State Roundup, August 19, 2010

SILLY SEASON: As time runs short for candidates desperate to make it through the September primary, voters can expect candidates to exhibit all manner of shenanigans, strategic missteps, and yes, hurt feelings, Katherine Heerbrandt reports for the Gazette.

PENSION PANEL: Barbara Pash of writes that the commission created by the legislature to review the long-term prospects for the state’s pension system has yet to be appointed — three months after it was signed into law — and its first report is due Dec. 15.

GOV FUNDS: Bob Ehrlich attracts more donors, but Martin O’Malley has more cash Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz report on the gubernatorial race for the Baltimore Sun. Nick Sohr of the Daily Record reports that while O’Malley has raised more money from businesses, Ehrlich has attracted more business donors.

BARTLETT ERRORS: An audit by the Federal Election Commission has uncovered significant errors in Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s campaign account, Paul West writes for the Sun.

SLOTS SHOTS: Slots developer David Cordish squared off against Arundel Mills slots opponent David Jones on Dan Rodricks’ WYPR program, as Ryan Sharrow of the Baltimore Business Journal reports the event. Listen to the program here.

DIVERSITY: Diversity in county government became the focus at a Somerset candidates forum, Deborah Gates reports for the Salisbury Daily Times.

CARROLL VOTERS: Voters in Carroll County have many things to learn that make this election different from any other in the past — including the fact that they will get only one vote when casting a ballot for county commissioners, editorial writers of the Carroll County Times say.

ISLAMAPHOBIA: A Maryland Arab group is urging state leaders to speak up against the politicians who criticize plans for a Muslim community center near Ground Zero in New York City and the Islamaphobia it engenders, Matthew Brown blogs for the Sun.

ARUNDEL EXEC: The campaigns for Anne Arundel county executive are taking in far less money this season than in the 2006 races, Erin Cox reports for the Annapolis Capital.

GOP VOTERS: For the first time in Harford County history, the Republican Party has surpassed the Democratic Party in terms of local voter registration, L’Oreal Thompson reports for the Aegis.

VOTER SIGNUP: Daniel Valentine of the Gazette reminds readers that voter registration deadline nears for primary election, while for the first time, voters throughout the state will get to cast ballots early. View John Rydell’s report on early voting here.

DISTRICT 10: The Catonsville Times profiles Stephanie Boston, a Democratic candidate for state Senate for the 10th District.

DISTRICT 14: While opponents in other Montgomery County races struggle to differentiate themselves, District 14 Senate candidates agree there’s a lot that separates incumbent Sen. Rona Kramer and her Democratic primary rival Del. Karen Montgomery, Megan Poinski writes for in this fourth report of a seven-part series.

DISTRICT 24: Incumbent Del. Michael Vaughn of Mitchellville claims unnecessary roughness over his claimed NFL record, which has caught fire with Internet sports bloggers, the Gazette’s Daniel Valentine reports.

HOCO EXEC: Larry Carson blogs for the Sun that Howard County Exec Ken Ulman, a Democrat running for re-election, has a sizable cash advantage over GOP challenger Trent Kittleman this year.

MOCO FUNDS: Erin Cunningham of the Gazette reports on the campaign finances of several Montgomery County politicians, including exec Ike Leggett.

PG PROSECUTOR: Prince George’s state’s attorney candidate Angela Alsobrooks seeks to return to her prosecutorial roots, Andrea Noble reports for the Gazette.

BERNSTEIN-JESSAMY: Baltimore state’s attorney candidate Gregg Bernstein raised nearly five times as much in campaign contributions as incumbent Patricia C. Jessamy, giving him a strong financial edge, Trisha Bishop reports for the Sun. Read the story and see the two square off on WBAL-TV.

JOB QUESTION: A candidate for Frederick County commissioner is not 100% sure he will leave his county government job if he is elected in November. And no county or state law exists requiring him to do so, Sherry Greenfield writes for the Gazette

GARRETT COMMISSION: Garrett County commissioner candidates discuss education, budget with Megan Miller of the Cumberland Times-News.

NOT VOTING: A PG County Council candidate has come under fire for not voting, reports the Gazette.

BALTO CO EXEC: State campaign finance reports paint a picture of two very different campaigns in the Democratic Baltimore County Executive race — the air war being fought by Kevin Kamenetz and the ground offensive waged by Joseph Bartenfelder. Bryan Sears writes about it for Patuxent Publishing.

RENT HIKE: Meanwhile, Bartenfelder is in for a big increase in rent for land he uses that’s owned by the city, WBAL blogs

SMITH ENDORSES: Baltimore County exec Jim Smith endorsed Gordon Harden, a Towson resident, in his run for county council, Patuxent’s Bryan Sears reports.

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