State Roundup, October 18, 2010

POST BACKS O’MALLEY: Crediting his fiscal prudence, support for education and reputation as a level-headed governor, The Washington Post endorses Gov. Martin O’Malley for a second term.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Ehrlich and O’Malley both support charter schools, but Ehrlich wants to increase the number, while O’Malley thinks they are a piece of the puzzle to bring public school reform, reports Capital News Service’s Abby Brownback in a story run on the WTOP website.

PENSION VIEWS: WBFF puts together video about Ehrlich and O’Malley’s views on the state’s pension system.

DIVIDED GOVERNMENT: During his term as governor, Ehrlich — a Republican — often clashed with the Democratic-dominated General Assembly. The Sun’s Julie Bykowicz explores how much would change and how much would be the same if Ehrlich wins another term. 

STUMPING IN PG COUNTY: Both O’Malley and Ehrlich spent Saturday campaigning in Prince George’s County, report the Post’s John Wagner and Ann Marimow.

NEW EHRLICH AD: A dozen women voters — plus Ehrlich running mate Mary Kane — are featured in Ehrlich’s new ad, which started airing this weekend. The women voice concern over O’Malley’s financial policies, writes the Post’s John Wagner. Watch the video of the ad embedded in the story. Annie Linskey of the Sun writes that Ehrlich is using the ad to try to fill the wide gap he has with women voters compared to O’Malley.

MORE ON DEBATE: The Sun collected other media reactions to Thursday’s O’Malley-Ehrlich debate and posted them here.

POLITICAL SPENDING: Concerned Taxpayers of America, one of the numerous political groups spending big on this year’s elections, appears to consist of two taxpayers in particular, the largest donor an Owings Mills concrete firm, writes Dan Eggen of the Post. View the Post’s Fred Hiatt and Lawrence Lessig, director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University, as they discuss the new Fair Elections Now Act and how it aims to change the way political campaigns are financed.

EARLY VOTE COUNTS: To reduce election judges’ workloads on the night of Nov. 2, the State Board of Elections is considering a regulation that would allow the counting of early votes at any time on Election Day — even right after midnight, the Sun’s Julie Bykowicz reports.  WTOP runs the AP story.

ABSENTEE DEADLINE: A WTOP and AP story reminds voters they have until Oct. 26 to request absentee ballots for the Nov. 2 election

KRATOVIL AHEAD ON CASH: U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil, a Democrat, reported raising $512,000 in the third quarter, while opponent Republican Andy Harris raised just over $500,000, according to an AP story on the WTOP website.

HARRIS IN POLL: A poll released last week found that Harris leads Kratovil 43 percent to 40 percent, with 15 percent of voters undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent, writes Greg Latshaw of the Salisbury Daily Times.

BARTLETT-DUCK: When it comes to the recently passed health care law, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and his Democratic opponent, Andrew Duck, have vastly differing opinions, writes Blair Ames of the Frederick News Post.

WASH COUNTY DELEGATES: There will be at least two new delegates representing Washington County in Western Maryland, Andy Schotz reports in the Hagerstown Herald Mail. He runs down the races in the county.

DELEGATES ANSWER: The Herald-Mail asked the candidates running for Maryland’s House of Delegates in Washington County to respond to eight questions. Their answers are here  and here.

SOMERSET FORUMS: Candidates running for Maryland House, Senate and other races in Somerset County are expected to attend back-to-back forums at opposite ends of the county this week, Liz Holland writes for the Salisbury Daily Times.

HOLT PROFILE: In his profile of Republican Baltimore County executive candidate Ken Holt, the Sun’s Arthur Hirsch compares him to another Republican cowboy: Ronald Reagan.

BACO EXEC DEBATES: The Arbutus Times posted video of last week’s debate between Baltimore County executive candidates Kevin Kamenetz and Republican Holt. WYPR’s Dan Rodricks hosted an on-air debate between the two on Friday.

BAKER ON SCHOOLS: Rushern Baker, the most likely next Prince George’s County executive, will hold a public meeting to hear residents’ concerns about education reform on Tuesday, reports The Post’s Miranda Spivack.

LEOPOLD SUIT: Attorneys for Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold asked a judge to throw out the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him, Erin Cox reports in the Capital. They argued most of the allegations are irrelevant and the complaint wasn’t properly filed.

WICOMICO STATE’S ATTY: Seth Mitchell portrays himself as the chiseled veteran in the race for Wicomico County state’s attorney while his opponent, Matt Maciarello,  is a rising star in the legal profession, Greg Latshaw writes for the Salisbury Daily Times.

YOUNG DYNASTY: Despite three victories by the Young family in last month’s primaries and two family members already in political office, state Senate candidate and former Frederick Mayor Ron Young isn’t comfortable with the term dynasty, Brian Englar of the Frederick News Post reports.

FORECLOSURE FIGHT: The Maryland Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure voted on Friday to recommend that the Court of Appeals give state courts the power to stop some foreclosures. WJZ-TV ran the AP story. 

CUMMINGS FORECLOSURE: U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings has been one of the most ardent voices for homeowners throughout the country’s foreclosure crisis, not just as a political issue, but as a personal one also, writes Jean Marbella of the Sun.

CORDISH GOES KNOCKING: Billionaire developer David Cordish has stolen a move from local candidates’ strategies by going door-to-door to campaign for the referendum that would allow the Arundel Mills slots casino to go forward, reports The Sun’s Nicole Fuller. Paul Foer of Annapolis Capital Punishment also reports that David Cordish is trying to round up business support for the casino his company wants to build by offering VIP treatment and even potential investment there.

SLOTS VOTE: An Annapolis City employee used her city computer to send out messages urging voters to support Question A, approving a slots casino at Arundel Mills mall, Paul Foer reports in Capital Punishment. 

IMMIGRATION: Washington County stands to become the second Maryland jurisdiction to join a controversial immigration program when it completes its planned jail expansion next year, CNS’s Michaelle Bond writes for

WATCH FOR FLASHING LIGHTS: The Sun’s Michael Dresser reports on a new traffic law that got little press: If an emergency vehicle is pulled over to the side of the road with lights flashing, motorists must slow down or move over

IRAN, SUDAN: The Maryland pension system told the Baltimore Jewish Times that the system will no longer be investing in 50 companies that do business with Iran and Sudan. Registration is required to view the story.

JOBS CREDIT: The number of employers applying for the $5,000 state tax credit for hiring an unemployed person is starting to go up.

MATHIS PLEADS NOT GUILTY: Jerry Mathis, who was unsuccessful in his race for a Democratic Party nomination to the Prince George’s County Council, pleaded not guilty in Circuit Court to distributing fliers that appeared to have false endorsements from state Sen. Anthony Muse, reports The Post’s Miranda Spivack.

POT RX: Ryan Marshall of the Carroll County Times writes that state legislators are pondering a medical marijuana law.

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