October 5, 2011

State Roundup, October 5, 2011

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GOP CRITICIZES MAP: Maryland Republicans criticized a proposal yesterday to redraw the state’s congressional map, saying a Democratic-controlled panel seeking to bolster the party’s position would separate communities with like-minded views and fuse areas with little in common, Annie Linskey and John Fritze report for the Sun. Here’s a Sun graphic of the map.

Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney called the map “an insult to the people of Maryland,” blogs Ben Pershing in the Post.

ELECTION PREVIEW: Maryland Juice takes a look at Republican U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, and who might run now that he is targeted in the remapping process.

CREATING A MONSTER: While the redistricting commission says that the new map accommodates population growth in the state of Maryland, the state grew by only 9% but 30% of the people – almost a third of the state — will be moved into new districts, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com

ALWAYS SUNNY IN MARYLAND: Against a rather dark backdrop of Republican control nationally, for Democrats, Maryland is a sunny exception, political science prof Thomas Schaller opines on the op-ed pages of the Sun.

OCCUPY+TEA: The editorial board of the Sun says that the Occupy Wall Street movement, if it really wants to make a difference, could learn a thing or two about organizing from the tea party protesters, who are on the opposite side of most of their issues.

OCCUPY BALTIMORE: The Occupy Wall Street movement took to the streets of Baltimore yesterday, as roughly 40 protestors demonstrated against what they claim is excessive greed in government and the finance industry, Jack Lambert reports for the Baltimore Business Journal.

Fern Shen of Baltimore Brew writes that the crowd was small, but passionate.

Brian Kuebler of WMAR-TV reports on the Occupy Baltimore action, as does John Rydell for WBFF-TV.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE ADS: Starting Monday, Gov. Martin O’Malley began appearing in a series videos aimed at selling his same-sex marriage legislation. The first one is for online viewers only, Annie Linskey blogs for the Sun.

TWO PINOCCHIOS: Washington Post Fact Checker is giving Gov. O’Malley “two Pinocchios” for his assessment Sunday of New Jersey’s situation under Gov. Chris Christie, saying that while O’Malley’s criticisms weren’t exactly wrong, they didn’t offer context.

WAIVER FROM NO CHILD: Maryland may apply for a waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements after President Barack Obama announced that he is allowing states to request flexibility from the decade-old law in exchange for a more rigorous system that promotes college and career readiness, the Capital News Service’s Gina Cairney writes in the Daily Record.

BILLS FROM AG’S OFFICE: State agencies started receiving invoices for indirect costs related to their attorneys last week, thanks to a new legislative mandate, Megan Poinski writes in MarylandReporter.com.

SLOTS IN FREDERICK? A public hearing today will let Frederick County residents speak their minds about the idea of a casino somewhere in Frederick County, most likely along U.S. 340 near Jefferson, said Del. Kathy Afzali. That is, if a casino goes anywhere, which Sen. David Brinkley said it won’t, writes Patti Borda of the Frederick News Post.

ENVIRONMENT STANCE: With about a month remaining before it hosts a one-day environmental summit in Carroll County disputing the impact of climate change, the county Board of Commissioners has released a document explaining its stance on the environment, writes Christian Alexandersen of the Carroll County Times.

TRANSPORTATION SPENDING: Peter Panepinto of the Carroll County Times writes that Carroll residents will have a chance tomorrow to weigh in on how federal and state transportation money will be used for the next two decades.

JOBS IN MO CO: As officials debate the benefits of big box stores in Montgomery County, some are questioning whether the department that oversees economic health is doing enough to attract high-end jobs, Erin Cunningham reports for the Gazette.

SENTENCING DELAYED: A federal judge has delayed until December the sentencing of former Prince George’s County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson, who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in June, Daniel Leaderman reports for the Gazette.

END OF AN ERA? The nearly 12-year era of Joe Hairston as superintendent of the Baltimore County Public Schools system appears to be approaching an end, Bryan Sears of Patch.com reports.

Hairston, who has less than a year left on his contract, told Tim Tooten of WBAL-TV, “Right now, it’s business as usual for Joe Hairston. At the appropriate time, we’ll certainly make some sort of a comment.