State Roundup, May 2, 2017

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FEDERAL BUDGET FUNDS MD PROJECTS: A spending agreement announced Monday that will keep the federal government open through September includes more than $500 million for a proposed new headquarters for the FBI, reports John Fritze for the Sun. The funding, short of the $1.4 billion needed to get the project back on track, was one of several items of importance to Maryland included in the $1 trillion-plus spending deal reached Sunday. The short-term funding agreement includes an increase for medical research and maintained spending on the Chesapeake Bay.

McDONOUGH RUNS FOR BA CO EXEC: Del. Pat McDonough has “had it with the legislature,” he said. “It will be torture for me even to go back for the last session,” said the populist conservative from Middle River in Baltimore County. Any torture was mutual for the 91 Democrats in the House of Delegates, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter. McDonough has set his sights on the Towson courthouse, hoping to become county executive for Maryland’s third largest county.

TRONE HIGHLIGHTED IN SURVEY: The entire Montgomery County political class is watching what is happening in Congressional District 6, currently served by U.S. Rep. John Delaney who is considering a run for governor, Adam Pagnucco reports for Seventh State.  Pagnucco gives details of how the polling is conducted including that it finally hones in on David Trone and his favorabilities. Trone has indicated that he would be interested in seeking Delaney’s seat.

EX-HOUSE CANDIDATE SEEKS TOWN COUNCIL SEAT: Former congressional candidate Joel Rubin, who is a former State Department official and president of a foreign policy advisory firm, is seeking a seat on the Chevy Chase council in today’s balloting, reports Bethany Rodgers for Bethesda Beat. Last year, Rubin ran an unsuccessful campaign in the Democratic primary for the 8th district congressional seat won by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin.

DEMS LINE UP TO CHALLENGE HOGAN: More than a year before Maryland’s gubernatorial primaries, Democrats already are jockeying for position to challenge Gov. Larry Hogan, writes Ryan McDermott for the Washington Times. Executives, lawyers and lawmakers reportedly have expressed an interest in running for the office, but none has yet addressed the elephant in the room — that is, the Republican incumbent’s statewide popularity.

LEGISLATORS NEED TO LOOK INTO ELECTIONS BOARD: Late last week, the Office of Legislative Audits released a report criticizing the State Board of Elections exposing the full Social Security numbers of nearly 600,000 Maryland voters, other security issues and potential mismanagement of funds. This finding and others are concerning enough that the Carroll County Times editorial board fully supports the call from legislators to delve more deeply into the issues discovered here.

NO VOTER FRAUD EXISTS: The editorial board of the Frederick News Post addresses the dubious claims of voter fraud by the group Judicial Watch, writing that, “It’s no secret among elections experts that voter registration rolls are often out of date … But trying to lash outdated voter registration lists to the specter of voter fraud is yet another tactic used by groups like Judicial Watch to scare Americans into believing they should have no confidence in their elections and that they ought to go along with a pell-mell purging of the rolls.”

STRIPED BASS SURVEY: Say you’re out on the bay this week fishing for striped bass. Say you get lucky and catch something you can keep. You look on the left side of the rockfish’s belly and see a colorful tag that stands out against the fish’s silvery scales. You can ignore it, or you can be part of a coast-wide project that provides data on the migratory habits of rockfish, which helps maintain a sustainable fishery, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, writes Rachel Pacella for the Annapolis Capital.

TRUMP WON’T, PENCE WILL SPEAK TO NAVAL GRADS: Vice President Mike Pence will address the Naval Academy Class of 2017 at its graduation ceremony on May 26, breaking the recent trend of the commander-in-chief addressing the midshipmen in his first year as president, Meredith Newman of the Annapolis Capital reports.