July 24, 2012

State Roundup, July 24, 2012

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JOBS NUMBERS TUSSLE: Change Maryland, the conservative advocacy group run by Republican Larry Hogan, is sparring with Gov. Martin O’Malley over recent job loss numbers, both claiming that the other is cherry-picking them from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to bolster their own positions, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

WANTED: JOBS AGENDA: In the op-ed section of the Sun, Maryland pastors David Carl Olson and Hoffman Brown write that, notwithstanding recent job losses, we have a stronger economy than many states in the nation, which gives us incredible opportunities to change this. Maryland needs a clear jobs agenda that connects the dots between transportation, public works, housing and workforce development.

VENTURE INVESTMENT DROPS: Venture capital investment in Maryland companies in the second quarter plummeted to its lowest level in almost 16 years, Linsdsey Robbins of the Gazette writes from a new report.

6th CASINO MAY BE COSTLY: As Gov. O’Malley and the state legislature lurch toward a special gambling session, proponents and opponents of a 6th casino will be playing a numbers game with revenue projects to make their positions more accessible, writes the editorial board for the Annapolis Capital. The cost, however, may be out of site.

LOTTERY TAKE RECORD: In a still-rocky economy, Maryland lottery sales set a record last fiscal year, generating $556 million for the state budget, John Wagner blogs in the Post.

That came from $1.8 billion in sales, reports Daniel Leaderman for the Gazette.

BOND RATING THREAT: Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland doubles back on a story in yesterday’s MarylandReporter.com that talked about the state’s triple-A bond rating. The Democrats, Griffiths writes, that have been running the financial show in Maryland for most of the last hundred years have put the state in the precarious position of losing that bond rating.

REMEMBERING FRANK PUGH: Judges Diana Motz and Robert Zarnoch and attorney Ralph Tyler pay tribute to Frank Pugh in the Daily Record. Pugh, who died on July 17, was a legend in the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for more than 30 years. He served as principal counsel of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and worked closely with the General Assembly, serving the people of Maryland with distinction, humility, and boundless good humor, they say.

PRO & ANTI GAY MARRIAGE: The Cumberland Times-News runs two op-ed pieces: One by Frank Clark, who contends that society has a stake in preserving traditional marriage, and the other by Donnie Rice and Dale Weir, partners for 25 years, who are advocating same-sex marriage rights.

DREAM ACT CAMPAIGN: A new campaign supporting “Maryland’s Dream Act” features Baltimore’s mayor. It’s the first of many ads that will hit TV and radio stations over the next three months, according to a WBFF-TV report.

PSC TO HOLD BGE HEARINGS: The Maryland Public Service Commission will hold four public hearings in August for residents to share their thoughts on BGE’s response to the violent June 29 derecho storm that caused 748,000 customers to lose power, Jon Meoli reports for the Towson Times.

ASSAULT RIFLE PURCHASES: The type of assault weapon used by the man accused of killing 12 moviegoers in a crowded Colorado theater can be legally purchased in Maryland, after a seven-day waiting period and background check, writes C. Benjamin Ford for the Gazette.

A LINCOLN REPUBLICAN: Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland takes on the GOP offerings for governor with humor, summing up their platform as a plethora of platitudes, mostly along the memes of “taxes bad, immigrants bad.” He then offers a look at a potential candidate for Attorney General, Chrys Kefalas, who worked for former Gov. Bob Ehrlich, is openly gay and for the same-sex marriage law, and hopes to chart “a Lincoln Republican course for our party.”