***The deadline to register to vote or change party affiliation is next Tuesday, June 3 at 9 p.m. Any Maryland citizen who will be 18 by Nov. 4 can register online or change party at https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/OnlineVoterRegistration or with paper applications at libraries, post offices, motor vehicle offices and other state offices. The primary is Tuesday, June 24 and early voting begins Thursday June 12.***
CHANGES FOR DBED? Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports that a commission tasked with looking at the overall business climate in the state could recommend changes in the state Department of Business and Economic Development, which is responsible for promoting business, encouraging companies to move to Maryland and working with existing businesses to stay in the state and expand. It’s become the focus of the Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission, even though many of the complaints about taxes and regulation are outside the agency’s purview.
CALENDAR POLITICS: It says a lot about the state of Maryland politics when, less than a month before the most important primary election in years, local political headlines are dominated by a half-baked idea to change the school calendar, followed by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s non-appearance at a televised gubernatorial debate. Who’s most closely associated with the push to put off the start of the school year until after Labor Day? Not any of the candidates for governor, but a guy who chose to stay on the sidelines – state Comptroller Peter Franchot, writes Josh Kurtz for Center Maryland.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE: Colin Campbell of the Sun writes that three of the candidates to become Maryland’s next attorney general said Thursday that they are opposed to the incumbent’s suggestion to abolish the state prosecutor’s office to save money. Democrats Brian Frosh and Jon Cardin and Republican Jeffrey Pritzker spoke at Towson University at a forum sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council. A fourth candidate, Democrat Aisha Braveboy, did not attend.
Bryan Sears of Daily Record reports that three former elected officials and a councilwoman from Baltimore City issued a letter critical of Jon Cardin and his campaign to become the next state attorney general. The email, signed by former Sens. Barbara Hoffman and Paula Hollinger, former Lt. Gov. Mickey Steinberg and Baltimore City Councilwoman Rikki Spector, criticizes Cardin for “a lackluster career in the state legislature.”
GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE CONFUSION: John Wagner of the Post reports that the biggest drama at Thursday night’s Maryland gubernatorial forum started to play out before any of the candidates spoke. Four hopefuls took the stage. There were only three chairs. And one running mate, who thought she was to stand in for her gubernatorial partner, remained in the audience.
BEFORE THE PRIMARY: Three televised debates next week for the gubernatorial candidates of both major parties along with a radio debate kick off the final three weeks of the primary election campaign, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com. Voters are paying more attention to a June 24 primary that is taking many by surprise, and the volume of advertising is set to ratchet up, with mailers filling mailboxes. Please send us photos of or links to any ads or mailers you think newsworthy, and send us your reactions after the debates.
POLICE GROUP BACKS BROWN: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown picked up an endorsement for his gubernatorial bid Thursday from a group representing 1,800 officers in state police agencies, including the Maryland State Police, writes John Wagner in the Post.
EMPTY LECTERN AD: Jeff Barker of the Sun reports that the images of two Democratic candidates for governor debating — with the missing third candidate represented by a lonely lectern and a name tag – have quickly shown up in a new television ad. Democratic candidate and Attorney General Doug Gansler has pounced on front-runner Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s absence at Tuesday night’s debate.
- Brown responded with his own TV ad attacking Gansler along the lines of earlier mailers faulting his call for a corporate tax cut. “I would think he’s a Republican,” a woman says at its close.
MIZEUR ADS: Months after political ads first started hitting the Maryland airwaves, gubernatorial hopeful Del. Heather Mizeur has collected enough money to join her rivals. With less than a month until the June 24 primary, the Mizeur campaign plans to start broadcasting an ad in the Baltimore area on Tuesday, writes Jenna Johnson for the Post.
Mizeur’s ad is entirely positive, in keeping with her campaign strategy. It starts by focusing on her childhood experience walking a union picket line with her striking father, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun.
DISTRICT 17: Luiz Simmons has a negative mail piece attacking negative campaigning. It borrows his opponent’s logo and attacks negative campaigning though it is reportedly the first negative mailer of the District 17 Senate campaign, writes David Lublin of Seventh State blog.
DISTRICT 20: In a major boost to their campaigns, incumbent Sen. Jamie Raskin has endorsed David Moon and Will Smith for the two vacant delegate seats in District 20, writes David Lublin of Seventh State blog.
Louis Peck of Bethesda Magazine writes that Silver Spring attorney Jonathan Shurberg is placing a large bet on a New York PR firm. Over the past two months, Shurberg has spent more than $105,000 with BerlinRosen for mailings to voters in Silver Spring/Takoma Park-based District 20 as he seeks a House of Delegates seat.
DISTRICT 30A: Ridg Mills , in the Annapolis Capital’s continuing series of candidate introductions, writes that our communities deserve a delegate who can hit the ground running, who knows the issues and understands constituents’ concerns, and can work across the aisle to solve problems and build a better future for Maryland families. He says his past work for U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Congressman Albert Wynn, D-Md., has given him the leadership and legislative experience we need in a delegate.
DISTRICT 37: Despite their marital problems, Alma Coburn continues to politically support her husband, state Sen. Rich Colburn, writes Brian Shane in the Salisbury Daily Times. In a letter received last month by the Daily Times, Alma Colburn, 48, gives a ringing endorsement of Sen. Colburn, 64, as a candidate in this year’s election. She writes how their personal life has no bearing on his work as an effective legislator.
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ARUNDEL HOUSE CANDIDATES: Alex Jackson of the Capital Gazette reports that school construction money tops a list of infrastructure needs candidates who hope to represent Anne Arundel County for the House of Delegates hope to address. Of 31 candidates who responded to a question from The Capital, nine pointed to school construction.
MO CO EXEC RACE: In the race for Montgomery County executive, writes Louis Peck for Bethesda Magazine, the latest reports filed with the Maryland Board of Elections show Ike Leggett – who launched an ad campaign on local cable TV systems Tuesday – sitting on a campaign treasury of $1.076 million as of May 20, five weeks prior to Primary Day. That’s more than three times the $343,000 that the Doug Duncan campaign had in the bank as of last week.
Bill Turque of the Post writes that, strip away the differences in style and temperament between Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Doug Duncan, and you have the same package, County Council member Phil Andrews contends. “They’re traditional interest-group politicians.”
KAMENETZ-DEVELOPER FUND: WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Alison Knezevich of the Baltimore Sun talk about contributions from developers — and from Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz – to a campaign fund that can be used to benefit members of a particular candidate “slate.”
O’MALLEY TO KEYNOTE IN NEBRASKA: As part of a busy summer of political travel, Gov. Martin O’Malley has been booked as the keynote speaker at a Democratic party dinner in Nebraska in July, writes John Wagner in the Post.
SCHMOKE’S RETURN: Fraser Smith, in an opinion piece for the Daily Record, writes that when Kurt Schmoke became mayor, he was left to stabilize Baltimore City — not to preside over and lead a glamorous renaissance. He didn’t whine much, if at all. He made do with his trademark smile and stylish suspenders. As the world turns, Schmoke returns now to face a similar situation as the takes over the post of president at the University of Baltimore. He follows the dynamic and savvy Robert Bogomolny, who has transformed UB into a bright if still relatively small star.
SHOUTING MATCH: “BoCC worksession will resume shortly.” Normally, the message on Frederick County Government TV signifies an absence of action; nothing is happening because commissioners have taken a break for lunch or are huddling with staff. But on Thursday, reports Bethany Rodgers for the Frederick News Post, when the message and an accompanying twinkly tune took over the broadcast, there was a shouting match on the other end. There’s a video accompanying the article.