November 11, 2014

State Roundup, November 11, 2014

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ADVICE FOR HOGAN: Robert Terry of the Washington Business Journal interviews former state economic development chief Aris Melissaratos about the future of Maryland under a new Republican administration and asks him what advice he would have for Larry Hogan. First, Melissaratos laments the loss of Maryland’s clout in the U.S. Senate, where U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski lost her chairmanship of the powerful Appropriations Committee.

WHO’S IN A HOGAN ADMINISTRATION? After many post-election discussions, Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland puts together a list of possible members of the new Hogan administration, which Hogan has promised would be bi-partisan. Then Kurtz asks the question: What will happen with the Ehrlichs?

THANK YOU TOUR: Gov.-elect Larry Hogan will begin a statewide “thank you tour” today with a Veterans Day parade in St. Mary’s County, writes Erin Cox for the Sun. Hogan, the first Republican elected statewide since 2002, has not made a public appearance since the day after his upset victory last week. While the parade will be his only stop on the tour, Hogan said in a statement he plans to visit every jurisdiction in the state.

MAKING HISTORY: Maryland voters made history last week not by electing Maryland’s first African-American governor nor by ending the lieutenant governor’s jinx. Neither happened. Instead, history was made when a private citizen who never held public office, Larry Hogan, was elected governor and just as historically, did it with public funds, writes opinionmaker Blair Lee for the Gazette.

SLOW COUNTING IN MO CO: Montgomery County has 250 election-day precincts, less than only Baltimore City and Prince George’s County which have 296 and 274 precincts respectively. Yet both Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, along with every other county in the state counted ballots faster than Montgomery County after the polls closed on Nov. 4, reports Kate Alexander in the Gazette.

MVA VOTER REGISTRATION AUDIT: Montgomery County Board of Elections plans to seek an independent audit of voter registrations handled by Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration, after reports that voters’ registrations were being changed without consent during visits to the MVA, reports Kate Alexander in the Gazette.

happy birthday 5thAGAINST CHARTER IN CHARLES: A substantial majority of voters in Charles County cast their ballots against Question A’s proposal to adopt a charter form of government in Tuesday’s general election. The proposal was defeated 23,387 to 17,064, 57.8% to 42.2%, writes Andrew Michaels of the Charles County Independent.

ANTI-GERRYMANDERING FORUM: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that the Maryland congressman who probably benefited most from the state’s partisan gerrymandering in 2012 has also become one of the strongest advocates for reform. “I think this issue has real potential for a state and national movement,” U.S. Rep. John Delaney told a forum on redistricting reform Monday night. “It’s about entrenched interests versus the interests of the people.”

Maryland Reporter 5th Birthday Ad

ARE O’MALLEY’S ODDS EVEN LONGER NOW? If all had gone as planned, Gov. Martin O’Malley would be preparing to hand over the keys to state government to his longtime deputy, who campaigned on a promise to build on O’Malley’s accomplishments. The transition could have provided a burst of momentum over the next few weeks as O’Malley weighs a 2016 White House bid. So much for that scenario, writes John Wagner in the Post.

MIKULSKI CALLS STRATEGY MEETING: Distressed by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s defeat in last week’s gubernatorial election and with an eye toward her own reelection bid in two years, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) is calling a meeting of Democratic leaders for next Monday to discuss “the path to new leadership” at the state party and “victory in 2016,” according to a memo obtained by Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland.

BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR DOCTORS: The editorial board of the Frederick News Post is urging the General Assembly to approve doing background checks on physicians renewing or seeking licensing in Maryland. It says that the Board of Physicians has drafted new legislation for the next session of the General Assembly. Among other things, it would require that doctors be fingerprinted and continuously monitored by an FBI program for any new illegal activity. It would also require background checks for every physician seeking a new license and the first application for renewal from currently licensed doctors.

STRIPED BASS HARVEST: An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission board approved an order at the end of October for a reduction in the striped bass harvest, with slightly less of a reduction for Bay fisheries than coastal ones, reports Josh Bollinger for the Easton Star Democrat.

MIKULSKI’S ACCENT: Julie Scharper of the Sun asks: “Have you wondered how Kathy Bates developed her Baltimore accent for her role in “American Horror Story: Freak Show”? She didn’t work with a voice coach.  She just listened to clips of Sen. Barbara Mikulski.”

SEPARATE ADDRESSES FOR BAR, COURT: Every day someone walks into Annapolis’ Reynolds Tavern trying to get their marriage license, business owner Wes Burge said. Ben Weathers of the Annapolis Capital writes that that is because for years, the tavern shared the same address as the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court next door — 7 Church Circle. The tavern may not have to deal with it anymore. As of last week, the courthouse’s new address is 8 Church Circle.