August 30, 2012

State Roundup, August 30, 2012

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MORE IN STATE BUDGET: Maryland will begin the process of planning its next budget with about $450 million more than previously projected — mostly as a result of a rebound in revenue collections, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

STEELE AT GOP-CON: Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, a former Maryland lieutenant governor, capped off the Maryland delegation’s Wednesday morning breakfast at the Republican National Convention with a fiery pep talk that included criticism of the Democratic Party, as well as his fellow MSNBC contributors, writes Carl Straumsheim of Capital News Service in MarylandReporter.com.

Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland pays homage to Steele, calling him Maryland’s biggest political celebrity.

GOP HAPPENINGS: Dan Rodricks of WYPR-FM speaks about convention happenings with Dave Schwartz, Maryland director of Americans for Prosperity, Heather Olson, 2nd vice chair of the Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee, and Jill Homan, incoming RNC national committeewoman for D.C.

CONVENTIONAL POLITICKING: They are here to support Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, but a handful of Marylanders considering a run for higher office are also hoping to benefit politically from his convention, John Fritze reports in the Sun.

VAN HOLLEN ON ROMNEY: GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney “is going to double down on windfall tax breaks on the rich like himself,” U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen said at the GOP convention in Tampa. “When the rich aren’t going to pay a cent more, it’s going to come at the expense of students, the middle class, and almost everyone else. President Obama’s balanced approach is right for America.” CNS’s Matt McNab of Capital News Service writes the story in MarylandReporter.com.

GREAT SEATS: Republicans from D.C. and Maryland are an endangered species, but for a few short days here, they are basking in friendlier surroundings. At the Republican National Convention, Maryland delegates are enjoying some prime real estate, Brian Hughes and Steve Contorno report for the Washington Examiner.

MEET SOME DELEGATES: Brenda Butscher of Garrett County has attended nine GOP conventions. JoAnn Fisher readily acknowledges she’s a bit of an oddity in her Prince George’s County community. She is, after all, a Republican. But she’s also an African-American who readily admits to being proud of President Barack Obama. John Fritze profiles them in the Sun.

PARTY WHILE THE SHIP SINKS: The editorial board for the Frederick News Post opines that as Gov. Martin O’Malley crashes the GOP convention, and the state’s Republicans attack the governor, the ship of state continues to take on water. Rather than manning the pumps, our political leaders and their respective parties ignore the badly listing deck they’re standing on and choose instead to fight tooth and nail for control of the wheelhouse.

CALLING THE KETTLE: Columnist Marta Mossburg, writing in the Sun, says that Gov. O’Malley should look at his own lack of transparency and generous charitable giving before blasting presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his.

COST TO TAXPAYERS: Federal taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $136 million to cover the cost of the major political parties’ presidential nominating conventions. That’s the estimated total taxpayer tab of this week’s Republican Party National Convention in Florida and next week’s Democratic Party National Convention in North Carolina, writes M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Reporter, in MarylandReporter.com.

SHRIVER TRIBUTE PLANNED: John Wagner blogs in the Post that when they gather in Charlotte, N.C., next week for their party’s national convention, Maryland Democrats plan to pay tribute to the late Sargent Shriver, the founder of the Peace Corps and architect of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”

FIRST LADY FUNDRAISING: First lady Michelle Obama will visit Maryland next month for a pair of fundraisers — including one in Baltimore — during a campaign swing that will largely mirror a trip the president made through the state in June, Democratic officials said Wednesday.

CASINOS FAIL TO DISCLOSE: John Wagner of the Post is reporting that two of the three casinos operating in Maryland, including the state’s largest, have failed for years to file disclosure forms detailing their campaign contributions and lobbyists, most recently missing a deadline before a special session on gambling.

PENN NATIONAL TO OPPOSE: Penn National Gaming, the owner of the first Maryland casino to open, today will formally announce its opposition to a November ballot measure on expanded gambling, writes John Wagner of the Post.

EHRLICH AIDE FOR GAY MARRIAGE: Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s chief of staff, Chip DiPaula, says that he supports same-sex marriage, becoming one of the highest profile Republicans in the state to add his voice to the pro-gay marriage cause, Annie Linskey blogs for the Sun.

He has sent a fundraising appeal in support of the same-sex marriage measure appearing on the November ballot, blogs John Wagner in the Post.

GOV TOUTS SOLAR JOBS: Gov. Martin O’Malley touted jobs as he celebrated the completion of a 17.7-megawatt solar farm built on the campus of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Pete McCarthy reports for the Frederick News Post.

WATCHER RETURNS: “Martin Watcher” returns with a political column at The Dagger. He begins by writing about MACo and the taxpayer dollars that fund this annual summer junket at the height of the vacation season.

DWYER WATCH: Sun columnist Dan Rodricks is now on Don Dwyer Watch, waiting to see if the strident anti-homosexual state delegate softens his stance as he recovers from his injuries to his body and career following the drunk-boating accident that injured others, including children.

DELANEY-BARTLETT: David Moon of Maryland Juice is blogging about a mailer sent to some Democrats that bashes U.S. House candidate John Delaney for owning a polluted landfill. Delaney denies the charge. But the authority line for the mailer is the Maryland Republican Party, which sent this piece as an independent effort. Moon points out that the Maryland GOP’s chair is Alex Mooney, who also works for the man Delaney hopes to unseat, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.

Remarks about rape from a Missouri congressman and the national Republican Party’s platform plank on abortion triggered a war of words late this month among the two top candidates for the newly drawn 6th Congressional District and their parties’ leaders, writes Kathrine Heerbrandt for the Gazette.

PG TO LOSE TREASURY JOBS: Jonathan O’Connell of the Post is reporting that the federal government is relocating 450 Treasury Department jobs from Hyattsville to Parkersburg, W.Va., a shift that is drawing the ire of officials in Prince George’s County. The move, intended to consolidate some Treasury operations, would begin in 2013 and is expected to take up to three years.

ARUNDEL CHARTER AMENDMENTS: Fifteen. That’s right folks, there are 15 Anne Arundel County Charter amendments to ponder before pulling the lever (an anachronism from pre-digital-voting days), writes columnist Pat Furgurson in the Capital-Gazette.