State Roundup, October 22, 2010

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THE DEBATE: Democrat incumbent Gov. Martin O’Malley and Republican Bob Ehrlich traded views on policing strategies, minority-owned business set-asides and funding for historically black universities during the WOLB-Radio debate, hosted by former state Sen. Larry Young, that focused on African-American issues, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Calling the debate “spirited,” John Wagner and Aaron Davis of the Washington Post say O’Malley and Ehrlich sparred over health care, education funding and their commitment to issues affecting African Americans.

Alex DeMetrick of WJZ-TV offers a video report on the debate. Here’s John Rydell’s report for WBFF-TV.

Brian Hughes of the Washington Examiner writes that Ehrlich pounced on O’Malley’s zero-tolerance crime policy when he mayor of Baltimore. For a summary of the debate, read Annie Linskey’s Sun blog.

HEAR IT HERE: WOLB-Radio hosted yesterday’s debate between O’Malley and Ehrlich. Scrolling past the introduction to hear the entire debate. Also, scroll down further to view photos taken at the debate.

RALLIES FOLLOWED: Following the debate, the two candidates went their ways to fire up their bases: O’Malley was visited by former President Bill Clinton in Baltimore (more on that below) and VP Joe Biden in Chevy Chase; Ehrlich in Columbia and Baltimore County. John Wagner and Ann Marimow report for the Post.

ZERO TOLERANCE: Editorial writers for the Sun say that Ehrlich was right to question zero-tolerance policing under O’Malley, but he oversimplifies the history and effects of the tactic.

CLINTON STUMPS: As he urged the crowd to “Show up” to vote, Bill Clinton’s old campaign anthem, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” blared from speakers as the former president tried to rally voters Thursday for Gov. Martin O’Malley and other Democrats, the Baltimore Sun reports. Although “show up” was the message of the rally, Clinton was on “Clinton time” and showed up more than an hour late, writes Len Lazarick of

The Sun’s Karl Merton Ferron put together a photo gallery of the event. Here’s video of the event, courtesy the Daily Record. Keith Daniels of WBFF-TV reports on the high-profile get-out-the-vote rally. Kelly McPherson of WJZ-TV also has a video report.

Nick Sohr of the Daily Record blogs the event, adding that Ehrlich will be bringing out a big gun this weekend when former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani makes an appearance. Brian Hughes of the Washington Examiner also attended the Clinton event.

PROMISES’ PRICE: Annie Linskey of the Sun explores how candidate Ehrlich and O’Malley will pay for their campaign promises as governor.

BUDGET PIE: The Baltimore City Paper has a comprehensive cover story taking a different look at how O’Malley and Ehrlich sliced up the budget pie during their first terms.

THIRD PARTY: The City Paper also has profiles of the three minor-party candidates for governor.

BROWN AS #2: The Gazette’s Alan Brody profiles Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and takes a look at what he’s done — and what he would continue to do — in the notoriously undefined office of lieutenant governor.

HISPANIC VOTERS: Both Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Gov. Bob Ehrlich turn their attention toward Hispanic voters, with O’Malley running radio ads in Spanish, and Ehrlich has a coordinator to target Hispanic voters, writes The Gazette’s Sarah Breitenbach.

EHRLICH ON CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Maryland State Education Association claims that Ehrlich is taking too much campaign credit for the 2003 law expanding charter schools, reports The Gazette’s Andrew Ujifusa. He signed the law as governor, but it is not the one he authored.

NEGATIVE IS POSITIVE?: Sun Columnist Ron Smith wonders if O’Malley’s negative ads against Ehrlich have tipped the race in his favor.

TALKING UP EHRLICH: Gazette columnist Blair Lee gives his recommendation to vote for Ehrlich, based on his fiscal policies. He writes that those who believe government “must adjust to the ‘New Austerity,'” should cast ballots for Ehrlich.

JUST VOTE: Steve Berryman of the Frederick News Post writes that above all, get out and vote your conscience.

PRIMARY TURNOUT: For some of the most contentious primary elections, turnout was extremely low — which analysts say could be a sign that people don’t like voting when there is negative campaigning, writes The Gazette’s Erin Cunningham.

TEA PARTY MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Gazette columnist Barry Rascovar writes that if Tea Party members are really so upset with the state’s institutions, they are missing a golden opportunity by not campaigning for the state to hold a constitutional convention.

WA CO EVENTS: The Herald-Mail’s On the Campaign trail clarifies one Washington County organization’s endorsement; reports that the Dems and GOP are holding rallies on Saturday. Ehrlich is to speak at the GOP event; and the absentee ballot deadline approaches.

ANIMAL VOTE: The Annapolis Capital’s Political Notes reports that an animal group has released its own voters guide; Del. Ron George has a fund-raiser; and an Arundel County executive forum is being held.

BALT CO VOTERS GUIDE: Here’s the League of Women Voters Election Guide for Baltimore County.

GOP EYES DISTRICT 30: Republicans are seeking more District 30 seats, including those held by Democrats House Speaker Michael E. Busch, state Sen. John Astle and Del. Virginia Clagett, reports Liam Farrell of the Annapolis Capital. Del. Ron George is the only Republican.

SOMERSET FORUM: Restaurant owners cornered Jim Mathias, the Democratic House Del. for District 38B who seeking the state Senate seat for District 38. In a casual atmosphere, voters got to ask candidates — including U.S. representative hopeful Andy Harris — their views on a variety of topics, reports Deborah Gates of the Salisbury Daily Times.

OC FORUM: Jim Mathias and state Senate opponent Michael James sparred over past votes on taxes at a business-focused candidates forum in Ocean City, writes Jennifer Shutt for the Salisbury Daily Times. State House candidates were in attendance as well.

BROCHIN-CARNEY: Republican challenger in the District 42 state Senate race, Kevin Carney, used a debate at Towson University to try to gain on the favored Democratic incumbent, Jim Brochin, by attacking his policies, especially concerning environmental protection and business, Nick DiMarco of reports. Carney, a retired general contractor with a law degree, claimed that Annapolis has been spending like “drunken sailors” during these tough economic times, writes Loni Ingraham for the Towson Times.

‘WEIR’ A GO: State election officials approved Rebecca Nelson’s use of the Weir family name on the Nov. 2 general election ballot for the 7th District state Senate seat, Raven Hill reports for the Sun.

AMBULANCE FEE: Fire chiefs from across the region joined their Montgomery County counterpart to support his plea for an ambulance fee, reports Michael Laris of the Post.

PG COUNCIL, EXEC SALARIES: Prince George’s County Council members will vote next week on a proposal to increase their $96,417 annual salaries and the county executive’s $174,540 salary — both already the highest in the state — reports The Gazette’s Daniel Valentine. Under the proposal, the current salary will be frozen two years, then increased each December based on the consumer price index.

GAZETTE NOTEBOOK: Gazette reporters share tidbits on the following: Senate President Mike Miller (again) promises that he will retire after another term; Sen. Rob Garagiola tapped to be the new Senate majority leader; Green Party Mongtomery County Council candidate snubbed at candidates’ forum; Rep. Donna Edwards is one of Esquire Magazine’s 10 most effective members of Congress.

NUCLEAR FALLOUT: Gov. Martin O’Malley and Rep. Steny Hoyer may suffer politcally for stalled negotiations between Constellation Energy and a French utility for a third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby, reports The Gazette’s Jeff Newman.

TEACHER EVAL RULES DELAYED: Sen. Paul Pinsky put a hold on new teacher evaluation regulations last month in his position as co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legal Review, reports The Gazette’s Andrew Ujifusa. Pinsky says that evaluation standards proposed by the State Board of Education do not match those outlined in the Education Reform Act passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, but some are nervous that the hold could endanger federal education funds.

DBED REPORT: The Department of Business and Economic Development helped create or retain 10,007 jobs in the last fiscal year, more than a third more than in fiscal year 2009, but about the same as in 2008, reports The Gazette’s Kevin James Shay.

LAUREL SLOTS: Penn National would consider dumping its stake in the Hollywood Casino Perryville slots parlor in exchange for the right to build a larger one at Laurel Park in Anne Arundel County, the company’s top executive said. Daniel Sernovitz reports the story for the Baltimore Business Journal.

LAW UPSIDE DOWN: A law intended to strengthen the state’s renewable energy program has been turned on its head by a working group of the Public Service Commission, said Sen. Paul Pinsky, the legislation’s sponsor, Megan Poinski reports for

SEARS AT PATCH.COM: Alan Forman of Investigative Voice writes about former Patuxent Publishing political editor Bryan Sears, who’s well-known and respected for his Baltimore County coverage, and his jump to covering the same for

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