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Published on June 12th, 2012 | by Cynthia Prairie

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State Roundup, June 12, 2012

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: New financial disclosure requirements in the state’s ethics law have led to one Wicomico County official’s resignation, and some are concerned there are more to come, Sarah Lake reports in the Salisbury Daily Times.

GAMBLING BREAKPOINT: Amid concerns that an expansion of gaming in Maryland to Prince George’s County could saturate the marketplace, the gambling work group session today will unveil a report that details those possibilities, James Bach writes for the Baltimore Business Journal.

Whether or not Maryland’s General Assembly will convene again in July is up to the 11-member panel that meets today for a second time, reports Chris Knauss for the Easton Star-Democrat. The main questions are: Should slot-machine venues in the state be allowed to include table games? Should a full-fledged, Las-Vegas-style casino resort be allowed in Prince George’s County?

Sun columnist Dan Rodrick asks does anyone really believe that a casino in Baltimore City is going to be good for the social welfare of city? He recommends that the 11-member gambling expansion work group should consider moving the proposed Baltimore casino 50 miles south to the National Harbor.

REDISTRICTING FIGHT: Legal advice can’t come soon enough for the Carroll County Board of Commissioners after the Maryland Attorney General’s Office’s recent motion to dismiss the county’s petition against legislative redistricting, reports Christian Alexandersen for the Carroll County Times.

PIT BULL TASK FORCE: Ryan Marshall, writing for the Cecil Whig, reports that renters are being forced to move or get rid of their pit bull pets following a court ruling that said pit bulls are inherently dangerous. Del. Michael Smigiel of Cecil is part of a taskforce that is trying to overturn the court ruling.

MUSE CHURCH: As a member of the Senate, state Sen. Anthony Muse has had to grapple with Maryland’s billion-dollar budget deficits. As founder and senior pastor of Ark of Safety Christian Church, Muse is dealing with the Upper Marlboro church’s own financial woes – debt between $1 million and $10 million, write Lindsey Robbins and Margie Hyslop of the Gazette. The church has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

DO THE RIGHT THING: The dean of the University’s of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business said politics can stop elected officials from doing what’s best — a problem Gov. Martin O’Malley has not been immune from, blogs Alexander Pyles in the Daily Record.

ALSTON TRIAL: Accusations that defense witnesses lied under oath and that prosecutors abused power flew around an Anne Arundel County courtroom yesterday as closing arguments turned personal in the week-old trial of Del. Tiffany Alston on charges of theft and misconduct in office, blog Aaron Davis and John Wagner in the Post. While jurors deliberated for more than three hours, they went home shortly after 6 p.m. without reaching a verdict.

Prosecutors have argued that Alston’s law firm was broke and could not pay an employee’s salary, so Alston used state funds to pay her, Daniel Leaderman reports in the Gazette.

ROAD TO BIPARTISANSHIP: It’s not just the topography that’s elevated in the mountains of Western Maryland. The politics seems to be as well, or at least more bipartisan. At the official dedication of the monument to the 200th anniversary of the start of the National Road in Cumberland Sunday afternoon, the Democrats praised the Republicans and the Republicans followed suit, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

FOLLOWING CARDIN: Maryland Juice has various videos of U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin’s remarks during Netroots Nation, a conference of progressives. He speaks to LGBT activists, organizers from various communities of color and more. Cardin gave surprisingly candid remarks about the political and electoral dynamics regarding DOMA, the Dream Act, marriage equality, immigration reform, racial profiling, judicial nominations and much more.

NATIONAL LEAK PROBE: The U.S. Attorney for Maryland may encounter pushback from government agencies and politicians as he leads an investigation into recent national security leaks, but government officials and lawyers said that Rod Rosenstein is more than prepared to meet the challenge, Kristi Tousignant reports in the Daily Record.

OBAMA MD FUNDERS: Owings Mills developer Josh Fidler and his wife, Genine, will host President Obama for a lunch today that will cost guests up to $50,000. That’s more than VIPs paid to dine with the president at George Clooney’s home in Los Angeles last month, John Fritze writes in the Sun.

Obama is raising money in two heavily Democratic cities along with one of his top surrogates, Gov. O’Malley, as the president works to blunt his Republican opponent’s recent fundraising surge, writes Hayley Peterson for the Washington Examiner.

Obama will later speak at a fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Inner Harbor, with tickets costing from $250 to $10,000, according to an AP report in the Daily Record.

ROVE ON OBAMA: Aaron Davis of the Post blogs that Republican strategist Karl Rove, in the state Saturday to give a pep talk to Maryland Republicans, began by gloating that President Obama isn’t coming off just a bad week, but a bad couple of months.

HIGHWAY WORK STALLS: The Cumberland Times-News is reporting that U.S. Sen. Cardin said on Sunday that a provision designed to help speed completion of the North-South Highway is part of a transportation bill passed by the Senate but stalled in conference committee by a U.S. House of Representatives minority with a political agenda.

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