State Roundup, September 9, 2010

LEOPOLD SUIT: The allegations of impropriety against Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold broadened as an expanded lawsuit portrayed him as a womanizing megalomaniac, reports Erin Cox of the Annapolis Capital. A draft of the complaint accuses Leopold of using county resources as a dating service, fondling a woman in his office, having sex with a county employee, badgering female workers over their appearances and retaliating against employees who crossed him, among other allegations. Here’s Myranda Stephens’ report for WBFF-TV.

DELLA TAX BITE: State Sen. George Della is accused of double dipping — saving more than $6,000 on his latest property tax bills. Della admits his actions were wrong, but says he didn’t become aware of the problem until recently and is working to resolve it. Keith Daniels of WBFF-TV has the report.

GOV’S RACE: The state chapter of the country’s largest health care workers union is endorsing Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley in the fall election, Julie Bykowicz blogs for the Sun. Click through the Sun’s photo gallery of a few big donors to the Maryland race for governor. Abby Brownback of the Capital News Service reports that Ehrlich beats O’Malley — at least on the sandwich menu at Chick and Ruth’s Delly in Annapolis where the Ehrlich crab wrap outsells the O’Malley roast beef sandwich.

UNCIVIL WAR: The Washington Post’s John Wagner reports on the nasty turn many of Maryland’s Senate races have taken as we close in on the primary and head toward the general election.

CARROLL RACES: General Assembly candidates in Carroll County debate the value of bipartisan solutions, writes Adam Bednar of the Carroll County Times. This is the first in a series of stories this week on the General Assembly races in Carroll.

DISTRICT 2 & 2B: They didn’t debate, but state Senate race opponents Donald Munson and Christopher Shank of Washington County jabbed at each other at an election forum, six days before voters choose a winner, writes Andrew Schotz of the Herald-Mail. In the race to replace Shank as state delegate for District 2B, GOP primary opponents Ted Brennan and Neil Parrott have similar political perspectives. But their qualifications set them apart, Schotz reports.

BOOZE TAX: The proposed alcohol tax hike — a dime a drink — continues to gain support as more than 140 candidates for the General Assembly pledge to back increase, reports Jeff Newman of the Gazette.

SLOTS AD: Julie Bykowicz of the Sun follows Nicole Miller’s story on the new pro-slots campaign by the Cordish company. And here’s John Wagner’s take in the Post. WJZ reporter Pat Warren says that slots supporters have hit the ground to drum up support for the November referendum.

1st DISTRICT: Paul West of the Sun writes that Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence is in Annapolis to raise money for Andy Harris, the likely Republican nominee for Congress in Maryland’s First District.

QURAN BURNING: Sen. Barbara Mikulski is calling plans by a Florida pastor to burn copies of the Muslim holy book on Saturday “disgraceful and un-American,” the Sun’s Matthew Brown blogs.

FREDERICK DELEGATES: Brian Englar and Meg Tully of the News-Post cover two candidates forums in Frederick County — for the District 3 House of Delegates race and the District 4 House of Delegates race.

JESSAMY-BERNSTEIN: Gregg Bernstein gets the CityPaper’s endorsement in the race for Baltimore State’s Attorney, while the Afro last week praised incumbent Pat Jessamy’S focus on intervention and treatment, blogs Justin Fenton in the Sun.

BALTO. CO EXEC: State Sen. Delores Kelley softened statements she made less than 24 hours earlier regarding an incident involving Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder, a Democratic county executive candidate, Bryan Sears reports for Patuxent Publishing. But she also stands by another quote she made about Bartenfelder concerning whether he is racially insensitive. Arthur Hirsch of the Sun reports on a campaign flier from county exec candidate Kevin Kamenetz that claims that if a major oil spill occurred in the Chesapeake Bay, Bartenfelder would cap the liability at $10 million.

HARDEN LEGAL ISSUES: Gordon Harden, running for the Baltimore County Council, acknowledged his long history of legal problems, posted in an online video by an opponent,  saying, “I take full responsibility for what I did, but at the time I had no other options,” reports Bryan Sears for Patuxent. 

ORIOLE PARK AT 18: Eighteen years after Oriole Park opened its doors, its success remains in dispute: former state Sen. Jack Lapides, who from the start opposed using taxpayers’ money to build the stadium, calls the deal with the Orioles “lousy.” But Herb Belgrad, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority when the stadium was built, notes that its purpose was never to create revenue for the state. Steve Kilar of CNS reports in

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