State Roundup July 16, 2010

FRAUD: The federal Government Accountability Office found the state awarded federal energy assistance grants to fictitious applicants, Sean Sedam reports in the Gazette.

IMMIGRATION: Gov. Martin O’Malley tells Julie Bykowicz of The Baltimore Sun that Arizona’s controversial immigration law is problematic and expensive, while challenger Bob Ehrlich supports it. Red Maryland’s Mark Newgent posts his take on O’Malley’s announcement.

ANNE ARUNDEL SCHOOLS: Politics may be a factor in the delay in approving a new $23 million contract school to be built in Laurel, writes Nicole Fuller of The Baltimore Sun.

VOTERS: Democrats are hoping young and minority voters could be key to success in the fall, Alan Brody reports in The Gazette of Politics and Business.

KANE LAWSUIT: Analysts disagree on the impact the federal lawsuit against the Kane Co. might have on the election chances of ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich who put Mary Kane on his ticket, Kevin James Shay writes in the Gazette.

PURPLE LINE: Mary Kane, Bob Ehrlich’s pick for lieutenant governor, agrees with Ehrlich that the money is not there to build a new Purple Line for Metro in the D.C. suburbs.

SLOTS REFERENDUM: Anne Arundel County appeals ruling that Laurel slots proposal cannot be decided on at the ballot box because it’s a decision dealing with money, writes Nicole Fuller of The Baltimore Sun.

CONTROVERSIAL RADIO AD: In an interview with WTOP’s Mark Segraves, O’Malley says that linking Ehrlich’s support of drilling to BP oil spill was a “tactical mistake.” Story also picked up by Anne Linskey of The Baltimore Sun and Aaron C. Davis of the Washington Post. The AP version appears in the Carroll County Times.  ABC2 News has video.

STEELE: A new poll shows one in five Marylanders approves of former lieutenant governor Michael Steele’s performance as head of the GOP, writes The Baltimore Sun’s Matthew Hay Brown.

BIG NAMES: Ehrlich says it’s unlikely that national GOP stars, like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, will be campaigning for him here, writes The Baltimore Sun’s Annie Liskey.  However, Texas congressman and former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul will be visiting a fundraising dinner for Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in Walkersville, writes Meg Tully of the Frederick News-Post.

EHRLICH ENDORSEMENT: Greivis Vasquez, a University of Maryland star basketball paper recently drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies, endorses Ehrlich in a YouTube video, writes Baltimore Sun columnist Matt Vensel.

BUY LOCAL WEEK: O’Malley kicked off “Buy Local Week” with a cookout featuring all local cuisine at Government House. Much of the food came from Carroll County, reports Erica Kritt of the Carroll County Times.

PUBLIC RECORDS: Spurred by a report in Maryland Lawyer, the staff of The Daily Record went to several state courts seeking records and finds most things accessible, a staff editorial states.

FORT MEADE: U.S. Congressional Subcommittee approves $254 million in federal spending to upgrade Fort Meade, writes Daniel Sernovitz of the Baltimore Business Journal.

O’MALLEY, EHRLICH, OR “WHO?”: The Washington Business Journal features a poll on its homepage asking which Maryland gubernatorial candidate is better for business in the Washington area.

CIVIL UNIONS: O’Malley says he would be willing to sign a law legalizing civil unions, Hayley Peterson of the Washington Examiner reports.

CAMPAIGN PROTESTING: WBAL shows footage of Ehrlich and O’Malley supporters picketing each others’ headquarters over campaign claims.

COMPETITIVE RACES: Competition against incumbents is down in some areas of Maryland, Erin Cunningham reports for the Gazette.

POLLING: Blair Lee examines the intricacies of polling on the Maryland governor’s race in his Gazette column.

REGULATORS: Utility and hospital regulators have been handing down “bizarre decisions” that might impact the governor’s race, Barry Rascovar opines in the Gazette.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: Marylanders should “rattle” the establishment by approving the call for a state constitutional convention on the November ballot, Allan Lichtman writes in a Gazette op-ed, adding the liberal changes he would offer.

NOTEBOOK: The Gazette Reporters Notebook this week gets into “sissypants,” “the White Ho,” a debate debate with the Montgomery County Chamber, and candidate questionnaires.

UNIONS: Public employee unions are seeing membership grow in the recession, even as they find it harder to make gains on wages and benefits, Erin Cunningham reports in the Gazette.

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