September 4, 2012

State Roundup, September 4, 2012

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O’MALLEY VISIBLE: As an increasingly polished speaker and in-demand message man for his party, Gov. Martin O’Malley will have an opportunity in Charlotte to solidify his standing as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, report John Fritze and Matthew Hay Brown for the Sun. He’ll also get the chance to redeem himself from the last time he stood on a convention stage eight years ago and flubbed it with a speech criticized as pretentious.

He gets his shot tonight. Gov. O’Malley is set to be the first speaker in the 10 o’clock hour on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, blogs John Wagner of the Post.

Wagner also writes that yesterday O’Malley made a rapid-fire series of appearances at four breakfast gatherings of state delegations.

Here’s a Sun photo gallery of scenes from the Charlotte.

VAN HOLLEN IN DEMAND: Paul Ryan’s name on the Republican presidential ticket has worked out pretty well for U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is in high demand at this week’s Dem-Con as the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, which is chaired by Ryan, blogs John Wagner of the Post.

MD IN THE RAFTERS: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that the Maryland delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be in the nose bleed seats, where they can look down hundreds of feet at the speakers and those favored delegations with highly visible floor seats near the podium – like those from neighboring Virginia.

Salisbury’s delegates to this week’s convention aren’t sure what they are most looking forward to because none of them has ever been to a party gathering like this before, writes Malia Rulon Herman for the Salisbury Daily Times.

FILLED STREETS: The streets of Charlotte were a lot friendlier and fuller as the town turned out for Labor Day and Carolina Fest, writes MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick. Free music, including a set by North Carolinian James Taylor, fried chicken and barbecue were supplemented with advocacy groups and booths backing a range of progressive causes.

But O’Malley’s plans to join one of the bands on stage at the pre-convention street festival in were foiled Monday by a torrential downpour, blogs the Post’s John Wagner.

CAMPAIGN SEASON: Earl Kelly of the Capital-Gazette writes that Labor Day ushers in the start of the season when politics heats up to a boil and voters must spend time checking the facts as campaigns hurl charges at one another.

WHO’LL RUN FOR BOBO’S SEAT? With the announced retirement of state Del. Liz Bobo, David Moon of Maryland Juice prints one reader’s speculation of who might run for her seat. Scroll down his post a bit to find that.

H2O RATE HIKE SOUGHT: The water agency for Prince George’s and Montgomery counties predicts needing a 19% increase in its construction budget to pay for improvements to its aging system over the next six years — probably meaning more rate increases for residents in the coming years, Rachel Baye writes for the Washington Examiner.