State Roundup, October 14, 2009

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Even though they’ve been urged by House Speaker Michael Busch to participate in the state’s worker furlough program, 60 members of the House of Delegates have yet to voluntarily give back any pay, the Post blog reports, listing all the names.

Coverage continues of Magna’s efforts to unload its Maryland racetracks out of bankruptcy. The Washington Examiner reports that Baltimore is objecting to the company’s auction plan because it gives Magna “unlimited discretion” to decide who can bid. The company said earlier this week that it wants a buyer to keep the Preakness Stakes in Maryland, drawing praise from Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The Daily Record follows up with Carl Verstandig, who wants to bid on the Maryland tracks, and he’s pledging to spend $20 million on improvements, according to Liz Farmer. She writes that he wants to make Pimlico the “Disney” of racing.

Department of Juvenile Services secretary Don Devore gets another Annapolis grilling , the Sun’s Julie Bykowicz reports. He defends his treatment programs, but critics say more needs to be done.

The Sun opinionators scoop tomorrow’s press conference organized by Common Cause and several senators releasing a new poll showing support for public financing of General Assembly races.

The Sun editorial page goes after the city NAACP for the “absurd imbroglio” it caused with a resolution on a Maryland constitutional provision that doesn’t exist. It was a hot topic on Baltimore talk radio yesterday.

The Sun follows WBAL on reporting that Baltimore County has a proposal in hand for speed cameras in 15 school zones.

O’Malley and the Redskins team up on a public service ad to encourage enrollment in Medicaid, John Wagner on the Post Blog reports.  Martin Watcher, the anonymous blogger at, takes a slap at the gov over the ads encouraging more spending on health care when the state needs to cut the budget.

Forbes Magazine says the state is doing better on its business reputation, according to Ed Waters Jr. at the Frederick News-Post. Maryland ranked 12th in the country, moving up two spots. It ranked 42nd for the cost of doing business (gulp), but seventh for growth prospects (yay).

Also in Frederick, O’Malley is backing Democrat Jason Judd for mayor over Republican Randy McClement, according to the Gazette. A huge surprise — O’Malley backs a Dem over a Republican.

Former delegate Herb McMillan, now head of the Maryland Taxpayers Association, goes after O’Malley on spending in the Capital , basically rehashing some old numbers to hammer the gov.

Seedlings from the Wye Oak go on sale again , reports Pamela Wood in the Capital.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

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