State Roundup May 14, 2010

How do the candidates compare on budget management? How about social networking? Foreclosures in the state rose again in April, plus the state considers changes in the wake of the Virginia lacrosse killing.

TWITTER: Maryland office seekers differ on how directly candidates should be involved in their social networking promotions, Nick DiMarco writes for Some aspiring lawmakers are limited by their financial shortcomings and are unable to hire social media gurus, while others say putting their own fingers to keys is the only way to ensure authenticity.

BUDGET RECORDS: Doug Tallman with The Gazette compares Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget record to challenger Bob Ehrlich’s. There’s a lot of spin, but one observer says you shouldn’t believe either guy’s numbers.

DGS AUDIT: The state didn’t do enough to make sure it was getting the best price available when it renewed contracts for gasoline, pharmaceuticals and other products, Erich Wagner reports for Here’s The Gazette’s take on the story.

ELECTION STRATEGY: Sean Sedam with The Gazette writes about Democratic and Republican election strategies. Dems are relying on the voter registration advantage they grew in 2008, while the GOP will try to convince voters that the Democratic stranglehold on Annapolis is damaging.

EHRLICH IN ANNE ARUNDEL: The (Annapolis) Capital’s Liam Farrell uses a former Gov. Bob Ehrlich campaign stop in Glen Burnie to take a look at Ehrlich’s relationship with Anne Arundel County, his “second home,” and his chances of gaining support there.

BALTIMORE COUNTY TELEVISION: Bryan P. Sears writes in his Strange Bedfellows blog that Baltimore County’s BCTV showed Gov. Martin O’Malley’s 2010 State of the state address instead of the most recent county planning board meeting.

DEL. VS. SEN.: Alan Brody and Sean Sedam with The Gazette examine at least five races where a delegate will challenge a Senator from the same district. Is it good for the local debate?

BACKGROUND CHECKS: Lawmakers are likely to consider new background checks for college students next year, in the wake of the Virginia killing of a Cockeysville women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love. Marcus Moore has the story for The Gazette.

TEA PARTIES: C. Benjamin Ford with The Gazette talks to Tea Party activists in Maryland about their goals.

NEW TITLES: O’Malley’s chief spokesman Rick Abbruzzese is leaving state government to work on the governor’s campaign, while progressive lobbyist Sean Dobson is moving to a new job in philanthropy. Alan Brody has both stories in The Gazette’s Reporters Notebook, as he beats out Sean Sedam on entries 4-3. No word on Doug Tallman’s whereabouts as he lays a goose egg.

FORECLOSURES: Foreclosures in the state rose 51 percent in April compared with the same month last year, but they only rose 2.9 percent compared with March, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.

MURPHY: Len Lazarick blogs at that Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy bought a puppy at a GOP dinner Tuesday.

RASCOVAR: Barry Rascovar writes in his Gazette column that there are high stakes for the public in a circuit court case scheduled in two weeks, which will determine whether voters can review Anne Arundel County zoning to allow slots at Arundel Mills mall.

BOYD: Laslo Boyd writes a column for The Gazette that says Ehrlich’s chances depend on his selection of a running mate, voter turnout and the pace of economic recovery. He also writes that Ehrlich has a big choice to make in how he positions himself on the political spectrum.

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