State Roundup, July 31, 2017

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DELANEY RUNS FOR PRESIDENT: In announcing his run for the Democratic nomination for president, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, writes that the American people are far greater than the sum of our political parties. It is time for us to rise above our broken politics and renew the spirit that enabled us to achieve the seemingly impossible.

CONFLICT IN RX POT REVIEWS: Fenit Nirappil and Aaron Gregg report that record obtained by the Post reveal that several of the independent experts hired to review applications to open medical marijuana businesses in Maryland had ties to companies whose materials they reviewed.

RIGHT TO INTERVENE: Maryland’s top court has granted eight medical marijuana growers the right to intervene in a lawsuit that could delay the state’s fledgling program, writes Bryan Sears of the Daily Record. The Court of Appeals, one day after a rare July hearing, allowed the growers to argue against a requested temporary restraining order that could delay the issuing of licenses and potentially result in the revocation of the only grower license issued so far.

TRANSGENDER PROTECTIONS: The top legal officers in 18 states – including Maryland and the District of Columbia – have asked Congress to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination against transgender service members, the AP is reporting..

SMALLER BAY ‘DEAD ZONE:’ Following what could have been bad news that broke in June for the Chesapeake Bay’s low-oxygen zone, scientists have found that the “dead zone” is “much better than average for early June,” according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Josh Bollinger of the Easton Star Democrat writes that dead zones are hypoxic areas of the Bay with little to no oxygen, which stresses fish and other Bay life, like oyster and crabs, which need oxygen to support life.

ANOTHER FEDERAL TARGET? Former state Del. Michael Vaughn (D), indicted earlier this year in the unfolding Prince George’s County liquor board scandal, has suggested in a recent court filing that another Prince George’s lawmaker, state Sen. Douglas Peters (D), is also a target of federal investigators, writes Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters.

DEL. HAYES EYES SENATE RUN: Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters reports that Del. Antonio Hayes (D), part of a generation of rising Baltimore city leaders, was to announce on Saturday that he is running for the state Senate seat now held by Sen. Barbara Robinson (D).

KIPKE RECOUNTS DOG ATTACK: House Minority leader Nic Kipke recounts to Washington Post report Josh Hicks the vicious dog attack that he and his pet dog were victims of and how they have recovered.

MAVERICKS: Political pundit Barry Rascovar, writing in Maryland Reporter, offers two recent incidents where Republicans stood up against the tide of factionalism in the Obamacare repeal debate and called for what is best for the country over party: Sen. John McCain and Gov. Larry Hogan.

ALSOBROOKS TO RUN FOR PG EXEC: Arelis R. Hernández of the Post reports that the top prosecutor in Prince George’s County, Angela Alsobrooks, is running to become the next chief executive in a primary race that will pit her against another longtime Democratic leader. Alsobrooks, 46, will compete in next year’s primary for the county executive nomination against state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s), who launched his campaign last month.

‘BANJO TROLL’ LEAVES MD. DEMS: Maryland Republicans won’t have the man they called “Banjo Troll” to kick around any more. Bryan Lesswing was hired by the Maryland Democratic Party in February as a strategist focused on “holding Gov. Larry Hogan accountable.” Four months later, Lesswing confirms he has left the party to take a position working with campaigns through Emily’s List, a political action committee that focuses on helping elect pro-choice, female Democratic candidates, Bryan Sears reports in the Daily Record.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IN FREDERICK: A team of reporters at the Frederick News-Post explores representative democracy in Frederick County to see how the race, sex and ethnicity of its representatives line up against the race, sex and ethnicity of the population.

2,200 EMPTY ACRES: More than a decade after the business that occupied it for 40 years closed, county and state economic development officials continue to think about what could be made of the 2,200- acre Eastalco property near Buckeystown. It the largest contiguous piece of industrial land in Maryland, reports Ryan Marshall for the Frederick News-Post.

MO CO’s CROWDED AT-LARGE COUNCIL RACE: Andrew Metcalf of Bethesda Beat reports that it’s open season in Montgomery County politics and the at-large County Council race is already crowded. A little less than a year from the June 26 primary, at least 20 candidates have either filed to run or told Bethesda Beat they are considering running.

NO HELP FOR BALTIMORE: In an op-ed for the Post, community activist Michael Snidal writes that after Freddie Gray’s death and the ensuing riots, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) spent long days and countless hours meeting with community, religious and government officials in West Baltimore. The governor promised it was the “beginning of a dialogue” and claimed his administration would “address the underlying causes” fueling the unrest. Unfortunately, armored vehicles and continued disinvestment are all the governor has offered the most distressed and segregated neighborhoods in his state. [Snidal omits agreements on school aid, police aid, P-Tech technology training, and other developments.]

  • ksteve

    Delegate Antonio Hayes of Baltimore City was the prime sponsor in 2016 of the annual attempt to provide state aid to primarily religious non-public schools. The bill, generally referred to as BOOST, led to a breakthrough that year when the House leadership capitulated to Hogan and Senate president Miller and provided even more money in the budget bill for such schools than the millions that they were already getting. Religious schools are constitutionally protected by the First Amendment from government regulation and can discriminate at will in the selection of their students and staff besides being able to indoctrinate the young in whatever they choose. Our public schools are the loser when the state diverts funds to religious and other private schools. I believe Delegate Hayes deserves to be defeated rather than promoted.

  • higgy01

    Delaney is on an ego trip just like O’Malley was. I trust the money he wastes is his own and not some other gullible dim.