August 30, 2011

State Roundup, August 30, 2011

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IRENE’S AFTER EFFECTS: Nearly 380,000 Maryland residences and businesses who lost power in Hurricane Irene still have not had it restored, reports The Sun’s Childs Walker. Baltimore Gas and Electric anticipates having service restored to most by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, report The Washington Post’s Joe Stephens and Mary Pat Flaherty, Pepco – with recent line upgrades and just under 34,000 customers without power on Monday night – seems to have weathered the storm with its reputation unscathed.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is still feeling the effects of the hurricane as well. The basement flooded in his Prince George’s County home, and he was working on the insurance forms to start the process to get rid of the water and the now-ruined carpet, reports The Sun’s Annie Linskey.

But still, Maryland came through the storm well, and Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a radio interview on WTOP that he was “very proud” of the state, reports The Sun’s Annie Linskey.

HURRICANE POLITICS: Gov. Martin O’Malley dominated the airwaves through the weekend along with other governors as he updated Marylanders on the state’s response to Irene, Annie Linskey reports in the Sun.

PLANMARYLAND CRITICISM: Members of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners went to a Carroll County public meeting on PlanMaryland on Monday night to voice their concerns about the document, which they said would usurp local authority and block job growth, reports the Frederick News-Post’s Bethany Rodgers.

MAYORAL DEBATE: Baltimore mayoral candidates squared off Monday night in the only televised debate of the campaign, writes The Sun’s Julie Scharper.

Sun columnist David Zurawik called the debate “flat” and missing insight, writing that the media should be ashamed that this was the best televised debate the city could get for a mayoral election.

Jayne Miller at WBAL TV features Sen. Catherine Pugh’s new TV ad and an advance on last night’s debate, which Pugh described as “the mayor’s event.”

MAYOR’S RACE: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake defended her strategy for the city as opponents attacked it at a candidates forum reported on by Fern Shen of Baltimore Brew.

Maryland businesses have put together a voter’s guide for the city election, but few incumbents participate, blogs Len Lazarick at MarylandReporter.com

BATTLE OF THE MAYORS: In separate interviews with The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board, current Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and former mayor Sheila Dixon attack each other, writes The Sun’s Scott Calvert.

BRINGING DOLLARS HOME: Economist Anirban Basu writes in a Sun op-ed that one way to bring a trillion dollars in corporate cash home and create jobs would be to temporarily reduce the corporate tax as proposed in a bipartisan bill. A similar move was successful in 2004, Basu says.

MEDICAID CUTS: The state Medicaid program could save money in a number of ways without cutting services to patients, as is currently being proposed, writes the head of the state medical society in a Sun op-ed. Gene Ransom III says there are a number of ways the program could be made more efficient.

JUICE CORRECTION: Gen. Wesley Clark contacted blogger David Moon at Maryland Juice to say Sen. Jim Rosapepe was an early supporter of the general for president in 2004, not of Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

MALONE’S E-MAIL: Bruce Goldfarb Bryan Sears of Patch writes about a personally funded mass e-mailing from Del. Jim Malone that promoted the disaster-recovery business he works for and that some constituents saw as unethical spam.

WIND POWER: The Senate Finance Committee resumes discussion of off-shore wind power at a hearing today, David Hill writes in the Washington Times.