September 5, 2012

State Roundup, September 5, 2012

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O’MALLEY TAKES THE STAGE: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley offered pointed criticism of Republicans in an address to the Democratic convention last night, arguing that President Barack Obama is best suited to right the U.S. economy while GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s policies would only move the nation backward, reports John Fritze for the Sun.

Gov. O’Malley played attack dog for President Obama, calling Mitt Romney an out-of-touch businessman who hides his money in offshore tax havens, during a prime-time address that drew mixed reviews even from Democrats, writes Brian Hughes for the Washington Examiner. Video of the speech is at the top of the article.

O’Malley touted the nation’s economic gains under President Obama as he sought to erase comments he made days earlier when he said Americans are no better off than they were in 2008, reports David Hill of the Washington Times.

O’Malley’s speech drew praise from Maryland Democrats, but jeers from Republicans, report Julie Baughman of Capital News Service and Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com.

REVIEWS MIXED: On MarylandReporter.com, Towson rhetoric professor Richard Vatz writes that the speech was well delivered but not reality-based.

O’Malley’s coveted speaking slot, considered a springboard for rising stars, fueled speculation that O’Malley, 49, is being groomed for a 2016 presidential run, writes Hayley Peterson for the Washington Examiner. If so, he’ll have to defend a record that includes unpopular tax increases, critics said.

TV reviewer David Zurawik writes that it was not a very good TV speech, and he suspected that it played poorly in many living rooms around the country. It was too big and felt far too artificial and gimmicky for the intimacy of TV.

AVOIDS SPECULATION: Despite widespread speculation about his own national political ambitions, O’Malley continued to deflect questions about 2016 as he dashed through a packed schedule at the Democratic National Convention ahead of his prime time address, John Fritze writes for the Sun.

VIRGINIA’S PLACE: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that Maryland’s fiercest competitor to the south, Virginia, is the “checkmate state” in the presidential chess game, Virginia’s former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine told fired up Democratic delegates at breakfast Tuesday.

MARYLAND AS EXAMPLE: Even so, Maryland Democrats are telling Daniel Leaderman of the Gazette that their party’s national convention is a chance for the state to serve as an example for the rest of the country.

Charles Mahtesian of Politico says that Maryland’s delegation might be small but it packs a political punch.

SHRIVER REMEMBERED: Maryland’s delegation gathered at a downtown museum here to pay tribute to the late Sargent Shriver, one of their own, who was founder of the Peace Corps, architect of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” and married into the Kennedy family, writes John Wagner of the Post.

YOUNG DEMS: John Fritze of the Sun writes about 23-year-old Mitch Case, who is attending his first national political convention. When he began his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he was surprised to learn the college Democratic club had all but disappeared — just two years after Barack Obama was elected president with overwhelming support from students. So Case set out to revive the club, and enthusiasm on campus for Obama’s reelection with it.

Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM speaks with Case and Caitlyn Leiter-Mason, president of the College Democrats. The two are blogging about the convention.

AUDIT ON RACING DONATIONS: A new legislative audit released yesterday says that three of the state’s five horse racing tracks have failed to file financial reports, as required by state law, to the Maryland Racing Commission, reports C. Benjamin Ford for the Gazette.

ULMAN RISING: Ken Ulman’s political profile certainly has grown in recent years, writes Lindsey McPherson of the Howard County Times. The Democrat became the youngest county executive in the history of the state of Maryland when he was elected Howard County executive at age 32. Last year, he served as president of the Maryland Association of Counties. And now, Ulman is chairman of the National Democratic County Officials, representing more than 10,000 Democratic county officials from around the United States.

PENN’S CAMPAIGN: Penn National Gaming has contributed nearly $5.5 million to an effort to defeat Maryland’s expanded gambling plan at the ballot box, signaling an expensive battle heading into November, writes John Wagner of the Post.

HARRIS SAVES BABY: Kevin Rector of the Sun reports that U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican from Maryland and a medical doctor by profession, helped save a 2-year-old boy who had stopped breathing in his family’s vehicle as they drove along Route 50 in Talbot County.

BARLETT ATTACKS DELANEY: U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is playing offense in his reelection bid, going on the air with a television ad attacking the business record of his Democratic opponent, financier John Delaney, Ben Pershing blogs in the Post.

LEOPOLD CASE: Allison Bourg of the Capital Gazette writes that Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold and others at the top level of county government sexually harassed women, schemed to get rid of employees who complained, destroyed documents and spied on others who were perceived as disloyal, a county worker testified in an affidavit obtained by Capital Gazette.

CECIL LAND ISSUES: Nancy Schwerzler of the Cecil Times blogs that an overflow crowd of several hundred people jammed the main meeting room and hallways at the county office building in Elkton Tuesday night, as farmers and property rights advocates condemned a proposed ‘tier” land preservation map supported by a three-vote majority of the Cecil County Commissioners.

HENRY PARKER: Jennifer Shutt of the Salisbury Daily Times writes of Henry Parker, a long time Wicomico County Council member who died over the weekend at age 90.

MARY HARVEY: Bryan Sears of Patch.com writes of Mary Harvey, who served in Baltimore County government and is remembered by many politicians, including U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, for her high energy and concern for the underpriviledged. She died at age 54.