November 12, 2012

State Roundup, November 12, 2012

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HEROES IN GAY MARRIAGE DEBATE: In the campaign for same-sex marriage, writes Annie Linskey in the Sun, the comfort in distinguishing between church and civil law by the Revs. Donte Hickman and Delman Coates was persuasive not only to blacks, but to white voters.

DIVIDED, O’MALLEY CONQUERS: Gov. Martin O’Malley acknowledges that he had never had to “multi-task” as much during an election season – going from gay marriage to gambling to the Dream Act and redistricting and support for President Obama, writes John Wagner in the Post. And he faced some grumbling from activists who felt he wasn’t focused enough on their issue. But he seemed to surface at key moments.

RISING STAR: Anyone viewing last Tuesday’s election results, including the ballot questions in Maryland and the turning of Virginia from a red state to a blue one would guess that O’Malley’s star is rising while Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s isn’t, Steve Contorno writes in the Washington Examiner.

DREAM A REALITY: Julie Scharper of the Sun profiles several illegal immigrant students who now believe they have a future thanks to Maryland’s Dream Act.

REDISTRICTING BATTLES DONE: Maryland’s redistricting battles are over. Really. Finally. Over. The state’s high court on Friday upheld a new blueprint for state lawmakers’ districts, the lesser known of two maps that critics challenged unsuccessfully this year in court and at the ballot-box as gerrymandered, writes Aaron Davis in the Post.

NEWEST EMPLOYER: As John Delaney and his fellow members of the congressional Class of 2012 now head to Capitol Hill for freshman orientation, they’ll also be reviewing resumes, interviewing job candidates and hiring the staff members whose work can be the difference between their success or failure in Washington, writes Matthew Hay Brown in the Sun.

WHY ROSEN? CNS’s Matt Fleming writes, in the Chestertown Spy, that U.S. Rep. Andy Harris handily won Maryland’s 1st District, but surprisingly lost 33% of the vote, 27% of it to drop-out candidate Wendy Rosen. Why?

INAUGURAL TICKETS: U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s office is taking requests for presidential inauguration tickets, writes David Moon of Maryland Juice.

SUPREMES TO REVIEW MD DNA RULE: WJZ-TV’s Rochelle Ritchie reports that the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to review next year a controversial Maryland DNA law that allows police to take samples of suspected criminals before they’re convicted.

LOWER CORPORATE TAX: In the midst of America’s fiscal crisis, economist Anirban Basu told members of Maryland’s Chamber of Commerce that it is imperative for the state to lower corporate income tax to create better opportunity to attract capital investment to offset the impact of decreased federal spending, writes Sam Smith for MarylandReporter.com.

MARIJUANA LAWS: The editorial board for the Sun opines that reforming marijuana laws state by state isn’t necessarily the right way to go.

POT BUSTS A BUST: Sun columnist Dan Rodricks offers some scary statistics about marijuana arrests in the United States and some common sense approaches to dealing with it.

ETHICS COMPLAINT: Charges of unethical conduct have been leveled against a law firm trying to drum up interest among county governments to challenge Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts, Pamela Wood of the Capital-Gazette reports.

WATER INQUIRY: Anne Arundel County Councilman John Grasso plans to outline how much he’s spending on his plans to bottle and sell county water in response to a query from the county Ethics Commission, reports Allison Bourg in the Capital-Gazette.

NEW CHARTER, NEW EXEC IN CECIL: The Cecil Whig’s Cheryl Mattix reports that Cecil County Executive-elect Tari Moore knows she has a lot of decisions to make in the next few weeks. After she attends a Maryland Association of Counties retreat starting Thursday in Annapolis, she plans to leave Saturday for a week away from work to focus on her first days running the county’s new charter government.