State Roundup, November 14, 2018

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FROSH SEEKS TO STOP TRUMP WHITAKER APPOINTMENT: Maryland’s top lawyer asked a federal judge Tuesday to block Matthew G. Whitaker from serving as acting U.S. attorney general, contending that the appointment is illegal, Ann Marimow of the Post reports.

OPINION: REDRAW THE LINES: The editorial board for the Sun looks at the gerrymandering decision that Attorney General Brian Frosh could choose to appeal and what could happen in various scenarios. The editorial board opines that “we tend to agree with Gov. Larry Hogan that Maryland should simply accept the result of this ruling and go about the business of drawing new, fairer lines for the 6th District before the 2020 election — and doing the same thing statewide after the next census.”

AMAZON’s N. VA. AFFECT ON REGION: Amazon’s selection of Northern Virginia for part of its massive expansion should benefit Maryland, but experts don’t expect many of those benefits to extend north to Baltimore, Sarah Meehan of the Sun reports.

  • Baltimore’s proximity to Crystal City means there will be thousands of new jobs for professionals in the region. But what exactly would a commute to the new headquarters look like? Carley Milligan of the the Baltimore Business Journal used Google Maps to run a series of commuter options for individuals living in three local hubs — Baltimore City, Columbia and Annapolis — to see how long it would take to get there by car or public transportation on your average weekday morning rush hour.

OPINION: HOGAN OWNS UM REGENTS PROBLEM: In a guest column for Maryland Matters, David Plymyer, a former county attorney in Anne Arundel County, opines that the University of Maryland Board of Regents fell so far short of fulfilling its role as the guardian of the institutional mission and values during the recent football scandal that it raises questions about the qualifications of the individual regents. And those questions directly implicate the person who appointed them, Gov. Larry Hogan.

STEELE ON GOP’s FUTURE: For Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and former lieutenant governor of Maryland, the midterm elections were a process of the American people beginning to answer two questions. What kind of country do they want? What kind of leaders do they want to run it? He talks with the Post’s Jonathan Capeheart about he future of the GOP.

DEM COULD BEAT McCONKEY: Democratic candidate Heather Bagnall could be poised for an upset after absentee ballot counts put her just 196 votes behind Republican incumbent Tony McConkey in the District 33 delegate race, reports Chase Cook for the Annapolis Capital. Elections officials will finish counting absentee and provisional ballots Wednesday and Friday.

HOWARD’s VOTER TURNOUT: There has been a great deal of talk about how big the voter turnout was across the state of Maryland and specifically here in Howard County. 2018 was a BIG improvement (turnout percentage) over the past two mid-term election cycles…but Scott Ewart, of Scotte’s Blog takes a look back a little bit further.

ERLICH TRANSITION TEAM LARGE, DIVERSE: There’s a fine line between inclusive and an unruly mob. But somehow Montgomery County Executive-elect Marc B. Elrich (D) and his top lieutenants managed to keep things orderly at the first meeting of his transition team Tuesday, writes Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters. Elrich’s team is about 180 strong – a diverse array of politicians, operatives, civic leaders, community activists, small business owners and lawyers.

TEACHERS UPBEAT ON PITTMAN: Anne Arundel County teachers are eager for County Executive-elect Steuart Pittman to fulfill campaign pledges to ramp up school funding and return years’ worth of skipped salary increases, reports Lauren Lumpkin for the Annapolis Capital. Pittman, who is still nailing down the details of his administration, said he won’t hire an education policy staffer. County Executive Steve Schuh’s education officer, Amalie Brandenburg, left her post in August and — as of June — earned a $111,852 salary.

2 CEOs HEAD OLSZEWSKI TRANSITION: Baltimore County Executive-elect Johnny Olszewski Jr. has selected a corporate leader and a local nonprofit official to lead his transition team as he prepares to take office, reports Pamela Wood for the Sun. Calvin G. Butler Jr., chief executive officer of BGE, and Rachel Garbow Monroe, president and CEO of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, will co-chair the transition effort.