State Roundup, August 29, 2011

Coverage over the weekend was dominated in all media by the preparations and aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. But there was some other coverage of government and politics.

POLL ON BALTIMORE MAYOR’S RACE: Incumbent Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has more support than all her Democratic opponents combined, according to a Baltimore Sun poll.

The same poll found that a majority of Baltimore’s most engaged Democrats approve of how Sheila Dixon handled her job as mayor. But they don’t want
her back.

HURRICANE HELP: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Gov. Martin O’Malley get free airtime to show they are in charge during Hurricane Irene, O’Malley equates freedom with jobs, and appears to be preparing the way to increase the flush tax, blogs Len Lazarick for

O.C. SLOTS: There’s been a change of heart among Ocean City merchants about the nearby slots parlor, John Wagner reports in the Post.

TEA PARTY EFFECT: The Frederick News-Post editorial writer correlates the negative attitudes toward the Tea Party in national polling with dissention toward the Frederick County Board of Commissioners.

ALLEGANY COUNTY: With continuing tight times, Allegany County in western Maryland may need to batten down the hatches, the editorial writers at the Cumberland Times-News say.

PLAN MARYLAND: Members of the state delegation discuss the governor’s PlanMaryland document in the Carroll County Times, with an emphasis on local control.  The county commissioners there want more time to review the plan, Christian Alexandersen reports.

REDISTRICTING: A Salisbury Daily Times editorial says congressional redistricting needs to serve constituents not politicians. The paper wants the Eastern Shore to be linked with Southern Maryland in the 1st Congressional District.

KRATOVIL HIRED: Former Rep. Frank Kratovil is back prosecuting criminals in Prince George’s County, Annie Linksey and John Fritze report in the Sun.

PG COUNCIL: Fifteen candidates are vying to replace Leslie Johnson on the Prince George’s County Council, Ben Giles reports in the Examiner.

 Prince George’s County elected officials are expected to support Derrick Leon Davis, who finished second in the 2010 Democratic Primary, blogs David Moon for Maryland Juice.

SLOWING RECOVERY: As federal spending declines, the economic recovery in the Washington region is slowing down, D. Vion Haynes reports in the Washington Post. Some business leaders are looking to grow jobs in the private sector.

RACING: Sun business columnist Jay Hancock says Maryland’s horseracing industry could take some cues from the organizers of next week’s Grand Prix.

BaCo REZONING: Baltimore County is beginning its comprehensive rezoning process, Arthur Hirsch reports in the Sun.

CITY TAXES: Baltimore Brew reports on a Wall Street Journal op-ed by two area professors that says city property taxes are killing the city.

STATE HIGHWAYS: Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley told the Sun’s Michael Dresser that the State Highway Administration routinely cut corners on contracts, shuffling work around. And Swaim-Staley is also concerned that a congressional stalemate on federal highway funding will hold up projects, John Fritze reports in the Sun.

TIME CARD FRAUD:  Jeff Barnd of WBFF has a special report on possible time card fraud with contractors a the State Highway Administration.

ARCHBISHOP LEAVING: Pope Benedict has appointed Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien to a Vatican post will cut short his tenure here, Arthur Hirsch reports in the Sun.

DOMA REPEAL: Gay rights advocates are trying to get Maryland’s Democratic Congressional representatives – most prominently U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski – to sign off on legislation repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states to ignore same-sex marriages granted in other states, blogs David Moon for Maryland Juice.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

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