October 8, 2012

State Roundup, October 8, 2012

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DREAM MARCH: About 1,000 immigrants marched Saturday in support of the Maryland Dream Act, the proposed law to allow in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants that will come before voters next month, reports Erica Green for the Sun.

The ballot was expected to generate fierce debate this fall, but it has been somewhat lost in the frenzy over the state’s other referendums on same-sex marriage and expanded gambling, writes David Hill in the WashingtonTimes.

Despite an aggressive petition drive to force a referendum on the state’s Dream Act — which allows in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants — the campaign to defeat the measure in November remains a low-budget, grass-roots operation without much evidence of an organized effort, Michael Dresser reports in the Sun.

The measure, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley, is not a giveaway. It does not make a college education free, opines Pat Furgurson in a column in the Capital Gazette. It simply allows residents of the Free State to seek the educational edge needed to compete in this world, and to meet their potential.

DREAM FACT CHECK: In the Capital Gazette Fact Checker column, Allison Bourg addresses one contention by opponents of the Maryland Dream Act: that if illegal immigrants begin enrolling and paying in-state rates, these universities would either have to displace in-state citizen students and drop lucrative out-of-state students, or lower the percentage of out-of-state students they enroll.

REFERENDUMS SUPPORT: The battles over Maryland ballot measures that would legalize same-sex marriage and charge in-state tuition to illegal immigrants resemble fights between David and Goliath, with the supporters of both measures outraising and outspending their opponents multiple times over, reports Rachel Baye for the Washington Examiner.

ANTI-GAMBLING: An executive with Penn National Gaming, a company fighting Maryland’s expanded gambling plan, has taken responsibility for paying for an anti-gambling mailer sent out this summer by a gay-rights group, according to a state senator, blogs John Wagner in the Post.

CASINO TAKE DOWN: Revenue at Maryland’s three casinos reached nearly $42.9 million in September, down from $44.6 million the month before, according to figures released Friday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, reports Eileen Ambrose in the Sun.

ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE: Marylanders can love and accept their gay colleagues, friends and family members without redefining marriage, the Rev. Derek McCoy said Saturday afternoon at the Western Maryland Traditional Marriage Rally inside Calvary Baptist Church. McCoy, of Beltsville, is traveling the state, encouraging people to vote against Question 6 when they go to the polls on Nov. 6, Michael Sawyers writes in the Cumberland Times-News.

The Hour of Power sermon was repeated in black churches across Maryland Sunday and will keep going all month, part of a coordinated effort by opponents of same-sex marriage to spread their message from the pulpit leading up to the referendum on Nov. 6, writes Annie Linskey in the Sun.

Ravens center Matt Birk officially jumped into Maryland’s same-sex marriage scrum Friday, releasing a web-only video that supports traditional marriage, Linskey reports for the Sun.

David Moon at Maryland Juice posts anti-gay marriage fliers from Marriage Equality Maryland.

VOTER MAINTENANCE: While recent voter-registration scandals have been cause for concern in some states, the State Board of Elections said the focus in Maryland is on voter roll maintenance, not registration fraud prevention, reports the AP’s Caitlin Johnston in the Cumberland Times-News.

LEGITIMATE VOTERS: U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings is requesting that a group whose affiliates have challenged the legitimacy of thousands of voter registrations, including some in Maryland, turn over documents to demonstrate how it determines which registrations to target

RIGHT TO COUNSEL: A court decision earlier this year requiring that legal representation be provided to indigent defendants at bail reviews has had a trickle down effect on connected governing functions throughout the state, writes Brett Lake for the Carroll County Times.

NO CHARGES YET IN DWYER BOAT CRASH: It’s been six weeks since two powerboats collided on the Magothy River injuring seven, including a young girl with fractured skull, writes Tim Prudente of the Capital Gazette. Criticism has centered on Del. Don Dwyer, who admitted drinking before getting behind the wheel of one of the boats. Still, criminal charges have not been filed and police have released few details of the investigation.

RARE MARYLAND DEBATES: A funny thing happened last Tuesday in Ellicott City. Two incumbent congressmen sat down with their opponents and talked about issues. Otherwise, incumbents across Maryland – mostly Democrats – are avoiding engaging their challengers in any kind of discussion that goes beyond trading charges in mailers, ads and press releases, Glynis Kazanjian reports for MarylandReporter.com.

O’MALLEY MOCKS ROMNEY: Gov. O’Malley mocked Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for not offering more specifics about his tax plans during a spirited performance on “Fox News Sunday,” blogs the Post’s John Wagner.

JON STEWART MOCKS O’MALLEY: Jon Stewart of the Daily Show mocks the defense that O’Malley and other apologists offer up for President Obama‘s rather poor debate showing.

ENERGIZED IN WASHINGTON CO: Democrats in Washington County are starting to energize, writes C.J. Lovelace for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. President Obama’s re-election bid against Republican challenger Mitt Romney and the race for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District between longtime GOP incumbent Roscoe Bartlett and Democrat John Delaney has helped get people more involved.

SNOWDEN POT TRIAL: The Capital-Gazette’s Allison Bourg reports that Annapolis civil rights leader Carl Snowden will stand trial on marijuana charges Nov. 16.

ENGLISH & CARROLL COUNTY: Julie Scharper of the Sun writes that Mexican and Central American immigrants have flocked to Carroll County over the past decade. Some followed family members here; others sought to live among those who share their traditional values. Many say they felt welcome here, at least until a commissioner began a push to make English the county’s official language.

BA CO OPHANS COURT: Maryland’s system of resolving disputes over wills and estates is being challenged in Baltimore County this fall, as voters decide whether the local Orphans’ Court judges should be required to have law licenses, reports Jessica Anderson in the Sun.

AN UNNEEDED JUVIE JAIL: It would not be far-fetched to expect Gov. Martin O’Malley to focus his attention — and our state’s precious resources — on projects that prevent youth from engaging in crime, opines Baltimore City Council President Jack Young in an op-ed in the Sun. But O’Malley decided to double-down on the misguided plan to spend more than $70 million building a youth detention facility in Baltimore that studies show is not needed and could ultimately end up being a colossal waste of taxpayer funds.

  • scuncic

    What makes these illegal aliens who are in this country ILLEGALLY, think we should chance our laws to suit them? Who are these people? What gives them the right to enter this country ILLEGALLY and demand anything? Again, who do these people think they are? I’m not a republican, but I will be voting for one in the next election and pray to God if he wins, he will get our immigration laws enforced and get rid of all the illegal aliens. They have NO RIGHT to be in this country. Go back to your own country and make your demands there.
    Illegal immigration is a cancer, it has to be eradicated not tolerated.

  • Why didn’t ICE come and arrest all of these illegal aliens. Its time for the Federal Government to do the job we are paying them for. Deport all illegal aliens, secure the border and fine anyone who hires an illegal alien. That is the law.