October 29, 2013

State Roundup, October 29, 2013

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REVENGE PORN: Del. Jon Cardin will introduce a bill in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly to outlaw so-called revenge porn and levy possible jail time for people who post naked photos of their exes online after breakups, reports Alex Jackson for the Capital Gazette.

If approved, the proposal would place Maryland among a handful of states with tougher laws for jilted exes who distribute sexually explicit photos online without consent, writes Erin Cox for the Sun.

Cardin is also running for attorney general, writes John Wagner of the Post. One of his rivals for Maryland’s top law-enforcement post has already started working on similar legislation for the upcoming 90-day legislative session. Del.William Frick has staff drafting a bill similar to a legislation signed this month in California by Gov. Jerry Brown that makes posting naked pictures of an ex-significant other punishable by jail time.

AFL-CIO BACKS FROSH: Michael Dresser of the Sun is reporting that the AFL-CIO is backing Del. Brian Frosh for attorney general, a move that Del. William Frick says Senate President Mike Miller orchestrated.

FUNDS FOR SANDY: U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown announced Monday in Easton that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will award $19 million in federal funding to Maryland communities hardest-hit by Superstorm Sandy, writes Josh Bollinger for the Easton Star Democrat.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE: Capital News Service’s Zainab Mudallal writes in the Cecil Whig that when Emily Hecht-McGowan and her wife, Sharon McGowan travel outside of Maryland with their 1-year-old daughter, they take a Pack ‘n Play crib, diapers, formula, snacks, a stroller, toys — and lots of documents. If she had a health emergency in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, a hospital may not recognize both Emily and Sharon as parents without documents to prove it.

GAS DRILLING: The latest sketch of two possible Marcellus shale gas developments in Maryland offers two scenarios for drilling in Allegany and Garrett counties. Neither scenario issued by a governor’s commission would develop anywhere close to 100% of the shale gas believed to be available in the state, reports Matthew Bieniek for the Cumberland Times News. And both scenarios are a far cry from the idea of 1,000 plus wells that at least one industry representative outlined early on in the discussion of shale gas drilling in Western Maryland.

COMPARING CASINOS: Gary Haber of the Baltimore Business Journal compares the three casino resort proposals for Prince George’s County.

18th IN BIZ CLIMATE: Maryland recently ranked 18th in a Forbes survey of state business climates, dropping two slots from the previous year. For many of the state’s business leaders and elected officials, the ranking was a disappointment, especially considering that Virginia came in first. Is Maryland’s business climate really that bad and, if so, why? Dan Rodricks of WYPR-FM hosts Donald Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee; and Dominick Murray, secretary of the Maryland Department of Economic Development.

DISTRICT 31B: Anne Arundel County could elect one of the youngest politicians into the House of Delegates next year. Meagan Simonaire, a 24-year-old Republican from Pasadena and daughter of state Sen. Bryan Simonaire, announced her candidacy for House of Delegates in the increasingly crowded GOP primary in District 31B.

GENDER & THE TEEN PARTY: Erin Cox of the Sun reports the rest of an interview with gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler on his not intervening in a teen drinking beach party attended by his son. Before he resumed arguing that he had no moral responsibility for other people’s children, remarked: “It also has to do with whether you have a boy or a girl.”

John Wagner of the Post reports that Del. Heather Mizeur, who is also running for governor, says Gansler “appears to be saying that the safety of some children is more important than that of others, or that young girls need guidance and protection from their parents and other trusted adults that boys do not.”

Erin Cox of the Sun writes that Gansler’s campaign released a statement in response, saying that “some people are trying to twist Doug’s words” and that the attorney general “believes that as parents we need to commit ourselves to preventing underage drinking for all of our children, boys and girls. Period.”

HAND ‘EM THE SWORD: In a Sun op-ed on gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler’s political woes, Richard Vatz starts off with this quote: “I gave ’em a sword and they stuck it in and they twisted it with relish, and I guess if I had been in their position, I would have done the same thing.” That quote from the interviews that Richard Nixon gave to David Frost in 1977 summarizes Gansler’s significant, possibly gubernatorial candidacy-destroying, dilemma.

RUN DUTCH: Sun columnist Dan Rodricks writes that there is still time for U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger to step into the gubernatorial fray. He’s a strong, down-to-earth campaigner who connects with voters. He’s a political moderate, considered a consensus-builder and more business-friendly than the other Democrats.

HOGAN TO RUN? As the race for the Republican nomination for governor heats up, Harford County Executive David Craig, Anne Arundel County Del. Ron George and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar have been on TV and radio, have stopped by community events and spoken to Marylanders across the state. Now, Larry Hogan, founder of Change Maryland, has been considering a bid of his own, writes Alex Jackson in the Capital Gazette.

THE STATE & DEVELOPMENT: Maryland planners are looking to correct the record after a Frederick County official said state smart growth rules are determining the density of a controversial 1,510-home development in Monrovia, reports Bethany Rodgers for the Frederick News Post. The state does not control local growth decisions or decide the compactness of particular housing projects, a Maryland Department of Planning official wrote in an email to the Frederick County Planning Commission.

LEOPOLD ASKED TO PAY: Sen. Bryan Simonaire has renewed his push for former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold to pay the legal costs of civil suits filed when he was in office, Allison Bourg reports in the Capital Gazette.

AA ETHICS: Jack Lambert of the Capital Gazette writes that a new survey shows Anne Arundel County residents are not happy with their county government. Nearly half believe the county has gotten worse at improving ethics in the last year, according to a survey by the Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College.

  • higgy01

    Having met Ruppersberger I found his intellectual level to be mediocre but his ego to be bigger than all outdoors. He is a typical democrat.