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Welcome to The Maryland Moment, a new washingtonpost.com blog that will keep you up to date on what's happening in the General Assembly and in the state's wider political circles.

With the Free State preparing for some fierce races that will decide who will be the next governor and who fills an open U.S. Senate seat, Maryland's political reporters will be posting items daily. Look for filings from the State House team in Annapolis--staff writers Ann Marimow, Matthew Mosk and John Wagner--as well as Tim Craig writing from Montgomery County on Doug Duncan's bid for governor.

The beauty of a blog is how quickly we can bring you updates, and how quickly you can respond. We'd love to hear your tips and ideas--just use the comment section attached to each posting. Or email the reporters directly

Cheers,
Phyllis Jordan
Maryland Political Editor

By Phyllis Jordan  |  January 9, 2006; 7:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

Great! Looking forward to reading it. Would love to know who are the hard working, smart and capable legislators and not just hear reports from lobbyists and their spin.

Posted by: S | January 9, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

can't wait!

Is this blog also going to cover County races in the DC Metro area. I know it is a niche audience for County news, but I'd love to see this blog focus on County news as well that may not make it to the Washington Post newspaper.

Posted by: Dave W | January 9, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Elect Saqib Ali, a software engineer, to the Maryland House of Delegates, District 39.

Ali will be the ONLY engineer in the ENTIRE General Assembly. As such, he will bring to bear an analytical mind and an understanding of technology that is sorely needed. Many issues of the day deal with computer technology and how it relates to our life (Information Security, Identity Theft, Spam, Privacy). Ali is uniquely qualified to understand and analyze such issues.

http://www.AliForDelegate.com

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

This is such a good idea! Thanks Ms. Jordan and WP for creating this blog. I would also like to see coverage on county politics.

Posted by: 007 | January 9, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Dave,
Our plan right now is to keep this blog dedicated to statewide politics and news, but roll out other blogs that will focus on county issues. Watch for news on that.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 9, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's get started. How do I get current and accurate information regarding opening sessions and related events in Annapolis?

Posted by: Yo | January 9, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I am excited to hear all about the Governor's race! I am a supporter of Doug Duncan, so I want to hear all the ins and outs of the campaign trail! Cool :)

Posted by: Veronica | January 9, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The 90-day legislative session opens Wednesday at noon. For basic information on bills, hearings schedules and floor votes, check the Maryland legislative website at http://mlis.state.md.us.
We'll have postings here, as well.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 9, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Please keep us up to date on getting slots at the MD race tracks. Busch can't be believed or trusted because all he is interested in is foiling Ehrlich.

Posted by: Patsy McDonald | January 9, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

What is Permalink? and XML RSS Feed and why don't you define these things?

Posted by: S | January 9, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

This is the blind leading the blind but here goes...
Permalink is a way to link directly to an entry (instead of to the entire site, if you wanted to link to something a few days old).

RSS is a distribution method -- it stands for really simple syndication. You can subscribe to an rss feed using an rss reader and then when you log into your reader, it tells you which feeds have updated.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 9, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the information. I see that I'm once again technologically illiterate. Apparently, I must go dance with an IPOD or something.

Posted by: Blind | January 9, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Phyllis,

Thanks for responding. I look forward to seeing more county-focused blogs in the future in addition to this one.

Posted by: Dave W | January 9, 2006 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Why nothing on the blog or almost nothing in todays post on Judge signs death warrant? This is Maryland not Texas!! Second executed in Maryland in two months.
Annapolis needs to take a good hard look at it-self and prosecutors who push for executions. We
in Maryland should be thinking very seriously about who gets our votes at all
levels of politics. The death penalty is not a solution it is a problem we need to know where they stand.

Posted by: Sippel | January 10, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So why has the post assigned a beat reporter to Doug Duncan's campaign and not Martin O'Malley's?

I seem to think both have an equal opportunity to win the nomination and it would behoove the post to assign a reporter to o'malley's campaign as well.

I havent made a decision as yet but I'd like to hear unbiased reporting on both candidates.

Posted by: TJ | January 11, 2006 1:43 AM | Report abuse

TJ,
We have a reporter covering Martin O'Malley. It's one of our state house team members, John Wagner, who already written several pieces on the mayor. Tim Craig, who's covering Duncan,is assigned to the campaign but not the state house this year.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 11, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait to read it to find the latest news items of sessions that are about to take place. Also I would like to know what seats are open in Maryland politics.

Posted by: La Anthia | January 11, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Every seat in the House of Delegates and the state Senate will be on the ballot this November, along with the statewide posts: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller.
In Congress, there's an open Senate seat in Maryland for the first time in two decades, and all eight House seats will be before the voters.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 11, 2006 5:36 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of Maryland's Eastern Shore, it is sometimes difficult to get news about the rest of the state. I am very glad to find this source. Keep it up!

Posted by: J. Hellawell | January 12, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I am so glad this blog has been created. It is important for Maryland residents to know what goes on during the 90 day sessions in Annapolis. I became involved when I entered a free course offered by Maryland University for seniors called Legacy Leadership. After finishing this course I was assigned to work for Delegate Proctor. I attended most of the sessions and as a results became more active in my community. This program is a very good one. I learned so much while working as a Legislative Aide in Annapolis. This blog finally reach Maryland residents that would not know otherwise what's going on in Annapolis. Thanks.

Posted by: La Anthia | January 12, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

While WalMart is the example, we forget the roots that undermine the American worker in this "Global" market and that is the greed led by satisfying the demands of the investor who expects a continued high rate of return. WalMart was on the top of the Fortune 500 that maintained a philosophy of business practice intended to maximize profits and satisfy its investor base. To do this required cut-backs on every end until the only place to cut back was on the workers and their benefit package.
The sucess of the Maryland legislature to over-rule its Republican govenor set a precedence in defending the future of American workers. At least it is a start.
From retail stores to healthcare facilities, satisfying the investor base is paramount to making sure that the citizens and backbone of this society are well taken care of. When my wife's health insurance plan changed in January, we found that we had to pay 20% of the hospital bill if we used the facility she worked for (or those owned by the same company) and 40% without a cap of any hospital listed in their network and finally 50% of the hospital bill if we were forced to use a facility that was not considered in their network. This is, I might remind you, a Prefered Physician's plan or PPO and not an HMO. With this kind of increase in out-of-pocked expense and 45-million Americans (including 8.5 children) who have no insurance at all, it becomes a necessity for Government to step in and assure the welfare of the public. Three people per minute lose their healthcare benefits and the majority who are not fortunate to have access to a group plan find that they are denied coverage for existing conditions that are passively blamed on the individual who happens to have Crohn's disease, Diabetes, Cancer or any other problem genetically aquired or a result of older age. Our fault is being born, not improper self-care over our lives. If every person with insurance coverage were healthy then the true recipient of this trend would be the investor in the annuity rather than the employee or self-employed who maintain their premium and out-of-pocket percentage of deductibles and hospital or urgent care (most now quick-care with higher per service cost) patients. WalMart's practice whether singled out because they are one company in the group of over 10,000 employees who are below the baseline, force their employees who have coverage and need family care to seek compensation for that portion they would be responsible for from the rest of the tax payer base through state Medicad programs. The government doesn't pay this - each of the working class pays for it in our income so we might expect some fairness back in the consideration of reducing the investors dividend for the welfare of the employee. Unfortunately, the investor is so far removed from the insured that the thought of the need for the uninsured or under insured is similar to launching a cannon ball over using a knife in battle - the invester is highly insulated from the responsibility of inflicting pain and suffering.
The Amerian's for Health Care organization clearly stated it in a recent address on their website that is linked from my wife's Service Industry Union Website - health care in the united states is not simply a privledge but a "moral value" that we deserve as citizens of the United States. If we are concerned about family values and moral values, then we should applaud the Maryland legislature and the Democatic party for fighting for the welfare of the citizens of this county rather than attempting to get government out of the private sector. After all, we have already seen what happens when we leave the responsiblity to take care of the American worker to the private sector - the employer seeks every trick in the book to eliminate the employee or the employee's benefit for the sake of the bottom line.
It's time for a change and if the GOP is more concerned with investor's bottom line than the welfare of the moral majority in this county we need to look past religious value and take a closer look at how religious values in this country are threatened with regard to family values and the need for families to be treated as valuable members of our society where healthcare is a right and not a privledge.
The bottom line is not always the need to satisfy the investor, sometimes it is the need to uphold human values in this country for all of those who provide more than labor but give their life's blood to keep companies like Walmart and other in the profit making healthcare industry growing. Let them grow at a slower rate. To penalize the work force is not the answer to maintaining a viable growth in this country while we have already lost our manufacturing base and have our service industries threatented by out-sourcing or the hiring of non-immigrant status employees to replace American workers and force down labor rates.
Congradulations to Maryland for doing what is morally right and not necessarily polically right. WalMart is not the victim - it's employees deserve the minimum investment in benefits that other companies have done voluntarily. Because WalMart is the only employer in the state who has not complied does not make the action against them a target, but simply removes or repairs one bad apple in the vat of well intended others.

Posted by: D. Wish | January 13, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I think the Maryland Moment needs to allow visitors to post front-page stories. That would make it a much more vibrant forum.

I can't help but notice that the comments on this blog are very sparse... And that even though the Wal-Mart Override occured last night, there is still nothing posted here (even though it is getting national media attention)

Open it up... or post more often!! :)
If you are concerned about the quality, then you can make it moderated.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 13, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see this new blog. As a native Washingtonian who now lives in Allegany County in Western Maryland, I still follow the Post closely.

However, I do ask that the Post (and the rest of the State) remember that Maryland does not end with Frederick (or Hagerstown).

As a story suggestion, please check out the year-long District Court vacancy in Allegany County that the Gov won't fill because his crony, er... first choice... did not make the cut of the selection committee. It's been said that there is a scheme involving the retiring District 1 Senate seat, the Dist 1A delegate's seat when he moves over to the Senate, and Dist 1B delegate seat, since that is Gov. Erlich's first choice for the bench. One of those 'you support my guy, and we won't oppose your guy/gal' deals.

Maryland politics as usual - actual voting is secondary to the process.

Thanks.

Posted by: Mark F. | January 14, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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