State Roundup June 21, 2010

Ehrlich continues to fight O’Malley’s “big oil” charges and blasts organization he supported as governor; the parties plot strategy on early voting; Jessamy thinks the gov has someone ready to challenge her. Plus Del. Elmore bows out; state housing agency moving; federal stimulus dollars continue to feed road projects.

EHRLICH: The ex-gov had more comments about the new O’Malley radio ad that calls him a lobbyist for big oil, writes John Wagner in the Post blog. And he responded to questions on Facebook Friday, the Sun blog reports.

CASA DE MARYLAND: Is he for them or is he against them? That’s what Sun columnist Dan Rodricks asks as he writes about Ehrlich’s spoken words blasting — in the Montgomery Sentinel — the organization that provides support services to thousands of poor Latino immigrants who settle in Maryland vs. Ehrlich’s support for the organization when he was governor. Read the whole Q&A with Ehrlich and Paige Hill of the Sentinel, where immigration and Casa De Maryland were discussed.

EARLY VOTING: Reps and Dems are plotting to take advantage of the state’s new early-voting rules, which are expected to stretch the traditional Election Day get-out-the-vote frenzy to a week. The rules will give voters six extra days to cast their ballots, Annie Linskey reports in the Sun.

ROAD STIMULUS: Michael Dresser in the Baltimore Sun reports that federal stimulus dollars will continue to fund Maryland road projects until 2012.

HEALTH CARE: The state is seeking input from primary care physician practices to highlight a pilot program  — the Patient Centered Medical Home — meant to boost the quality of health care and lower costs, reports Danielle Ulman in the Daily Record.

CARROLL DELEGATION: Adam Bednar of the Carroll County Times writes that that county’s General Assembly delegation will have at least two new members — one in both the Senate and the House of Delegates next year since Republican Sen. Larry Haines and Del. Tanya Shewell aren’t seeking reelection.

LEGGETT ENDORSES: Ike Leggett endorsed yet another candidate in a contested Democratic primary, Mark Winston for delegate in district 16, Mark Korman in Maryland Politics Watch. The Washington Post editorial page praises Leggett’s handling of his job.

TRANSIT CHIEF: Maryland Transit Administration chief Ralign Wells faced a tough audience last week, Fern Shen reports in Baltimore Brew.

KAMENETZ GAFFE: In his blog, Bryan Sears reports on a speech by Baltimore County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, a candidate for county executive, in which he claims to have gone to a public high school, rather than the elite prep school he actually attended. He admitted the mistake that evening.

JESSAMY CHALLENGE: Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy said she thinks Gov. O’Malley is seeking a candidate to run against her, Matthew Hay Brown reports in the Sun blog, but an O’Malley aide denies it.

VINNY DeMARCO: A new book attempts to analyze the successive victories of Vinny DeMarco, a long-time health-care lobbyist in the state of Maryland. Len Lazarick at takes a look at the book, which offers lessons in working through the legislative process, and recall DeMarco’s relationships with the reporters.

SPEAKERS PROTEST: A handful of liberal activists protested the corporate funding of an Annapolis conference for legislative leaders from around the country, the Sun blog reported.

WATER AUTHORITY: A Baltimore County Council member is proposing that a regional authority manage the water system owned by Baltimore City but serving several counties, Mary Gail Hare reports in the Sun.

AGENCY MOVING: The Department of Housing and Community Development will be moving to a Prince George’s County Metro stop from Crownsville, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.  It’s the first state cabinet department to locate in Prince George’s, Ovetta Wiggins writes in the Post.

PAGE ELMORE: Del. Page Elmore won’t seek re-election due to health issues, Deborah Gates and Liz Holland report in the Salisbury Daily Times.

DIFFERENT BP: A small environmental consulting firm in St. Michaels has nothing to do with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But you wouldn’t know that from the company’s name. It’s called BP Environmental Inc. and is getting a lot of grief from those who don’t know better, reports the Sun.

PORT MAKEOVER: The Port of Baltimore is planning for a bit of a makeover as it seeks to accommodate a booming cruise business, writes Nicholas Sohr in the Daily Record.

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