State Roundup, October 16, 2012

VULNERABLE VOTER DATABASE: Computer security experts have identified vulnerabilities in the voter registration databases in Maryland and Washington state, raising concerns about the ability of hackers and others to disenfranchise voters, Nicole Perlroth reports in the New York Times.

REFERENDUM SPENDING: Local issues including the massive spending on both sides of the referendums that voters will see on the ballot on Nov. 6 are discussed by Marc Steiner and Anthony McCarthy of WEAA-FM, John Wagner, of the Washington Post, and Alexander Pyles, from the Daily Record,

FILLED GAY MARRIAGE COFFERS: Supporters of same-sex marriage are vastly out-fundraising their opponents, Pamela Wood reports in the Capital-Gazette. Marylanders for Marriage Equality have raised $3.2 million, compared to $838,620 raised by the Maryland Marriage Alliance.

GOP SUPPORTER DONATES: The lead group seeking to uphold Maryland’s same-sex marriage law has announced it had received a $250,000 contribution from Paul Singer, a prominent New York-based hedge fund manager — and a major donor to Republican candidates, blogs John Wagner of the Post.

NAACP CASE FOR GAY MARRIAGE: Benjamin Jealous, national president the NAACP, drew on the history of civil rights, and that of his own family, to make the case for marriage equality in Maryland, writes Ian Duncan for the Sun. “This is a question of what side of history do you want to be on,” he said, then referred to the marriage of his parents, an inter-racial couple.

DEMS SEEK PROBE: The Maryland Democratic Party is asking state prosecutors to investigate what it says are “serious campaign finance violations” by a group that opposes the state’s Dream Act, writes the Sun’s Matthew Hay Brown. But the director of the group called the claims “bogus,” and described the challenge as “another violation of my First Amendment rights.”

ALLIANCE UPSETS SOME: Tara Bahrampour of the Post writes that an alliance formed by immigrant and same-sex marriage advocates has shocked some in the Latino community.

ILLEGAL & PAYING TAXES: Sun columnist Dan Rodricks writes about undocumented workers in Maryland and the fact that the Maryland Dream Act actually requires proof that the parents of an illegal student is a state taxpayer, which many of them are.

FOR & AGAINST GAMBLING EXPANSION: The Baltimore Post-Examiner runs two opinion pieces – one for gambling expansion by Eric Bromwell and the other against by Kevin McGhee.

BRAWLING AT HARRAH’S: Gary Haber of the Baltimore Business Journal writes that an executive with parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp. said that a special events center that will be part of the Harrah’s Baltimore casino could host events like boxing matches and Mixed Martial Arts fights.

VOTE EARLY: Voters in Anne Arundel County – and the rest of Maryland – can bypass election lines and cast their ballot beginning Oct. 27, Heather Rawlyk writes for the Annapolis Capital.

MO CO DEMS FIGHT REMAP: Montgomery County “good government” Democrats are organizing their opposition against the “atrocious gerrymandering” in the congressional redistricting that is on the ballot for voter approval as Question 5, reports’s Sam Smith.

TOP DEMS IN TROUBLE? The Nov. 6 election could mean trouble for two of Maryland’s top Democrats – U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and Gov. Martin O’Malley, opines Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland.

BARTLETT FUNDING: John Fritze of the Sun reports that incumbent U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett — in the fight of his political career to keep his seat in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District — raised less money over the past three months than he did in the previous quarter.

CANDIDATE FORUM: A Frederick County Commission on Women forum drew U.S. House and Senate candidates – including Sen. Ben Cardin and opponent Dan Bongino – discussing how they would address issues specifically affecting women, reports Bethany Rodgers in the Frederick News-Post.

VAN HOLLEN AS RYAN: Marc Steiner speaks with U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who acted as Paul Ryan’s stand-in as Vice President Joe Biden prepared to debate him.

POST ENDORSES DEMS:Stating that all of this year’s crop of Republican candidates for Congress in Maryland’s suburbs oppose any deal to reduce the nation’s deficit that includes new revenue and bipartisan compromise, the editorial board for the Washington Post endorsed Democrats in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th districts.

BA CO ZONING CHALLENGE: Developers and shopping-center owners have contributed more than $225,000 to efforts to challenge zoning decisions in Baltimore County through referendums, Alison Knezevich of the Sun reports.

BA CO TO BORROW FOR PENSIONS: Alison Knezevich of the Sun reports that Baltimore County will borrow up to $260 million for its pension system and pay off the debt over the next 30 years. The County Council voted 7-0 to let the county invest the borrowed funds in the stock market, a move that carries risk but one that county officials say will close a gap in pension funding while saving money in the long run.

ANGELOS FIRM REPRESENTS PRATT: The law firm of prominent lawyer and Orioles owner Peter Angelos is handling without charge Baltimore City Comptroller Joan Pratt‘s lawsuit against the Rawlings-Blake administration’s efforts to install a new city phone system that Pratt says illegally circumvented the competitive bidding process and wasted taxpayer dollars, write Luke Broadwater in the Sun.

MITCHELL FUNERAL: Fred Rasmussen of the Sun writes that a memorial service for former Maryland legislator Clarence Mitchell III, who died Thursday at age 72, will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at Sharp Street Memorial Church, Dolphin and Etting streets, in Baltimore City.

Michael Mitchell Jr. joins Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM to discuss the legacy of his uncle.

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 Comment

  1. Looiqk

    It’s a shame that the Frederick Women’s Commission, a non-partisan group, didn’t invite independent senate candidate Rob Sobhani to the debate, real shame on them….

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