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Published on August 24th, 2012 | by Cynthia Prairie

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State Roundup, August 24, 2012

DWYER DRINKING: David Moon of Maryland Juice blogs that Maryland politicos are buzzing with news that GOP Del. Don Dwyer drove a boat while drunk last night, resulting in seven injured people — including three children.

You can watch video from WBAL-AM in which Dwyer holds a press conference outside of Shock Trauma and admits that his blood alcohol content was .2, two and a half times over the legal limit for Maryland automobile drivers. On that page is also a report from Dave Collins of WBAL-TV.

Kevin Rector and Andrea Siegel of the Sun report on the press conference and offer more details of the boating accident.

Dwyer, writes Aaron Davis in the Post, is best known for leading vehement opposition to Democrats’ efforts to legalize same-sex marriage and for failed attempts to impeach state Attorney General Doug Gansler for his support of same-sex marriage.

TWO APPEAL CASINO LICENSE: Two groups are formally objecting to the casino license awarded to a Caesars Entertainment affiliate for a planned Baltimore casino, arguing in part that bids were solicited for a basic slots parlor and should be reopened now that the General Assembly has authorized table games such as poker and blackjack, reports Luke Broadwater of the Sun.

ACA HEALTH AGENCY: Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration has released the name, logo and Web site for a new state government unit created to let residents purchase health insurance plans next year under the Affordable Care Act. Maryland Health Connection will begin open enrollment in October 2013, blogs the Post’s Aaron Davis.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS GROW: Liz Farmer of the Washington Examiner reports that the number of people on local government payrolls in Maryland grew by nearly 3% — about 6,000 people — to 220,314 during the year that ended in March 2012, new Census data show. The growth comes while most local governments shrank their payrolls, combining for an average drop of 1.7% nationwide. Meanwhile, local governments in Virginia collectively downsized by 1.4%, or roughly 4,500 people, to 313,907 total.

O’MALLEY TO SING: Not only will Gov. O’Malley be speaking at next month’s Democratic National Convention, but he’ll be singing, as well, blogs John Wagner in the Post.

MIKULSKI TO SPEAK: And U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who this year became the longest-serving woman in congressional history, will have a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, leading a program highlighting the record 12 women running this year for Senate, Matthew Hay Brown reports in the Sun.

ONLINE ABSENTEE VOTING: Thousands of absentee voters from Maryland will be the first to mark their ballots online this fall, writes Glynis Kazanjian of MarylandReporter.com. But at least one advocacy organization said the new online ballot marking program, along with the state’s just started online registration process, is open to voter fraud.

GUNS & THE MENTALLY ILL: Something is wrong when someone can purchase a lot of weapons, threaten harm to others, but only face a misdemeanor for telephone misuse, then go out and purchase more guns because he voluntarily spent weeks under psychiatric care. But policymakers may be hard put to find a solution simply because not all mentally ill people are dangerous, and there’s no scientific way of predicting which of them will become violent, opines the editorial board for the Sun.

DELANEY SPOTLIGHTED: Democrats in Washington County cheered yesterday for their 2012 candidate for Congress and applauded four elected officials who haven’t committed yet to statewide campaigns in 2014, reports Andrew Schotz for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. But all eyes at the Washington County Democratic Central Committee picnic were on John Delaney, who is trying to prevent Republican Roscoe Bartlett from winning an 11th term in Congress.

FILM FUNDRAISER: More than 400 movie-goers showed up to watch a film about illegal immigration, recently endorsed by Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young. The film showing doubled as fundraiser for Young, who is exploring a run for governor, writes Cara Anthony for the Frederick News Post. He asked supporters to make donations even though admission was free.

LEGAL FEES DENIED TO EX-CHIEF: Anne Arundel County’s former police chief, who retired to end a criminal investigation into his conduct, unsuccessfully lobbied the county to pay his $40,000 legal tab. The county denied Chief James Teare’s request, arguing that his expenses did not qualify for a fund designed to protect innocent employees from legal bills, Erin Cox reports for the Sun.

The fund, writes Allison Bourg of the Capital-Gazette, is used to pay “reasonable” defense expenses incurred by public safety employees in defending criminal prosecutions and internal investigations.

SPECTOR’S IN-CITY TRAVEL BILL: Adam Meister blogs about Baltimore City Councilwoman Rikki Spector’s billing the city for $3,000 in travel expenses within the city plus her claiming a homestead tax exemption for a property that is not her main residence, which he reported about years ago.

ASSEMBLY EXPENSES: Daniel Leaderman in the Gazette examines the room and board provided legislators when they are in session.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Maryland’s electric utilities vary in how directly they address the still-contentious issue of climate change, Margie Hyslop writes in the Gazette. But they all say they are adapting to stormier conditions that have marked the state’s weather in recent years.

INTOLERANCE: Gazette columnist Blair Lee highlights the intolerance of gay activists on the same-sex marriage issue.

REFERENDUMS: In his Gazette column, Barry Rascovar looks at the four referendum issues, and says the one on congressional redistricting might be the most interesting.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Maio/1398619703 Harold Maio

    GUNS & THE MENTALLY ILL:

    “The” ? I am offended by your representation. We are not generic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Higginbotham/100000261072379 Bob Higginbotham

    Those that oppose the contract award for the city casino are jumping the gun. The referendum has not been approved by the citizens of Maryland; and belive it or not we do count!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Higginbotham/100000261072379 Bob Higginbotham

    It seems O’Malley is a multi-talented person singing and speaking at the democrat hoedown. It’s too bad he is completely clueless about running our state. Or is it that he just does not care about Maryland anymore (not thathe ever did) because it is no longer useful in his presidential campaign.

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