State Roundup: Cracks continue to appear in Maryland GOP; church abuse survivors seek report; church lobbying arm hired former lawmakers

State Roundup: Cracks continue to appear in Maryland GOP;  church abuse survivors seek report;  church lobbying arm hired former lawmakers

The Maryland GOP continues to butt heads with itself even as it hopes to rebuild and fund-raise. Image by Emmett Gartner/Capital News Service.

GOP IN TURMOIL: BITTER RIFT EMERGES BETWEEN COX, FORMER RUNNING MATE: The state Republican Party Convention is serving as a showcase for acrimony that runs deeper than even many Republicans realized. It has brought to the fore a bitter rift between failed gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox and his running mate, Gordana Schifanelli, who is seeking to become the state party’s chairwoman over Cox’s opposition. Peter Jamison/The Washington Post.

CHURCH ABUSE SURVIVORS DEMAND RELEASE OF REPORT: Survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are demanding the courts release a 456-page report detailing the history of allegations against priests and resulting coverup in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the fruits of a nearly four-year state investigation. Julie Scharper/The Baltimore Banner.

CHURCH LOBBYING ARM HIRED FORMER LAWMAKERS, OFFICIALS: Over the past five years, the Maryland Catholic Conference, the church’s public policy arm for the three dioceses, has spent more than $200,000 hiring former lawmakers – including former state Sen. Bobby Zirkin – and government officials and consultants as lobbyists to stop the Maryland General Assembly from expanding the state’s statute of limitations on lawsuits arising from sexual abuse claims. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.

ASSAULT SURVIVOR FOUGHT FOR – AND WON – ACCOUNTABILITY: A lawsuit filed by Anna Borkowski and several other women contributed to an outcry that prompted reforms around rape kits, investigative waivers, police practices and prosecutorial decision-making. It sparked student demonstrations. And it hung over Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger, dogging him throughout his reelection campaign. Borkowski believes that she has helped changed the system. Darcy Costello/The Baltimore Sun.

BPW OKs $300,000 FOR ADVOCACY GROUP PUSHING REFORM OF JOBLESS INSURANCE: The Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved a $300,000 payout to an advocacy organization and a law firm that spent months pressing for reform of the state’s unemployment insurance system. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

ALSOBROOKS ENTERS 2nd TERM AS PG EXEC: As Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks took the oath of office for a second term, four new members of the county council were sworn in to begin their terms of service at Upper Marlboro’s Show Place Arena on Monday. Richard Elliott/The Washington Informer.

NEARLY 1,000 APPLY FOR FREDERICK SCHOOLS PRIVATE BOOK BANNING PANEL: Nearly 1,000 people have applied to join a Frederick County Public Schools committee that will review whether 35 books should be removed from school libraries, the district said Wednesday. The committee will only have room for 59 people, many of whom will be chosen at random, according to a document officials distributed by email Wednesday afternoon. The document also said the group’s meetings would be private, but its findings would be publicly available once they were finalized. Jillian Atelsek/The Frederick News Post.

B’MORE COUNCILMAN SEEK REPEAL OF TERM LIMIT MEASURE: A Baltimore City councilman will introduce a charter amendment to repeal Question K, a ballot measure passed overwhelmingly in November that limits City Hall officials to two terms in office. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.

SCOTT TAKES FUNDS FROM DONOR HE ONCE DISAVOWED: In December 2019, running for mayor, City Council President Brandon Scott announced he was returning $4,500 in campaign donations he had received from J.P. Grant. His statement followed confirmation that the Columbia-based businessman, who was handling the city’s lucrative master leasing contracts, had secretly funneled $100,000 to former Mayor Catherine Pugh to help her buy a second home in Ashburton. Now that he is the mayor, Scott has accepted what he once rejected. Mark Reutter/Baltimore Brew.

WALLY ROCHE JR., INVESTIGATIVE SUN REPORTER, DIES AT 75: Walter F. “Wally” Roche Jr., a dogged career investigative reporter whose work during his tenure with The Sun led to the removal of a Maryland legislator, the first since the 1790s, died of heart failure Nov. 25 at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia. He was 75 and lived in Lafayette Hill, Pa. Frederick Rasmussen/The Baltimore Sun.

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:

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