State Roundup, September 14, 2015

Print More

RAWLINGS-BLAKE WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION: Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose once-bright political future dimmed this spring with the death of Freddie Gray, shocked the city Friday with the announcement that she will not run for re-election next year, Yvonne Wenger reports in the Sun.

WHAT’S NEXT?: The Sun’s Mary Carole McCauley writes that life goes on after leaving the mayor’s office — at least, that’s one conclusion that can be drawn from examining the histories of Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s seven most recent predecessors. The list that follows details the years they were mayor, how they left office, and what they did next.

REDISTRICTING REFORM MEETINGS: Gov. Larry Hogan’s recently formed Redistricting Reform Commission will hold the first of five regional meetings Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 15, in the Minnegan Room at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. MarylandReporter.com lists all the upcoming meetings.

SCHUH TO SEEK BAN ON MEDICAL POT: On the day when regulations will be adopted in Maryland’s state law, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh is seeking to ban growing, processing and dispensing medical marijuana in Anne Arundel County, Rema Rahman reports for the Annapolis Capital. Schuh is poised to announce his plans to send such a measure to the County Council on Monday at the Arundel Center. The bill will be introduced at the council’s Sept. 21 meeting.

DEL. PROCTOR’S WIDOW WILLING TO SERVE: The widow of Del. James E. Proctor Jr. will seek to fill her husband’s seat in the Maryland House of Delegates at the urging of one of the state’s top Democrats, Arelis Hernandez reports for the Post.

DEL. CAMPOS RESIGNS: Arelis Hernandez of the Post follows up on the story from last week that Del. William A. Campos (D-Prince George’s) has resigned from the Maryland House of Delegates for personal reasons, nine months after he was sworn in to represent the state’s only majority-Hispanic district.

CAUTION ON STATE SURPLUS: The editorial board for the Frederick News Post urges the state to be cautious in its decisionmaking when it comes to the $295 million state surplus. Giving back to the taxpayers sounds like a good idea, but in practice, it is not.

FURNITURE, IRAN & MANDEL: Barry Rascovar of politicalmaryland.com takes a closer look at the O’Malley furniture “scandal” and how other governors have handled these purchases, the strange bedfellows that the Iran nuclear deal is making and some assessments of his recent columns on the late Gov. Marvin Mandel.

LOBBYIST JEFFRIE ZELLMER LAID TO REST: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that it was an old-fashioned funeral service for an old-school lobbyist at the Old Wye Church in Talbot County Friday afternoon. More than 150 Annapolis insiders, family and friends bid adieu to Jeffrie Zellmer, 73, who represented the Maryland Retailers Association at the State House for the past 20 years.

HOGAN’S CANCER ADVOCACY: Ovetta Wiggins of the Post writes that soon after Gov. Larry Hogan announced he had cancer, letters of support pushed the first-term governor into what he refers to as his newest “calling” — advocating for cancer patients and their families. Since he was diagnosed in June, Hogan (R) has invited people with cancer to the State House, set up a #HoganStrong fundraising effort that has raised $35,000, and visited the pediatric oncology ward at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

  • David Lublin in his Seventh State blog writes the Hogan’s pre-cancer budget tried to cut state funding for cancer research.
HAIL TO THE SKINHEADS: Gov. Larry Hogan, who grew up in Prince George's County, makes no secret of his support for the Washington football team that plays it home games there. On Sunday, as he battles cancer, he appeared in the end zone with four children from the Cool Kids Campaign, who are also battling cancer to recognize September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  The Cool Kids Campaign is a non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of life for children with cancer and their families. Photo by Governor's Office.

HAIL TO THE SKINHEADS: Gov. Larry Hogan, who grew up in Prince George’s County, makes no secret of his support for the Washington football team that plays it home games there. On Sunday, as he battles cancer, he appeared in the end zone with four children from the Cool Kids Campaign, who are also battling cancer, to recognize September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The Cool Kids Campaign is a non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of life for children with cancer and their families. Photo by Governor’s Office.

IVEY LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR CONGRESS: Former Prince George’s County state’s attorney Glenn F. Ivey formally launched his candidacy for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District Saturday, unveiling a new video, website and issue platform, writes Arelis Hernandez in the Post.

DELANEY PLANS TO SEEK RE-ELECTION: Julie Greene of the Hagerstown Herald Mail writes that  U.S. Rep. John Delaney said Sunday that, as of now, he is planning to run for re-election to represent the state’s 6th Congressional District.

IRAN DEAL WORTH RISK: State Del. Kirill Reznik, in an op-ed for Washington Jewish Week, writes that the Iran nuclear deal is a risk worth taking.

DELANEY FOR IRAN DEAL: Rep. John Delaney, the last member of Maryland’s congressional delegation to offer a position on the Iran deal, voted for the measure on Friday, reports John Fritze for the Sun.

REGIONAL TRANSIT GROUP: The new regional transportation organization Anne Arundel County joined — but Annapolis shut out — is past a successful but challenging first year and a partnership with the city may come, Brandi Bottalico reports for the Annapolis Capital.  John Powell Jr., administrator of the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland, said that the partnership among the city of Laurel and Howard, northern Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties was established last July to reduce expenses and give jurisdictions more oversight than they had when bus service was run by Central Maryland Regional Transit.

DIXON KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN: Former Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon kicked off her campaign for re-election Sunday with an ice cream social in Pigtown, saying she wants to address illegal dirt bikes, improve public transportation and foster mutual respect between police and the communities they serve, Yvonne Wenger writes in the Sun.

CHEVY CHASE CHANGES TACK ON PURPLE LINE: The town of almost 2,800 people in Chevy Chase that spent half-a-million dollars to fight the Purple Line no longer will focus on outright opposition of the light-rail system, Aaron Kraut writes for Bethesda Beat.

TRACKING PLEA AGREEMENTS: When Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Wes Adams was running for office last year, he vowed to cut back on what he called “lenient” plea agreements in criminal cases. Last week, the Severna Park Republican told the Capital Gazette editorial board that he has begun tracking case dispositions in an effort to measure his office’s performance, Tim Pratt reports.