May 20, 2014

State Roundup, May 20, 2014

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FRANCHOT SEES BIG SHORTFALL: Comptroller Peter Franchot says Maryland is expecting a big budget shortfall this year because estimated revenue coming from capital gains and estate taxes is falling far short of projections, reports Joanna Sullivan for the Baltimore Business Journal.

POLS CO-OPT THE NEWS: Former reporter Bob Graham, in an op-ed for the Sun, writes about the co-opting of crime news by local politicians – including Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. It’s live and local, even if it’s illogical since they aren’t police officers. But they can say they did something.

HOGAN 1994 BANKCRUPTCY: A 5-bedroom, 6-bath, 5-fireplace home in Upper Marlboro belonged to Larry Hogan until 1995, when he surrendered it to Capstone Mortgage Corp. (for the amount of $412,250) as part of a bankruptcy settlement. Hogan, who is running for the GOP nomination for governor, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on April 1, 1994. It was discharged on July 22 of that year and re-opened on Dec. 14 before finally being terminated on April 22, 1996. The information is noteworthy in light of Hogan touting his business acumen as the main reason to vote for him, writes Jeff Quinton in the Quinton Report. There’s a statement from the Hogan camp concerning the bankruptcy.

BENTLEY, SAUERBREY BACK CRAIG: One of the more meaningful endorsements in the Republican campaign for governor got lost in the shuffle last week, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com. Former House of Delegates Minority Leader Ellen Sauerbrey, almost elected governor in 1994, and her then-archrival, former U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, along with former Baltimore County Executive Roger Hayden, enthusiastically endorsed Harford County Executive David Craig for governor.

DEM GUB DEBATE OF TWO: The next televised debate in the governor’s race likely will feature two candidates and an empty lectern, reports Erin Cox for the Sun. Baltimore Fox affiliate WBFF-TV announced “finalized” debate plans Monday that include only two of the top three Democrats in the race: Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur. The pair are scheduled to face off next Tuesday without the candidate leading the polls, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who has declined to participate.

MIZEUR AD NEEDS BUCKS: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur and her running mate Delman Coates released the first ad in their campaign along with a request to supporters to help them get it on television, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.

THE ARUNDEL FACTOR: The maxim “all politics is local” is credited to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill, but he was almost certainly not the person to coin it. In any case, all of this year’s Maryland gubernatorial candidates, Republican and Democratic, have heard of it — that was clear from Sunday’s story on the Anne Arundel County-oriented pledges they are ready to make, opines the editorial board for the Annapolis Capital.

GANSLER BLASTS MAILER: Gubernatorial hopeful Doug Gansler on Monday denounced a mailer sent out by his leading Democratic rival, saying a claim that he wants to cut corporate taxes at the expense of funding pre-kindergarten education is “completely false,” writes John Wagner for the Post.

FROSH-CARDIN-BRAVEBOY DEBATE: Arelis Hernández of the Post reports that the nice guy of the Maryland Senate – Brian Frosh – came out aggressively against the front-runner with the gilded name – Del. Jon Cardin – while the attorney from Prince George’s County – Del. Aisha Braveboy – focused on civil rights Monday evening during the first attorney general debate.

BRINKLEY THE PRO-LIFE, PRO-CHOICE PICK: Maryland Right to Life announced its favorite candidate in a Frederick County Senate race a few days before another anti-abortion organization – Maryland Pro-Life Alliance – announced its “pro-abort legislator of the year.” Oddly enough, both of them picked the same lawmaker: Sen. David Brinkley, reports Bethany Rodgers for the Frederick News Post.

HOUSE DISTRICT 16: District 16 House of Delegates incumbents Ariana Kelly and Bill Frick at times addressed one another during rare exchanges at a debate Sunday that highlighted tension, however slight. Whatever differences between Kelly and Frick might have popped up, the two were put in the same spotlight by the moderator over school construction funding, writes Aaron Kraut for Bethesda Now.

HOUSE DISTRICT 30: In its candidates column for the Annapolis Capital, Republican Seth Howard writes that the economic growth and opportunities in south county and Maryland are an example of the failed liberal policies that have been the foundation of the outgoing administration. He writes that he is stunned by the number of vacancies of commercial space.

DISTRICT 37: Republican candidates Del. Addie Eckardt, R-37B-Dorchester, and Rene Desmarais spoke to the Mid-Shore League of Republican Women in Easton last Wednesday about their views on issues facing Maryland and why they are running for office. Eckardt is running against incumbent Sen. Richard Colburn in the District 37 state Senate race, and Desmarais is running for delegate in District 37B, writes Henley Moore for the Easton Star Democrat.

HOUSE DISTRICT 46: Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland, profiles Brooke Lierman, a Montgomery County transplant to Baltimore City who is running for the House. Kurtz writes “it’s her warm personality and an Energizer Bunny spirit that is fueling her Happy Warrior campaign … as she goes from neighborhood to neighborhood, often by bike, and frequently with her young son Teddy in tow.”

OBAMA TOUTS MIDTERMS: President Barack Obama told donors in Maryland on Monday that this November’s midterm election will be “critical” if Democrats hope to increase the federal minimum wage or approve major changes to U.S. immigration laws during his final years in office, writes John Fritze for the Sun.