Republican Murphy loses his running mate, as Maryland shifts its plans for Baltimore’s Red Line rail project. Plus, the state GOP meets to plot a crucial election year.
RED LINE: The state has revised its plan for Baltimore’s east-west Red Line rail link, adding two tracks to go through a planned West Baltimore tunnel. Michael Dresser reports for The Sun that the plan will be more expensive, but the state now expects more people to ride the train. Gerald Neily of Baltimore Brew argues that some of the numbers used to boost that estimate are questionable.
AMEDORI QUITS: Former Carroll County Del. Carmen Amedori dropped her bid for the lieutenant governor’s gig on Friday, as reported by the Red Maryland blog. Wayne Carter reports for the Carroll County Times that she says her running mate, Republican Brian Murphy, has no name recognition, and the party should unite behind Bob Ehrlich. She tells Carter that Ehrlich, who once appointed her to the parole board, didn’t push for her decision.
Adam Pagnucco in Maryland Politics Watch wonders why the mainstream media isn’t giving the bloggers at Red Maryland more credit for the story.
MANDEL: At 90, former Gov. Marvin Mandel says he thinks running Maryland’s government is harder today than it was when he was in office. But he thinks government has grown too big and taxes are too high. Len Lazarick’s interview runs today in MarylandReporter.com.
BOOZE: The Department of Natural Resources has agreed to meet with Western Maryland lawmakers about a recent ban on alcohol in state forests, which has rankled some area business owners. Kevin Spradlin has the story in the Cumberland Times-News.
WESTERN MARYLAND CENTER: State auditors say the Western Maryland Center, a state-run hospital in Hagerstown, did not tell the attorney general’s office about the theft of controlled dangerous substances by a former employee. Erich Wagner has the story for MarylandReporter.com.
CAMPAIGN: Ehrlich attacked Gov. Martin O’Malley at the state GOP convention Friday, Larry Carson reports for The Sun. He cited his opponent’s record on jobs, taxes and the economy. Here’s the Post’s story, which notes that Murphy didn’t get a speaking slot at the convention.
Aaron Davis analyzes Gov. Martin O’Malley’s campaign kickoff last week, noting that he’s taking an unconventional approach by staying relatively positive and talking generally about the accomplishments of his first term.
Ryan Justin Fox with The (Annapolis) Capital covers O’Malley’s appearance at a Democratic Party dinner last week, where he discusses his “Paul Revere approach” to holding Government House.
The Sun’s editorial page takes some lessons from Erhlich’s lecture at Towson University last week, and discusses how they might be applied on the campaign trail this year. The paper also runs an editorial wishing for a quick and clean resolution to the debate over whether Ehrlich can keep his radio show on WBAL until he formally files as a candidate.
Liam Farrell with The Capital takes a look at some of the other Republican challengers for state office. He notes that many of them face different challenges, but they’re all trying to put the focus on reducing the size and reach of government.
PODCAST: Maryland politics reporter Tom LoBianco joins MarylandReporter.com editors Andy Rosen and Len Lazarick to talk about how gubernatorial candidates Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich stack up on jobs. Who’s making the best points on employment early in the race?
RACE TRACKS: The AP reports that shareholders are challenging the recently-approved bankruptcy reorganization of the company that owns Pimlico and Laurel Park race tracks.
SPEED CAMERAS: The AP has the story of a woman who’s been successfully battling a $40 speed camera ticket for five months. Meanwhile, Erica Green of The Sun reports that Baltimore County is beginning speed camera enforcement around three schools.