June 13, 2014

State Roundup, June 13, 2014

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STATE SEEKS SUIT DISMISSAL: The state of Maryland has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of Ethan Saylor, who died in the custody of off-duty sheriff’s deputies moonlighting as security guards at a Frederick movie theater, writes Danielle Gaines for the Frederick News Post. Saylor, 26, had Down syndrome and died Jan. 12, 2013, from a lack of oxygen while being forcibly removed by three deputies after he tried to stay for a second showing of a movie.

Ken Ulman votes Lily Jaki Maddy

At a Columbia early voting site, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, a candidate for lieutenant governor, votes with daughter Lily and wife Jaki Ulman votes with daughter Madeline.

EARLY, EASY VOTING: Early voting started yesterday, a great opportunity for those unable to make it to the polls June 24, when the primary election is held, writes the editorial board for the Gazette.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS SHUT OUT: Early voting for Maryland’s primary began on Thursday and Republicans and Democrats across the state will be able to select their candidates for the general election, Margaret Sessa-Hawkins writes in MarylandReporter.com. Over 600,000 independent or ‘unaffiliated’ voters in the state, however, will be left out of this process.

AWARDS FOR MARYLAND REPORTER: MarylandReporter.com has been named the top news blog in the region for the second year in a row by the D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Maryland Reporter stories were also honored with a top prize for Online News by the Maryland SPJ chapter and other stories were finalists in the online news and feature categories of the D.C. chapter’s annual Dateline Awards contest.

DISTRICT 4: In this Q&A with the Frederick News Post, Dan Rupli explains why he is running for state Senate in District 4. He is quoted: “I was taught to live my life in a way that would help create a ‘place at the political table’ for all of our people, including the least powerful.”

DISTRICT 16: Citing health reasons, Democrat Karen Kuker-Kihl of Bethesda says she is dropping out of the race for District 16 delegate. Kuker-Kihl said in a statement that she fell on April 20 and suffered a concussion and neck injury. She has had trouble writing and with her mobility, according to the Gazette.

DISTRICT 34: Jeremy Bauer-Wolf of MarylandReporter.com writes that a face-off between two Democrats for the District 34 Senate seat has turned sour, with both candidates devising websites dedicated to smearing each other. Art Helton, a former senator who represented the 34th, a Harford County district, in the ’70s and ’80s, and Del. Mary-Dulany James, are at war over the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Nancy Jacobs, who is retiring this year.

DISTRICT 45: Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports that Julius Henson fired back at criticism of his stance on a proposed increase to the state’s $2 per pack cigarette tax. Henson, who is challenging five-term incumbent Sen. Nathaniel McFadden in the Democratic primary, said in a video posted on YouTube that the radio and mail campaign “a desperate effort by my opponent to make something up.”

CARROLL COUNTY TIMES ENDORSES: Based on the profile information that they submitted to us that is posted online at www.carrollcountytimes.com; their responses to issues-oriented questions; their performance during forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Carroll County Times, Community Media Center and WTTR; and their experience and qualifications, the Carroll County Times is endorsing the candidates in contested primary races.

WHO IS BRIAN FROSH?: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that while attorney general candidate Brian Frosh has the backing of just about every major organization and person in the state, Jon Cardin, with his Cardin name continues to lead in the polls. And while Frosh and his supports tell voters that Jon Cardin is not his uncle, Ben Cardin, what they need to do is tell voters who Brian Frosh is.

AWKWARD: Arelis Hernández of the Post writes that the first day of early voting in Maryland featured a potentially awkward moment at a polling center in Prince George’s County — home not only of Maryland’s gubernatorial front-runner, but also the running mates on both of the other Democratic tickets. But like any good politician, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker did not rise to the bait.

LOLLAR AMONG THE DEMOCRATS: In this candidate profile for the Sun, Erin Cox reports that Charles Lollar was at it again last week, the only Republican on stage with the three Democrats running for governor, wooing a crowd largely unable to cast a vote in the fast-approaching GOP primary, focusing on charming voters in a Democratic stronghold. “We can’t even talk about solutions for our state when we’re not able to see past party politics,” he said.

GOP HOPEFULS ON TAXES: John Wagner of the Post writes that the Republican candidates for governor have been running their races in a relatively low-key, low-dollar manner. And they all have one priority: reversing the tax increases of the O’Malley administration.

HOGAN AD: Baltimore-area Republican voters, who have endured months of television ads for Democratic candidates for governor on local broadcast stations, will get to hear a pitch from one of their own when Larry Hogan goes on the air in the low-budget GOP primary, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun.

SUN BACKS HOGAN: The editorial board for the Sun endorses Larry Hogan in the GOP primary for governor saying that of the two standout candidates – Harford County Executive David Craig is the other – Hogan is the stronger.

GANSLER TOUTS TAX RELIEF: Trailing in the polls with less than two weeks until the primary, gubernatorial hopeful Doug Gansler on Thursday proposed nearly $600 million in tax relief for the middle class, saying he wanted to offset some of the financial burden incurred under the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley, writes John Wagner of the Post.

CANTOR & GANSLER: WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Steve Raabe of OpinionWorks talk about polls, Eric Cantor’s surprising loss in his congressional primary, and what that race has in common with Maryland’s upcoming primaries.

DEVELOPING DONORS: Phil Andrews, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Montgomery County executive against incumbent Ike Leggett, claims that Leggett’s economic development policies, particularly regarding Choice Hotels, have translated into campaign donations, reports Bill Turque in the Post.

BIKER POLITICS: A peaceful visit to a Gambrills restaurant by a group of motorcycle gang members has turned into a issue between incumbent Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman and challenger Steve Schuh, who is a part owner in the restaurant. Neuman said she found Schuh’s previous comments on gang activity in the county “interesting” given the gang’s visit to the restaurant, writes Ben Weathers for the Annapolis Capital.

HEALTH GRANT PULLED: Brandi Bottalico of the Annapolis Capital reports that Aruncel County Executive Laura Neuman terminated $1.9 million in grants Wednesday that would have made Severn Community Heath and Wellness Center a reality. This decision came after Neuman’s administration discovered that People’s Community Health Centers, which has received grants to serve some of the county’s poorest residents, is facing a half-million dollar federal judgment.

ETHICS VIOLATION: Liz Bowie of the Sun reports that the Baltimore County school board ethics panel has ruled that Superintendent Dallas Dance violated rules when he took a consulting job with a professional development company that does business with the school system. School board President Lawrence Schmidt said Thursday that in light of the ruling, the board and Dance have agreed that he will not take any other consulting jobs as long as he works for the school system. Dance also said in a statement that he would be more careful to avoid conflicts.

DOLAN REORGANIZATION: The Dolan Co., owner of The Daily Record, announced it has emerged from a Chapter 11 reorganization 81 days after voluntarily filing for bankruptcy protection, according to the Daily Record. As previously reported, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the company’s plan of reorganization on June 9.