State Roundup, November 17, 2009

The company that owns Arundel Mills mall is putting pressure on the Anne Arundel County Council to approve a proposed slot machine parlor at the retail facility. An executive with Simon Property Group told Nicole Fuller with The Baltimore Sun that the company is feeling “confused, disappointed and frustrated.” Nick Sohr at The Daily Record has a similar piece, in which mall officials call other proposed Arundel slots locations “fantasy.”  TDR also has a video interview with Don Fry, who heads the Greater Baltimore Committee and the state slots commission.

John Wagner breaks down Simon’s media strategy, which included interviews with about 10 outlets, at The Washington Post’s “Maryland Politics” blog.

The (Annapolis) Capital has an editorial that says pressure is mounting on the council to do something with the proposal. It’s coming from the state commission vetting the casino, but the jobs expected to come with the facility could push a decision as well.

Gov. Martin O’Malley defended the state’s strategy for winning a share of competitive federal education money that could amount to between $150 million and $200 million. The state had been criticized over the weekend for not doing enough to win the “Race to the Top” money, as Laura Smitherman reports in The Sun.

Comptroller Peter Franchot, an advocate for financial literacy education in public schools, told Allegany County students on Monday that their economic education is leading the way for the rest of the state, Kristin Harty Barkley reports in the Cumberland Times-News.

Magna Entertainment has pushed back the bidding deadline to sell its Maryland race tracks out of bankruptcy by a week, to Dec. 11, Hannah Cho at The Sun writes.

Bryan Sears at Patuxent links on his “Strange Bedfellows” blog to a post by former Ehrlich staffer Joseph “Prince of Darkness” Steffen, who muses about the race for the state Senate seat likely to be vacated by Sen. Andy Harris.

Michael Dresser writes on The Sun’s “Getting There” blog that the Maryland Transportation Authority kept its high bond rating from Moody’s, but that raters are expecting a 48 percent toll increase.

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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