State Roundup, June 6, 2018

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VOTERS DISAGREE WITH, BUT STILL APPROVE OF HOGAN: Marylanders broadly approve of Gov. Larry Hogan even though the Republican is at odds with most voters on signature progressive proposals such as raising the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana and offering free state college tuition, according to a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll. Residents appear willing to overlook such policy differences with the governor, giving him positive marks for handling bread-and-butter issues including the economy, taxes and transportation. But Hogan’s ratings for handling education have sagged to their weakest point in his term. Robert McCartney, Emily Guskin and Rachel Chason write the story for the Post.

THE DEBATE: With time running out to campaign, the seven major Democrats in the wide-open contest for Maryland governor used their third televised debate to stress their differences more than ever before. Although the candidates emphasized the unique perspective and talents they would bring to the job, they also continued to agree on most of the issues, Erin Cox of the Sun writes. The article is topped by a 7 minute video of the debate.

FACT-CHECKING THE DEBATE: The Sun’s Michael Dresser writes that the Democratic candidates for governor who took part in a debate at the University of Baltimore Tuesday managed to steer clear of the urban myths peddled at previous forums, but some made statements that stretched the truth.

JEALOUS BRINGS ON STAR POWER: Democrat Ben Jealous plans to deploy celebrity supporters over the next few weeks to rally his voters to the polls, starting this week with comedian and childhood friend Dave Chappelle, his campaign announced Tuesday. Chappelle is scheduled to host a 2 p.m. rally for the Democratic candidate for governor at Morgan State University in Baltimore on Saturday, the second such event in two days, Erin Cox of the Sun reports.

HOGAN STARS AT NONPARTISAN AFFAIR: For Gov. Larry Hogan it must have been close to heaven: 700 cheering business leaders jammed into a ballroom Tuesday afternoon, just hours after a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll brought him reams of good political news. No one chanted “Four more years!” Hogan’s fourth annual “State of Business” address, sponsored by Maryland Business for Responsive Government, was officially a nonpartisan affair, writes Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters..

ON ANTHONY MUSE: In the third in a Washington Post series on candidates for Prince George’s County executive candidates, Rachel Chason writes that state Sen. C. Anthony Muse says he is tired of battling fellow Democrats who control Maryland’s General Assembly. That’s why he is making his second run for Prince George’s County executive — a position he says would allow him to most effectively “stand up for the people” of the Washington suburb.

EDWARDS RELEASES 1st TV AD: Prince George’s County executive candidate Donna F. Edwards released her first television advertisement Tuesday, with three weeks to go in the heated Democratic primary. The 30-second segment, which will air on cable stations, highlights Edwards’ policies and says the former congresswoman will create smaller class sizes and improve teacher pay by cutting bureaucracy, Rachel Chason of the Post writes.

4 BA CO EXEC HOPEFULS FACE OFF: Four of the top candidates for Baltimore County executive will face each other in a debate Wednesday. The three leading Democrats will appear: County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, state Sen. Jim Brochin and former state Del. Johnny Olszewski Jr. They’ll be joined by Republican Del. Pat McDonough. The other Republican in the race, insurance commissioner Al Redmer Jr., declined to participate next to McDonough, writes Pamela Wood in the Sun.

BROCHIN GETS HIGH MBRG SCORE: A leading Maryland business group came out with its annual scorecard of the General Assembly Tuesday, and as usual, the legislators who are outliers are more interesting than those who vote in line with their party. For example: state Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County) got a 75% score – highest for any Democrat – in the annual publication of Maryland Business for Responsive Government, Josh Kurtz writes in Maryland Matters.

GOP CANDIDATE SUES GOP PAC: A Republican candidate for the House of Delegates in Carroll County is suing a political action committee controlled by House Republicans for defamation. According to a complaint filed in Carroll County Circuit Court, candidate David Ellin claims the House Victory 2018 Slate, created by House GOP leaders to elect Republicans to the House of Delegates, defamed him with a mailer sent to GOP voters’ homes in late April. This is not the first time this PAC has gone after members of its own party,writes John Kurtz in Maryland Matters.

WITHOUT PLASTICS: In suggesting that government must get involved to stop the scourage of plastics in the waste stream, the editorial board for the Annapolis Capital opines that, in this area — and in much of the country — the immediate debate is over whether we can do without the ubiquitous polystyrene foam containers so often used for fast food and take-out or take-home items. The material is lightweight and convenient. And it kills 100,000 marine animals a year. Two bills failed in the General Assembly and now the matter is up for debate before both the Annapolis City Council and the Anne Arundel County Council.

TYDINGS’ AUTOBIO A MUST READ: Local author Blaine Taylor reviews former Sen. Joe Tydings long-awaited autobiography and writes, “If you read but one political autobiography in the next 10 years, make it this one, for sure! And don’t rush your reading, but instead take your time, savoring every single word, no matter how long it takes—it’ll be worth it, for it’s that good, really! I can’t say enough good things about this fine historical work.”