Published on August 18th, 2014 | by Cynthia Prairie1
State Roundup, August 18, 2014
SWAT RAIDS: Maryland law enforcement agencies conducted more than 6,500 SWAT raids over the last four fiscal years, writes Mark Newgent in Red Maryland. According to the four published SWAT reports for fiscal years 2010-2013, SWAT units in Maryland conducted an average of 4.5 raids per day. The reports were mandated into law in 2009 in the wake of the Prince George’s County Police Department’s mistaken SWAT raid on the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo, which resulted in in Calvo’s two black Labrador retrievers dead from gunshot wounds and no criminals apprehended.
BUSINESS CLIMATE: In this video from Center Maryland, Comptroller Peter Franchot discusses the importance of making Maryland more business-friendly and proactive in its support for the private sector.
DCC & STATE DEMS: WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Arelis Hernandez of the Washington Post talk about the function of local Democratic Central Committees and why the state party is getting involved with the committee in charge of Prince George’s County.
FORMER DEL. CONROY DIES: Mary Conroy, a longtime Democratic state legislator from Prince George’s County who retired in 2007 as deputy majority leader of the Maryland House of Delegates, died Aug. 9 at her home in Annapolis. She was 82, writes Matt Schudel for the Post. The cause was complications from hepatitis, said Trish Conroy, a daughter-in-law.
GUBERNATORIAL WARNING: The first public forum between the two men vying to become the next governor of Maryland had each candidate warning an audience of county leaders on Saturday that electing his opponent would have dire consequences, reports John Wagner for the Post.
- Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan promised government officials from across the state Saturday that he would usher in a “new era of state and county cooperation,” while Democratic rival Anthony Brown vigorously defended Maryland’s strategy for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.
- Republican candidate Larry Hogan kicked off the event by criticizing its format — one that entailed each candidate answering questions separately — which he said had been dictated by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, his Democratic opponent. Hogan said he would have liked an open debate, reports Charlene Sharp for the Salisbury Daily Times. The story is topped by a short video of the candidates.
HOGAN STUMPS FOR ARCADE OWNERS: Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan no doubt hopes his luck is better come November than it was Friday morning during two attempts at playing “the claw” at arcades on the boardwalk in Ocean City. Hogan was on the boardwalk in a show of solidarity with arcade owners, who are mobilizing against new state regulations — and in some cases, new fees — on their games, writes John Wagner for the Post.
- The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, at the direction of a state law, has proposed new rules that would treat arcades more like gambling operations. The rules have sparked objections from arcade owners who say they are too onerous and will jeopardize their bottom-line, reports Erin Cox in the Sun.
ICE BUCKETS: Maryland voters had the opportunity to see this year’s Republican gubernatorial ticket pour buckets of ice water over their heads Friday afternoon. On Friday night, the Democrats followed suit. They were making good on the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” a charitable act that’s gone viral as a fundraising and awareness effort to fight what is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, writes the Post’s John Wagner.
- Ice bucket challenge videos of celebrities and others have gone viral in recent weeks, aiding the effort to raise money for research into the treatment of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun. (Anthony Brown’s Facebook page has video, where he also challenges Dresser and Wagner to do the same. Dresser accepts.)
- Brown running mate Ken Ulman added a twist to the challenge he passed along: Ulman wants Honest Tea President and CEO Seth Goldman to dump a bucket of iced tea on himself, while the Vetters, a family who founded salad dressing company Tessemae’s, can douse themselves in zesty ranch, or perhaps some “hot, hot sauce.” Both businesses are based in Maryland, Amanda Yeager writes in the Sun.
DEM COUNTY EXECS BACK BROWN: Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nominee Anthony Brown on Friday picked up endorsements from the leaders of the state’s three largest counties — all fellow Democrats who had held out offering their support during the party’s competitive primary. At a news conference, Brown was backed by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
WHO’S RUNNING FOR WHAT? The names on the gubernatorial ballot in Maryland this fall are Anthony G. Brown, the Democratic lieutenant governor, and Larry Hogan, a Republican real estate executive. But are the two men really running for the same job, asks the editorial board for the Post. Judging by their campaigns, they are not — or, to be precise, Mr. Brown is running for governor while Mr. Hogan is embarked on a platitudinous odyssey that substitutes slogans and postures for actual plans and policies.
O’MALLEY IN MISSISSIPPI: Gov. Martin O’Malley touted his achievements in Maryland during a speech Friday night in Mississippi, the first leg in a busy weekend of out-of-state travel for the potential 2016 White House hopeful, John Wagner writes in the Post.
O’MALLEY ON MISSOURI: During an appearance at a Democratic picnic in New Hampshire on Sunday, Gov. Martin O’Malley said the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., highlights divisions in the country that will require urgent “work of the heart” to heal, writes John Wagner for the Post.
NEVERDON MISSES MARK: A veteran defense attorney running an independent campaign for Baltimore City state’s attorney was dealt a significant setback Friday when elections officials determined that he did not collect enough signatures to appear on the November ballot, writes John Fritze for the Sun.
- Danny Jacobs of the Daily Record reports that Neverdon delivered a petition to the board last week containing nearly 5,700 signatures of Baltimore residents. He needed 4,150 valid signatures to be placed on the ballot but the city’s Board of Elections reported Friday that the petition contained only 3,099 valid signatures.
THE PEROUTKA PROBLEM: Just what the Maryland Republican Party didn’t need — a theocratic, paleo-conservative candidate who has renounced the General Assembly as ungodly and is deeply involved in a group advocating a white, Christian nation of the South, writes opinionmaker Barry Rascovar in a column in MarylandReporter.com. Michael Peroutka didn’t even belong to the Republican Party until this year. He and a Christian Reconstructionistcohort, David Whitney, tried to hijack the District 5 election by seeking to win both the Republican and Democratic primaries.
ANTI-PEROUTKA PAC: Anne Arundel County Councilman Jamie Benoit, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election, and veteran trial lawyer Daniel Clements, a Democratic activist, have teamed up to create a political action committee to raise money to defeat far-right Republican nominee Michael Peroutka‘s bid for a council seat, Michael Dresser of the Sun writes.
- Clements said the website called StopPeroutka.com was launched Friday. It was first reported on Saturday by Paul Rosenberg of Salon.com. Rosenberg’s long piece is an example of the wide attention the Peroutka nomination has received from liberal commentators on national news websites such as Huffington Post and Daily Kos, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.
FREDERICK ETHICS REFORM: The editorial board for the Frederick News Post opines that the new Frederick “County government must revise how ethics commission members are selected to prevent deck stacking. … at the very least a nonpartisan group could vet and nominate candidates.The ethics commission’s structure and powers need to be changed to accommodate the complexity and special interest pressure that will come with the new executive post and county council.”
GEORGE MANIS DIES: Long-time Annapolis lobbyist George Manis, 85, died on Tuesday. As his obit says, he was “a true gentleman,” and an advocate of the old school, and always kind to young reporters and old reporters, as well. Viewing was on Sunday, and services are on Monday.