June 11, 2014

State Roundup, June 11, 2014

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SPEED CAMERA LAW LOOPHOLE: Despite a new “reform” law, it is business as usual for one Maryland speed camera vendor, which has extended contracts with three cities, stipulating that it will take a percentage for each camera deployed, writes Mark Newgent for Watchdog Wire. The ostensible purpose of the “reform” law was to ban so called “bounty contracts” where camera vendors are paid on per ticket basis.

RED LINE CHANGE: WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Mark Reutter of the Baltimore Brew talk about the rerouting of the proposed Red Line and how the change may cause a significant delay to completion of the project.

WRONG POLLING PLACE: About 30% of the sample ballots mailed to Cecil County’s 52,188 registered voters this week listed the wrong polling place — a mistake attributed to a printing glitch — and will be corrected Friday when postcards go out with accurate information, reports Cheryl Mattix for the Cecil Whig.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY RACE UPDATES: MarylandReporter.com updates for the 10th and final pre-primary roundup of candidates for General Assembly, showing various groups that have endorsed in these races, with campaign finance information filed through May. This month’s list adds endorsement by the Maryland Farm Bureau, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Rifle Association and the National Organization for Women. Other groups have endorsed, but the 14 groups we include represent a range of political and economic interests.

20 BATTLE IN DUNDALK: Little attention has been called to the political battle waging in Baltimore County’s District 6, comprising Dundalk and Essex, writes Jeremy Bauer-Wolf in MarylandReporter.com. With two longtime Democratic incumbents — Sen. Norman Stone and Del. Sonny Minnick — calling it quits, a band of candidates from both parties has rushed to fill three open seats. Twenty — 11 Democrats and nine Republicans — have filed to run for the three House of Delegates seats, while four will be competing for the Senate spot

HERSHEY V. HERSHEY: The Hershey Co. is accusing a state senator from Queen Anne’s County of using chocolate-colored campaign signs to draw on its sugary “fame and equity” in a bid to drum up votes, reports Ian Duncan in the Sun. In a federal lawsuit filed last week, the Pennsylvania-based confectioner asked a judge to stop Sen. Stephen Hershey from using campaign materials that it believes are too similar to its own logo and packaging.

BRINKLEY Q&A: In this Q&A with state Sen. David Brinkley , who is running for re-election in District 4, the candidate says he is running because “Service in the state Senate is my way of caring for my community and “giving back.” I am EFFECTIVE at the two critical functions of a state senator: (1) to serve in the legislative capacity and (2) constituent service.”

CAPITAL ENDORSES IN DISTRICTS 31 & 32: The Annapolis Capital makes its endorsements for candidates in the District 31 and 32 House of Delegates races, picking House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, and passing over incumbent Del. Don Dwyer for Gus Kurtz in 31B.

BRAVEBOY INTERVIEW: Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM interviews Del. Aisha Braveboy, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Maryland Attorney General in the June 24 primaries. She represents the 25th District in Maryland’s House of Delegates.

AG FACT-CHECK: Brian Frosh and Jon Cardin, two contenders for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, are each accusing the other of voting against laws imposing mandatory minimums for child sex offenders. Bryan Sears of the Daily Record fact-checks their accusations.

CARDIN, FROSH ENDORSED: Two well-known U.S. congressmen threw their support behind candidates for attorney general from their home counties Monday, with Dutch Ruppersberger endorsing State Del. Jon Cardin and John Delaney backing State Sen. Brian Frosh, writes Luke Broadwater for the Sun.

BROWN LEADS: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown holds a commanding lead over his Democratic rivals for governor, according to a new Washington Post poll, two weeks before a primary election that most voters are not following closely and that is likely to attract a low turnout. John Wagner and Peyton Craighill write the story.

CRAIG’S RESUME: If a political resume were enough for victory, David Craig would be a sure thing to win the Republican nomination for governor, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun. Havre de Grace city councilman, mayor, member of the House of Delegates, state senator and, for the past decade, Harford County executive. Craig has filled all those roles in his 64 years, and, judging by his election results, voters have been happy with the job he’s done.

GANSLER ON CORPORATE TAX CUT: Attorney General Doug Gansler is highlighting his plan to cut the corporate-income-tax rate to demonstrate he is the most willing of Maryland’s Democratic primary candidates for governor to do what’s needed to spur the economy after years of tax increases, writes the Associated Press in this profile of the gubernatorial candidates in the Carroll County Times.

ROADS FUNDING: Gubernatorial candidates of both parties promised city and town officials that they would restore local road repair money cut from the state budget by the O’Malley administration, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun. Appearing at the annual convention of the Maryland Municipal League two weeks before the June 24 primary, Democrat Anthony Brown and four Republican candidates pledged full restoration of the transportation spending known as “highway user revenue.”

TAX RELIEF: Political reporter Pat Warren of WJZ-TV reports one issue in particular may give the Republicans some traction this year. Regardless of who wins the primary, the Republican candidate in the General Election is likely to gain some traction with Marylanders voting with their wallets.

BROWN AIRS ADS IN SPANISH: Maryland gubernatorial front-runner Anthony Brown announced Tuesday that he is airing a television ad and a radio ad in Spanish, both firsts in the state’s 2014 campaign, during the final weeks before the Democratic primary, writes John Wagner for the Post.

VAN HOLLEN SEEKS 7th TERM: U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen is running for his seventh, two-year term in the House. In the June 24 primary, he faces George English of Kensington and Lih Young. The winner of the Democratic primary faces Republican Dave Wallace — who is running unopposed — Independent Steven Haddox and unaffiliated candidate Andrew Jaye Wildman in the November general election, writes Kate Alexander for the Gazette.

GAZETTE BACKS POTTER: The editorial board for the Gazette is endorsing Tom Potter for the GOP nomination for 5th Congressional District seat, currently held by Democratic Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who has no opposition in the primary.

SCHUH ON SCHUH: In an op-ed for the Annapolis Capital, Steve Schuh, candidate for the Republican nomination for Anne Arundel County executive, writes, “My vision is to make Anne Arundel County a model for the rest of the state — a jurisdiction characterized by a vigorous economy fueled by lower taxes and fees, a light hand of regulation, strong schools that create the leaders of tomorrow, a strong system of public safety, and a county government that treats its citizens and the environment with respect.”

YOUNG’S SPENDING: Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News Post reports that in the historic race for Frederick County executive, only one dollar figure tops the total flowing into Blaine Young’s campaign coffers: the total flowing out of them. Young entered the local contest armed with the six-figure bank balance left over from his abandoned run for Maryland governor, and his fundraising since then has outpaced that of his three rivals for county executive. But recent finance reports show that Young’s once-commanding cash lead is dwindling due to heavy campaign spending on everything from polling and mailers to meat and alcohol.