June 10, 2014

State Roundup, June 10, 2014

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SPEED CAMERA REVENUES: In 2011, Mount Rainier collected $1.7 million in fines from its then-new speed camera program. Three years later, the program in the Maryland city isn’t generating enough citations to even sustain itself, and the funds it accrued during its first two years are running out. Luz Lazo of the Post reports that now that the revenue from the programs in some communities is beginning to drop, government and law enforcement officials say they celebrate the shift. Still, fewer citations mean the loss of what has for some local governments become reliable revenue.

SMART GROWTH & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Although the concept of smart growth has its roots in protecting the environment, supporters such as former Gov. Parris Glendening argue it’s an economic development tool, writes Adam Bednar for the Daily Record. Glendening, now the president of Smart Growth America, said he believes the concept, which emphasizes building housing near transportation, shopping and jobs, is needed because of a shift in the way people want to live. He was speaking to a gathering of Maryland Municipal League members in Ocean City.

ROADSIDE DISTRACTION: With two weeks to the June 24 primary, the final campaign blitz is under way, and one of the most common tools, yard and road signs, are cropping up like dandelions — despite limitations by the state and its jurisdictions on where the signs may appear, writes Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for MarylandReporter.com. Daily, SHA maintenance crews statewide uproot political signs from roads, on utility posts, sometimes the poles of traffic signals.

EARLY VOTING: Washington County voters will have an opportunity to cast their ballots early for this month’s primary elections beginning Thursday, writes Kaustuv Basu for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. Early voting for the primaries will go on through June 19, a total of eight days.

FROSH, CARDIN TRADE PUNCHES: A debate in the Democratic race for attorney general Monday night turned tempestuous as Sen. Brian Frosh and Del. Jon Cardin threw accusations at one another, dominating much of the hour-long discussion, reports Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for MarylandReporter.com. Frosh fired the first salvo early, condemning Cardin for missing a significant number of House Ways and Means Committee votes during this year’s legislative session — nearly 75%, according to the Baltimore Sun.

BEYOND THE NAME: Sun columnist Dan Rodricks writes that in the important race for attorney general – as in any race — it is up to the voters to figure out what is behind that famous name that a candidate is taking advantage of.

STALLED BLACK POLITICAL POWER: Maureen Harvie of WYPR looks at Maryland race for governor, which has the potential to offer up a lot of “firsts,” including Maryland’s first black governor, should either Charles Lollar or Anthony Brown win. But why has African-American political power stalled?

UPSET UNLIKELY: With recent polling data out on the governor’s race, it looks very unlikely that either of the Democratic challengers to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will pull a Harry Hughes. WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about the poll and that remarkable 1978 gubernatorial primary.

GUB HOPEFULS AT MML: Six of the seven major party contenders for governor are expected to make a pitch for their candidacies here Tuesday before a group made up of officials of Maryland’s cities, towns and villages, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun. Two Democrats and four Republicans will take part in a gubernatorial candidates’ forum at the annual summer convention of the Maryland Municipal League.

HOGAN PROFILED:In the first of a series of gubernatorial candidate profiles for the Sun, Michael Dresser writes that Republican Larry Hogan isn’t pledging to turn deep-blue Maryland red if he’s elected governor. He doesn’t even hold out much hope for purple. He just thinks that if he can win his party’s primary, he can beat the Democratic nominee and fundamentally change the way the state does business.

NEW MIZEUR AD: In a new campaign commercial, gubernatorial hopeful Heather Mizeur flicks away images of her two main Democratic primary rivals and she presents herself as the candidate most committed to change, writes John Wagner of the Post.

BROWN RAISES $800,000: The gubernatorial ticket of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown raised more than $800,000 during the past two and a half weeks, the campaign announced Monday, likely adding to its financial advantage heading into the June 24 primary, writes John Wagner for the Post.

GANSLER, HOGAN FOR GOVERNOR: The Gazette endorses Doug Gansler as the Democratic nominee for governor and Larry Hogan for the Republican slot, saying both seem better able to handle the fiscal responsibilities of the job.

AFZALI Q&A: The Frederick News Post runs a short Q&A profile of Del. Kathy Afzali, who is seeking re-election to the District 4A House of Delegates seat.

HOUSE DISTRICT 20: Political columnist Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland tries to usher readers through the maze that is Montgomery County politics — at least in the Council race for Valerie Ervin’s seat and in House of Delegates District 20.

CAPITAL ENDORSES IN DISTRICT 33: The Annapolis Capital editorial board makes its endorsements for the House of Delegates race in District 33 and for state’s attorney. It gives an unhesitating nod to Del. Cathy Vitale to continue her work in Annapolis.

ARUNDEL & THE GOP: As Laura Neuman and Steve Schuh continue to battle it out in Anne Arundel County, the race for county executive there has been and continues to be an important one for the state Republican Party, writes Pamela Wood for the Sun.

NEUMAN ON NEUMAN: In a column for the Annapolis Capital, incumbent Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman touts her background and her non-political roots as reasons to vote for her, saying, you may have heard: I am not a career politician — you know the type, officials who feel entitled because they “paid their dues.” … Those are the exact reasons why she has been able to achieve so much, both as an entrepreneur and Republican county executive.