State Roundup, August 17, 2018

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JEALOUS OFFERS LEAD PLAN: Ben Jealous, the Democratic nominee for governor, offered a plan Thursday to fight lead poisoning in Maryland, saying Gov. Larry Hogan hasn’t done enough to alleviate a problem that has afflicted Baltimore and other parts of Maryland for generations, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports. The governor’s office quickly pushed back, accusing Jealous of following Hogan’s lead and failing to do his homework.

MORE GOOD NEWS FOR HOGAN: Sabato’s Crystal Ball, out of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, handicaps the gubernatorial races and has moved Maryland’s race from leans Republican to likely Republican, Kyle Kondik writes. Gov. Larry Hogan  has sky-high approval ratings and is right around the magic 50% vote share in polling needed to hold off his opponent, former NAACP President Ben Jealous (D).

DEL. GLENN COMPARES DEL. ANDERSON TO TILL: As a legislative ethics panel continues to investigate whether Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City) sexually abused women, and some organizations press the General Assembly for a swift resolution, the former president of the Legislative Black Caucus this week suggested the Anderson case has parallels to Emmett Till’s 1955 lynching and the five young African-American men improperly accused of raping a jogger in New York’s Central Park 29 years ago, writes Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters.

OVERINFLATED RESUME? A Maryland Republican state Senate candidate has not responded to repeated requests for comment over questions about his academic credentials. Ryan Miner of a Miner Detail blog writes that Rakeshkumar Natverbhai “Dwight” Patel, a Republican candidate running for state Senate in Maryland Senate District 20, appears to have misrepresented his academic credentials. Patel lists on his LinkedIn page that he earned a”BA in International Affairs” from George Washington University in 1993 and an “MA in Architecture” from The University of Maryland, College Park in 1996 and on two other bios. But a national clearing house to verify student degrees says he only attended those school with “no degree – enrollment only.”

RAINS PLAY HAVOC ON BAY: A surge of stormwater and pollution from Pennsylvania and New York was flowing into the Chesapeake Bay through the Conowingo Dam again Thursday, raising concerns that the relentlessly rainy summer could threaten oyster reproduction and throw off bay ecology for some time to come, Scott Dance of the Sun reports.

DELANEY’s PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Paul Schwartzman of the Post writes that at 7 a.m. on a recent weekday, Rep. John Delaney was on a sidewalk in Des Moines showing off his presidential campaign’s newest toy: a 36-foot-long motor coach, his name embossed in large letters next to renderings of the American flag, a barn, and a stalk of corn. In the past year, Delaney (D-Md.), the first Democrat to declare his candidacy, has traveled to Iowa 14 times and visited each of the state’s 99 counties, a milestone he hopes proves that his campaign is more than the equivalent of fantasy camp for a largely unknown tycoon-turned-politician. “It has given us a great opportunity to listen to Iowans,” the three-term congressman told reporters. But is anyone listening?

UM REGENTS EXPLORE FOOTBALL PROGRAM: Talia Richman and Sarah Meehan of the Sun report that the University System of Maryland’s governing board is holding a special meeting today to discuss actions taken by the state’s flagship university after the death of football player Jordan McNair. The Board of Regents is expected to meet in closed session to hear updates on the university’s response to the 19-year-old offensive lineman’s death and to discuss legal and personnel issues.

  • Mike Klingaman of the Sun reports that not a sweltering August practice goes by, says Ernest T. Jones, that a player doesn’t give the Morgan State football coach a sweaty handshake, or a Bear hug, in gratitude. For the ice baths, the water stations and the misting fans. For acknowledging their distress during workouts. And for putting the players’ welfare above winning. Both Jones, named the Bears’ interim coach in December, and Towson coach Rob Ambrose addressed safety issues in the wake of the death of Jordan McNair, the Maryland lineman and former McDonogh standout from Randallstown who succumbed to heatstroke two weeks after he had trouble finishing a conditioning test during a May practice.

TRUMP TO SEE APPEAL IN EMOLUMENTS CASE: President Trump will seek a court order permitting him to appeal a federal judge’s decision allowing Maryland and the District of Columbia to pursue their lawsuit alleging corruption by him in the handling of his hotel property in Washington, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record.

WILDLIFE REFUGE WON’T CLOSE: Following up on a Bay Journal story MarylandReporter.com ran July 26, Jeremy Cox of the Bay Journal is reporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hiring a new manager at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, sparing a natural area popular with hunters, anglers and birdwatchers from at least partial closure.

VENDOR WIPES RESUMES OF DSS LINKS: Mark Reutter of Baltimore Brew continues his reporting on the financial problems at the Baltimore Department of Social Services by reporting that Mona R. Patel has altered her online resume and deleted all references to her association with DSS and the Family League of Baltimore. Reutter had identified Patel as the “out-of-state vendor” who netted $1.3 million as part of alleged procurement irregularities involving the former director of DSS, Molly McGrath Tierney, and the Family League.

SUN SIGN COMES DOWN: Signage that long announced The Baltimore Sun’s presence near the city’s downtown core — reading “THE SUN” in massive letters visible from the Jones Falls Expressway — came down Thursday from atop the newspaper’s former headquarters on Calvert Street, bound for storage, writes Kevin Rector for the Sun.

FIRST LADY AT BULLYING SUMMIT: Darlene Superville of the Associated Press writes that Melania Trump plans to address a cyberbullying summit in Maryland next week. The White House says the first lady will deliver remarks “addressing the positive and negative effects of social media on youth.” She’ll also attend a panel discussion with representatives from various social media platforms participating in the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Cyberbullying Prevention Summit, which is being held Monday in Rockville.