State Roundup, September 8, 2010

CURRIE IN COURT:  Annie Linskey reports for the Baltimore Sun that Sen. Ulysses Currie, indicted by a federal grand jury on corruption charges, is set to make his first court appearance at a hearing Sept. 17. Marta Mossberg writes in her column for the Frederick News-Post that the indictment of state Sen. Ulysses Currie shows the idea of a level playing field for business and of the conventional wisdom that Democrats are for the poor and downtrodden are both a farce.

GOV’S RACE: Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich raised nearly three times as much as Gov. Martin O’Malley in the most recent fundraising period, but still trails in cash on hand, Scott Dance writes for the Baltimore Business Journal. Sarah Breitenbach of the Gazette reports on the new Ehrlich TV commercial and O’Malley’s reaction.

UNDERDOG MURPHY: Len Lazarick of takes a look at Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy and determines that, despite conventional wisdom, this underdog can hunt.

SLOTS CAMPAIGN: The Cordish Cos. group campaigning for passage of a November referendum on slots at Arundel Mills mall began airing television ads touting “thousands of new jobs — jobs that our county needs” and “better schools for our kids,” Nicole Fuller of the Sun reports.

BAY POLITICS: The Chesapeake Bay is getting some unexpected face time from candidates who are usually quiet on green issues, in part because the environment barely registers in polls about what issues are important to voters, Julie Bykowicz blogs for the Sun.

MIKULSKI CHALLENGE: They might not have the name recognition of longtime U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, but six candidates from Montgomery County are among a plethora of challengers trying to unseat her, reports Sarah Breitenbach of the Gazette.

2nd DISTRICT: Allison Bourg of the Annapolis Capital writes about the 2nd District U.S. House primary race that pits incumbent Dutch Ruppersberger against three Democratic rivals.

EARLY VOTING: Towson University hosts an early voting site, Tim Tooten of WBAL-TV reports, and student leaders are hoping that it will engage more students in the election process. Erin Cunningham of the Gazette writes that less than 1 percent of Montgomery’s 569,234 eligible voters have taken advantage of early voting.

BERNSTEIN-JESSAMY: Jeff Abell of WBFF-TV reports on a debate between Pat Jessamy and Gregg Bernstein at moot court. Danny Jacobs of the Daily Record writes that Jessamy raised more in campaign contributions in the last two weeks of August than she had the rest of the summer, but still continues to lag behind Bernstein. And Deborah Weiner of WBAL-TV profiles Jessamy.

MISLEADING FLIER: Miranda Spivack of the Washington Post writes about the misleading campaign flier that is causing a stir in Prince George’s County and in state Attorney General Doug Gansler’s office. It’s been banned by a judge.

CARROLL GA HOPEFULS: The Carroll County Times asks candidates for the General Assembly if they support legislation that would allow county nonprofit organizations to host casino gaming nights as fundraisers.

RACIAL INSENSITIVITY?: The campaign of Baltimore County exec candidate Kevin Kamenetz is accusing primary rival Joe Bartenfelder, a farmer and fellow councilman, of “racial insensitivity,” writes Bryan Sears of Patuxent Publishing.

FIREFIGHTERS FUNDING: Firefighters from Baltimore city and Baltimore and Prince George’s counties have been pouring money into Montgomery County council races, adding last-minute support to local union brothers who lost out on large raises this year because of Montgomery’s budget squeeze, Michael Laris reports for the Washington Post.

BALTCO COUNCIL: Nick DiMarco Doug Donovan of writes that Towson Democratic County Council candidate Gordon Harden, who has made fiscal responsibility a centerpiece of his campaign in primary race, has been forced to pay $144,000 in back taxes and penalties. Raven Hill blogs about the situation for the Sun. And Arthur Hirsch and Raven Hill of the Sun report that Democratic candidates in three Baltimore County Council races — including Harden — have raised about half their money in events held by two lawyers who work for land developers, a phenomenon their opponents say shows special interests have too much influence in local elections.

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