April 18, 2013

State Roundup, April 18, 2013

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GUN CONTROL OPPONENTS TO SUE: Opponents of Maryland’s tough new gun-control law said Wednesday that they will not seek to petition it to referendum and instead will back a lawsuit planned by the National Rifle Association, writes Erin Cox in the Sun.

John Wagner of the Post reports that Del. Neil Parrott, chairman of MDPetitions.com, said the decision was reached after consultation with several gun-rights groups that believe the law championed by O’Malley violates the 2nd Amendment.

Instead of pouring money into a petition drive, gun control opponents will focus on getting the bill in front of a judge, reports Alex Jackson for the Capital-Gazette. They’ll also form a political action committee to “address who voted” for the bill and “make sure there are consequences” in 2014, Parrott said.

Activists on Wednesday said they were confident they could have collected the signatures, which would have delayed the law’s implementation at least through the November 2014 elections, Meredith Somers reports in the Washington Times.

But one question a couple of these reporters failed to ask is: Neil Parrott, one “t” or two?

FIRST LADY TOURS ANNAPOLIS: First lady Michelle Obama came to Annapolis on Wednesday to offer “a huge thank you” to Gov. Martin O’Malley and state lawmakers for passing a bill to ease the transition of military veterans into civilian jobs, reports John Wagner of the Post.

The bill requires agencies to expedite the processing for veterans of 70 professional licenses, including those for nurses, paramedics and teachers, spells out how agencies and universities should translate military education and experience for licensing purposes and college credits and it helps military spouses more quickly get professional licenses in Maryland, reports Erin Cox in the Sun.

Obama started her day by greeting midshipmen at noon-meal formation. She addressed them at lunch and later, met with sailors at one of the academy’s health clinics, writes Alex Jackson in the Capital-Gazette.

Joshua McKerrow of the Capital-Gazette offers up a photo gallery of the first lady in Annapolis.

Here’s Post video of Obama speaking in Annapolis.

RAIN TAX EXPLAINER: The editorial board for the Sun tries to clear up the confusion and rhetoric involving the “rain tax,” explaining what it really means and why it is necessary in an increasingly paved environment.

TU PRES CALLED ON TO RESIGN: Towson University President Maravene Loeschke was found guilty in absentia at an Annapolis show trial Wednesday, with Comptroller Peter Franchot as chief prosecutor and hanging judge, writes Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com.

Bryan Sears of Patch.com pursues Franchot’s movie theme in the comptroller’s attack on Loeschke.

Towson released a statement saying Loeschke will not resign, and Gov. O’Malley said he was not at the meeting when Franchot called for Loeschke to resign, but later said he didn’t think the Board of Public Works was the appropriate venue to address the challenges facing colleges trying to comply with Title IX, Chris Korman writes in the Sun.

O’MALLEY AIDE DEPARTS: Matthew Gallagher, the chief of staff to Gov. O’Malley, plans to depart in June to take a job leading the philanthropic Goldseker Foundation in Baltimore City, writes John Wagner in the Post. Gallagher has been an aide to O’Malley since 2000, when O’Malley was Baltimore City mayor.

ZIRKIN RUMOR: David Moon of Maryland Juice recycles the retirement announcements of state Sen. Jim Robey and Dels. Steve DeBoy and Jim Malone. But scroll down further for the rumored retirement of Sen. Bobby Zirkin (dubbed Juice #3) and Del. Don Dwyer’s raffling off an AK-47 and an AR-15 as a fund-raiser (Juice #4). Juice #5 addresses a candidate forum for attorney general hopefuls.

GOP ISSUES MEDIA RULES: A source in Maryland Republican Party circles provided Michael Dresser of the Sun a memo being distributed by party leaders governing how it will handle the media and bloggers. Dresser writes, “It seems curious that an organization that struggles to get media attention in a Democratic-dominated state would try to limit coverage in any way, but, hey, those bloggers are in some cases renegade Republicans who have the temerity to think the party could be run a bit better.”

We popped over to Red Maryland, made up of GOP bloggers, but it had not yet posted anything on the memo.

PROSECUTOR PROMOTIONS: A federal prosecutor who helped convict former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson in a far-reaching corruption case is among three lawyers in the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office who have won promotions, Miranda Spivack of the Post is reporting.

LEOPOLD THE WRITER: Disgraced former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold sends an essay and poem to the Capital-Gazette concerning his time in prison. Allison Bourg of the Capital-Gazette writes the story. Quite a number of readers, however, write scathing reviews not only of Leopold’s work but of the Capital-Gazette for even running the story.