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Published on October 16th, 2013 | by Cynthia Prairie

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State Roundup, October 16, 2013

GANSLER: ALLEGATIONS UNTRUE: In an interview with Bruce DePuyt on WJLA-TV, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler calls the reckless backseat driver allegations 100% untrue, cooked up by his rival’s “henchman,” and claims the Post reporter knew the allegations were false. The article below the video has a response from the trooper making the allegation as well as a further statement by Gansler.

POLICE RETURN FIRE: Maryland State Police sharply rebuked Gansler after he called a veteran police commander a “henchman” for having documented allegations that Gansler ordered troopers assigned to him to regularly speed and run red lights even to routine appointments, writes John Wagner of the Post. (Wagner’s story does not mention Gansler also said Wagner “knew it [the initial story] was untrue.”)

The Post also runs the full text of the press release from the Maryland State Police.

The Sun’s Michael Dresser also reports the story.

GUN LAW STANDS: The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will not examine Maryland’s handgun permit law, leaving to stand a lower court ruling that the state’s restrictive rules for carry permits do not unconstitutionally infringe upon gun-owners’ rights, reports Ian Duncan in the Sun.

WEBCAST SESSIONS: Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News Post reports that Del. Michael Hough is planning to introduce legislation to require all floor sessions of the Maryland General Assembly and committee hearings to be webcast for citizens. Now, the legislature provides an audio broadcast of floor sessions, but not video. By going online, residents can watch House committee hearings and listen to Senate committee hearings, though the broadcasts end when the voting sessions begin. (The story has it backward on which house does what.)

FIBER NETWORK FINISHED: Gov. Martin O’Malley visited Kent Island High School Tuesday morning along with Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to celebrate the completion of the One Maryland Broadband Network — a network of fiber optic cables that connects every county in Maryland, writes Dan Baldwin for the Easton Star Democrat.

MEDICAID AVAILABLE: Thousands of low-income Maryland adults will gain access to additional health care services when an expansion of Medicaid begins early next year, reports CNS’s Kirsten Petersen in the Capital-Gazette. More than 81,000 Marylanders ages 19 to 64 who earn less than $15,856 per year will now qualify for full Medicaid benefits through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT CHIEF: Dwight Dotterer, who has been with the Maryland Department of Agriculture for 12 years while running a 205-acre farm, has been appointed by Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance to lead the state’s Nutrient Management Program within the MDA’s Office of Resource Conservation in Frederick.

FOSTER CARE FUNDS: In an op-ed for the Sun, law professor Daniel Hatcher writes that the Maryland agency overseeing foster care has been appropriating foster children’s assets and handing them over to the state. Not only does this agency take assets from children, but Gov. Martin O’Malley and the head of the Maryland Department of Human Resources encourage the practice, going so far as to hire a private company to help obtain Social Security disability and survivor benefits from foster children to use as government revenue.

FRASER-HIDALGO IN DISTRICT 15: Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to announce today his appointment of David Fraser-Hidalgo as the next delegate from District 15, writes Kate Alexander in the Gazette. Montgomery County’s Democratic Central Committee nominated Fraser-Hidalgo of Boyds last week after considering eight candidates.

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GILCHREST BACKS MIZEUR: Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery), who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor next year, on Tuesday reported the endorsement of a former Republican congressman: Wayne Gilchrest. John Wagner reports for the Post that Gilchrest, who for 18 years represented Maryland’s 1st District, which includes the Eastern Shore, cited Mizeur’s environmental credentials in a statement distributed by her campaign.

AS DO OTHERS FROM SHORE: Also endorsing Mizeur Tuesday were a slew of Eastern Shore politicians including Chestertown Mayor Margo Bailey, Salisbury City Councilwoman Laura Mitchell, Chesapeake City Councilman Harry Sampson, Easton Town Councilwoman Megan Cook, and former Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Carol Fordonski, reports Michael Dresser for the Sun.

STARTING PRE-K:The three Democrats vying to be governor all have plans to eventually offer publicly funded pre-kindergarten to every Maryland youngster whose parents want it. Erin Cox and Liz Bowie of the Sun interview elementary school Principal Jennifer Gounaris, who described the financial and logistic challenges she has overcome to open the pre-K classroom. The result, she said, was worth it.

FALLACY OF BALANCED TICKET: Calling it nonsense that Doug Gansler from Montgomery County made a mistake by not balancing his ticket with someone from the Baltimore region, Todd Eberly writes in MarylandReporter.com that the only folks who would argue that a PG/Howard ticket (Brown/Ulman) is geographically balanced while a MoCo/PG (Gansler/Ivey) ticket is regional are folks who have never looked at a map of Maryland.

DUTCH STILL MAY RUN: U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a former Baltimore County executive, said Tuesday that he is still looking at running for governor of Maryland and plans to announce a decision around Thanksgiving, reports the Post’s John Wagner. Ruppersberger said he’s gotten a fresh round of encouragement to run in recent days in response to news stories about the lack of Baltimore-area representation on the current 2014 Democratic tickets.

VAN HOLLEN VIDEO VIRAL: A video of Montgomery County Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen battling with House Republicans over legislation to reopen government agencies has gone viral — picking up 1.7 million views in recent days — as lawmakers continue to wrestle over a deal to end the weeks long budget impasse, John Fritze reports for the Sun. The video tops the story.

DELANEY DONATES SALARY CUT: Jenn Davis of the Gazette writes about U.S. Rep. John Delaney, who is donating a cut of his congressional salary earned during the government shutdown to a clinic in Gaithersburg.

PG CASINO FOES: Southern Prince George’s residents are ramping up opposition to a proposed casino at National Harbor as the selection process for developers begins Monday, Chase Cooks reports in the Gazette.

RABIES PROBLEM: With the number of rabies cases increasing in Anne Arundel County, House Minority Leader Nic Kipke this week called on public health officials to find a way to restart a wildlife vaccination program, reports Zoe Read for the Capital-Gazette.

NEUMAN ON ARUNDEL: Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman does a Center Maryland video to discuss her entrepreneurial background, economic development, bipartisan leadership and the importance of investing in the county’s infrastructure.

CASE COULD BE MORE COSTLY: A former Anne Arundel County spokeswoman’s wrongful termination case, settled last month for $110,000, could cost county taxpayers more than three times that amount, writes Allison Bourg in the Capital-Gazette. The attorney for Karla Hamner filed a motion in U.S. District Court last week, asking a judge to order the county to pay $173,556 in legal fees, plus $2,596 in other expenses incurred by Hamner.

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