June 5, 2014

State Roundup, June 5, 2014

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REDISTRICTING REFORM: They may be “tilting at windmills” as one commented, but a coalition of good government groups is trying to keep their push for reform of political redistricting alive in the 2014 campaign, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

SANTA CLAUS CAUSES: Several departing members of the Maryland General Assembly have decided to play Santa Claus – either to fellow politicians or for some of their pet causes, writes Josh Kurtz for Center Maryland. According to the latest campaign finance reports filed last week, retiring Eastern Shore Del. Rudy Cane was the most generous.

DISTRICT 2A: All five candidates running for state legislative Subdistrict 2A, which includes large swaths of northern and southern Washington County, are taking part in a political forum that will be aired several times before the June 24 primary, according to the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

FROSH’S GLITCH: State Sen. Brian Frosh is dismissing claims that his campaign for attorney general improperly accepted nearly $34,000 in in-kind contributions, saying a glitch in the Maryland State Board of Elections software is responsible for the errors in reporting, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. “The one thing I can assure you of is these are not in-kind contributions,” Frosh said. “They are all bills and I believe they are all paid.”

O’MALLEY TO BACK FROSH: Arelis Hernández of the Post reports that Gov. Martin O’Malley will endorse state Sen. Brian Frosh’s bid for the Democratic nomination for attorney general at a rally today in Prince George’s County.

CARDIN TO SUPPORT CARDIN: Del. Jon Cardin of Baltimore County, one of Frosh’s two opponents in the June 24 primary, will counter with an appearance by his uncle, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, who is expected to introduce other elected officials who will endorse his nephew at an Annapolis news conference Monday.

MONEY BACKS CARDIN: Del. Jon Cardin, who is running for attorney general, may have picked up one of the more unusual endorsements of the season from Baltimore-based rapper Ski Money, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Mr. Money (his given name was not readily available) announced his endorsement via Twitter and Instagram late Tuesday.

CRAIG ON CRAIG: If experience alone could win elections, David Craig would more than likely be Maryland’s next governor. A small town mayor (Havre de Grace), a big county executive (Harford), and add several terms as a delegate and in the state Senate, plus his years as a public school teacher, and it’s hard to imagine a better training course for a chief executive of a very complex state. He sits down with Dave Wheelan of the Chestertown Spy in this 11-minute video interview.

LAST DEM DEBATE: The three Democratic contenders for governor will hold their third and final debate before the June 24 primary Thursday, but unlike previous encounters this one will not be televised. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur were to meet at 8 a.m for a 90-minute debate on former state Sen. Larry Young’s show on WOLB 1010-AM, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun. Here’s a link to WOLB-AM.

PRE-K CAMPAIGN: Margaret Sessa-Hawkins of MarylandReporter.com reports that all three Democratic candidates for governor have proposals for expanding pre-kindergarten education in Maryland, which they discussed in Monday’s debate. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has been attacking Attorney General Doug Gansler for this failure to promise universal pre-K across Maryland. Currently 41 states, including Maryland, offer some form of subsidized pre-K program.

UNDECIDED? Still haven’t decided who to vote for in the gubernatorial primary? Use this interactive tool in the Sun to figure out whose views aline more closely with yours.

LABOR ANTI-GANSLER AD: John Wagner of the Post writes that an independent expenditure group in Maryland funded largely by labor unions launched a television ad Wednesday claiming that Attorney General Doug Gansler is “unfit to be governor” because of a pair of controversies that dogged his campaign last fall.

HOGAN, GANSLER FOR GOV: The Gazette editorial board has endorsed Larry Hogan and Doug Gansler for governor in the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primaries.

SWITCH TO GOP: Nearly 1,300 Carroll County residents changed from Democrat or unaffiliated, Libertarian or another party affiliation to Republican since Jan. 1 — a trend more robust this year than in the past, reports Rachel Roubein for the Carroll County Times.

VAN HOLLEN TO SPEAK: U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen will speak at the Anne Arundel Democratic Central Committee’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner, according to Rema Rahman for the Annapolis Capital.

BA CO COUNCIL BATTLES: Alison Knezevich of the Sun reports that the Baltimore County Council could see big changes in the coming elections as most members face stiff primary challenges and a council veteran is stepping down.

THE FACTS IN MO CO: In a few instances, writes Bill Turque for the Post, the Democratic candidates for Montgomery County executive came to Tuesday’s televised debate with their own facts. Voters who are just beginning to focus on the June 24 primary might have found some of the exchanges between the candidates — the incumbent, Ike Leggett, County Council member Phil Andrews and former county executive Doug Duncan — a bit hard to follow.

SCHUH-NEUMAN RACE: The tension between the two Republican candidates for Anne Arundel County executive were on full display Wednesday knocking each other’s record and addressing personal campaign attacks, reports Rema Rahman for the Annapolis Capital. The current county executive aimed a paraphrased famous debate line by Ronald Reagan at her opponent.

PRE-PRIMARY WHOPPER OF A TAX CUT: The editorial board for the Frederick News Post opines that the Frederick County Commissioners voted last week to cut the property tax rate by four-tenths of a penny. It’s worth pointing out the estimated savings for a typical homeowner’s family is only enough money to purchase seven boxes of Milk Duds, or two Whoppers with cheese, or about two gallons of gas and a Slurpee for the road. Maybe we’re just being cynical here, but we find it more than interesting that this so-called $10 “tax cut” was approved just a month before the June 24 primary election.