State Roundup April 21, 2010

Baltimore City changes tactics in its suit against Wells Fargo, and the attorney general’s office looks into Ehrlich’s radio show. And O’Malley and other area leaders want more oversight of the DC Metro system.

WELLS FARGO: The City of Baltimore is changing its tactics in the legal case against Wells Fargo over subprime home loans, focusing on how foreclosed homes caused damages to the city, Robbie Whelan writes for The Baltimore Sun. But Wells Fargo accused the city of suing them as a way to generate revenue to fill a budget gap.

PROPERTY TAX: Maryland’s state property tax rate is likely to hold steady this year at 11.2 cents per $100 of assessed value, the same rate that’s been in place since it was cut in 2006, Andy Rosen writes at

ROHRBAUGH: Deputy State Prosecutor Thomas “Mike” McDonough hopes to take the place of retiring State Prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh, Brendan Kearney reports for The Daily Record.

BRONROTT: In Part 3 of his series, editor Len Lazarick speaks with Del. William Bronrott about his decision to leave the legislature for a federal appointment.

HEALTH CARE: WYPR’s Georgia Samios takes a look at Maryland’s all-payer hospital system, where the state sets inpatient prices at all hospitals in the state. He looks at how President Obama’s health care reform plan could affect this system.

PREAKNESS: Magna Entertainment Crop., th owner of Pimlico Race Course, affirmed the state’s right to keep the Preakness in Maryland during a bankruptcy hearing seeking approval for the sale of Laurel Park and Pimlico to Magna’s parent company, MI Developments Inc, Liz Farmer writes in The Daily Record.

METRO: Gov. Martin O’Malley, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, and Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell agree that they all want more oversight of the Washington Metro system, Frederick  Kunkle reports for The Post. Michael Dresser writes for his “Getting There” blog for The Sun about what the three leaders plan to do.

COMPETITION: Democrat Joseph Bartenfelder said he will join Democrat Kevin Kamenetz and Republican former delegate Ken Holt as a contender for Baltimore County executive, Bryan Sears writes for Patuxent Publishing Co.

EHRLICH: The state’s attorney general’s office announced that it will review whether former Gov. Bob Ehrlich’s weekly radio show is considered an in kind campaign donation, Annie Linskey writes in The Sun. The Maryland Democratic Party accused Ehrlich of breaking campaign finance rules by continuing to host his program after announcing his gubernatorial candidacy, calling it an illegal “infomercial,” John Wagner writes for The Washington Post.

UNITY: If challenger Brian Murphy claims any hope of splitting Republican support with former Gov. Bob Ehrlich in this year’s gubernatorial primary, he’ll have to get his backing from outside of the General Assembly, Andy Rosen reports for

TAX INCREASES: Mark Newgent at Red Maryland writes about five lawmakers who he believes will argue they voted against 2007 special session tax increases. Newgent argues that they all supported the measures by voting to end a GOP filibuster.

MARIJUANA: Baltimore County’s former drug czar says he doesn’t think medical marijuana is a good idea for Maryland, according to Bryan Sears with Patuxent. “This is about baby boomers who want to get high and not get caught,” Mike Gimbel tells Sears.

INTERLOCK: House Speaker Michael Busch said the failure of a bill that would require some first-time drunk driving offenders to install ignition-locking devices in their vehicles was one of his biggest regrets this legislative session, the Associated Press reports.

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