September 14, 2011

State Roundup, September 14, 2011

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RAWLINGS-BLAKE WINS: Julie Scharper of the Sun writes that despite lots of competition, incumbent city Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake easily won the Democratic nomination for her first full term.

The Sun’s Jean Marbella writes that Rawlings-Blake now has the opportunity to shape the office she inherited.

The BBJ ran the text of Rawlings-Blake’s victory speech.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Jack Young, picked by his fellow City Council members last year to lead the panel, won the Democratic nomination to keep the office for four more years, reports Nicole Fuller for the Sun.

COUNCIL ELECTIONS RESULTS: Larry Perl and Lauren Rosenberg of Patuxent Pubishing report on the Baltimore City Council primary elections results amid a low voter turnout of 12%.

Julie Scharper of the Sun also blogs about the low voter turnout.

And Sun columnist Dan Rodricks offers a dozen reasons why voters stayed away from the polls.

OBAMA JOBS PLAN: Under President Obama’s jobs plan, Maryland would receive $625 million of the $50 billion the legislation would steer to highway, rail and other transportation modernization projects, Gary Haber reports for the Baltimore Business Journal.

GREEN JOBS: Green collar jobs have hits and misses throughout Maryland, reports the Sun’s Timothy Wheeler.

SBA LOAN 9/11 DEFAULTS: After the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon a decade ago, the U.S. Small Business Administration gave out nearly $16 million in loans to Maryland-based businesses who claimed to be hurt by the disaster, writes Megan Poinski for MarylandReporter.com. Many of the loans were not repaid, and at least a dozen of the companies are out of business.

SENTENCED IN TRANSGENDER BEATING: After a teenage girl was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison for beating a transgender woman at a McDonald’s in Rosedale, some advocates for transgender people called the sentence too lenient, Andrea Siegel reports for the Sun.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger speaks about the sentencing in this Sun video.

In his Second Opinion column for the Sun, Andy Green writes that the fact that the beating, caught on video and viewed around the world, was clearly motivated by the victim’s gender identity makes the need for significant punishment all the greater.

CASSILLY DOESN’T MAKE CUT: The names of three assistant state’s attorneys for Harford County are among five recommended to Gov. Martin O’Malley for appointment to the vacancy on the Harford County Circuit. But, according to the Aegis, the boss of those three, long-time and well-respected county prosecutor Joe Cassilly, was not among the names, raising many political eyebrows.

Brian Goodman of the Dagger reports that, asked for his reaction to being passed over for judicial nomination, Cassilly said, “I can say that I was disappointed, but God obviously has other plans.”

RGGI AUCTION: Mark Newgent of Red Maryland writes that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s 13th quarterly auction sold 18% of the current compliance period allowances, down from 30% in the previous auction. No bids were submitted for the next future control period 2014.

BOOZE TAX: John Rydell of WBFF-TV reports about the new state alcohol tax, its effect on sales and the revenue it has generated.

POVERTY UP: Experts say national poverty numbers released yesterday morning are already out of date and could be getting worse, even as Maryland hit a poverty rate of 10.8%, the highest in nearly two decades, Jeffrey Benzing of the Capital News Service reports in MarylandReporter.com.

DEMS BLAST GRANDY EVENT: Maryland Juice is reporting that a slew of Montgomery Democrats have signed onto a letter condemning the Montgomery County GOP for featuring former actor and former U.S. Rep. Fred Grandy at an event. Grandy, the letter says, foments anti-Muslim prejudice with the rhetoric he has put forth on his radio program, which was recently canceled.

MILLER, O’MALLEY HOST FUNDER: Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is providing a little financial help in a key race for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s tenure as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, blogs the Post’s John Wagner. Both men are co-hosting a fundraiser next Monday for Earl Ray Tomblin, the acting governor of West Virginia who is seeking to hang on to the job in a special election next month.

HOWARD REDISTRICTING: After spending the summer crunching population numbers and looking at possible boundary lines, reports Lindsey McPherson for the Howard County Times, the Howard County Redistricting Commission has come up with three County Council district maps to present to the public.

MO CO DISTRICTING: Rachel Baye of the Washington Examiner reports that the Montgomery County Redistricting Commission would approved a plan that would expand the council districts of Bethesda and Silver Spring.

YOUTH CURFEW: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is confident that a bill to establish a controversial youth curfew has enough support to pass the nine-member County Council, Andrea Noble reports for the Washington Times.

STREAMLINING PERMITTING: As part of an ongoing effort to attract new businesses to Prince George’s, the County Council is hosting a town hall meeting tomorrow to discuss proposals to streamline the county’s permitting process, Daniel Leaderman reports for the Gazette.

CHURCH BATTLE IN PG: The Post’s Miranda Spivack reports that, seeking to end a long-standing battle with a church hoping to build on 17 acres in Laurel, the Prince George’s County Council yesterday offered an olive branch: Reaching Hearts International can ask for permission to build but only on a portion of its land.

IRENE IN ARUNDEL: Anne Arundel County officials estimate that Hurricane Irene and last week’s flooding will cost county government more than $1.1 million, according to a story in the Annapolis Capital.