October 17, 2014

State Roundup, October 17, 2014

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GOP LEADERS RALLY: With polls showing a competitive race in strongly Democratic Maryland, top Republican leaders from around the country are coming to the aid of GOP gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan, his campaign reports, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

HOGAN POLLS UP: Larry Hogan, the Republican nominee for governor, said he knows beating Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is going to be hard, but his own polling shows him running better than any Republican before, including Bob Ehrlich, whom he served as appointments secretary, writes Glynis Kazanjian of MarylandReporter.com.

DEMS BLAST HOGAN ON PURPLE LINE: Katherine Shaver of the Post writes that Democratic officials from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties criticized Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan for his opposition to building a light-rail Purple Line, saying the transit project is needed to add jobs and spur economic development in both counties.

BROWN POLICE AD BLASTED: Justin Fenton and Luke Broadwater of the Sun are reporting that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown is drawing criticism for using uniformed Baltimore police officers in a campaign ad attacking his Republican challenger over guns — and the department is investigating whether the officers broke its rules.

BLOCKING BAD LAWS: Republican Larry Hogan said Thursday that if elected he would be playing “goalie” to stop the Democrat-led General Assembly from passing more bad legislation, writes S.A. Miller in the Washington Times.

HOGAN AND GUNS: Although Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan has tried to avoid a debate on social issues, Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has been hammering him on gun control this week. WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about what, if anything, the controversy reveals.

NEW GOV., NEW SIGNS: A new Maryland governor is on his way into office and the signs they are a-changing. Well, not quite yet. From highway signs to website photos and even artworks, administration change affects more than just policy. Transitioning from one governor to the next involves nearly every state agency and department. They plan, coordinate and take care of the multitude of small details that can often go unnoticed, writes CNS’s Max Bennett in the Salisbury Daily Times.

LT. GOV. CANDIDATES DEBATE: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com reports that the two men running for the No. 2 spot at the Annapolis State House actually have more government management experience on their resumes than their running mates at the top of the ticket for governor. But Democrat Ken Ulman, the two-term Howard County executive, and Boyd Rutherford, a former state General Services secretary and assistant U.S. agriculture secretary, faithfully echoed the positions of party nominees Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan as they argued with each other and even the moderator Thursday in an hour-long debate on WAMU-FM.

PRECINCT FAILURES: A recent federal report shows that Maryland and Virginia were among the worst-performing states when it came to delays in the 2012 elections, according to the Annapolis Capital. Officials in both states are hoping to avoid a repeat of the problem Nov. 4. They’ve bought new equipment, carved out smaller precincts and trained volunteers to better manage long lines.

collateral_damage_300x250_r1 with borderMATHIAS VS. MCDERMOTT: If Jim Mathias is restrained jungle cat, then Mike McDermott is a charging rhino. While both have long careers in public service, that’s where the similarities end. Their personalities and political philosophies, while equally aggressive, are diametrical opposites. Both are running for the Lower Shore’s state Senate seat, Mathias as the Democratic incumbent, McDermott as his vocal Republican challenger, Brian Shane of the Salisbury Daily Times writes.

DISTRICT 33A: Tony McConkey, an incumbent Republican seeking another term in the House of Delegates from District 33A, writes a piece for the Annapolis Capital’s “Where I stand” column.

DISTRICT 33: Cathy Vitale is running for reelection to the House of Delegates from District 33. She writes a short piece for the Annapolis Capital’s column “Where I stand.”

JOHNSON ON JOHNSON: George Johnson, the Democratic candidate for Anne Arundel County executive, writes a column for the Annapolis Capital on why he is running for office.

GARDNER, YOUNG FORUM: Smart growth, stormwater fees and a growing senior population were among the issues that candidates for Frederick County executive dissected during a Thursday forum hosted by The Frederick News-Post. Bethany Rodgers reports that a crowd of about 60 posed questions to Blaine Young and Jan Gardner, who are running to become the first Frederick County executive. The candidates found common ground on some issues, such as the increasing needs of seniors in the community, but differed sharply over growth policies.

DELANEY LEADS BONGINO IN FUND-RAISING: Campaign finance reports released this week show U.S. Rep. John Delaney narrowly led his Republican rival, Dan Bongino, in fundraising during recent months writes Bethany Rodgers in the Frederick News Post. Delaney, a first term Democrat, gathered more than $591,000 from July through September, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Bongino, who is running for Delaney’s 6th District seat, collected more than $531,000 during the same period.

As we approach election day, we’ll be throwing in some predictions, forecasts, commentary and endorsements from bloggers who are not on the list of the regular news and opinion sites we scan. If you see something you think ought to be part of this mix, send a link to Len@MarylandReporter.com. Language must be civil and use real names.  

FREDERICK PREDICTIONS: George Wenschhof, a well-known Frederick County blogger who runs Talking Maryland Politics, makes his predictions for the new charter government there. He forecasts County Commission President Blaine Young, R,  will eke out a narrow victory in the race for county executive there over former Commissioner Jan Gardner, though a Democratic poll predicts otherwise. He also sizes up some of the council races.

REPUBLICAN BLOGGER FOR LIBERTARIAN AG: Conservative Republican blogger Jeff Quinton makes a case for voting for Libertarian Leo Dymowski for attorney general, based on Dymowski’s positions that oppose the drug war, “citizen disarmament,” and late term abortions.

O’MALLEY FUND-RAISING: John Wagner of the Post writes that Gov. Martin O’Malley is sharing the billing at a fundraiser Thursday night with another Democrat often mentioned as a 2016 White House contender — Sen. Elizabeth Warren as well as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

POLITICAL SIGNS: At the northeast corner of Rowe Boulevard and Taylor Avenue in Annapolis, more than a dozen political campaign signs greet motorists. At West Street and Solomons Island Road, too. In fact, most major intersections in Anne Arundel County have been inundated with campaign signs this election season. Tim Pratt of the Annapolis Capital reports that while the intersections may be an eyesore for drivers and pedestrians, they represent a lucrative business for local sign companies.

EBOLA FEARS SPARK TRAVEL BAN CALL: Kevin Rector of the Sun report that a local longshoremen’s union in Baltimore briefly refused to work a ship from West Africa. Questions about a patient’s medical transport sparked a fury. And Rep. Andy Harris, a Baltimore County Republican and a doctor, called for a ban on travel from disease-affected regions.