November 1, 2012

State Roundup, November 1, 2012

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O’MALLEY IN CRISFIELD: In a tour of hurricane-damaged areas of Crisfield, Gov. Martin O’Malley yesterday pledged state assistance with rebuilding, as well as finding both short- and long-term housing solutions for displaced residents, reports Liz Holland in the Salisbury Daily Times.

O’MALLEY ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY LAW: John Wagner of the Post reports that Gov. Martin O’Malley said last night that the campaign to uphold Maryland’s same-sex marriage law is in “good shape” but added that his side needs to continue raising money to get its message out in the final days before the election.

JOLIE’S BOYFRIEND DONATES: Pamela Wood of the Capital-Gazette reports that the roster of rich and famous people donating to same-sex marriage efforts in Maryland grew by one mega-star Wednesday: Brad Pitt. The actor pledged to match donations to the Human Rights Campaign up to $100,000, with $25,000 earmarked for Maryland. It comes at a good time for supporters, writes the Sun’s Annie Linskey. They reported last week they have only $22,000 in the bank.

GAMBLING SPENDING: Spending in the mammoth media battle over a proposed expansion of gambling in Maryland is approaching $70 million and is poised to exceed the totals for the last three gubernatorial contests — combined — before Election Day, reports the Sun’s Michael Dresser.

Penn National Gaming brought its total contributions to more than $35.5 million against Question 7 — up from $29.1 million just a week ago, reports Matt Connolly for the Washington Examiner. Penn operates a casino in West Virginia that draws many Maryland residents, as well as a slots palace in Perryville, Md., near the Delaware border.

O’M BLASTS TWO ADS: Gov. O’Malley is criticizing political ads that urge voters to defeat two controversial ballot questions – one to expand gambling and the other to uphold the state’s same-sex marriage law, John Rydell reports the story for WBFF-TV.

GAMBLING & EDUCATION: David Hill of the Washington Times writes that education funding from gambling proceeds may be real or just a shell game.

EARLY VOTING: After a two-day break for Hurricane Sandy, polling places reopened to crowds that in some locations approached weekend levels, with waits of up to an hour and a half, Matthew Hay Brown, Annie Linskey and Michael Dresser report in the Sun. The Post lists where to vote early in the D.C. Suburbs. (Maryland is at the bottom of Page 2.)

In Frederick County, reports Bethany Rodgers for the Frederick News-Post, a steady stream of voters wound through a waterlogged landscape yesterday. Although the turnout was strong, lines were not nearly as long as they were over the weekend.

Montgomery County elections officials say they don’t expect huge lines during early voting or on Election Day itself, despite Maryland’s historically lengthy ballot and the long waits voters encountered last weekend, writes Kate Jacobson of the Washington Examiner.

Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM speaks with Armstead Crawley Jones, director of the Baltimore City Board of Election, for an update on early voting in light of the recent storm. He’s also joined by Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland and the Maryland Young Republicans and Cory McCray of the BEST Democrats Club and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 24 to discuss the importance of voting.

TOO LITTLE ON SCHOOLS: Almost two-thirds of Maryland residents (65%) believe Maryland spends “too little” on public schools despite a rising trend in state and local government education spending, Sam Smith of MarylandReporter.com writes about a new Goucher College poll.

ON VAN HOLLEN: Miranda Spivack of the Post profiles U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is seeking a sixth term in the House and must introduce himself to a new and more conservative area of his district.

BARTLETT-DELANEY:Democrat John Delaney made his case for election at a chamber of commerce breakfast in Hagerstown — without his opponent, Republican Roscoe Bartlett, who was out with local officials viewing the effects of Hurricane Sandy, writes Andrew Schotz for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

The opinionmakers at the Frederick News-Post write about 6th Congressional District race between incumbent Roscoe Bartlett and wealthy upstart John Delaney, who, thanks to redistricting, are both running for a new set of voters and how ironic it is that the latest poll finds them pretty much tied.

SIGNERS NAMES RELEASED: A Baltimore County judge allowed the release Wednesday of the names of people who signed petitions to challenge the county’s zoning maps, saying the information is “clearly a public record,” writes Alison Knezevich of the Sun.

STATE MAP CHALLENGE: A day after voters decide whether or not to accept Maryland’s new congressional districts on the referendum ballot, reports Jon Meoli for the Towson Times, the state Court of Appeals will hear a case on Nov. 7, brought by state Sens. Jim Brochin and Delores Kelley. That suit and others seek to throw out the newly drawn state legislative map that determines representatives in Annapolis.

CITY QUESTION K: Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM is joined by Hassan Giordano and Del. Curt Anderson to discuss Question K, which, if passed, would change Baltimore City mayoral and City Council elections so that they would fall on years when presidential elections occur.

CITY QUESTION M: Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM discusses ballot Question M, which deals with audits of city agencies. He’s joined by Mary Ernish, founder of Audit Baltimore, and Baltimore City Councilmembers Nikki Spector and Carl Stokes.