State Roundup, July 20, 2017

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PURPLE LINE CLEARED FOR CONSTRUCTION: The U.S. Court of Appeals on Wednesday restored federal approval of the Purple Line project, clearing the way for construction to begin on the light-rail line, Andrew Metcalf reports for Bethesda Beat.

NEW POTOMAC BRIDGE: The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board on Wednesday approved looking into constructing a northern bridge across the Potomac River, despite opposition from Montgomery County and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration, Jason Tidd reports for the Washington Times.

HOGAN BLASTS MILLER ON ETHICS: Gov. Larry Hogan sharply criticized state Senate President Mike Miller on Wednesday for what he called unethical behavior amid a dispute over open-heart surgery programs and the nominee for state health secretary, reports Pamela Wood in the Sun.

CRABS & POLITICS: With the sun beating down on the hot pavement, Gov. Larry Hogan shook hand after hand Wednesday at one of the state’s premier political events: the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield, writes Pamela Wood for the Sun.

BUY LOCAL COOKOUT: Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan are holding a cookout to urge Maryland residents to buy locally produced food. The 10th annual Buy Local Cookout is scheduled for today at Government House, the governor’s residence in Annapolis, according to the AP.

HOGAN SENDS THOUGHTS, PRAYERS TO SEN. McCAIN: The Sun is reporting that Gov. Larry Hogan offered his “heartfelt thoughts and prayers” to Sen. John McCain and his family Wednesday night after news broke that McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain cancer.

LINING UP FOR DELEGATE RUN: With Del. Jeff Waldstreicher’s decision to seek Sen. Richard Madaleno’s seat, there will be at least one opening in the three-person House of Delegates contingent for District 18 in the June 2018 primary. Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee Vice Chair Emily Shetty said Wednesday via email that she will make another bid for a delegate seat. Already filed for the race is Chevy Chase resident Mila Johns, a national security analyst.

EDWARDS STUMPS: For someone who has not publicly announced her political plans, former congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) sure sounded like a candidate for Prince George’s county executive Wednesday morning as she spoke to a friendly crowd at a union hall in Landover, Arelis Hernandez reports for the Post.

VAN HOLLEN INTRODUCES DOUGLASS BILL: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) on Wednesday was to introduce a bill to establish a commission commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s nonvoting delegate, and Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) introduced the House version of the legislation last month.

TRUMP DISSES ROSENSTEIN, BALTIMORE: President Donald J. Trump told the New York Times that he is unhappy with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, telling the newspaper he was “irritated” to learn he was from Baltimore, Carrie Wells writes in the Sun. In a wide-ranging interview with the Times published online Wednesday, Trump said he would not have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing an investigation into his campaign’s ties with Russia. A special counsel appointed by Rosenstein is now examining the matter.

TRUMP SNUBS NAACP: The White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump has declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP’s annual convention next week in Baltimore, leading the nation’s oldest civil rights organization to question the president’s commitment to his African American constituents.