October 10, 2012

State Roundup, October 10, 2012

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FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: John Wagner of the Post writes that, a decade ago, Chip DiPaula was the architect of Bob Ehrlich’s unexpected victory as Maryland’s first Republican governor in a generation. Today, he is part of something that might seem just as unlikely: a political alliance with the Democratic governor who ended Ehrlich’s tenure. Both are working to legalize gay marriage in Maryland.

In Harford County, of the 14 questions that will be on its general election ballot next month, one is especially personal for Havre de Grace Councilman Joe Smith. Smith, who is openly gay, is one of many people who cannot marry their partners in Maryland, and he said he plans to use an upcoming council meeting to discuss his support for the measure that would allow same-sex marriage, as well as some other ballot questions, Bryna Zumer writes in the Aegis.

“I would not want someone denying my rights based upon their religious views, therefore I should not deny others based upon mine,” says Rev. Delman Coates of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Prince George’s. “It’s about fairness.” He’s speaking in one of two same-sex marriage commercials highlighting African-American pastors, writes John Wagner in the Post.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, the most talked-about supporter of same-sex marriage in Maryland this year, was swarmed by the media as he arrived at a gay marriage fund-raiser at Mothers Federal Hill Grille on Monday night, blogs John Wagner in the Post.

AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE: Annie Linskey of the Sun takes a looks at a new 30-second television commercial opposing same-sex marriage that claims that children “do best” when reared in a traditional, heterosexual marriage — or, as the ad says, by “their married mom and dad.”

OUTSIDE GROUPS JOIN FRAY: The fight over Maryland’s same-sex marriage law is being waged not just in the state but throughout the country, as campaigns on both sides are courting national groups and out-of-state donors to take part in a battle that could set the tone for other states, writes David Hill in the Washington Times.

GAMBLING AD BUCKS: A new round of spending by Penn National Gaming and MGM Resorts International has pushed the ad war in the referendum over expanded gambling into record territory, eclipsing the $34 million raised for the 2006 governor’s race, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

MONEY TO W.VA.: Tim Prudente of the Capital-Gazette writes that, according to a study commissioned by gambling expansion proponents, Maryland gamblers have spent more than $1 billion at a West Virginia casino over the past decade, and they’ll spend a billion more if efforts to legalize table games and a sixth state casino fail.

DREAM ACT: WBAL-TV reports about the study that finds that passing the Dream Act could actually benefit the state financially.

UM VOTER REGISTRATION: Until a few weeks ago, University of Maryland junior Tali Alter was registered to vote in her home state of Illinois, writes Julie Scharper in the Sun. But the 21-year-old psychology major was eager to cast a ballot in this state in favor of same-sex marriage and in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants. With a few keystrokes and a click of a mouse, Alter registered to vote online through a newly created university website.

VOTER DISTRESS: At least 8,000 registered voters got cards recently from the State Board of Elections telling them they were not registered, distressing dozens of senior citizens in Howard County. The cards were apparently part of a mailing to a million people eligible to vote in an effort to encourage greater voter registration, writes Glynis Kazanjian for MarylandReporter.com.

ALSTON AVOIDS JAIL: Del. Tiffany Alston, the Prince George’s County delegate accused of using campaign funds to pay for her wedding, will avoid jail time as part of a plea agreement that resolved — for now — two sets of criminal charges against her, reports Daniel Leaderman of the Gazette.

Alston’s future in the General Assembly was unclear, with prosecutors saying she must leave the legislature and Alston saying the issue is not yet decided, writes Ann Marimow in the Post.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul Harris sentenced Alston to one year of jail with the all of the time suspended, according to a report at WBFF-TV.

O’MALLEY BASHED: Somewhere on his path to Washington, opines Marta Mossburg in an op-ed in the Sun, Gov. Martin O’Malley tired of the little people. Nowhere was it more evident than last week when he berated Penn National Gaming CEO Peter Carlino for defending his business.

Then in an op-ed for the Frederick News-Post, Mossburg writes that maybe national television has gone to O’Malley’s head. It wouldn’t be hard. The leader of the Democratic Governors Association is almost always treated like a rising star and 2016 presidential hopeful during his frequent appearances on talk shows stumping for President Barack Obama.

O’MALLEY AT VP DEBATE: Michael Dresser of the Sun reports that Gov. O’Malley, fresh off his enthusiastic turn as a spin doctor at President Obama’s subpar debate appearance last week in Denver, will travel to Kentucky Thursday to attend the faceoff between Vice President Joe Biden and his Republican rival, Rep. Paul Ryan.

HOLE IN STATE IT SYSTEM: The Maryland Department of Information Technology lacks adequate oversight over the protection of personal information contained in IT systems of various state agencies and this could jeopardize the privacy of citizens, auditors found, writes Sam Smith for MarylandReporter.com.

RALLY FOR WOMEN: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and other Maryland politicians rallied in Easton over the weekend to tout President Barack Obama and fight what they called the Republican war on women, according to the Easton Star-Democrat.

POULTRY CASE: Pamela Wood of the Capital-Gazette reports that lawyers for environmentalists and the poultry industry squared off in federal court yesterday in a long-running case over water pollution from poultry farms.

PERMITS TO STAND: Environmental activists suffered a setback yesterday when state officials announced they won’t re-evaluate permits regulating emissions limits at two coal-fired power plants in Pasadena and Middle River, reports Tim Prudente for the Capital-Gazette.

  • For something relevant: Google First Scandal. When you get there, go to the top of the page and click on “Welcome University…” Please note: this website you reach will be deleted on November 1, 2012.