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Winners and Losers

A few recent winners and losers in Maryland politics:

WINNERS

Maryland senior citizens: If the legislature approves, about 7,500 low- and moderate-income seniors will be eligible for a subsidy for their prescription drugs under a plan announced this week by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Lisa Rein covered the story.

Opponents of transgender protection law: A Montgomery County citizens group has submitted to the Board of Elections about 31,000 signatures for a referendum to overturn the county's new law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person's gender identity. The board still must examine the signatures, but the number suggests Citizens for a Responsible Government have a good shot at getting their referendum on the November ballot. They say the MoCo transgender protection law is so broad that it would allow a biological male dressed as a female to use the women's restroom. Proponents of the law say the new protections do not change laws about restrooms and locker rooms, and accuse the citizens group of distorting the issue.

LOSERS

Maryland Republicans: They were embarrassed late last week when Robert A. McKee, a long-serving Republican delegate from Western Maryland, announced his resignation after authorities seized two computers, videotapes and printed materials from his Hagerstown home. The Washington County sheriff described the case as a child pornography investigation. Whatever the outcome, it wasn't a good day for the party of family values. Here is Philip Rucker's story.

By Anne Bartlett  |  February 22, 2008; 7:51 AM ET
 
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Comments

The council could have avoided this ballot question if they had been willing to tweak the law they passed. Public accommodations must include restrooms because if it didn't we would still have the abhorrent"whites only," and "blacks only," restrooms. So instead Mike Knapp has taken up trying to impugn the motives and attack the integrity of the signature collectors, one of whom was my friend, Dave Slessinger, who graduated with honors from MIT and who is as honest and hardworking as the day is long. Having collected signatures for charter amendments myself since l974, I can't remember another council-passed law which was successfully petitioned to referendum because it must almost always be done in the winter months when people don't want to stop and because so many signatures have to be collected. Knapp should be concerned with his up-coming vote to exceed (his fourth vote to do so) the charter property tax limit. He is going to get voted right out of office if he does this.
Another LOSER is the system that Leggett and Knapp have with their call-in shows to answer questions from the public. They ask for names and topics before they take the questions on the air and then refuse to take or put on hold for 45 minutes somebody who is calling about such a topic of wide interest as property taxes. This is a P.R. gimmick only for them and does not serve the public at all. Another LOSER is the same Senior Citizens that the Post says are winners. If the Leggett and Knapp tax increase team gets its way and gives us a great big property tax hike in the time of recession, senior citizens will have to do what my brother who lived his life in Montgomery County did----vote with his feet!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 22, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

An unnamed source today said that O'Malley's signing hand was badly injured while trying to sign the new bill that benefits a handful of senior citizens while costing the entire state a lot of money.

Reportedly, O'Malley wasn't sure if this bill would actually help senior citizens, but he was assured it was costly and potentially wasteful. He tried to sign too fast for his hands, and broke several bones in that hand.

Posted by: Ombudsman | February 24, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

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