November 4, 2014

State Roundup, November 4, 2014

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THE LAST PUSH: Democrat Anthony  Brown and Republican Larry Hogan wound up their fiercely contested race for governor Monday with a final pitch for the votes of Marylanders, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun. Brown was the beneficiary of a rally at Baltimore’s War Memorial on Monday afternoon with first lady Michelle Obama. Hogan concluded his challenge to Democratic dominance in Maryland with a call to make the state a better place to do business at a news conference at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

THE O’MALLEY FACTOR: Gov. Martin O’Malley has spent a considerable amount of time this fall criss-crossing the country to campaign for other Democrats and build his national exposure as he weighs a possible White House bid. But as of late, the governor has also popped up on the campaign trail back home with increasing frequency, seeking to build enthusiasm for his hand-picked successor, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, in his race against Republican businessman Larry Hogan. Often, it’s been with little or no media attention, writes John Wagner in the Post.

THE BASICS: The Daily Record offers a short wrap of what you need to know to get to the polls today.

EMAIL ETHICS: An email alerting the media to a campaign stop being made by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown in Fruitland is at the center of an ethical debate, according to Bill Mich for WBOC-TV.  On Oct. 17, Wicomico County public information officer Tamara Lee-Brooks sent an email to the media alerting them about Brown holding a press conference later that day outside the new Bennett Middle School in Fruitland. And that is not sitting well with Dave Parker, the chairman of the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee.

BUT THEN THERE’S THIS: Maryland’s gubernatorial race between Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Republican businessman Larry Hogan has been widely described as closer than expected, and it could turn out to be tight on Tuesday, writes John Wagner for the Post. But some historical perspective is in order: Despite its reputation as a Democratic state, few of Maryland’s recent races for governor have been total blow-outs.

CAN BROWN LOSE?: Can Anthony Brown actually lose this thing that was his to lose? Can Larry Hogan really win? What was laughable to many six months ago, then became improbable, then possible, and now we don’t know, writes Len Lazarick in MarylandReporter.com.

AND THERE’S THIS: Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland also assesses the likelihood of a Hogan victory. But given the changing demographics since the last Republican victory — more African-Americans living in Maryland and more blue counties — he’s sure of only one thing: It will come down to voter turnout. Read further down to see what he has to say about U.S. Rep. Andy Harris and the race for Frederick County exec and several other races of note.

SILVER SEES BROWN AS GOLDEN: Famed political statistician Nate Silver at the FiveThirtyEight blog on Monday updated his list of the closest gubernatorial races in the country.  Maryland is not among them, reports Erin Cox in the Sun. In fact, Silver determined there is a 94% chance Democrat Anthony Brown would win the governor’s race Tuesday, and Silver predicted that the most likely outcome was a Brown win over Republican Larry Hogan by 9.7% points.

$8.5 MILLION FOR TV: Democrat Anthony Brown, Republican Larry Hogan and their respective boosters have together spent more than $8.5 million on political television ads in the Baltimore-Washington region since the June primary, a review of federal filings show, report Erin Cox and Yvonne Wenger for the Sun. Brown and Maryland Democrats have poured $3.42 million into television ads, outspending Hogan and Republicans by about $730,000. Hogan and the GOP have spent $2.69 million.

HOGAN ON RED LINE: Hogan met voters Monday evening as they got off the MARC train in Elkridge. We asked the Republican candidate for governor about another proposed train — the Red Line , which would run East to West through and under Baltimore City, reports Christian Schaffer for WMAR-TV. The MTA hopes to start building it next year.  If Hogan wins, that timetable will be pushed back significantly.

IT’S UP TO THE VOTERS: Jenna Johnson and John Wagner of the Post wrap up the statewide races in Maryland, writing that Maryland voters are headed to the polls Tuesday to pick the state’s next governor, attorney general and comptroller, and to choose candidates in a host of congressional, state and local races.

  • The candidates have laid out their plans, campaigned on county corners big and small, phone banked, door knocked and debated each other at countless public forums this election season, writes Rema Rahman for the Annapolis Capital. Now, it will be up to voters to pick the next Maryland governor and the next Anne Arundel County executive, and to determine which party controls the County Council and who is elected statewide.

YOUTHFUL APATHY: Theresa Winslow of the Annapolis Capital writes about young voters  — and the lack thereof  — in Anne Arundel County and the state overall.  In the 2010 general election — the last mid-term vote — voters 18-to-24 represented about 5% of the overall turnout in the county and state. This year, that has dropped to 1%.

NAIL-BITERS & BLOWOUTS: The Sun editorial board puts together a photo package it calls Nail-biters and blowouts: A brief history of Md. governor’s races. Be sure to reveal the cutlines to find out what those very large photos are trying to get across.

TRANSIT LOCKBOX AMENDMENT: Maryland’s largest commercial real estate association is urging its members to back a constitutional amendment creating a transportation fund “lockbox,” saying it could decrease costs associated with development in the state, reports Adam Bednar for the Daily Record. Today, voters will cast their ballots for or against Question 1, which would make it harder for governors to use money from the state’s transportation fund to balance the budget.

DELANEY LOANS CAMPAIGN $800,000: Rep. John Delaney, the first-term lawmaker in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, made an $800,000 contribution to his campaign late last month, records filed over the weekend with the Federal Election Commission show. The Potomac Democrat is expected to win reelection on Tuesday but the 6th has emerged in recent weeks as the most expensive and spirited of any of the state’s eight congressional races.

O’MALLEY’S FIRST PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY: In Politico magazine, Justin Snow writes a long profile of Martin O’Malley, subtitled “His name isn’t on Tuesday’s ballot, but his future is.” Snow covers a lot of familiar territory about the current governor and the race to succeed him, but there are some interesting twists in recounting O’Malley’s rise. He even quotes Maryland Reporter’s Len Lazarick, who actually has one of the more positive comments in the piece: “I wouldn’t count the guy out … I wouldn’t discount his political skills.”  (Snow worked for MarylandReporter.com in 2012 and now covers politics and the White House for Metro Weekly in Washington.)

VOTER FRAUD: In a column in the Sun, David Horsey brings some light to the voter fraud issue, writing that voter fraud does occur. Mostly, though, it happens in local elections where some crooked official stuffs ballot boxes with bogus ballots. These days, this is very rare. Even more rare is some individual showing up to vote who is not eligible to exercise that right. Under President George W. Bush, the Justice Department conducted a five-year study of voter fraud. In the end, they found just 38 violations that could be taken to court. Only one of those cases involved someone impersonating a real voter.