October 28, 2014

State Roundup, October 28, 2014

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MD EBOLA RESPONSE: The Sun is reporting that travelers to Maryland from three West African countries where Ebola continues to spread could be quarantined at home or barred from public transit, depending on their risk of exposure to the deadly virus, under guidelines Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Monday.

VOTING MACHINE PROBLEMS: The Maryland State Board of Elections announced Monday that it has examined fewer than 20 voting units after some voters reported that the machines displayed a different candidate than the one they selected during early voting, reports the AP in the Daily Record. The board said 12 of the units have been thoroughly tested, and the issue cannot be repeated. The other units were taken out of service.

HOGAN’S NRA QUESTIONNAIRE: Gun-control advocates have been prodding Maryland Republican gubernatorial hopeful Larry Hogan for weeks now to release a questionnaire he filled out for the National Rifle Association, which earned him a grade of an A- and the group’s endorsement. John Wagner reports that that effort is now about to hit the airwaves.

CLOSE RACE: The Maryland gubernatorial campaign headed into its final week Monday with the candidates scuffling over guns and the economy and a new poll showing signs that the race remains more competitive than originally expected, Bill Turque and John Wagner are reporting in the Post.

BROWN, HOGAN FUND-RAISING: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown reported Friday that he has raised $4.1 million for his race over the last two months. Meanwhile, the Maryland Republican Party has raised nearly $770,000 since August on behalf of Larry Hogan’s campaign for governor, the party reported Friday, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

NATIONAL ATTENTION: Maryland’s unexpectedly close race for governor is drawing an unexpected level of national attention, writes Erin Cox in the Sun. With Election Day just a week away, high-profile national political figures are again headed to Maryland to stump for the candidates. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be in Glen Burnie Tuesday on behalf of Republican Larry Hogan, while former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will rally voters for Democrat Anthony Brown on Thursday in College Park.

HOGAN ADVOCATES FOR BUSINESS: Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan said Monday his main focus if elected is to make Maryland business friendly, writes Ed Waters for the Frederick News Post. At a press conference near the site of the former BP Solar building in Frederick, Hogan said he would work to keep manufacturing jobs in Maryland and try to bring more employers to the state.

HOGAN’S WAR ON HEROIN: Republican candidate for Maryland governor Larry Hogan said Monday in Hagerstown that he plans to declare a “state of emergency” on statewide heroin and drug addiction if elected, vowing to combat the epidemic “tooth and nail,” writes C.J. Lovelace in the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

BROWN STUMPS IN BOWIE: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown turned greeter for about 15 minutes as he visited with Bowie-area residents and shoppers at a brief campaign stop, Chase Cook writes in the Annapolis Capital.

A BROWN ADMINISTRATION? Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland speculates on what a Brown administration would look like should he be elected governor. Some say he’d do well by bringing in a lot of the Ulman staff.

NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS: John Wagner gives a breakdown of which newspapers endorsed which gubernatorial candidate thus far, finding that Brown was endorsed by the bigger papers, but Hogan received the endorsements of more papers.

Early voting graph Day 5

Black = All voters; Blue = Democrats; Red = Republicans; Gray = Other (Chart by David Lublin, Seventh State)

EARLY VOTING: After a weekend off, the early vote bounced back to the second highest yet with 40,081–1.1% of all eligible voters–casting early votes on Monday, David Lublin reports in Seventh State blog. A total of 157,884, or 4.3% of all eligible voters, have cast ballots so far. Additionally, 22.297, or 0.6% of all eligible voters, have returned absentee ballots.

DYMOWSKI’S SYMBOLIC CAMPAIGN FOR AG: Even though winning is a long shot, Libertarian candidate for attorney general Leo Dymowski continues his “symbolic campaign” to bring awareness to drug prohibition in Maryland, writes Alexis Webb for MarylandReporter.com. “This is a symbolic campaign,” said Dymowski, a hearing officer with Maryland Parole Commission, “I’m going for 100,000 votes and I think we are doing well.”

WATSON, KITTLEMAN IN FINAL STRETCH: Both Howard County executive candidates claimed momentum heading into the final week of their campaigns, as a final round of campaign finance reports was released Oct. 24. Democrat Courtney Watson, a county council member, held the fundraising lead over Republican Allan Kittleman, a state senator, although Kittleman’s report showed him closing in on the gap between the money each candidate has in the bank, Amanda Yeager reports in the Sun.

GOING NEGATIVE IN ARUNDEL: Rema Rahman of the Annapolis Capital outlines the many ways that candidates in Anne Arundel County are using negative campaigning to attack their opponents.

SUN ENDORSES IN BA CO: The editorial board for the Sun makes its endorsements for General Assembly candidates representing Baltimore County, and they include Republicans as well as Democrats and newcomers as well as incumbents. And one long-time delegate even gets the nod for County Council.

HEALTH EXCHANGE LAWSUIT: In an analysis for MarylandReporter.com, Charlie Hayward writes that state officials responsible for overseeing construction of the health exchange platform faced two frightful choices under the contract to produce the website in the months preceding the Oct. 1, 2013 ”go live” date: Terminate Noridian, and fail to bring any health exchange platform to market; or Keep Noridian on the job while violating major contract provisions designed to maintain equilibrium between payments to Noridian, and the quality and completeness of their work. The state decided on the latter.

O’MALLEY STRIKES A POPULIST CHORD: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley sounded a populist chord Monday as he campaigned in New Hampshire for the re-election of one of the state’s U.S. senators and its governor, writes John Wagner for the Post.