June 17, 2014

State Roundup, June 17, 2014

Print More

NEW BAY WATERSHED PACT: Governors and representatives of six states and the District of Columbia gathered in Annapolis Monday to sign the latest Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, an overarching blueprint for the work ahead to fix the Chesapeake Bay, reports Pat Furgurson for the Annapolis Capital.

STORM GRANTS: Federal officials said Maryland has been awarded more than $7 million in grants for projects to protect communities against damage from future storms, according to an AP report in the Annapolis Capital. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resilience Grant Program announced the grants to 11 states in the eastern U.S. on Monday.

STOP COMMON CORE COMPLAINTS: High school teacher Emily Blumenauer writes in an op-ed in the Sun that she’s tired of listening to the complaints about the Common Core. Education is always changing, she writes, and teaching is about adapting. Teachers must learn and re-learn. … We make a thousand decisions in a class period, a million in a week and a billion in a quarter. It’s evaluating practices, reflecting on strategies and conceding when things don’t quite work. Teaching is hard. It takes grit. It takes drive. It takes focus. It takes energy. And complaining and whining sucks all of that away.

ALTERNATE REALITY:  In a much appreciated humor column for Center Maryland, Josh Kurtz presents alternatives  to the political season with even sillier scenarios than reality suggests. But there is truth in humor.

DEBATE RULES: Professor Richard Vatz and Associate Professor Lee Weinberg suggest, in an op-ed, for the Sun, that political debates would be more effective and better for democracy if they adopted certain rules and formats.

CARDIN ACCUSES COLLEAGUES: Del. Jon Cardin, a candidate for attorney general, has accused Del. Maggie McIntosh and Sen. Lisa Gladden of “formal voter intimidation” at an early voting site Thursday by  intimidating a campaign volunteer. He is also claiming that an anti-Cardin committee has violated campaign finance rules. In a letter to State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt over the weekend, Cardin claimed that the two lawmakers told his volunteer to leave a polling station because they “did not like an opponent of theirs to have representation at early voting.” Cardin also accused the lawmakers of removing his campaign signs. McIntosh denied the accusations Monday and called Cardin’s claims “desperate.” Luke Broadwater writes the story for the Sun.

SCRAPPY GANSLER: When he campaigns in residential areas, Democrat Doug Gansler practically sprints from door to door. He’s trying to meet as many voters as he can. But it can appear he is chasing somebody. With the June 24 primary for governor approaching, Gansler, 51, trails Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the polls and is playing a role that suits the state attorney general’s personality — the scrappy challenger, writes Jeff Barker in this fifth gubernatorial profile for the Sun.

BROWN’S DISCIPLINE, DETAIL: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has always been about discipline and detail. At Harvard, where he was one of the few undergraduates to enlist in the Army’s ROTC program, he allotted a specific study time to each subject each evening. To prepare for his first state legislative run, he joined the local high school PTA, chaperoned the school dance and coached the mock-trial team — even though he did not yet have children of his own. Marc Fisher and John Wagner profile Brown for the Post.

BROWN OPEN TO INDEPENDENT PRIMARY VOTERS: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said Monday he was “certainly open” to the idea of independent voters being allowed to vote in Maryland’s party primaries. In a WBAL-AM radio interview, Brown also called charges of campaign finance violations by his campaign a “desperate deception technique, unfortunately by the attorney general.”  Brown was responding to questions from talk show host Clarence Mitchell IV based on two MarylandReporter.com stories last week, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

***On WYPR 88.1 FM at 1 p.m. today, MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick and PoliticalMaryland.com’s Barry Rascovar discuss hot local races on Midday with Dan Rodricks. You can listen live online at WYPR.org.***

SUPPORTERS CHIDE GANSLER: Del. Kathleen Dumais said today that she continues to support Doug Gansler for governor, but has strongly registered her disappointment with Gansler’s campaign over a television ad she believes misleads the public about his primary opponent Anthony Brown, reports Jeff Barker in the Sun.

3rd CONGRESSIONAL: U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes of the 3rd Congressional District writes, in an op-ed in the Annapolis Capital, that he is trying to “walk the walk” by refusing PAC contributions and advocating for a stronger voice of the people and their small dollar donations through legislation. He is running for re-election.

DISTRICT 2A: Del. Neil Parrott reported spending more than $13,000 on his re-election bid in a recent 2 1/2-week period in campaign finance reports filed Friday with the Maryland State Board of Elections, dwarfing other candidates running for the same seat, reports Kaustuv Basu for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. Parrott, a Republican, is locked in a three-way race in next week’s primary from Subdistrict 2A, which will elect two members to the Maryland House of Delegates.

DISTRICT 4: Sen. David Brinkley (R-Frederick) has been wooing voters while sitting astride a horse, a gesture perhaps in keeping with his stated belief that he is riding high in his bid to win another four years in Annapolis. But to his challenger, Del. Michael Hough (R-Frederick), Brinkley’s mounted sales pitch seems more elitist than effective, an apt symbol of a Republican politician who Hough says has lost touch with the average voter, reports Frederick Kunkle in the Post.

DISTRICT 18: An unusual political matchup pitting Maryland’s only openly gay senator against a transgender woman has emerged as one of the more fiery races before the June 24 primary. Sen. Richard Madaleno, the Democratic incumbent of District 18 in Montgomery County, faces a former county council aide, Dana Beyer, a retired surgeon and long-time transgender rights activist and lobbyist, reports Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for MarylandReporter.com. There is no Republican running in this liberal district that lies partly inside the Washington Beltway, so the winner of the Democratic primary will be the next state senator.

DISTRICTS 31B, 33: If Dels. Tony McConkey and Don Dwyer win in the June 24 GOP primary, Democratic candidates might celebrate more than Republicans, writes Alex Jackson for the Annapolis Capital. House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Annapolis, said last week he believes Democrats can win seats in Republican-controlled Districts 33 and 31B, especially if two incumbents — McConkey  and Dwyer advance to the general election because of the baggage they bring to the campaign.

DISTRICT 34A: The Dagger does a Q&A with Republican candidates running for the House of Delegates District 34A seat, representing southern Harford County. With Del. Mary-Dulany James’ decision to run for state senate, District 34A is guaranteed at least one new representative. In the Republican Primary Election, incumbent Del. Glen Glass of Aberdeen faces opposition from Mike Blizzard and Beth Boyson, both of Havre de Grace.

DISTRICT 45: Kenneth Burns of WYPR-FM writes that political consultant Julius Henson’s quest for to unseat incumbent Sen. Nathaniel McFadden can continue, a Baltimore judge ruled Friday. But Henson can’t work on anyone else’s campaign at least until next June. The judge  placed Henson back on probation until June 2015, as originally sentenced.  He also ordered Henson to stop working on other campaigns if he is doing so.