October 20, 2014

State Roundup, October 20, 2014

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FINAL DEBATE: Democrat Anthony Brown and Republican Larry Hogan brought their combative disagreement on Maryland’s future to their third and final televised debate in the race for governor. Michael Dresser and Erin Cox report that in their most wide-ranging exchange yet, Brown and Hogan disagreed Saturday on whether more pre-K or charter schools is the better way to close Maryland’s achievement gap and whether the poultry industry needs protection from environmental initiatives.

Barack Obama selfie with Maddi Ulman and

There were lots of selfies at Sunday’s rally with the president. But here’s a close-up with Barack Obama, Madeline and Lily Ulman, daughters of the Howard County executive and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.

OBAMA RALLIES FOR BROWN: President Obama made a rare campaign stop in Maryland Sunday afternoon to rally support for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown and to encourage early voting, writes Alexis Webb for MarylandReporter.com. Marylanders fought heavy traffic, stood in line for hours, and were screened through airport like security before participating in the rally.

EARLY VOTING: Commentator Barry Rascovar says — in a Center Maryland Radio Minute — that early voting could make the difference in the governor’ race.

TRANSPORTATION ISSUES: Bryan Sears of the Daily Record lines up the transportation issues key to the governor’s race and where the two major candidates come down on them.

WICOMICO PUSH: With Nov. 4 less than a month away, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown continued his push in Wicomico County, harping on his Republican opponent Larry Hogan’s proposed spending cuts as dangerous to the state’s and the county’s schools, writes Phil Davis for the Salisbury Daily Times.

HOGAN FLIP-FLOP: A top union official accused Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan of “deceiving Marylanders over his opposition to raising the minimum wage,” reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record. Pat Lippold, vice president of the Service Employees International Union Maryland and DC State Council, said in a statement that Hogan flip-flopped on the issue and is now trying to claim he supported it after claiming earlier that he had opposed the hike.

BROWN’S RISKY PROMISE: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, the Democratic nominee for governor, has declared that he would not raise taxes if elected governor. WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Bryan Sears of the Daily Record talk about how that might put Brown in a difficult political position if voters choose him in November.

HOGAN PROFILE: There’s nothing particularly subtle about Larry Hogan, writes Michael Dresser in a profile in the Sun. The Republican candidate for governor, who is waging a vigorous challenge to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown despite 2-1 Democratic dominance in Maryland, has delivered a simple, blunt, constantly repeated narrative since he entered the race in January.

BROWN PROFILE: Democrat Anthony Brown can readily list the criticisms of his public persona, but he finds the characterization a bit perplexing. Stiff, stuffy, stilted. “I’m always amazed how people say, ‘Well, he seems so scripted.'” Brown said, “As if I wake up intending to be scripted. … I’m just a deliberate person.”  Erin Cox writes the profile of Brown in the Sun.

HOGAN FOR GOVERNOR: The state needs to re-evaluate its course, opines the editorial board for the Annapolis Capital. And that re-evaluation can happen only if there’s a break in eight years of undiluted one-party rule that has been healthy for neither party. That’s why it’s  endorsing Republican Larry Hogan for governor.

ATTY GEN MONEY RACE: Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports that after a bruising primary contest in which he spent more than $1.5 million, Democrat Brian Frosh has less than $80,000 left for his campaign to be Maryland attorney general. The problem for his two general election opponents? Combined, they have less than $2,000. Yet Republican Jeffrey Pritzker, a Towson attorney, and Libertarian Leo Wayne Dymowski, a Maryland Parole Commission hearing officer, say they’re bringing new ideas to the race and present an attractive alternative for frustrated voters who want to send a message about the Democrats’ grip on high-ranking state posts.

TOUGH ROW FOR GOP IN MO CO: With a week until the start of early voting in the Nov. 4 election, odds remain long that Montgomery County Republicans will break a losing streak in the General Assembly dating back more than a decade — notwithstanding a national tide in their favor, and a Maryland gubernatorial race that is competitive despite the state’s overwhelming Democratic registration edge, Louis Peck write for Bethesda Magazine.

DISTRICT 15: An examination of the campaign finance reports of Montgomery County General Assembly candidates reveals that all — except one — have filed the three required campaign finance reports, writes David Lublin for the Seventh State blog. But once he was alerted by Lublin to the problem, Ed Edmundson, running in District 15, filed.

DISTRICT 33: Redistricting three years ago left Republicans crying foul over conservative neighborhoods carved from the Democratic-leaning district that included Annapolis, writes Tim Prudente for the Annapolis Capital. Dels. Cathy Vitale and Tony McConkey are the two Republicans seeking re-election in District 33; there is a seat left open by Del. Ron George’s run for governor and three Democrats are hoping to take the district.

TILGHMAN VS. HARRIS: It was a forum, not a debate, so the conversation stayed mostly civil in the Cadby Theatre at Chesapeake College on Sunday. But Andy Harris, incumbent representative for Maryland’s 1st District in the U.S. House, and his challenger Bill Tilghman, set out distinctly different visions on policy, Andrew Sharp reports for the Easton Star-Democrat.

RETURN EDWARDS & HOYER: The editorial board for the Gazette gives its nod to incumbent U.S. Reps. Donna Edwards in the 4th District and Steny Hoyer in the 5th.

JUNK LOCK BOX AMENDMENT: Marylanders are being sold a bill of goods under the guise of fiscal accountability, writes opinionator Barry Rascovar in MarylandReporter.com. That’s why on Election Day voters ought to think twice before approving a constitutional amendment giving transportation programs priority over social programs when the economy turns sour.

WHO’S THAT GUY? In a completely unscientific study, the Capital mixed photos of Anne Arundel County executive candidates Steve Schuh and George Johnson with similar-sized headshots of three other men — Pat Sajak, Steve Bisciotti and Ted Levitt. Two household names, and one pretty famous name, if you dine in Annapolis. Levitt owns Chick & Ruth’s Delly. Not everyone knew who those men were, either. But the point of last week’s exercise was to see if prospective voters — and yes, most said they would vote — could identify the men running for the county’s top job.

PEROUTKA IN HIS OWN WORDS: The editorial board for the Sun writes that in a recent op-ed in the Annapolis Capital, Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka wrote that “you can vote for me with the confidence that I mean what I say.” Very well, the board writes. So what does he say? Quite a lot, as it turns out. The Institute on the Constitution founder is a prolific writer and commentator, and before residents of Anne Arundel’s 5th District go to the polls, they would do well to brush up on his views

O’MALLEY’S CHALLENGE: Gov. Martin O’Malley has steadily climbed the political ladder over the past 15 years, but the next rung presents a seemingly insurmountable challenge as he likely positions himself as a liberal alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary, writes Ben Wolfgang for the Washington Times.

HEALTH EXCHANGE LITIGATION DELAYED: Officials from the Maryland health exchange and their prime contractor have agreed to delay potential litigation over the troubled website that frustrated thousands in their attempts to buy health insurance promised under the Affordable Care Act, Meredith Cohn reports in the Sun.

HEALTH CONTRACT: State officials say Second Family, which is a provider of housing and health care to disabled children that has been awarded about $69 million in state contracts since 2002, has generally complied with health and safety regulations. They also say they are still reviewing its performance “to identify new ways to promote high-quality services.” After the review they plan to make recommendations to the General Assembly to strengthen oversight of all group homes for disabled foster children who require around-the-clock nursing care, reports Doug Donovan in the Sun.

STAY CALM: As a Texas nurse infected with Ebola began treatment at the National Institutes of Health clinical center in Bethesda, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had this message for his state’s residents on Friday morning: Nothing should change in your daily lives, reports Jenna Johnson for the Post.

  • InGodWeTrust

    Regarding the comment that voters should brush up on Peroutka’s views. What they need to do is find out why his opponent, Armstrong. lied to voters at the recent Fireman HQ debate. An audience member asked each candidate to share how many speeding tickets they have had. Peroutka said none. Armstrong said one. But, his driving record confirms he has had 5 citations including 4 speeding tickets all since 2012, and 2 since being nominated in Juy !! Someone who won’t tell voters the truth now certainly cannot ask voters to trust them in office. Reckless and irresponsible driving indicates a need to grow up – not someone who is ready to fill the shoes of a councilman. Armstrong has an integrity AND a maturity problem. Voters would do well to put Michael Peroutka in office, an honorable ‘adult’ whose moral clarity is peerless. Moreover, when comparing Armstrong’s virtual absence of hands-on business management to Michael’s, there is no question. Mr. Peroutka’s nearly 30 years’ successful business history equips him with the critical judgement skills and practical knowledge needed to serve as 5th district councilman.