September 18, 2014

State Roundup, September 18, 2014

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IMMIGRANT KIDS AIDED: Maryland officials said Wednesday that most of the more than 2,800 immigrant children who have come to the state from Central America this year have been resettled with family members. Fewer than 50 are housed in a group setting at any one time, said Human Resources Secretary Ted Dallas, and only for less than a month while awaiting placement in a private home. He said the facility is in Baltimore County but declined to say where, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun.

LAW PROFESSOR WINS GENIUS GRANT: A law professor who is teaching Maryland’s public defenders to better serve their poor clients amid “crushing” caseloads is among the winners of this year’s MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants, writes Scott Dance for the Sun. As founder of the Atlanta-based organization Gideon’s Promise, Jonathan Rapping works to train public defenders and help reform what he considers civil rights abuses in the criminal justice system. He arrived in Baltimore in May for a year-long stint at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, his first attempt at changing a statewide system.

BALANCING ACT: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Wednesday called on state agencies to do a better job balancing the need to meet required minority contractor goals with the desire to get taxpayers the best price on goods and services, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Brown made his comments after joining with Comptroller Peter Franchot in questioning why the lowest bidder for a contract to demolish a roll-on, roll-off platform at the Dundalk Marine Terminal was disqualified for narrowly missing an 8% minority business hiring requirement.

FRANCHOT BACKS THE Os: The American League Eastern Division Champion Baltimore Orioles can count on the support of at least one top Maryland official, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Comptroller Peter Franchot Wednesday congratulated the Orioles and the Washington Nationals for clinching their respective divisions the night before but said when push comes to shove he’s backing the Birds—at least as much as he can given it’s an election year.

SMALL BUSINESS STYMIED: Ask almost any small business owner what’s most difficult about running his or her own company, and you’ll likely hear a list of complaints that have little to do with the actual substance of their chosen field. Instead, when you speak with these entrepreneurs, they’re liable to tell you either that it’s too difficult to find and connect with customers, or that their interactions with government – at all levels – too often leave them feeling frustrated and confused, Luke McGowan of Thumbtack.com writes for MarylandReporter.com.

DOCTORS RUN FOR GA: Annika McGinnis of Capital News Service writes in MarylandReporter.com five physicians are running for seats in the Maryland General Assembly this year, a spike in doctor interest in political service that the candidates say coincides with rising state regulation over health.

MANNO’S RUN: State Sen. Roger Manno’s campaign this time is dramatically different from one he waged four years ago. Kevin James Shay, writing in the Gazette, says that in 2010, the Silver Spring attorney opposed an incumbent Democrat in a primary. It was an environment in which incumbent state senators nationally were less likely to be ousted than Communist officials from the Politburo in the Soviet Union’s heyday.

MO CO GOP OUT & ABOUT: With less than 50 days to the Nov. 4 general election, Montgomery County Republicans are pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and hosting house parties to drum up momentum and convince a frustrated electorate that the grass is greener under two-party rule, writes Kate Alexander for the Gazette.

CHRISTIE HELPS HOGAN RAISE BUCKS: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie helped raise more than $400,000 Wednesday to aid the Maryland gubernatorial bid of Republican Larry Hogan, writes John Wagner of the Post.

HOGAN DEMANDS PROBE: The gubernatorial campaign of Republican Larry Hogan is demanding a criminal investigation of its charges that Democratic rival Anthony Brown’s campaign illegally coordinated its activities with a legally independent political action committee, reports Michael Dresser for the Sun.

GOP ADMITS TO USING RAVENS LOGO: The Maryland Republican Party admitted Wednesday that it used a trademarked logo of the Baltimore Ravens to raise funds without seeking the team’s permission, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun. The party’s executive director said it had been an error on his part. The unauthorized use of the purple-and-black logo and Ravens shield came as the party publicized a fundraiser at a private home in Edgewater.

FAIR FOR POLITICIANS: The Great Frederick Fair offers crab cakes to the foodies, concerts to music buffs and livestock judging for animal lovers. But for political hopefuls, reports Bethany Rodgers for the Frederick News Post, it presents the chance to make a mark on hundreds of voters.

BAKER URGES TERM LIMIT EXTENSION: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker made a surprise visit to the county’s Democratic Central Committee Tuesday night to urge members to endorse a ballot initiative that would extend the number of terms the county executive and members of the County Council can remain in office, Arelis Hernandez reports for the Post.

ARUNDEL CANDIDATE FORUMS: Keep south Anne Arundel County rural. That was the pledge made Tuesday in Galesville by candidates for county executive and for legislative seats representing south county. Education, public safety and access to recreation were also on the agenda as Republican county executive nominee Steve Schuh and Democrat George Johnson met for one of the first forums of the general election season at Galesville Memorial Hall, Rema Rahman writes in the Annapolis Capital.