State Roundup July 19, 2010

WEEKEND CAMPAIGNING: Ehrlich, O’Malley spend weekend out and about on the campaign trail, the Associated Press reports in The Carroll County Times.  Don Aines from the Hagerstown Herald Mail reports on Ehrlich’s appearance at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair.

PARTISAN POLLS: The race for governor has been dominated so far by partisan polls, writes Julie Bykowicz of The Baltimore Sun.

KANE BACKGROUND: Gus Sentementes of the Sun takes a close look at Republican lieutenant governor candidate Mary Kane — and the federal lawsuit filed against her husband. This is the third major article on the issue, following Friday’s story in the Gazette and the July 4 article by John Wagner in the Washington Post.

TOP SECRET: The Washington Post begins a mammoth multi-part series on the intelligence work that funnels billions into Maryland — with no public scrutiny due to the classified nature of the spending. The paper posts multiple resources on the web.

WELFARE: Federal stimulus dollars help Maryland reduce its welfare backlog, writes Brent Jones of the Sun.

MARC: Hot weather strains service, but that’s no excuse for bad behavior from riders, writes the Sun’s Michael Dresser.

FEDERALLY FUNDED STUDY: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger will announce federal funds for a new University of Maryland center to study Chesapeake Bay microorganisms, according to an Associated Press article in the Sun.

JOHNSON SUED: A homeowners’ association in Kettering sued Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife for more than $1,500 in outstanding payments, writes The Washington Post’s Jonathan Mummolo.

RESIDENCY QUESTIONED: Anne Arundel County Democrats question the residency of state’s attorney hopeful Eric Grannon, who owns a second home in Washington, D.C., writes Scott Daugherty in The Capital.

1ST DISTRICT REMATCH: Liam Farrell at the Capital offers an update on Rep. Frank Kratovil’s tough congressional re-election fight against state Sen. Andy Harris.

FUNDRAISING STATS: In all federal races — except for the 1st Congressional District — Democratic incumbents have out-raised Republicans by far, Liam Farrell writes in The Capital.

ELECTION CHANGES: The Frederick News Post’s Bill Pritchard’s column looks at changes to rules for residency and political affiliation from the Frederick County Board of Elections.

HAGERSTOWN CANDIDATES: The Herald-Mail profiles Orphans’ Court judge candidate Robert Adair, and delegate candidate Michael Hough.

FREELAND RETIRING: Maryland Transportation Authority Executive Secretary Ronald Freeland announced he is retiring next month, writes Daniel J. Sernovitz of the Baltimore Business Journal. The Baltimore Sun’s Michael Dresser also reports the story.

FARM GRANTS: The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Maryland more than $120,000 in agricultural grants, reports Joanna Sullivan of the Baltimore Business Journal.

CASA GETS POLITICAL: Publicly funded immigration advocacy group Casa de Maryland establishes a political arm to back Hispanic candidates, writes The Washington Examiner’s Brian Hughes.

MONTGOMERY CO. SCHOOLS: As he begins the last year of his third four-year term, Montgomery County Superintendent Jerry Weast has several detractors, reports Leah Fabel of The Washington Examiner.

BALTIMORE COUNTY: Four-term councilman and county executive candidate Kevin Kamenetz is thinking about making county schools run more efficiently, reports Patuxent Publishing’s Bryan Sears.

POTOMAC CENTER AUDIT: An audit states that the Potomac Center in Hagerstown, run by the Department of Mental Health and Human Hygiene, must return $80,000 it improperly kept to the state, reports the Sun’s Matthew Brown.

MIKULSKI CAMPAIGN: U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski has spent nearly $250,000 on consultants in the second quarter of 2010, reports the Sun’s Paul West.

EHRLICH SIGNS: Most Baltimore County election sign complaints are about Ehrlich signs, reports the Sun’s Arthur Hirsch.

AAA BOND RATING: State Treasurer Nancy Kopp talks about Maryland retaining its AAA bond rating in the Conduit Street blog. The Sun’s Annie Linskey also writes about the rating.

TEACHER EVALUATIONS: The state tries to figure out how to use test scores to evaluate teachers, reports Liz Bowie of the Sun.

ROCKY GAP SLOTS ROUND 2: The state, seeking for a second time to award a gaming license in Western Maryland, hopes to entice casino developers to take another item off its plate — the struggling Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort, writes Nicholas Sohr of the Daily Record.

VOTER INTIMIDATION: Carroll County Times columnist Rob Spring urges all to stand up against all voter intimidation.

FREDERICK COMMISSIONERS: Frederick County Commissioner candidate Elaine Kessinger will go to great lengths to promote the City of Frederick. And Walkersville Burgess Ralph Whitmore wants to take his leadership to the next step by becoming a Frederick County commissioner. Meg Tully reports both stories for the Frederick News-Post.

SUPER MAJORITY: Republican lawmakers and a group of citizens are trying to get Howard County voters to approve a change in the county charter that would require a “super majority” of members of the County Council to approve any future tax hike, Robert Lang reports for WBAL-Radio.

UNSAFE WATER: Kate Yanchulis writes in that Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a picturesque setting, but visitors should think twice before trailing an arm along the water’s edge: A water sample revealed that the bacteria level was almost five times the safe limit for human contact.

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