November 27, 2012

State Roundup, November 27, 2012

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SMOKE TAX OPPOSED: Some Western Maryland legislators oppose a proposal to hike the tax of a price of cigarettes bought in Maryland by $1 a pack, reports the Cumberland Times-News. “It’s ludicrous … we’re such a small state, and it will drive people across the borders,” said Del. Kevin Kelly.

PHONE WEDDING LEGAL: The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has ruled that a wedding ceremony conducted over the telephone and with a proxy is legal, writes Andrea Siegel in the Sun. The court, in upholding a divorce and nearly $6,000 a month in alimony, child support and other financial payments, said the ceremony may have been unusual but is considered a marriage like any other under state law.

REVIEW IN ALSTON CASE: A Prince George’s County judge said yesterday the court should conduct a full judicial review of the controversy surrounding the nomination of businessman Gregory Hall to replace Tiffany Alston in the House of Delegates, Miranda Spivack and Ann Marimow report in the Post.

ADOPTION MONTH: To recognize National Adoption Month, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown discusses the adoption and parenting of his son Jonathan and announces that he’ll be hosting a Twitter Chat at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28. The item is in Patch.com.

O’MALLEY STILL DGA LEADER: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will most likely retain a leadership post in the Democratic Governors Association when his two-year tenure as chairman ends next week, party sources tell John Wagner of the Post.

FIGHT OVER MOONEY: Antonio Campbell of Right of Center Maryland blogs that the editors at Red Maryland are off-base in calling for Alex Mooney’s resignation as state GOP chairman, saying that Mooney did a lot more to try to defeat the referendums and raise funds than Red Maryland did.

CHARTER FOR CARROLL? Christian Alexandersen of the Carroll County Times writes that, with Frederick County voters choosing a new form of government earlier this month, the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee is meeting tonight to explore the idea of going from a county board of commissioners to a charter form of government.

CHAMBER LOBBYIST: The Gazette’s Lindsey Robbins profiles the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s new lobbyist Matt Palmer, who wants to get the chamber a more permanent seat at the policy table.

DBED CRITIQUE: Change Maryland argues that there needs to be change at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development to focus more on job creation and less on marketing, Jamie Smith Hopkins writes in the Sun.

DUNCAN CONSIDERS RUN: Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz says former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan is meeting with supporters today to consider running to get back his old job. Kurtz examines the pros and cons for Duncan.