State Roundup, October 21, 2010

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GAZETTE BACKS EHRLICH: The Gazette editorial board endorses Bob Ehrlich for governor and incumbent Peter Franchot for comptroller. Scroll further down to see the Gazette picks for state Senate and House races in the area.

PAST PERFORMANCE: John Wagner writes that Ehrlich’s tenure as governor gives insight into how he would govern if he wins on Nov. 2.

FACT-CHECK: Ann Marimow of the Post does a fact-check on Ehrlich’s provocative suggestion that the heavily Democratic jurisdiction of Prince George’s County fared better during his tenure than during that of incumbent Martin O’Malley.

TUITION HIKE: The Diamondback editorial board writes that regardless of who wins this year’s gubernatorial election, students will likely face a tuition hike come next fall. The economic conditions that allowed O’Malley to maintain a tuition freeze for three years are no longer, which also led to a 3 percent increase for in-state undergraduate students this semester.

RADIO DEBATE: Maryland’s two leading gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate again today at 8 a.m. Once that ends, the day’s political calendar will be dominated by some of O’Malley’s most-recognizable friends — VP Joe Biden and ex Pres Bill Clinton, writes John Wagner of the Washington Post. The debate will air live from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. on WOLB 1010 AM, Magic 95.9 FM and Spirit 1400 AM. You can also watch live video stream via Ustream on,, and

DIRTY TRICKS: Jayne Miller of WBAL-TV reports that U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Elijah Cummings are claiming that Ehrlich has a history of playing dirty tricks and continues to do so. Ehrlich counters that Democrats are doing the same.

EHRLICH ON SUNDAY: Ehrlich is scheduled to appear by phone on Jay Liner’s “All Politics is Local” show on WCBM 680 AM at 7 p.m. Sunday. Bryan Sears, soon to be of, and Al Forman, of, will also be there.

EHRLICH AD: John Wagner of the Post blogs that Ehrlich resurrects a famous Ronald Reagan line in a new television ad: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

KRATOVIL SUPPORT: So, do the folks at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee  know something about the Frank Kratovil-Andy Harris rematch that the wise-guy analysts don’t? asks Paul West in his Sun blog. Richard Abdill of the Capital News Service reports that spending in this race has eclipsed all other U.S. House races in the state. The article appears in the Salisbury Daily Times.

HOCO EXEC: Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and challenger Trent Kittleman have argued about the county’s spending priorities, touted polls showing widely differing numbers and employed dramatically different campaign strategies, reports Lindsey McPherso for the Columbia Flier. The two have continued to turn up the heat on the race, McPherson writes.

In another article for the Flier, McPherson writes that Ulman has proved himself a hard worker.

BALT CO EXEC: Ken Holt and Kevin Kamenetz, the two contenders for Baltimore County executive, talk jobs and economic development. While Holt offers a 7-point proposal, Kamenetz says much of it is already being done, writes Arthur Hirsch for the Sun.

MOCO EXEC: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, who wants to fix the budget in his second term, compares governing the state’s most populous county to his leadership — making life-and-death decisions — during a tour of duty in Vietnam, writes Erin Cunningham of the Gazette.

WASH CO DELEGATES: Andrew Schott of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail writes reports on a House of Delegates candidates forum where those in five races answered questions about spending, cooperation and qualifications.

DISTRICTS ALIKE: The two districts may not be identical geographically, but the challenges facing newcomers in the District 33A and District 21 House of Delegates races are nearly indistinguishable, writes Liam Farrell for the Annapolis Capital.

PUGH STAYS PUT: State Sen. Catherine Pugh founded the Baltimore Running Festival a decade ago, but her appearance at the kickoff for the event apparently had the Baltimore mayor’s office in a tizzy, blogs Laura Vozzella of the Sun.

NEW COPTERS: After criticism from Comptroller Peter Franchot about the lack of bids, the Board of Public Works unanimously approved a $72 million contract to replace six of the Maryland State Police’s aging fleet of medevac helicopters, reports Megan Poinski of

TO ANNAPOLIS: Frank Principe, who served as Baltimore County’s lobbyist in Annapolis for the last seven years, has left to take a position with the state Department of Transportation, writes Bryan Sears.

SLOTS BUCKS: Maryland’s first slots parlor in decades generated more than $2 million in revenue during its first four days of operation in September, writes Hannah Cho of the Sun.

MVA AUDIT: Auditors found that the MVA was not diligent in reviewing records, leading to some drivers who shouldn’t have stayed on the road continuing to have valid licenses, reports’s Megan Poinski.

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