State Roundup, July 30, 2010

O’MALLEY BLASTS JUDGE: Gov. Martin O’Malley is among those turning up the heat on a Baltimore judge at the center of outrage over the murder of Stephen Pitcairn, a Johns Hopkins researcher. View Mike Hellgren’s report for WJZ-TV. Here’s Jeff Abell’s report for WBFF-TV. And Brian Kubler’s report for WMAR-TV. Read Jayne Miller and Steve Fermier’s report for WBAL.

CRIME BUCKS: And, with less than 100 days to go before the election, O’Malley gives Baltimore City $7.1 million to fight crime, Mary Bubala reports WJZ-TV.

JESSAMY-BERNSTEIN FACEOFF: WMAR-TV’s Christian Schaffer reports on the debate between Baltimore city’s top prosecutor, Patricia Jessamy, and challenger Gregg Bernstein.

KILLING POLITICS: Maybe politics has no place in criminal justice, and maybe politics has no place within earshot of the family of the victim of a senseless street killing, but this is 2010, and this is Baltimore, writes columnist Dan Rodricks for the Sun.

GUN ADVOCATES: The gun rights advocates who successfully challenged the District’s gun laws have moved their campaign to Maryland, filing a federal lawsuit claiming that the state’s weapons restrictions violate the Second Amendment, Maria Glod reports for the Washington Post.

GOP AG FAILURE: The Gazette’s Alan Brody writes that the Republican Party was set to nominate lawyer James Shalleck to run against incumbent AG Doug Gansler, but one central committee chair failed to approve a procedural change to get him on the ballot.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS: The Maryland governor’s race has produced few headlines, but the not-so-subtle message evident in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s public schedule was the same one he’s pushed almost every week since the campaign began: Jobs, jobs, jobs, Aaron Davis blogs in the Washington Post.

YOUTH ISSUES: Governor hopeful Bob Ehrlich met with about 10 advocates for children who complained that local management boards have lost decision-making authority to a more centralized system under Gov. O’Malley, the AP reports in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

OUTAGE POWER: Sean Sedam reports in The Gazette how candidates are using power outages and storm response to benefit their campaigns.  Montgomery County politicians share their power outage stories with The Gazette’s Erin Cunningham. Widespread outages make Gov. O’Malley’s call for a long-term electricity report very timely, reports The Gazette’s Sean Sedam.

DNC SENDS CASH: The Democratic National Committee wired $100,000 to the Maryland Democratic Party, a cash infusion the party says will help statewide campaign efforts for the fall, blogs Annie Linskey for the Baltimore Sun.

PG COUNTY: Voters in Prince George’s County are a key component of votes Gov. Martin O’Malley needs to win another term, writes The Gazette’s Daniel Valentine.

BAY POLLUTION: Nick Sohr of the Daily Record reports that 55 farmers signed a petition sent to Gov. O’Malley, asking him to hold large poultry producers responsible for pollution from chicken houses seeping into the Chesapeake Bay. The Gazette’s Margie Hyslop writes that the petition was circulated by Environment Maryland.

HEALTH CARE: Barbara Pash of reports that Sen. Mac Middleton is pushing the General Assembly to tackle the thorny issues of medical malpractice and the scope of practice allowed health providers who are not physicians.

HEADS UP: Carroll County Times editorial writers say that a preliminary report from a committee examining the impact of health care reform on Maryland should give us a jump on what to expect when the full impact of the federal legislation hits the state.

STATE PENSIONS: State employees and retirees — some venting frustrations — gathered in Hagerstown to learn about “serious concern” over the management of the state’s pension programs, Dave McMillion reports for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

SLOTS DEBATE: The language in the slots referendum seems to hide what is really behind the mall gambling debate, writes Eric Hartley of the Annapolis Capital.

INCUMBENT ISSUES: The Gazette’s editorial staff opines that negative feelings about government gives incumbents a tough road to re-election.

BARTLETT FOE: Daniel Massey, a Washington County resident running as a Libertarian candidate to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, says his top campaign issue is stopping federal spending. Meg Tully of the Frederick News Post profiles the candidate.

LEOPOLD’S HEALTH: Political Notes in the Annapolis Capital reports that AA County Executive John Leopold has released statements from his doctors attesting to his health, plus a myriad of fundraisers and party meetings

BACO PAC ENDORSES: The newly formed Baltimore County Community Political Action Committee announced its endorsements in the Democratic and Republican primaries for six of the seven County Council races, reports Bryan Sears for Patuxent Publishing.

METRO CRASH AFTERMATH: Maryland’s Congressional delegation is going to meet with the National Transportation Safety Board to push for federal oversight of Metro, following a scathing report on safety lapses that contributed to a catastrophic crash last year, reports The Gazette’s C. Benjamin Ford.

NO CONVENTION: Democrats and Republicans both tell The Gazette’s Erin Cunningham that there is no need for the state to have another constitutional convention.

GAZETTE NOTEBOOK: This week’s Gazette tidbits include Republican delegate candidate Jim Petit using new campaign finance laws to revamp his Facebook presence; typo in District 27 mailer tells constituents $713.8 million spent on Calvert County emergency services; poetic reception theme for Jon Cardin; new front-runner for shortest time in office.

UNION LEADER ACQUITTED: Gino Renne, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994/Municipal and County Government Employees Organization, was acquitted of assault charges after his wife — the reported victim — refused to testify, The Gazette’s Erin Cunningham reports.

FUNDING NEEDED: After a national report ranked the state 25th in children’s well-being, child advocates and lawmakers are calling for a long-proposed program to fund more prenatal care to be approved, reports Sean Sedam of The Gazette.

GONZALES POLL: Gazette columnists weigh in on the poll released that showed O’Malley and Ehrlich in a dead heat to be the next governor. Blair Lee highlights that most voters feel the economy is the top issue.  Barry Rascovar muses that the poll doesn’t tell people very much.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: The Gazette’s Erin Cunningham reports that the Department of Human Resources employee who posted nearly 3,000 Social Security numbers on a website was fired.

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