State Roundup, August 17, 2010

MURPHY’S MONEY: Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy got some major attention when he was endorsed by Sarah Palin. But when it comes to fundraising, Murphy remains in the minor leagues, blogs John Wagner of the Washington Post.

RADIO DEBATE: Julie Bykowicz of the Baltimore Sun blogs that Dem Gov. Martin O’Malley and GOP challenger Bob Ehrlich have firmed up a radio debate — on the DC-centric WTOP.

DEBATE DEBATE: Nuclear disarmament treaties are easier to negotiate than the every-four-year gubernatorial candidates’ debates that Maryland goes through, posit editorial writers for the Annapolis Capital.

EHRLICH’S TICKET: In a short piece, the Associated Press says Montgomery County’s troubles could be Republican Bob Ehrlich’s ticket back to the governor’s mansion.

MACO AGENDA: Brian Shane of the Salisbury Daily Times reports that county lawmakers from throughout the state are set to gather in Ocean City this week to discuss the most timely of policy issues — from dealing with sexual predators to lessons learned from this year’s historic snowfall.

SLOTS FIGHT: Mike Hellegren of WJZ-TV reports that following the release of an anti-slots at Arundel Mills Mall commercial, the casino developer hits back, saying fewer people actually live around the mall than around the alternative, which is Laurel Park.

DEM SENATE RACES: In the first of seven articles looking at Senate primaries, Len Lazarick of writes that four weeks from today, every major office in Montgomery and Prince George’s County – from sheriff to executive, from county council to state senate  – will largely be decided in the Democratic primary.

FOREHAND-KAGAN FIGHT: Sen. Jennie Forehand of Montgomery County is used to elections, but she’s not used to fighting her way through a hotly contested Democratic primary with former colleague De. Cheryl Kagan. In the second of seven articles on the election, Megan Poinski of takes a close look at the race.

BERNSTEIN’S CASH: Justin Fenton and Peter Hermann of the Sun report that Gregg Bernstein, city State’s Attorney Pat Jessamy’s opponent, has raised more than $200,000.

MOCO RACES: Adam Pagnucco of Maryland Politics Watch posts the first mailings of two District 18 state House and Senate candidates, and writes about protesters at Duchy Trachtenberg’s fundraiser with fellow Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich. Also, he got updated endorsements in Montgomery races.

SLOPPY SIGNATURES: Two high-profile ballot initiatives are essentially dead in Montgomery County, thanks to a new standard for signatures that some argue makes it nearly impossible to land voter referendums on the ballot in Maryland. Brian Hughes reports the story for the Washington Examiner.

DISTRICT 2: Del. Christopher Shank is urging unaffiliated voters to become Republicans, vote for him in a Senate primary against incumbent Don Munson, then switch back to unaffiliated, Andrew Schotz reports for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

BARTLETT MEETS: Facing questions about illegal immigration, Social Security and the 14th Amendment, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett held a town hall meeting in Williamsport, writes Andrew Schotz of the Herald-Mail.

VAN HOLLEN STAND: U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen is backing President Obama‘s stance supporting the near Ground Zero mosque in NYC, blogs Matthew Brown of the Sun.

TOO YOUNG TO RUN: Adam Bednar of the Carroll County Times reports on a Democratic candidate running for the Carroll County Board of Commissioners who has been disqualified from running because of her age.

SIGN CHOICES: The campaign manager for Kevin Kamenetz’s Baltimore County executive campaign is claiming that signs erected by Kamenetz’s primary opponent, fellow Democrat Joe Bartenfelder, are misleading, as well as promote the Pittsburgh Steelers, Patuxent Publishing’s Bryan Sears reports.

‘SPICE’ BAN: Baltimore County exec candidate Kevin Kamenetz is hoping the county will ban a legal substance known as sice that some people use to get a marijuana type high. His primary opponent says a statewide ban would be more effective. View the WBAL-TV video here. Read Luke Broadwater’s article for Patuxent Publishing. And listen to Bill Vanko’s interview with Kamenetz.

RESIDENCY QUESTION: Mike Ertel, one of three Democratic candidates for Baltimore County Council in the 5th District, continues to make an issue of the residency of opponent Bill Paulshock, this time broadcasting his concerns on YouTube. You can read Bryan Sears’ Patuxent story and see the video here.

HARFORD SHERIFF: Brian Goodman of the Dagger questions four candidates seeking the GOP nomination for Harford County Sheriff.

POWER OUTAGES: Expect the Maryland Public Service Commission to grill Pepco officials today following a succession of huge power outages this summer, and an eruption of customer fury, Michael Ruane writes for the Post.

COUNIHAN PROFILE: Josh Kurtz profiles former state Del. Gene Counihan, who has lead a long life of public service.

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