State Roundup, June 14, 2018

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ERVIN BACKS BAKER, BLASTS JEALOUS: Besday in Langley Park where she announced her support for Rushern L. Baker and criticized the character of his leading rival, Ben Jealous. She expressed disdain for Jealous, whom she blames for getting her fired from a job with a progressive advocacy group when she joined the Kamenetz ticket, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports.

  • Bryan Sears of the Daily Record quotes Ervin as saying, “Jealous is showing voters that he is running a campaign exactly the way he would govern the state and that is a tremendous problem for Marylanders … He likes to portray himself as the progressive champion for keeping money out of politics however we do now know that huge influxes of cash are coming into the state of Maryland on his behalf … We just want to see where that money is coming from and who is supporting it.” A video tops the story.

CAMPAIGNS GET AGGRESSIVE: As early voting kicks off today across Maryland, gubernatorial candidate Rushern L. Baker gathered Wednesday with volunteers in his campaign’s new Baltimore office to mobilize their efforts, writes Luke Broadwater for the Sun. Meanwhile, Democratic rival Ben Jealous visited a Baltimore hair salon to unveil proposals to boost the state’s economy. State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. announced a $5 billion school construction plan. Krish Vignarajah planned to announce a $350 million fund for infrastructure projects.

JEALOUS PROPOSES ECONOMY BOOST: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous unveiled proposals Wednesday that he said would boost the state’s economy and expand job opportunities for Marylanders, reports Pamela Wood in the Sun. He proposed prohibiting companies from asking about applicants’ criminal histories and increasing the minimum wage. He also proposed improving public transit to shorten workers’ commutes, expanding high-speed internet and offering government jobs to people who can’t find private employment.

MADALENO TARGETS SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION: Reis Thebault of the Post writes that state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to provide Maryland’s largest school districts with as much as $5 billion in construction funding, becoming the first gubernatorial candidate to address that issue in such detail. The plan would use revenue from the state lottery to supplement money already earmarked for school renovation and construction.

JEALOUS LURES OUTSIDE DONORS: Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous is getting a large infusion of cash from outside groups just as early voting begins in the June 26 Democratic primary, including hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors connected to a social advocacy group that helped Stacey Abrams win the Democratic nomination in Georgia, Ovetta Wiggins and Arelis Hernandez of the Post report.

EARLY VOTING CENTERS: Maryland Matters offers up the list of early voting centers by jurisdiction.

HOW TO HONOR DEL. SOPHOCLEUS: The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital is urging voters not to “honor” the late Del. Ted Sophocleus by voting for him. Sophocleus, a fixture in the county legislative delegation for two decades and in county politics for longer than that, richly deserves all the tributes that have been coming in since his death on Friday. But, at the risk of being thought presumptuous or hard-hearted, we’ll say that this is one tribute that we don’t think he would have wanted. A posthumous win by Sophocleus would throw the selection of the third Democratic candidate to the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee. The replacement wouldn’t have to be one of the other candidates.

THE LIBERALS OF DISTRICT 20: District 20—containing Takoma Park as well as downtown Silver Spring and adjacent residential neighborhoods—has long been regarded as the most liberal jurisdiction in the state’s most liberal county. That reputation was underscored Tuesday night, as seven Democratic contenders for the district’s three seats in the Maryland House of Delegates met in a forum, Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat reports.

ENDORSEMENTS IN MO CO GENERAL ASSEMBLY RACES: Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat compiles endorsements on a district-by-district basis, for the Democratic primary for Montgomery County’s seats in the General Assembly as well as the U.S. Congress. Included are the choices of organizations that are well-known locally and have established a presence in recent elections—thanks to membership, money or both.

WHO’s WHO IN MO CO EXEC RACE: With the debates winding down and early voting upon us, the Democratic race for Montgomery County executive has hit the home stretch. It’s a six-candidate affair with no real clunkers. All the candidates have either deep pockets or have had prior electoral success at the municipal, county or state level. So, who has a real shot at winning — and becoming the presumptive successor to retiring three-term County Executive Ike Leggett (D) — on June 26? Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters sizes up the field.

WILL LEGGETT ENDORSE? Although Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett (D) has endorsed candidates for everything from county council to clerk of the circuit court to Prince George’s county executive, he has yet to throw his support behind one of the six Democrats seeking to replace him in the top elected post in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction. And in a crowded, heavily contested race, what Ike thinks could matter, writes Jennifer Barrios for the Post.

SUN BACKS OLSZWESKI: In endorsing former Del. John A. Olszweski Jr. for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County executive, the Baltimore Sun writes that the late County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, first elected in the good old “b’hoys” days in Towson, recognized by the end of his career that sticking with the easy politics of the past was a recipe for a poorer future. Democrats need to pick another candidate this year who understands the new challenges Baltimore County faces and has the political courage to face them. Olszweski is the right candidate for Baltimore County’s future.

SUN BACKS REDMER: In endorsing Al Redmer for the Republican nomination for Baltimore County executive, the editorial board for the Sun writes that Maryland voters face a lot of tough choices in this month’s elections. The Republican primary for Baltimore County executive is not one of them. Redmer is by far the best choice. He is well prepared for the role of leading the region’s largest local government. He has substantial experience in both the public and private sectors. Redmer represents Baltimore County’s fiscally conservative traditions and offers experience in working across the political aisle.

KAMENETZ’s WIDOW SAYS POLITICS INTRUDED ON MOURNING: The widow of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz says her family was caused “additional emotional pain” by a political consultant who she says sought her support for a county executive candidate as the family was mourning his death, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports. In a statement released to the Sun, Jill Kamenetz said political consultant David Heller came to her home while the family was sitting shiva and sought her support for state Sen. Jim Brochin, a Democrat running for county executive.

GLOVES OFF IN CITY STATE’s ATTY RACE: The three candidates for Baltimore state’s attorney began their second debate Wednesday with calm, measured comments on their humble upbringings, community roots and plans for a safer city. But, writes Tim Prudente for the Sun, it didn’t take long for the three Democrats to pivot from civility to hostility during their hourlong debate on Larry Young’s morning radio show.

MOSBY RELEASES ‘FIGHTER’ AD: A day before early voting in the Democratic primary election is set to begin, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby on Wednesday released her first television ad, called “Fighter.” Tim Prudente of the Sun writes that longtime Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings narrates the 30-second ad. He touts Mosby’s 92% felony conviction rate and says she has convicted every Public Enemy No. 1. The ad shows Mosby walking down the steps of the Baltimore War Memorial building three years ago to announce charges against six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

PART 3: SECRET INTERNAL AFFAIRS COMPLAINTS: In Part 3 of a Capital News Service series on plea deals and police corruption running in MarylandReporter, we discover that internal affairs complaints against Baltimore City police officers had piled up in secret. Under Maryland law, they are not public records. Defense attorneys had to get a court order to access them. “Limited access to officers’ internal affairs files inhibits defense attorneys from advising their clients on whether or not they should take a plea deal or go to trial,” said Debbie Katz Levi, director of special litigation in the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.

HOWARD REGISTER OF WILLS HAS DUI RECORD: The incumbent Howard County Register of Wills, who is running for re-election this year, was convicted on a drunk driving charge during his current term in office. Byron Macfarlane, a Democrat, expressed deep regret in a Montgomery County courthouse in September 2015 as he pled guilty after his second DUI arrest, but was not identified as the Register of Wills for Howard County, Glynis Kazanjian of MarylandReporter reports. His attorney, Terrence McAndrews, who is now challenging Macfarlane in the Register of Wills Democratic primary election, simply told Judge Josef B. Brown the defendant was a courthouse employee.

HOUSE WON’T VOTE ON CUMMINGS BILL: The House of Representatives, considering a legislative package to combat the opioid epidemic, won’t vote on the bill that Baltimore’s health commissioner says is “what we on the frontlines desperately need.” Jeff Barker of the Sun reports that the bill would provide $100 billion over 10 years for services to combat substance use disorders. It is sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat.