State Roundup July 27, 2010

TIGHTENED GOV RACE: The latest evidence that Maryland’s two leading candidates are locked in a tight race for governor: A new poll has Gov. O’Malley up by just 3 percentage points over former governor Bob Ehrlich, John Wagner reports for the Post. Either could win, writes Len Lazarick for Listen to pollster Laslo Boyd on WBAL-Radio. Then read Robert Lang‘s report for that station. Here’s Julie Bykowicz‘s piece for the Sun.

CAMPAIGN CONTRAST: Dave Collins of WBAL-TV reports that despite the dead heat in the governor’s race, O’Malley and Ehrlich approach their campaigns is starkly different ways, with one spending money on political ads, the other not making media buys. Another contrast is that one picks up a guitar hoping to  pick up cash, blogs Julie Bykowicz for the Sun.

HEALTH CARE: Federal health care reform signed by President Obama is expected to save Maryland $829 million in 10 years, but those savings are expected to be wiped out by rising costs, Barbara Pash writes for Michael Buczyner of WBFF-TV offers this video report. Here’s Andrea Walker‘s report for the Sun.  Sean Sedam reports for the Gazette. Here’s Emily Mullin’s article for the Baltimore Business Journal. And Aaron Davis of the Post writes that Maryland Democrats’ strong support for health-care overhaul will be an important subtext on the November ballot.

O’MALLEY, LCV ENDORSEMENTS: Gov. O’Malley has endorsed District 17 Sen. Jennie Forehand in her contest with former Del. Cheryl Kagan, reports Adam Pagnucco of Maryland Politics Watch. And here’s the latest round of endorsements from the League of Conservation Voters.

PAUL FOR BARTLETT: U.S. Rep. and former presidential hopeful Ron Paul spoke at a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Meg Tully reports for the Frederick News-Post.

MACIARELLO’S IN: Salisbury attorney Matthew Maciarello has ended any doubt over his on-again, off-again campaign for Wicomico County state’s attorney, reports Greg Latshaw for the Salisbury Daily Times.

HARFORD ROUNDUP: The Aegis’s political roundup reports Del. Norman honored; fundraisers set for Del. Impallaria, Patrick McGrady; and volunteers wanted for Stavropoulos campaign.

CYBERSECURITY: Lindsey Robbins writes for the Gazette that the federal government plans to pump about $15 million more into cybersecurity initiatives in Maryland, according to federal and state lawmakers.

CHEAP DRUNK: In a piece titled “The Cheap Drunk State,” editorial writers for the Post say that Annapolis has shrunk from some easy measures to cut costs and produce revenue, even while lately taking more painful steps such as raising tuition for higher education.

STATE OFFICES: Gov. O’Malley is set to unveil  plans for the first phase of the redevelopment of State Center, a 25-acre revitalization project off Martin Luther King Boulevard in downtown Baltimore, from which the state would lease back office space, the BBJ reports.

PENSION REFUND: A Baltimore judge says a Seattle consulting firm must pay the state $39 million for miscalculating how much the state owed a pension fund for judges, state police and other law enforcement officers, according to an AP report.

MOCO TIME OFF: To salve the wounds left by an unusually tight budget, the Post’s Michael Laris reports, Montgomery County Exec Ike Leggett has agreed to give county employees the equivalent of more than 100 years off.

BOTTLE TAX: Mary Bubala of WJZ-TV reports that the Baltimore City bottle tax has gone into effect and it remains controversial.

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