June 4, 2013

State Roundup, June 4, 2013

Print More

FARM ENVIRONMENT BILL: Farmers, environmentalists and the bill’s sponsors have very different views about the goals and effectiveness of a new law that offers farmers a choice: If they voluntarily meet 2025 water quality goals now, the state will grant them a 10-year exemption from any new state or local regulations affecting water quality, reports Elaine Bean of the Salisbury Daily Times.

ARUNDEL STORMWATER BILLS: Allison Bourg of the Capital-Gazette writes that a vote on one of two remaining stormwater bills pending before the Anne Arundel County Council was postponed Monday night due to a drafting error. The council will vote June 17 on a bill to revise the controversial stormwater fee so some homeowners pay an annual fee of $85 instead of $170. It would also allow homeowners whose fees are assessed at $170 to appeal their bills.

DNA COLLECTION UPHELD: A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that police in Maryland and elsewhere can continue the warrantless collection of DNA from people arrested — but not convicted — of serious crimes, the Sun’s Justin Fenton is reporting.

Bryan Sears of Patch.com reports that Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that “the Court concludes that DNA identification of arrestees is a reasonable search that can be considered part of a routine booking procedure.”

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler agreed that there’s nothing stopping his state from expanding DNA collection from those arrested for serious crimes to those arrested for lesser ones like shoplifting, the AP’s Jesse Holland reports in the Cumberland Times-News.

WALTER REED FURLOUGHS: About 2,400 civilian employees at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda will be forced to take 11 unpaid furlough days starting July 8 due to across-the-board federal budget sequester cuts that started in March, Kevin James Shay reports in the Gazette.

ROBOCALL CONVICTION UPHELD: Maryland’s second-highest court upheld on Monday political consultant Julius Henson’s conspiracy conviction in a robocall scheme that prosecutors said was designed to suppress black votes, reports Jessica Anderson in the Sun.

THE LONG CAMPAIGN: More than 17 months before Maryland chooses its next governor, politicians who want to succeed Martin O’Malley made it clear Monday that a long, tough campaign is already underway, writes John Wagner of the Post.

Andy Brownfield of the Washington Examiner writes that political guru Don Norris said it was smart of Brown to announce in early May and choose Ulman as his running mate. Both are popular, smart candidates who will be able to raise a lot of money quickly, which will discourage others from entering the race. Craig also has solid bona fides to run on, Norris said

BROWN, ULMAN KICK OFF TICKET: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown named Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate Monday, establishing the first declared ticket in the 2014 Maryland governor’s race, Erin Cox writes in the Sun.

Ulman, 39, has served as county executive since 2006 and was seen as a potential gubernatorial challenger himself before joining Brown’s ticket. He served on the Howard County Council from 2002 to 2006, writes Daniel Leaderman in the Gazette.

CRAIG ANNOUNCES: Harford County Executive David Craig launched his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor in 2014, betting that he can overcome the suspicions of the far right of his party and the Democrats’ 2-1 voter registration advantage in Maryland, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

Acknowledging the “naysayers” who think his campaign is already doomed, Craig formally launched his bid to become Maryland’s next governor Monday morning with a spirited attack on Maryland’s current government and the state’s current economic climate, writes Bryna Zumer for the Aegis.

Despite the primary election being a year away, Craig said there was no sense in waiting to declare his candidacy for governor, blogs Alexander Pyles in the Daily Record.

Craig, who has served as county executive since 2005, said tax increases and fees in recent years during Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration are a reason why he is running to give Maryland voters a choice in a state government dominated by Democrats, according to an AP story in the Daily Record.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation banner ad top dog

GANSLER’S RUNNING MATE? David Moon at Maryland Juice stirs the pot even more with speculation about who will be Doug Gansler’s running mate should he throw his hat into the ring, which seems likely.

STEELE MAY ALSO RUN: Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman and former lieutenant governor of Maryland, is weighing a 2014 gubernatorial bid, reports John Wagner of the Post.

Sun media columnist David Zurawik writes that a segment of Chuck Todd’s “The Daily Rundown” Monday got more media bounce than usual for the show thanks to MSNBC commentator Michael Steele sounding very serious about running for governor in Maryland. But to Zurawik, it was first and foremost the perfect tableau of the troubled channel as TV boneyard for unemployed politicos. A clip of the show is above the column. The campaign discussion starts at 5:56.