State Roundup, August 4, 2010

HEALTH SAVINGS: A new study finds that most of the state’s $829 million savings on Medicaid spending from federal health care reform comes not from reduced costs, but from taxes on new insurance coverage, writes Len Lazarick for

COULTER, MEESE TO STUMP:  The tight gubernatorial race isn’t the only Maryland contest attracting national attention: Ann Coulter and Ed Meese will stump for two state GOP legislative candidates, Annie Linskey of the Baltimore Sun writes.

DISTRICT 39 DEBATE: State Del. Saqib Ali will debate state Sen. Nancy King, both running for the Senate District 39 seat,  10 a.m. Thursday on News Channel 8’s “News Talk” with Bruce DePuyt, Adam Pagnucco posts on his Maryland Politics Watch.

POLITICAL SIGNS: Christian Alexandersen reports for the Carroll County Times that road crews are on the lookout for political signs placed where they don’t belong on state and county roads that can be hazardous for drivers.

SMALLER GOV’T: Annapolis Capital columnist Eric Hartley writes that this election cycle, candidates are seeing the message of smaller government coming up from the grassroots level.

EARLY VOTING: Both major parties have an opportunity to take advantage of Maryland’s new early voting election procedures, opines Richard Cross in an op-ed in the Sun.

MOCO COUNCIL: Incumbent members of the Montgomery County Council fired back at challenger Hans Riemer’s claim that it was his idea to draft a six-year fiscal plan for the county, reports Erin Cunningham of the Gazette. Cunningham profiles George Leventhal, a leading advocate for low-income residents and the uninsured, who is seeking a third term on the council. And she profiles Jane de Winter, an economist and Democrat who is seeking a spot on the council. The four at-large incumbents – Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Duchy Trachtenberg – have struck a non-aggression pact for the remainder of the election season, reports Adam Pagnucco for Maryland Politics Watch.

FLUSH TAX: Editorial writers for the Cumberland Times-News agree with state Sen. George Edwards, who says the possible 80 percent hike in the “flush tax” is “crazy.”

GARRETT COMMISSION: Succumbing to pressure from the public, George Falter has entered the race for Garrett County commissioner, writes the Cumberland Times-News.

BACO COUNCIL: Bryan Sears of Patuxent Publishing looks further into the fact that more women are seeking a seat on the Baltimore County Council, which has been a stag club since 1994.

ANNAPOLIS FINANCES: Annapolis’ Finance Director Tim Elliott leaves his job next month, bringing a 26-year career in city government to a close as dwindling finances reach a critical point, reports Josh Stewart for the Annapolis Capital.

NEW SSA CENTER: The General Services Administration has selected sites in Woodlawn and Urbana as finalists for the Social Security Administration’s National Data Center, which could create up to 250 jobs, Matthew Brown blogs for the Baltimore Sun.

CITY HALL NAMED: Havre de Grace City Hall will be named Dr. Gunther Hirsch Government Center in honor of the former mayor, Bryna Zumer writes for the Aegis.

BRUNSWICK COUNCIL: Brian Englar of the Frederick News-Post writes that Brunswick voters elected two incumbents and a Hood College student to the City Council on Tuesday.

TAX FREE: The state of Maryland will lose about $20 million, John Rydell of WBFF-TV reports, to the tax-free shopping week. Lisa Robinson of WBAL-TV also reports the story.

POL DONATIONS: Adam Pagnucco of Maryland Politics Watch continues tracking contributions for Montgomery County candidates.

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