State Roundup, September 1, 2010

CHEAPSKATE GOVS: If the past three years are any guide, the man who gets elected governor in November — either incumbent Martin O’Malley or rival Bob Ehrlich — will be an extreme fiscal conservative with his own charitable contributions, writes Jason Poling in a commentary for the Baltimore Sun.

SUNNY OUTLOOK? Marta Mossburg ponders the reality of the optimistic reports coming out of Annapolis in light of the economic analysis that was quickly pulled from a state website recently. Her piece appears in the Frederick News Post.

PARTIES GROW: Voter registration numbers released by the Maryland Board of Elections show that both major parties have grown their ranks between the primary election two years ago and the one in two weeks, Julie Bykowicz blogs for the Sun.

EARLY VOTING: Maryland’s experiment with early voting, which runs for six days starting Friday, could help Democrats if they outspend Republicans in get-out-the-vote and other efforts in the runup to the general election, writes the Post’s Aaron Davis. Be sure to check out the YouTube video of Bob Ehrlich imbedded in the story. Read Eric Hartley’s opinion column on the issue in the Annapolis Capital. The Gazette’s Erin Cunningham looks at early voting from Montgomery County’s view.

WILSON WRITE-IN: Independent Jack Wilson of Arnold will run as a write-in candidate in the 1st Congressional District after the state rejected a ballot petition, writes Paul Foer of Annapolis Capital Punishment.

EHRLICH TALKS: Ehrlich drops in to his Rockville campaign office to hold a roundtable discussion with residents, reports by Sarah Breitenbach of the Gazette.

EHRLICH CASH: Ehrlich’s campaign for governor released some preliminary campaign finance information, saying they’ve raised $725,505 since the last reporting period 18 days ago, Annie Linskey blogs for the Sun.  “Money has really picked up,” the Post’s John Wagner quotes Ehrlich as saying. Nick Sohr of the Daily Record blogs that Ehrlich beat O’Malley to the punch again by once more releasing data early. And Hayley Peterson of the Washington Examiner writes that O’Malley’s war chest still outweighs Ehrlich’s.

VETERAN LAWMAKERS: In Part 2 of’s series on veteran lawmakers, Megan Poinski interviews Del. Sheila Hixson, who remembers the glass ceiling of gender-based discrimination that existed in the General Assembly when she first went to Annapolis in 1976. And Poinski speaks with 24-year veteran Del. Johnny Wood, of Charles and St. Mary’s counties, who says he realized years ago, “The people will tell you when it’s time to go.”

DONOR QUANDRY: The Frederick News Post editorializes on whether giving to opponents of long-term incumbents such as U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is a smart move for corporations.

ARIZONA IDEA NIXED: Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy held a town hall meeting after Frederick County Commissioners rejected a proposal to establish an Arizona-style immigration law in Maryland, reports Karen Parks for WBFF-TV.

REFERENDUM SUITS: Robin Ficker, an advocate for imposing term limits on Montgomery County elected officials, and a group opposed to the suburb’s new ambulance fee filed separate lawsuits against the county’s Board of Elections, in hopes of landing their referendums on the ballot in November, Brian Hughes writes for the Washington Examiner.

PG EXEC: In Prince George’s, the five candidates for county exec are out and about, including Sheriff Michael Jackson, who offers up a plan to combat crime, but fails to add a price tag, Miranda Spivak blogs in the Washington Post.  Meanwhile PG County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey made it official and has publicly thrown his support behind longtime friend and political ally Rushern Baker for county exec, Ruben Castenada blogs in the Post.

EMAIL WAR: State Senate candidates J.B. Jennings and Al Redmer, both GOPers, are trading email jabs following a quote about the voting record of Republicans in the 7th District, reports Bryan Sears of Patuxent Publishing.

BARTENFELDER-KAMENETZ: Democratic primary opponents for Baltimore County exec — Kevin Kamenetz and Joe Bartenfelder — have sharpened their attacks, each accusing the other of misrepresenting his record on the council, where they have served together for 16 years, reports Arthur Hirsch of the Sun. View John Rydell’s report for WBFF-TV. Here’s Dave Collins’ report for WBAL-TV. In a battle of these two qualified candidates, Bryan Sears reports for Patuxent Publishing, voters may ultimately be left to decide the Democratic primary for county executive based on personal style.

JUDICIAL AUDIT: About $2.8 million in real estate transfer taxes and fees were being directed to the wrong accounts by the Maryland judicial system because of uncertainties about monitoring and administering two funds, Megan Poinski reports for

HARRIS TRIAL: Nick Madigan of the Sun writes about a guard’s testimony during pre-trial motions in the trial of three men accused of murdering former Baltimore Councilman Ken Harris. Brendan Kearney was in the courtroom for the Daily Record. Here’s Barry Simms’ report for WBAL-TV.

OUTAGE OUTRAGE: Angry residents pack a Maryland Public Service Commission hearing to complain about Pepco outages, Erin Cunningham reports for the Gazette.

ENERGY USE: The PSC is set to start hearings about whether it needs to regulate and license third-party energy companies that make money by guaranteeing their clients can reduce the power they use during peak-use periods, the Associated Press reports in the Annapolis Capital.

DEFENSE FUNDS: The U.S. government funneled more than $34 billion to Maryland contractors last fiscal year as defense and other spending saw huge increases that eclipsed the ramp-up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Jamie Hopkins reports for the Sun.

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