October 13, 2014

State Roundup, October 13, 2014

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POT FEES DRAW CONCERN: Tim Wheeler of the Sun reports that with Maryland’s proposed licensing fees for growing and selling medical marijuana among the highest in the nation, some advocates warn that the steep costs could drive off applicants, crippling the nascent program and limiting access to treatment for tens of thousands of state residents. Prospective medical marijuana growers would have to pay $125,000 a year for a two-year license, while dispensaries would have to pay $40,000 a year, according to the recommendations of a state commission. Only one state — Illinois — is charging a higher upfront cost for growers.

CARE FACILITY WON’T SHUTTER: Despite last week’s shut-down of a 25-bed housing unit, state health officials assured unnerved stakeholders that the Holly Center residential complex for the developmentally disabled would not close. State Dels. Norman Conway and Adelaide Eckardt addressed an audience of concerned citizens on Friday, each vowing their support to keeping the facility open, report Deborah Gates for the Salisbury Daily Times.

ENDLESS SUMMER: Mileah Kromer of the Goucher Poll, writing in Center Maryland, says that while Comptroller Peter Franchot’s “endless summer” proposal is backed by a majority of Marylanders, it remains to be seen whether it can muster enough support in the General Assembly to become law.

TODAY’S DEBATE: Round 2 starts at 10 a.m., writes John Wagner for the Post. Maryland gubernatorial hopefuls Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan are set to face off in another televised debate on Monday, this time on NewsChannel 8 during “NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt.”

***Share your reaction to the second  debate between Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan today (Monday). It will be broadcast on News Channel 8 at 10 a.m. (live), 1 p.m., 8 p.m. and midnight and livestreamed on the Internet at 10 a.m. In the Baltimore market it will air at 8 p.m. Monday on WUTB My TV Baltimore channel 24. (It will air on Maryland Public TV on Tuesday at 7 p.m.) We’ll be putting together a collection of reactions and observations about the debate. We’ve asked some of our regular contributors to respond, but we’d like to hear from anyone who would like to comment. Send your comments by 10 p.m. to Len@MarylandReporter.com. Real names only, please.***

FANTASY DEBATE: Richard Vatz of Towson University writes about a fantasy debate between Larry Hogan and Anthony Brown. The piece appears in Red Maryland.

BROWN’S MODEST LEAD: Democrat Anthony Brown holds a modest lead over Republican Larry Hogan in Maryland’s race for governor, but many voters have not firmly made up their minds and the outcome is far from certain, according to a new poll conducted for The Baltimore Sun. Erin Cox and Michael Dresser write the story for the Sun.  The article is topped by a video explainer.

BROWN’S TAX PROBLEM: A major part of Anthony Brown’s problem: taxes. That was named the dominant issue for this race by the largest number of likely voters in the new survey. It’s the one area where voters trust Hogan — an Anne Arundel County businessman without much political experience — more than Brown. And anti-tax voters are among the most motivated to go to the polls, Jenna Johnson and Scott Clement report for the Post.

HOGAN, BROWN AT FORUM: Larry Hogan Jr. said  Anthony Brown is suddenly changing his campaign message to match Hogan’s, because polls are showing a message of tax relief is resonating with Maryland voters, Glynis Kazanjian reports in MarylandReporter.com. “The [Brown] campaign has changed its message to my message,” Hogan said during a political forum at the B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville Sunday. “Brown now says he agrees with me on tax relief. I don’t think a lot of people are going to believe in his last minute conversion.”

HOGAN ON MoCo ISSUES: Larry Hogan was on Political Pulse with Charles Duffy discussing Montgomery County issues. Here’s the half-hour video.

HOGAN TIGHTENS RACE: Republican Larry Hogan could win this year’s governor’s race, but it’s going to take more than he’s shown voters so far in this campaign. That’s the message of today’s Sun Poll, which shows him trailing Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown by seven percentage points with just over three weeks to go before election day, opines the editorial board for the Sun.

BOGUS NUMBERS: CBS News and The New York Times ought to be embarrassed by the bogus poll numbers they are putting out in the Maryland gubernatorial race, and the Democratic Party ought to wonder if it is facilitating voter suppression by promoting the inaccurate figures, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

POST ENDORSES BROWN: The Washington Post endorsed Anthony Brown, saying: “Neither Mr. Brown, who has proffered modest but sketchily funded proposals, nor Mr. Hogan, whose glib economic plan amounts to mush, seems a good bet to inspire Maryland voters. Still, Mr. Brown is the more knowledgeable man and the more nimble politician; he would make a better governor.”

HOGAN ON CAMPAIGN EDUCATION: In an op-ed for the Sun, GOP gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan writes, “As I’ve traversed the state of Maryland, I’ve learned that effective campaigning means clearly and honestly explaining to voters how your decisions in office would be better than those of your opponent. For Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, however, campaigning involves dodging accountability, remaining invisible on the campaign trail and hiding behind wildly off-base and false attack ads.”

LIAR LIAR: Whoever is elected Maryland governor on Nov. 4 will have some ’splainin’ to do to the state’s citizens, opines columnist Barry Rascovar in MarylandReporter.com.. Why did you lie to us? Why did you make wild allegations out of whole cloth? Why did you deceive us? Both Democrat Anthony Brown and Republican Larry Hogan are guilty as charged, though Brown is by far the worse offender.

HOGAN PUSHES TOWARD POLLS: Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan stopped in Williamsport on Saturday as part of a campaign tour of Western Maryland, exhorting his supporters to vote for him, reports Kaustuv Basu for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. “We need to get every single vote we can,” Hogan told the gathering at the Williamsport Fire Hall.

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CASSILLY VS. JAMES: When it comes to picking their next state senator, many Harford County voters will choose between two familiar names, reports Pamela Wood in the Sun. The Democrat is Mary-Dulany James, a four-term state delegate whose father, William S. James, was a Maryland Senate president. The Republican is Bob Cassilly, who served on Bel Air’s board of town commissioners and on the Harford County Council — and whose two brothers are also running for office in Harford this year.

PG GENERAL ASSEMBLY ENDORSEMENTS: The Gazette editorial board makes more endorsements for contested races in Prince George’s County in the Nov. 4 general election.

DISTRICT 16 ENDORSEMENTS: The editorial board of the Gazette endorses William Frick and Ariana Kelly and Marc Korman for the House of Delegates from District 16 and Del. Susan Lee in her race for Senate from that district.

HO-HUM FOR O’MALLEY: With barely three months left in his tenure, voters in heavily Democratic Maryland have grown weary of Martin O’Malley, their liberal-policy-embracing, tax-raising and guitar-slinging governor, and show markedly little enthusiasm for a presidential bid he is preparing to launch, write John Wagner and Peyton Craighill.

O’MALLEY GETS IOWA KUDOS: During his fourth visit to Iowa since June, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley got kudos Saturday for his efforts to help Democrats on the ballot there this year, writes John Wagner in the Post.

SCHUH REBOUNDS: In Len Lazarick’s monthly Anne Arundel political column for the Business Monthly, Del. Steve Schuh, Republican nominee for Anne Arundel County executive, discusses his bitter primary with Laura Neuman and how it changed his three-year plan to be the next executive. Schuh also lays out the platform for lower taxes and more smaller high schools that he has been emphasizing at every forum with Democrat George Johnson, who calls the plans unrealistic.

TRANSIT ISSUES IN FREDERICK: Elections are less than a month away, so it seems like a good time to check in with Frederick County executive candidates Jan Gardner and Blaine Young on their view on transportation issues. Kelsi Loos compiles the article.