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Published on September 12th, 2012 | by Cynthia Prairie

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State Roundup, September 12, 2012

ROSEN DEBACLE: Elections officials in Florida said yesterday they were asking prosecutors to investigate allegations that former Maryland congressional candidate Wendy Rosen was registered and voted in both states, reports Matthew Hay Brown in the Sun.

Brown also writes in the Sun that John LaFerla, who lost a close Democratic primary in the 1st congressional district to Rosen, says he is available to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Harris as a write-in candidate.

Maryland Democrats plan to run a write-in candidate against Rep. Harris, writes Ben Pershing in the Post.

The editorial board for the Salisbury Daily Times opines that Rosen’s failing should not reflect poorly on the Democratic Party. Rather than cover the problem up, rationalize or turn a blind eye to it, the state party took firm action by asking the candidate to step down immediately and reporting it to authorities.

The Sun’s editorial board writes that the Rosen debacle doesn’t make a case for voter ID laws, but it does make the case for taking Marylands redistricting process out of the hands of politicians from the state’s majority party, who use the occasion for furthering their own goals and ambitions, not creating districts that reflect the nature of Maryland communities.

E-ZPASS SCOFFLAWS: Katherine Shaver of the Post reports that thousands of vehicles are repeatedly blowing through Maryland E-ZPass lanes without an ­E-ZPass transponder, and the state is doing little to collect the millions of dollars in unpaid tolls.

GAY MARRIAGE BATTLE: Caitlin Johnston of Capital News Service writes for MarylandReporter.com that gay rights activists, religious leaders and politicians are gearing up for two months of campaigning on the Maryland referendum to strike down same-sex marriage legislation that passed in March.

GAMBLING FIGHT: MGM Resorts International will open a visitor center at National Harbor next week as part of its campaign to win approval of its plans to build adestination casino at the site on the Potomac River, writes the Sun’s Michael Dresser.

And John Wagner of the Post blogs that the developer of National Harbor, the most likely location for a new Maryland casino, has chipped in $400,000 to the effort to pass a ballot measure in November allowing the state’s gambling program to expand, blogs John Wagner in the Post.

Peterson hopes to partner with gambling giant MGM Resorts International to build a resort-casino on the Potomac River, writes the Sun’s Annie Linskey.

Marylanders will be bombarded with television commercials between now and Election Day urging them to vote for or against expanded gambling, reports John Rydell for WBFF-TV.

SEX OFFENSE LOOPHOLE: Legislators, lawyers and law enforcement officers are drafting a bill for next year’s legislative session to close a loophole in the fourth-degree sex offense law that forced prosecutors to drop charges in March against a teacher and coach in Montgomery County who was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student on his track-and-field team, Jen Bondeson reports in the Gazette.

FIRST LADY TO VISIT: David Moon at Maryland Juice is reporting the details of first lady Michelle Obamas visit to Baltimore set for Sept. 21st at Morgan State University.

LEAKING: “Martin Watcher” of the Dagger writes that a major controversy is brewing in D.C. regarding the release of classified information. And U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger has proclaimed that anyone leaking classified information should go to jail. That would have to include himself, Watcher says, since he leaked the classified information that Osama bin Laden had been killed before it was released by the president.

AT THE CONVENTIONS: Lindsey McPherson of the Howard County Times interviewed Howard County Republicans and Democrats about their experiences attending their respective national conventions this year.

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