes Liam Farrell of the Annapolis Capital.
TAX FIGHT: John Rydell of WBFF-TV takes a look at the continuing bickering between Ehrlich and O’Malley over who raised taxes and who will raise them
O’MALLEY UP CLOSE: Aaron Davis of the Washington Post takes a bird’s eye look into how O’Malley governs, including his obsession with detail and his use of a daily briefing book.
EHRLICH BUCKS: Ehrlich reports that he and running mate Mary Kane have raised more than $2.8 million since the end of August, and have $1.77 million still on hand, Julie Bykowicz writes for the Sun.
DEBATE DELAY: O’Malley and Ehrlich are delaying their second radio debate, which was to be held Friday at WTOP, to attend a funeral. The two are still set to face off at 8 a.m. Thursday on WOLB-Radio, writes Annie Linskey of the Sun.
O’MALLEY SPEAKS: Shari Elliker of WBAL Radio spoke with O’Malley yesterday on education, his “new Americans” quote, what’s on O’Malley’s iPod and why Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith makes a promise on behalf of O’Malley to not raise any new taxes. Interview segments can be found here.
3RD PARTIES SHUT OUT: Columnist Eric Hartley of the Annapolis Capital writes that the state’s third party gubernatorial candidates have been shut out of debates, with Ehrlich and O’Malley’s unspoken blessing.
GILCHREST FOR O’MALLEY: The Sun’s Annie Linskey writes that former U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, a Republican, is backing Democrat O’Malley.
EHRLICH AT TU: Ehrlich brought his campaign trail to Towson yesterday during his regular visit to Professor Richard Vatz’s persuasion class at Towson University. Here’s some video on Patch.com.
O’MALLEY AT UM: When O’Malley visited the University of Maryland College Park last week, he was interested in more than just student support for reelection. He was also studying how to increase safety and security for students around campus, reports Kelly Farrell for the Diamondback.
EHRLICH SPENDING: The investigative team at WBAL-TV is delving into spending by the 2006 Ehrlich campaign tied to a controversial get-out-the-vote effort in Prince George’s County.
OVERSEAS VOTING: Maryland’s new process makes it easier for state residents, including soldiers oversees, to vote from out of town, writes Paul Herrnson in an op-ed piece for the Sun.
SUPER PAC ATTACKS HARRIS: A new Democratic “Super PAC” is spending $400,000 to attack Republican Andy Harris, the challenger to Democratic U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil, blogs Paul West of the Sun.
And, instead of ignoring him as conventional wisdom would have it, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has now put more than $800,000 behind Kratovil’s rematch with Harris, West reports.
HAINES’ REPLACEMENT: Two Carroll County men are running to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of 5th District state Sen. Larry Haines — Republican Joseph Getty and Democrat Scott Stone, writes Pat van den Beemt in the Towson Times.
DISTRICT 5B: Incumbent state Del. Wade Kach faces two challengers who want to represent District 5B — Pete Definbaugh, a Democrat who lives in Baldwin, and Libertarian Justin Kinsey, of Parkton. Both say it’s time for a new face in Annapolis, Pat van den Beemt writes in the Towson Times.
DELEGATE FORUM: Brian Englar of the Frederick News Post reports on the issues discussed by the state House of Delegates candidates in District 3A, 3B and 4A.
HOLT PLAN: Republican Baltimore County executive candidate Ken Holt has released a 7-point economic development program designed to “expand career choices” for county residents, Arthur Hirsch writes for the Sun.
SLOTS’ SLIGHT LEAD: MarylandReporter.com writes that Anne Arundel County voters are closely divided on whether to put the state’s largest slots casino at the Arundel Mills mall, with 48% supporting ballot Question A to approve zoning for the site; 45% opposed and 7% undecided. The margin of error is 5% in this new Gonzales poll. Annie Linskey blogs the story for the Sun.
LEOPOLD AHEAD: The Gonzales poll also found that voters are overwhelmingly supporting the reelection bid of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. The Republican incumbent is 30 points ahead of Democratic challenger Joanna Conti, writes MarylandReporter.com
But that hasn’t stopped Leopold from courting the green vote. Pamela Wood of the Annapolis Capital reports on an environmental forum that he, Conti and Green Party candidate Mike Shay attended. The three candidates sparred over the county’s projected budget deficit, the planned slots casino at Arundel Mills mall, and misconduct and ethics issues, reports Nicole Fuller for the Sun.
HARRIS SENTENCING: Two men convicted of killing former Baltimore Councilman Ken Harris during the robbery of a Northeast Baltimore jazz club were sentenced Tuesday to life in prison plus 30 years. A third defendant received a 65-year term, reports Nick Madigan of the Sun. Here’s Kathleen Cairns video report for WBFF-TV.