State Roundup May 17, 2010

Maryland voters might not have much choice on transparency this November, and the Maryland media wraps up another Preakness stakes. Horse racing continues to struggle in the state as farmers and breeders await promised slots revenue.

TRANSPARENCY: Brian Witte with The Associated Press writes that voters might not have much of a choice when choosing between Gov. Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich on open government matters. O’Malley did not actively support reforms this year that died in committee, while Ehrlich had problems of his own including barring some state officials from talking to specific reporters.

PREAKNESS: Lookin at Lucky ended Super Saver’s hopes for a Triple Crown at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore Saturday. The event is usually a good spot for political appearances, but the coverage this year focused more on partying than partisanship. Gov. Martin O’Malley was there, but Bob Erhlich didn’t show up, Laura Vozzella writes for The Baltimore Sun.

Each year, the Preakness brings stories about the fate of the horse racing industry in Maryland. Penny Riordan of the Carroll County Times notes that another race has passed without any of Maryland’s new slot machines in operation. Horse farmers say they need the state aid slots will bring if they are going to keep their stables full. Ian Shapira with the Post has more about how more slots-friendly states are luring the horse industry from Maryland.

An editorial in the Cumberland Times-News talks about the job gains that West Virginia has made through its own slots program, and says Maryland is missing out.

Andy Rosen of visited the Preakness infield as a spectator, and found the latest iteration of the annual party had some potential.

CHESAPEAKE BAY: The Sun’s editorial page says Marylanders have heard big promises for years about cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, and would be justified in being skeptical of new promises from the Environmental Protection Agency. Still, this article says there’s reason to take heart in the latest developments.

CHILD SUPPORT: The state is pulling back on its exploration of privatized child support enforcement with the elimination of a Queen Anne’s County pilot program, and some believe Baltimore City should follow suit.

FBI MOVE: The FBI may have considered a move to Prince George’s County prior to the recession, but  has not budged from its Pennsylvania Ave. headquarters, according to documents cited by Ovetta Wiggins of The Washington Post.

NEW MEDIA: New media in campaigns is old hat, after a 2008 run that saw record-breaking amounts of money raised online and big news breaking on Twitter and Facebook. But this is Maryland’s fist statewide campaign since the explosion of social networking sites. Charles Robinson of Maryland Public Television joins editors Len Lazarick and Andy Rosen to talk about what to look for in your feed this year.

U.S. SENATE RACE: Meg Tully with the Frederick News Post talks with Stephens Dempsey, a Monrovia Republican who wants to take on Democrat Barbara Mikulski for U.S. Senate.

READING BILLS: U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil, an Eastern Shore Democrat, has proposed legislation that would require Congress to take at least 72 hours to review proposed legislation, according to Ben Pershing of the Post.

SPEED CAMERAS: Hayley Peterson with the Washington Examiner writes about a class action lawsuit over the way Montgomery County pays its speed camera operator. The plaintiffs believe the program violates state law.

DINNER WARS: Larry Carson with The Sun writes about the competing messages that O’Malley and Ehrlich sent out at party dinners in Howard County last week.

SUN AT 173: Happy birthday to The Sun, which is celebrating its 173rd birthday on Monday. Frederick Rasmussen has a story.

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