State Roundup: Celebrity donors give to Maryland candidates; Atty Gen seeks more money for clergy probe; ranks, if not banks, of lobbyists refilled

State Roundup: Celebrity donors give to Maryland candidates; Atty Gen seeks more money for clergy probe; ranks, if not banks, of lobbyists refilled file photo.

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‘OUTSIDE MONEY’ TINGED WITH CELEBRITY: Bob Odenkirk, who played a morally challenged attorney in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” gave $1,500 to Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando, a Democrat seeking to fill the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin. Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat along with U.S. Rep. David Trone, got $3,125 from Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner on June 29. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

ATTY GEN SEEKS MORE BUCKS FOR CLERGY PROBES: Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown is asking the state spending board for approval to create four positions to beef up his office’s investigations into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

RANKS OF LOBBYISTS REFILLED, THEIR BANKS ARE GETTING THERE: Maryland’s top echelon of lobbyists earned slightly less during a six-month period that includes the most recent legislative session compared to a year ago and their share of every dollar spent on lobbying fell to its second-lowest point in four years. Growth in the total number of registered lobbyists — more than 660 — is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. And nearly 150 lobbyists reported earnings of at least $50,000. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

CHOUDHURY’s MANAGEMENT STYLE UNDER FIRE: For two years, Mohammed Choudhury has been hard at work as Maryland’s schools superintendent, revamping what he says was “not a functional” department and implementing a historic $3.8 billion program to transform the state’s public education system into a national model of educational excellence and equity. The leaders of the board that hired him say he’s doing a great job — but as they debate extending his contract this summer, they are also defending him against accusations that his fiery management style has jeopardized the state’s agenda for its 900,000 students. Valerie Strauss, Ovetta Wiggins and Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.

STATE CLIMATE GOALS DRAW NATIONAL ATTENTION: As policymakers begin to solicit public opinion on a recently released blueprint for achieving the state’s ambitious climate goals, prominent environmental podcasters are focusing national attention on some key pieces of Maryland climate legislation. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

PUNDITS PREDICT BIG NAMES STILL TO RUN IN 6th DISTRICT RACE: It has been more than two months since Maryland’s 6th congressional district seat — by far the most competitive in the state — came open. But while half a dozen candidates have already come forward in the Democratic and Republican primaries, there’s a sense among political professionals that the field isn’t anywhere near complete — and that some of the biggest names have yet to step forward. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

OPINION: ANDY HARRIS & GOP HOUSE TARGET LGBTQ AMERICANS: Last week, Republicans took the normally sleepy markup of the humdrum Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill and turned it into a vehicle for overt bigotry against gay and lesbian Americans. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), championing the anti-gay amendment, didn’t conceal his ugly intent. He alleged without evidence that the programs “groom young children.” He likened the programs to the Ku Klux Klan and said the programs support communists. Dana Milbank/The Washington Post.

AFTER OBJECTIONS, UNIVERSITIES ARE URGED TO DELAY NEW PROGRAMS: Two of the new leaders of the Maryland Higher Education Commission are suggesting that colleges and universities in the state pause their pursuit of new degree programs if another institution objects. The suggestion comes after Morgan State University’s leader challenged the creation of a new business program at Towson University that was ultimately approved. It also comes as the commission is undergoing a transformation, which includes new leadership and a legislative review of its policies. William J. Ford/Maryland Matters.

FAMILY OF MAN WHO DIED IN 2013 TRAFFIC STOP HOPES NEW LAW WILL LEAD TO NEW PROBE: The family of Tyrone West, the Baltimore man who died in 2013 during a traffic stop in which police beat him with batons and pinned him to the ground, say they have new evidence they hope will lead officials to reinvestigate his death. Meanwhile, leaders of two offices that may have the authority to launch a new investigation are saying it’s within the purview of the other office. But West’s sister hopes that the new evidence and a new state law, which is set to go into effect in October, will lead to a fresh inquiry into her brother’s death. Emily Sullivan and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

ANGELOS SEEKS CONGRESS’s HELP TO AID INNER HARBOR, STADIUM NEIGHBORS: Orioles chairman and CEO John Angelos has reached out to Maryland’s congressional delegation and retained Washington lobbyists to try to help the city redevelop the Inner Harbor and the area immediately surrounding the city’s stadium complex. It’s part of a push, in concert with the city and state, for what Angelos has called a “second Baltimore renaissance.” Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

MAYOR SCOTT ABANDONS PROCESS FOR NOMINATING POLICE CHIEF: Four years ago, the Baltimore City Council passed a resolution calling for the Maryland General Assembly to change the process by which a Baltimore mayor selects a police commissioner nominee to require the creation of a diverse committee to assist the city’s top elected official. Its lead sponsor: then-Councilman Brandon Scott. But, critics have noted, this wasn’t how Mayor Brandon Scott picked his nominee. Darcy Costello and Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

‘POWER COUPLE’ MOSBYS SEPARATE: Marilyn Mosby, the former Baltimore state’s attorney facing federal perjury charges, has filed for “a limited divorce” — essentially a legal separation — from her husband, Nick Mosby, the City Council president. Darcy Costello, Cassidy Jensen and Mary Carole McCauley/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The power couple have been a fixture of Baltimore politics for more than a decade, and often appeared together in each other’s campaign literature and at public appearances. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.

ARUNDEL WORKFORCE BOARD, SCHOOLS TEAM UP TO MEET BLUEPRINT GOALS: As Anne Arundel County Public Schools rolls out its first phase of the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, how the school system and the Anne Arundel County Workforce Development Board build the career counseling program will set the tone for the public schools’ ability to meet the overall goal to have all students be “college and career ready” by the tenth grade. Megan Loock/The Capital Gazette.

ANNAPOLIS POLICE INCREASE OFFICER PRESENCE: With 38 incidents as of July 14, Annapolis city police have already confirmed more shootings in 2023 than its five-year average of 36 — a spike that has led city officials to design and implement a summer crime plan. Beginning July 14 and lasting eight weeks, the program is largely based on increasing officer presence in “areas affected by violence,” serving warrants and locating illegal firearms. Luke Parker/The Capital Gazette.

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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