June 4, 2012

State Roundup, June 4, 2012

Print More

CORDISH, A HISTORY: Eleven years have passed since the Cordish Cos. broke ground on their first casino venture, a project with the Seminole tribe of Florida. But the Baltimore developer has dropped or been forced out of all prior casino ventures, writes Steve Kilar in a long piece for the Sun.

PG SLOTS & MARYLAND LIVE: Earl Kelly reports for the Capital-Gazette that building a casino in Prince George’s County will take away as much as 40% of the market projected for the Maryland Live! casino scheduled to open at Arundel Mills on Wednesday, witnesses told a legislative study group on Friday.

The 11-member panel heard policy prescriptions ranging from the wait-and-see approach favored by Maryland Live! owner David Cordish to a full-speed-ahead course urged by the advocates of a prospective casino at National Harbor on the Potomac River, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun.

Competing Maryland casino developers are trading jabs as lawmakers try to sort out whether it’s in the state’s best interest to approve an expansion of gambling, reports Ben Giles for the Washington Examiner.

Bill Burdon, of the Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce, writes in a column for the Capital-Gazette that the state’s reputation will take a hit if a second special session of the Maryland General Assembly approves an expansion of gaming licenses.

The fate of Maryland’s gambling industry appears to rest with a soon-to-be completed PricewaterhouseCoopers study, which will examine the viability of building a Prince George’s County casino and adding table games to all slot parlors in the state, reports Alexander Pyles of the Daily Record.

The editorial board for the Sun writes that no matter how customers fare on the slot machines, the state wins big, taking two-thirds of the revenue generated by each machine.

ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE MONEY: David Moon at Maryland Juice has received a copy of Maryland Marriage Alliance’s 2012 campaign finance report detailing who has given how much to the anti-gay marriage organization in its fight against gay marriage in the state. Moon contends that while this is cloaked as a “state’s rights” issue, most of the donors and the money are from out of state.

HEALTHY WORKFORCE: Gov. Martin O’Malley is looking for ways to trim his workforce – not the number of people, but their waistlines, writes Meredith Cohn in the Sun. The administration has launched a wellness program aimed at state workers. The governor known for his statistical analysis of programs will also be tracking the workers’ progress.

PISCATAWAY CELEBRATES: Kevin Rector of the Sun reports on the Piscataway tribe, which held its 30th annual Native American Festival and Pow Wow on Saturday – its first as a recognized, distinct people in the eyes of the state. There’s a Kim Hairston video above the story.

PIT BULL BITES IN ARUNDEL: As the state embarks on a ruling over whether pit bulls are “inherently dangerous,” Ben Weathers reports in the Capital-Gazette that, in Anne Arundel County they bit more than any other breed last year. But, Animal Control Administrator Robin Small urged that the statistics on biting incidents be seen in context.

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS: Writing for Center Maryland, Donald Fry says that more public-private partnerships could be in the offing, but state lawmakers and private businesses both will need to have reasonable expectations. And the state will need to realize that businesses work on a much quicker timeline.

O’MALLEY APPOINTEE SENTENCED: Richard Stewart, who served on the state’s advisory committee for legislative redistricting and on the Maryland Stadium Authority, was sentenced to two years in prison Friday for failing to pay nearly $4 million in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, Danielle Gaines reports in the Gazette.

O’MALLEY SPEAKS TO DEMS: Gov. O’Malley took center stage before a convention of New Hampshire Democrats Saturday, rallying the faithful in a state important to his party’s hopes to hold the White House in November — and to his own future should he run for president, writes Annie Linskey of the Sun.

John Wagner of the Post blogs that O’Malley said the United States has a “constipation Congress” incapable of helping President Obama create jobs more quickly.

Marta Mossburg writes in her Frederick News-Post column that he needs to be called out on his real record.

HIGH STAKES FOR O’M: For someone whose name won’t be on the ballot in November, the stakes this year could hardly be higher for O’Malley’s political future, John Wagner writes in the Post.

O’M ON GOP ATTACK AD: Annie Linskey of the Sun blogs that Gov. O’Malley said that he took no personal offense at the attack lobbed at him by neighboring Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and has not watched the video posted on the Republican Governors Association website that says Marylanders are “singing the blues” because of O’Malley’s tax hikes.

YOUNG’S UPHILL RUN: Frederick County Commissioner Blaine Young has made it official — he intends to run for governor. It’s a bold move. But the editorial board for the Frederick News-Post will be surprised if Young makes it through a potentially crowded field of primary challengers, .

YOUNG MAKES LIST: Blaine Young last week joined Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio on a political action group’s list of the 10 most anti-immigration officials in local governments across the nation, Bethany Rodgers reports in the Frederick News-Post.

CRAIG WINS STRAW POLL: The Maryland Young Republicans conducted the first Straw Poll for the 2014 Gubernatorial Election at their annual convention in Annapolis on Saturday. Harford County Executive David Craig finished first with 25% of the vote, Brian Griffiths writes for that organization’s newsletter. (Not noted in the results was that only 25 people voted, though more attended the convention, according to an email form Griffiths.)

Former lieutenant governor and RNC chairman Michael Steele finished second with 21%, followed by former Maryland secretary of state Larry Hogan with 13%, according to the Sun.

HARRIS RAISES BUCKS: Republican Congressman Andy Harris has raised more than his Democratic opponent Wendy Rosen. Thus far, Harris has raised just more than $1 million, while Rosen has raised about $130,000. The candidates are also separated by where their campaign funding is coming from, reports Jennifer Shutt of the Salisbury Daily Times.

ANN ROMNEY STUMPS: Ann Romney, the wife of Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, is slated to appear June 12 at an evening reception at a hotel near the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Airport. Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich and his wife, Kendel, are billed as honorary hosts for the event, blogs John Wagner in the Post.

OBAMA OUTRAISES ON SHORE: In what may be the only Republican Congressional district left in Maryland, President Barack Obama is outraising Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in campaign funds, writes Jennifer Shutt of the Salisbury Daily Times. Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission say that Obama has raised $165,000 throughout the Eastern Shore, which makes up the bulk of the 1st Congressional District, while Romney has raised $65,000.