State Roundup, May 29, 2012

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PETITION SIGNATURES: Church-led activists hoping to repeal Maryland’s same-sex marriage law plan to deliver the first batch of petitions ahead of schedule this week, and they say the number of signatures will far exceed the mark, Annie Linskey reports for the Sun.

REFERENDUM OVERLOAD: Hayley Peterson of the Washington Examiner reports that Marylanders will be voting on a number of issues when November rolls around. A few of those issues will only be voted on in Montgomery County.

The editorial board for the Frederick News Post praises then cautions the Maryland GOP against using the right to petition issues to referendum unwisely and trying to manipulate public opinion.

NO AVOIDING GAMING: Writing in the Post, John Wagner reports that, during Maryland’s 90-day legislative session, there were few battles that Gov. Martin O’Malley worked harder to avoid than an attempted gambling expansion. Just a few weeks later, it has become a fight he says he can’t escape.

The evolution of state-sanctioned gambling in Maryland has been interesting to watch. Interesting, that is, if you can separate yourself from any strong feelings for or against gambling as well as any concerns you may have about the effects that slots (and the potential for expanded gaming) might have on the state’s economy or quality of life, opines the editorial board for the Salisbury Daily Times.

John Wagner also blogs that O’Malley said he sympathizes with others who have said there are “more pressing” issues to consider besides gaming, citing two initiatives of his that failed during the 90-day legislative session: bids to increase transportation funding and to jump-start the state’s wind-power industry.

CONFIDENTIALITY: Beginning this fall, confidentiality privileges long enjoyed by attorneys and their clients will be extended to labor organizations and their members, raising concerns that these new protections could interfere with federal law, writes Justin Snow in

GA MODIFIES RULINGS: While lawmakers gear up to take on the Court of Appeals ruling that pit bulls are inherently dangerous, Tricia Bishop of the Sun writes that this isn’t the first court ruling the General Assembly is seeking to modify.

BAY TIME: In an op-ed for the Sun Carrie Madren writes that summertime is the perfect time for kids to learn to love the Bay.

O’M FOR POTUS? Martin O’Malley, on Meet the Press Sunday, acted first as President Obama’s surrogate, but talk turned to his running for president. His co-guest, Newt Gingrich, then offered some advice: Raise a lot of money, blogs John Wagner of the Post. And Annie Linskey was watching the show for the Sun.

And David Moon at Maryland Juice puts together a number of stories, including a Howard Kurtz piece for Newsweek, that addresses O’Malley potential run for president.

YOUNG FOR GOV: Cara Anthony of the Frederick News Post reports that Blaine Young intends to run for governor. The Frederick County Commissioners president released a statement Saturday, announcing his plans to begin raising campaign funds.

Leave it to David Moon of Maryland Juice to put his own liberal spin on the announcement.

ROSEN ON RUN: In an article by Kelley Allen for the Easton Star Democrat, Wendy Rosen, who is running for Congress against incumbent Andy Harris, says that she is running to protect small town Main Street, and believes by “flipping” Republican women, Harris can be defeated.

BAKER FUNDER DRAWS: The “honorary hosts” at a June fundraiser for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker include Gov. O’Malley and three Democrats angling to succeed the governor: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Attorney General Doug Gansler, John Wagner blogs in the Post.

NIX RELIGION-POLITICS MIX: Carroll County Times columnist Bill Kennedy writes that a wise man once said that politics and religion, like oil and water, don’t mix. But Carroll County Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier evidently has never been taught these constraints.

CARROLL BUDGET VOTE: The Carroll County Board of Commissioners is set to vote today on the proposed fiscal 2013 operating budget, writes Alexander Christensen for the Carroll County Times.

WICOMICO BUDGET HEARING: The editorial board for the Salisbury Daily Times is urging Wicomico County residents to attend a public hearing to be held by the Wicomico County Council on its proposed fiscal 2013 budget.

CALVERT BUDGET: Calvert County’s nearly $225 million budget, which will be voted on in early June, decreased from fiscal 2012 by $7.1 million and includes no new initiatives, staff or salary increases for county employees, but also no layoffs or furloughs, Meghan Russell writes for

HO COUNCIL TERM LIMITS: Howard County Council member Calvin Ball has prefiled a charter amendment that would change the limit for council members from three to four terms, Lindsey McPherson reports in the Howard County Times. If approved by the council, the proposal will be put on the November ballot and Howard County voters will have the final say.