State Roundup, October 16, 2015

Print More

HOGAN SHAKES UP ENERGY: The Hogan administration is shaking up the Maryland Energy Administration, firing two senior managers, moving the agency from Annapolis to Baltimore and taking a stand against raising utility customers’ electricity bills to expand energy-efficiency programs. The personnel and policy changes worry environmentalists, who say they fear the Republican administration is weakening or abandoning efforts started by its Democratic predecessor to clean the air and fight climate change with programs that they say would ultimately save ratepayers money, Tim Wheeler of the Sun reports.

PARCC TO BE BASELINE: Naomi Eide of CNS, in an article in MarylandReporter.com writes that officials from the Maryland State Department of Education told lawmakers they are expecting the results of the new PARCC exam to serve as a new baseline for assessing student performance, and itemized results will show individual students’ areas of deficiency.

RUTHERFORD WHO? While Gov. Larry Hogan enjoys huge popularity across the state, the man who has routinely stepped in for him at public events since Hogan’s cancer diagnosis is hardly known, a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll finds. Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports that only 21% of residents can rate Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford as favorable or unfavorable, according to the poll, while 79% have no opinion of the man who in general likes to stay behind the scene, but has been Hogan’s frequent stand-in for the last few months.

FRITZE’S FUND-RAISING ROUNDUP: John Fritze continues to add to his list of congressional candidates who have disclosed their fund-raising efforts for the third quarter of the year.

BROWN MAKES GOOD MONEY SHOWING: Former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown this summer out-raised two of his strongest rivals in the Democratic primary race to succeed U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, but he still lags behind both in total fundraising, Arelis Hernandez reports in the Post.

MATTHEWS OUT-RAISES RASKIN: Former Marriott executive and news anchor Kathleen Matthews has pulled ahead in fundraising in the race to fill Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s Montgomery County-based congressional seat. Matthews announced a third quarter haul of $564,000, with $891,000 in cash on hand. The previous fundraising leader, state Sen. Jamie Raskin, fell behind Matthews in the third quarter, with $375,000 raised between July 1 and Sept. 30, CNS’s Jon Banister writes in MarylandReporter.com.

VAN HOLLEN LEADS EDWARDS IN MONEY RACE: Rep. Chris Van Hollen raised $950,000 in the third quarter of 2015 for his primary bid to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a slower fundraising pace than he reported earlier in the year, Arelis Hernandez of the Post is reporting. Going into the third quarter, Van Hollen had a 3-to-1 fundraising advantage over his primary rival, Rep. Donna F. Edwards. He had raised more than a million dollars in campaign contributions in each of the previous two quarters, and has $4.1 million in the bank.

EDWARDS TWEETS FOR CLINTON: Rep. Donna Edwards has not formally endorsed a candidate for president, but she sure seems to be leaning toward Hillary Clinton. John Fritze of the Sun writes that throughout the first Democratic debate on Tuesday, the Prince George’s County lawmaker and Maryland Senate candidate repeatedly tweeted applause to Clinton, at one point writing that her performance was “off the chain.”

O’MALLEY FUND-RAISING WEAK: Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley reported late Thursday raising $1.3 million in the third quarter of the year, significantly less than the eye-popping figures posted by his better-known rivals, John Fritze reports for the Sun. The former Maryland governor reported having $806,000 in the bank, meaning his campaign spent about $500,000 more than he received.

LOCAL TAKE ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: WYPR-FM’s Tom Hall discusses highlights of the first Democratic debate of the 2016 presidential campaign season with Professor Sheri Parks, Michael Fletcher, reporter at the Washington Post; and Richard Cross, a former press secretary and speech writer for former Gov. Bob Ehrlich.

MOVING THE TANEY BUST: After nearly two decades of discussion about Frederick’s Roger Brooke Taney statue, words turned into action Thursday as elected officials approved a resolution to move the figure away from City Hall. The Frederick City Board of Aldermen’s unanimous decision Thursday sets in motion a process that could lead to removing the small bronze bust from the park outside the North Court Street building, where it has rested for nearly a century, Nancy Lavin of the Frederick News Post reports.

SCHUH BACKS AWAY FROM POT RX BAN: A total prohibition on medical marijuana facilities in Anne Arundel County appears to be less likely under what is being billed as a compromise proposal offered by County Executive Steve Schuh. The proposed amendments would replace Schuh’s bill, as introduced last month, which would have banned all growing, processing and dispensing facilities within the county, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.

UPDATED: MO CO EARLY VOTING: Democrats on the state elections board voted Thursday to block a plan by Montgomery County Republicans to move one of the county’s nine early voting sites to a more GOP-friendly area, Michael Dresser reports in the Sun. The state board’s three Republicans voted for the plan, but it fell short of the 4-1 supermajority that was required to make change.

MO CO BOE RESTORES EARLY VOTING SPOT: The Republican-led Montgomery County Board of Elections has restored an early voting center in Burtonsville but not in Chevy Chase during a special meeting that included plenty of partisanship and a few unruly moments. The three Republican voting members of the five-member BOE have faced blistering criticism in heavily Democratic Montgomery County in the three weeks since they decided to replace early voting sites in Burtonsville and Chevy Chase with sites in less densely populated Brookeville and Potomac for the 2016 elections.