October 31, 2012

State Roundup, October 31, 2012

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SANDY AFTERMATH: Aaron Davis of the Post writes that in a news conference yesterday morning about Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Martin O’Malley confirmed what most Washington area residents have seen anecdotally: “We were spared the worst,” although flooding will remain a concern “for days” and in the Chesapeake Bay over the next two high-tide cycles. And heavy, wet snow is also paralyzing travel in Western Maryland.

The AP’s Jessica Gresko and Brian Witte report in the Cumberland Times-News that from its jagged coastline to the mountainous western edges, Maryland experienced every type of harsh weather that Hurricane Sandy could spawn.

U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger toured eastern Baltimore County neighborhoods to assess storm damage in an area that is prone to flooding. Earlier, the congressman and Baltimore County Councilman John Olszewski and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said damage to the county was not as bad as many had feared it could be, writes Alison Knezevich in the Sun.

Some 309,000 Maryland households remain without power as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, Gov. O’Malley said. But crews have been working since dawn — earlier than O’Malley expected — to restore electricity, Ryan Sherrow reports in the Baltimore Business Journal.

The Maryland Transit Administration plans to resume full service after finding little damage from superstorm Sandy on its rail lines. Spokesman Terry Owens says Light Rail, MARC Train and Commuter Bus will resume today, according to WBFF-TV.

EARLY VOTING EXTENDED: This week’s powerful storm knocked out a couple of days of early voting, but Maryland ballot-casting is set to resume today with extended hours, reports Bethany Rodgers for the Frederick News-Post.

Christian Alexandersen of the Carroll County Times writes that Gov. O’Malley signed an executive order yesterday that extended the hours of early voting and added a day to it. Early voting will now be from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Friday.

REFERENDUMS LEAD: A new Goucher College poll is giving gambling expansion, same-sex marriage and the Dream Act leads. And, in an open-ended question, the word “ambitious” was used most to describe Gov. Martin O’Malley, writes Holly Nunn in the Gazette.

FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Maryland’s law to allow same-sex couples to legally marry isn’t about religion or partisan politics. It is about civil rights, writes the editorial board for the Carroll County Times in backing the state’s same sex marriage law.

The editorial board for the Sun writes that Maryland’s law authorizing same-sex marriage upholds the principle that the law should treat everyone the same, ensuring that no Marylander faces discrimination under the law when it comes to one of the state’s fundamental institutions.

Here’s a KAL cartoon in the Sun.

In a column for the Sun, Jean Marbella writes that in the anti-gay marriage commercial in which two Massachusetts parents talk about how young children were being “taught” gay marriage, is a disturbing undertone: that the depiction of gay parents as equivalent to straight parents, that there weren’t relative values placed on which kind of family is better than other kinds of families.

David Moon of Maryland Juice posts two new ads promoting Question 6, one featuring a state delegate, the other a teacher.

ENDORSING GAMBLING: Proponents of a new casino in Prince George’s County flaunted the endorsements of police and fire unions and the state NAACP and pointed to their support in a television ad, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

NOT ENDORSING GAMBLING: The official website for expanded gambling in Maryland, VoteForSeven.com, has been inaccurately listing Prince George’s Sen. Paul Pinsky, as endorsing Question 7 to build a new casino in his county. The group took down the list of endorsements today, writes Sam Smith for MarylandReporter.com.

FILLING ALSTON’S SEAT: Just weeks after being elected, Terry Speigner, chairman of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee, wants to fill Del. Tiffany Alston’s vacant seat in the House of Delegates, writes Daniel Leaderman for the Gazette.