State Roundup, October 11, 2012

ALSTON SUSPENDED: Del. Tiffany Alston, the Prince George’s County lawmaker who admitted to misusing public funds, was suspended without pay or benefits Wednesday, according to a letter from the Maryland General Assembly’s legal counsel. And, writes Matt Connolly of the Washington Examiner, an attorney for Alston said the lawmaker is going to fight the decision.

Dan Friedman, the General Assembly’s counsel, sent the opinion to House Speaker Michael Busch, who asked for legal advice regarding Alston’s status, according to WBFF-TV.

GALLAUDET SUSPENSION: Gallaudet University’s diversity officer has been placed on leave for signing a petition to put Maryland’s same-sex marriage law on the ballot, the Sun’s Annie Linskey reports that The Washington Blade has reported. And the suspension is not sitting well for those on either side of the issue.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY: WBFF-TV reports about the ad campaigns for and against Question 6, the same-sex marriage referendum and how clergy are lining up on the issue.

DREAM ACT FOR VETS: Sun columnist Dan Rodricks points out that there’s a provision in the Maryland Dream Act that extends a benefit to veterans. Voters ought to take note of it, because if they vote down the college tuition break for young adults who came here as undocumented immigrants, they’ll be saying nay to a generous provision for men and women who served in our military, too.

GAMBLING EXPANSION: Jim Murren, the chairman and chief executive officer of MGM Resorts that is angling to build a casino at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, expressed disappointment that the referendum on expanded gambling remains close, blogs the Post’s John Wagner.

In an op-ed for the Sun, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says that passing the gaming expansion legislation will help create jobs and better fund education initiatives.

STATE IT AUDIT: Following up on stories by Maryland Reporter and the Washington Post, Gus Sentementes of the Sun reports that an audit of the Maryland Department of Information Technology’s information data security policies and practices found some shortcomings in the four-year-old state agency that’s charged with unifying the state’s computer systems.

VOTER ID TEST: Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young is looking to offer Frederick County as a testing ground for a voter identification requirement even though he admits that the county does not have a problem with voter fraud, Bethany Rodgers reports in the Frederick News-Post.

The plan has drawn criticism from civil liberties groups, who say it would address a problem that doesn’t exist, Ryan Marshall writes in the Gazette.

D FOR GROWTH: The Cato Institute has given Gov. Martin O’Malley a D when it comes to economic growth. Five governors received an F, writes Alexander Pyles in the Daily Record.

3rd DISTRICT DEBATE: In what is considered to be one of the most gerrymandered congressional districts in the nation, Democrat incumbent U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes squared off with Republican Eric Knowles and Libertarian Paul Drgos in the 3rd Congressional District debate, writes Sam Smith in

DELANEY FEATURE: “John Delaney wasn’t supposed to be the Democratic nominee in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District,” is how Len Lazarick of begins this 2,500 word feature on the race against incumbent Roscoe Bartlett in the October issue of Washingtonian magazine. It sums up how we got to this point and offers some new information about Delaney and his wife April.

A THIRD CANDIDATE: Bethany Rodgers, in the Frederick News-Post, writes about a little-known 6th Congressional District candidate, Nickolaus Mueller, a Libertarian who is operating his campaign from a Facebook page. It’s about as low-key a campaign as it can get, Rodgers writes, so it makes sense that Mueller believes government should shrink, too.

SOBHANI ON REFERENDUMS: David Moon of Maryland Juice interviews Rob Sobhani, the independent candidate for U.S. Senate, asking him about statewide ballot issues.

BAY AUDIT: Attorney General Doug Gansler, a likely candidate for governor, toured the Wye River and met with local students and environmental leaders Wednesday as part of his fifth annual Chesapeake Bay Environmental Watershed Audit, writes Julie Baughman of Capital News Service in the Easton Star Democrat.

CHICKEN SUIT: An environmentalist testified in U.S. District Court yesterday that water running over a Perdue contract farm could be releasing bacteria and excess nutrients into Franklin Branch, a tributary that feeds into the Pocomoke River, Clara Vaughn of Capital News Service reports in the Daily Record.

VOTER TURNOUT IN FREDERICK: With the deadline approaching for Maryland voters to register to vote or update their registration information, a Frederick County election official expects the county to continue a recent trend of high voter turnout, reports Ryan Marshall in the Gazette.

POLLING PLACE CONCERN: Annapolis city officials and Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop called a meeting to hear from Eastport residents who say they’re scared to vote on Nov. 6 because their polling place is at the community center in public housing, reports Elisha Sauers for the Capital-Gazette.

REGISTRATION CONFUSION: Bryan Sears of provides more details about those notices sent to many registered voters saying they that they were not really registered, a mailing that flooded the Baltimore County elections board with phone calls.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:


  1. William H. Campbell

    Mr. Sobhani’s interview was disappointing to say the least. Maryland Juice asked for his position on the referendum questions that will be on the general election ballot. It is critical that we know our candidates’ psitions on these important questions. Unfortunately, I cannot devine Mr. Sobhani’s true feelings on them. How can we vote for an enigma?

  2. voter

    The Maryland Juice did the worst interview for any election. Questions that is not related to the Federal Government.

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