SLOTS FOES UP CLOSE: The Sun’s Nicole Fuller gives us an unusual look at the toll it takes on being an advocate through the eyes of slots opponents.
GANSLER DONATES: Attorney General Doug Gansler, who faces no re-election challenge this fall, has pledged $30,000 to the state party’s coordinated campaign, Alan Brody reports for the Gazette.
POLITICAL CORRUPTION: The state’s political corruption prosecutor will not step down in September as planned, but will instead remain in office until a replacement is named, reports Annie Linskey of the Sun.
SOLAR REBATES CUT: The state of Maryland slashed solar energy rebates 80 percent after its energy agency blew through one-quarter of its grant money in less than two months, reports Hayley Peterson of the Washington Examiner
O’MALLEY AHEAD: A Center Maryland/Opinion Works poll show Gov. Martin O’Malley leading former Gov. Bob Ehrlich 47 percent to 41 percent among likely voters in November’s general election.
TAX ISSUE: Melinda Roeder of WBFF-TV reports that the state sales tax will be a key issue in the gubernatorial campaign.
MURPHY STUCK: Josh Kurtz writes for Center Maryland that Ehrlich’s GOP rival Brian Murphy is stuck at 13% support no matter what he does.
HE DIDN’T SAY: The Post’s John Wagner offers some insight about what Gov. O’Malley was prepared to say about challenger Bob Ehrlich, but didn’t, at the MACo conference.Scroll down to The Agenda.
POLS THANKED: A Dundalk church thanks its politicians and public servants and Ehrlich gets a standing ovation, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun. Gigi Barnett of WJZ reports that the first responders were the focus of the appreciation.
1st DISTRICT: Republicans duel for chance to face 1st District U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil in the general election, especially Andy Harris who is seeking a rematch. But Rob Fisher and his money stand in the way, Liam Farrell reports for the Annapolis Capital.
5th DISTRICT: Republicans see opening to challenge House Majority leader Steny Hoyer for his 5th District seat, David Saleh Rauf of the Capital News Service reports in MarylandReporter.com.
6th DISTRICT: Defense PACs and name recognition boost incumbent U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in 6th District, reports Madhu Rajaraman of CNS in MarylandReporter.com
8th DISTRICT: CNS’ Maggie Clark writes for MarylandReporter.com that hopes are high but the odds are long, for the challengers of U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of the 8th District.
TV INTERVIEWS: MPT has been taping five-minutes interviews with statewide candidates, hosted by Charles Robinson and Lou Davis. About two dozen are on the website, mostly from the lesser known and third-party candidates, including a typically provocative session with Republican Brian Murphy, who is running for governor.
BERNSTEIN-JESSAMY: Pat Jessamy challenger Gregg Bernstein released a TV ad in which a former state’s attorney’s office employee says “people are getting away with murder and it’s because Patricia Jessamy fails to convict them.” Justin Fenton and Tricia Bishop of the Sun report the story. You can view that commercial here and read Fenton’s blog about the commercial. Keith Daniels reports the story for WBFF-TV.
BALTIMORE CRIME: Baltimore’s murder rate is the fifth-highest in the country, its rate for aggravated-assaults is ninth worst and its rate for robberies is 12th worst, according to the FBI, which compiled the latest data from 2009. Read Scott Thomas’ article in the BBJ.
ALLEGANY COMMISSION: Allegany County commission hopefuls discuss their priorities with Kevin Spradlin of the Cumberland Times-News.
ANIMAL PAC: Joe Lamp of the Capital blogs about Maryland Votes For Animals, the only PAC of its kind in Maryland and likely only the second in the entire country, which is working on its political endorsements.
PETITION RULES: The Washington Post’s Rick Rojas follows a Montgomery Sentinel story concerning the Montgomery firefighters’ petition on ambulance fees that failed to make the ballot because of stricter rules governing signatures.
BUS vs. RAIL: A Sun editorial says a rapid bus line in Baltimore is not cheaper in the long run than the proposed Red Line fixed-rail option.
AHEAD IN FUNDS: John Barr and Ruth Anne Callaham lead fundraisers among Washington County commissioner candidates, Andrew Schotz reports for the Herald Mail.
SUBSTATION ISSUE: A proposed electric substation in Kemptown is turning into a campaign issue in the southern part of Frederick County, reports Meg Tully of the Frederick News-Post.
FACT-CHECK: Dave Collins of WBAL-TV fact-checks the campaigns ads of Baltimore County exec candidates Kevin Kamenetz and Joe Bartenfelder.
MCINTYRE CHALLENGE: The Sun’s Mary Gail Hare reports on the tough primary race — with five opponents — faced by Republican Baltimore County Council incumbent Bryan McIntyre.
PAULSHOCK AHEAD: Democrat Bill Paulshock raised more money for his 5th District campaign for Baltimore County Council since January than his two primary opponents and the lone Republican in the race, reports Bryan Sears for Patuxent Publishing.
QUIRK ENDORSED: Not unexpectedly, Baltimore County exec Jim Smith endorsed Tom Quirk for County Council from the First District, reports Patuxent’s Bryan Sears. Smith was in court again, not as the judge he used to be but as part of a jury pool, Sears blogs.