State Roundup, September 19, 2018

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HOGAN MAINTAINS WIDE LEAD, POLL FINDS: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan maintains a commanding 22 point lead — 54% to 32% — over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous in a statewide Goucher College poll taken last week. The sample size was small — only 472 likely voters — but it shows extraordinary dominance by Hogan in one of the most Democratic states in the union, with only 9% of voters undecided in the race. The poll’s margin of error is 4.5%, reports Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.

OBAMACARE VS MEDICARE FOR ALL: A new poll finds that slightly more than half of Maryland residents have a favorable view of a single-payer health-care plan, which is a cornerstone of the campaign platform of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous, Rachel Chason and Scott Clement of the Post report. The Goucher College survey also found that more Marylanders would prefer to improve the way the federal Affordable Care Act works in the state than adopt the Medicare-for-All health-care system being pushed by Jealous and other progressives nationwide.

JEALOUS UN-NIXES REPORTER: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous, in a late-night turnaround, has backed off his veto of a western Maryland newspaper’s statehouse reporter as a panelist for his sole debate with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports. Jealous dropped his strike of Tamela Baker of The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown from the panel Tuesday night, just hours after The Baltimore Sun said it was reconsidering its participation in the questioning as a result of the veto.

LAZARICK ON JEALOUS SLAM: What does Len Lazarick think about his MarylandReporter.com being labeled “a right-wing blog that’s funded by right-wing donors that like to scare people” by Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ben Jealous? His commentary details the situation.

JUDGE PUTS KIBOSH ON BREAD & ROSES INJUNCTION: Cameron Dodd of the Frederick News-Post reports that a federal judge has likely put an end to a Maryland man’s plan to run against U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin as a candidate with a new state socialist political party. Jerome Segal’s request for a preliminary injunction in his case against the State Board of Elections was denied Tuesday. Segal, who lost the Democratic primary in June, had asked the court to compel the board to reconsider his petition for candidacy representing the newly founded Bread and Roses Party.

CONSERVATION VOTERS RELEASES SCORECARD: By the Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ own estimate, the 2018 General Assembly session “was a complicated year for the environment.” Which undoubtedly made evaluating the legislature’s 188 members a difficult task for the green group this year. Nevertheless, the LCV last week released its annual legislative scorecard – “just in time” for the election, the organization said.

WOLF ADS AIRING: In a political notes column, Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters kicks off by writing about political ads being aired by Craig Wolf, the Republican who is hoping to unseat Attorney General Brian Frosh. He also mentions a reform group backing Democratic governor-hopeful Ben Jealous, Ellen Sauerbrey’s backing of Al Redmer for Baltimore County exec and the court defeat of the Bread and Roses Party.

FLOREEN FUNDING CHALLENGED: A Gaithersburg resident has filed a complaint with the state elections board, alleging a candidate for Montgomery County executive violated campaign finance laws when her campaign committee accepted multiple corporate donations from entities sharing the same addresses, Jennifer Barrios of the Post reports. In the complaint, Kenneth Myers alleged Nancy Floreen, who is making an independent bid for the county’s top office, “has accepted multiple contributions from entities that are likely affiliated as a matter of law, greatly exceeding the permissible contribution limits.”

SUING PROSECUTORS CALLED A TOUGH CHALLENGE: Jessica Anderson of the Sun reports that some legal experts are saying that the two women suing Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and two prosecutors over their alleged failure to investigate sexual assault cases face an uphill battle to overcome special immunity given to prosecutors. “When it comes to suing a prosecutor, there’s a special challenge,” said David Jaros, a University of Baltimore School of Law professor. “They have absolute immunity.”

ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST PG COUNCILMAN: The Prince George’s County Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint against County Councilman Obie Patterson, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes. According to the complaint, a member of Patterson’s county government staff used a government email address and listserv to distribute an invitation to a reception featuring Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous (D).