State Roundup, July 26, 2010

CAMPAIGNS AND SLOTS: The Baltimore Sun’s Annie Linskey and Nicole Fuller analyze how Gov. Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich will spin the upcoming Arundel Mills slots referendum in their campaigns.  John Wagner of the Washington Post also weighs in on the issue.  WBFF has video here. WBAL features the Associated Press story on the issue.  The Annapolis Capital’s Erin Cox looks at how it’s impacting Anne Arundel County races. Anne Arundel County Councilman Jamie Benoit asks all county candidates not to accept campaign contributions from those with a vested interest in the issue, blogs Capital Punishment’s Paul Foer. And the Capital editorial board says that historians will look back at Maryland’s tortured attempt to reinstate slots pretty much like they looked at its attempt to dismantle it: neither was pretty.

MORE ON GAMBLING: Sun reporter Hanah Cho examines the expansion of gambling enterprises just across the state line.  The Daily Record’s Liz Farmer, who wrote about the issue earlier, learns that casinos don’t help the businesses nearby.

EHRLICH CAMPAIGN: Bob Ehrlich is taking Marylanders’ frustrations and turning them into campaign points, reports the Post’s John Wagner.  WBFF reports that Ehrlich takes issue with an O’Malley ad about tax credits.

NOTHING NEW: In an editorial, the Carroll County Times shares its disappointment that the upcoming elections are a rehash of years past.

HOT CAMPAIGNING: Several campaigners brave record temperatures to wave at passing motorists, reports the Herald-Mail’s Andrew Schotz. WTOP’s Kate Ryan looks at those who went knocking on doors in the stifling heat.

HUMAN RESOURCES: The Sun’s Brent Jones reports that new DHR director Brian Wilbon has inherited a court judgment against the department and a mandate to provide Marylanders food stamps and other medical benefits in a timely manner.

MEDICAID RECOVERY: The state’s recovery of a record $26.5 million in wrongfully spent Medicaid funds can be attributed to teamwork across several state agencies and close examination of computer records and provider bills, Megan Poinski reports for  Prosecutions by the Attorney General recovered more than half the funds.

“BUNK” ATHEY: Elyzabeth Marcussen of the Capital offers a profile of the late Tyras “Bunk” Athey, the former Maryland Secretary of State and state delegate who died last week at 83.

NO PAY-GO: Editorial writers for the Frederick News-Post say that Frederick County’s share of the national debt amounts to $42,680 per county resident, and asks how can we extend jobless benefits without paying for them?

CROWDED SENATE RACE: It’s inexpensive and easy to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland, giving incumbent Sen. Barbara Mikulski a lot of company on the ballot, reports Ben Pershing of The Post.

SUBDISTRICT 2A & B: Republican Neil Parrott formed the Hagerstown TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party to influence government from the outside. Now Parrott wants to be a state delegate representing Subdistrict 2B, Andrew Schotz reports for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. Schotz also interviews incumbent Del. Andrew Serafini of Subdistrict 2A.

DISTRICT 4A: Frederick County Democrats have placed retired teacher Bonita Riffle Currey on the ballot to be the second Democratic delegate candidate in District 4A, reports Meg Tully of the Frederick News-Post.

WICOMICO COUNTY: The Salisbury Daily Times’ voters guide informs readers about local candidates, writes Greg Latshaw.

ENDORSEMENTS: Patuxent Publishing’s Bryan Sears reports on the Phoenix-based Reagan Republican Club‘s endorsements for the primary.

SIGN PROBE: Baltimore County Police are investigating a Kevin Kamenetz campaign sign that had razor blades around its edge, writes Patuxent’s Bryan Sears.

MAILER SCRUTINY: Maryland Politics Watch’s Adam Pagnucco takes a close look at District 16 delegate hopeful Charles Chester’s flier, while Red Maryland’s Brian Griffiths blogs about Cathy Vitale’s first mailer in her race as delegate for District 33A.

EMPLOYEE FIRED: The Sun’s Liz Kay reports that the state employee who posted the Social Security numbers of nearly 3,000 Maryland residents online was fired.  WBFF has video here.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: The Daily Record’s Steve Lash examines whether Maryland needs another constitutional convention.

LIVING WAGE: Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke vows that the city’s proposed living wage bill will come back, writes The Daily Record’s Nicholas Sohr. Councilman Warren Branch says a “living wage” standard should be implemented for city employees first, reports Daniel Sernovitz of the Baltimore Business Journal. In a BBJ op-ed, Michael Saltsman says the proposal would have killed jobs. An attorney tells the City Council that his client’s plans to build a $65 million shopping and residential complex could be scrapped if the bill were to pass, reports Patuxent Publishing’s Larry Perl.

CHELTENHAM UPDATE: Responding to a request from House of Delegates Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell, Juvie Services Secretary Donald DeVore details follow-up actions after a Cheltenham teacher was killed in February , writes the Sun’s Julie Bykowicz.

ELECTRIC STUDY: O’Malley calls for the state’s first study of its long-term energy needs in 20 years, reports the BBJ’s Scott Dance.

PROBATION AND PAROLE: Patrick McGee, the state’s director of Probation and Parole, talks with The Examiner’s Emily Babay about his office’s responsibilities.

NEW CARROLLTON DEVELOPMENT: Metro’s board signs an agreement allowing development of 41 acres near the New Carrollton Metro Station, reports The Post’s Ovetta Wiggins.

METRO CHANGES?: Metro is considering changing some train routes to make a more direct path from Arlington to Maryland, writes Robert Thomson of The Post.

FORT MEADE: The Capital’s Elisabeth Hulette pulls information about job creation and costs of the Fort Meade expansion from an environmental impact report.

NO EMERGENCY: Carroll County is getting along fine, even though it is missing top officials in the emergency management division of the Office of Public Safety, reports Adam Bednar of the Carroll County Times.

NO PEEKING: Concerns about security leads Maryland to stop letting teachers get an advance look at standardized tests, The Post’s Michael Birnbaum reports.

CASH ACADEMY: WBAL-TV was on hand for the announcement of the state’s new financial education program, CASH Academy.

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