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Winners and Losers

Here are a few of the winners and losers in Maryland politics in recent days.

WINNERS

The legislature's Black Caucus: A number of black lawmakers objected to Gov. Martin O'Malley's high-priority bill to collect DNA samples from people arrested for violent crimes. They said it was too broad and intrusive, and could disproportionately target African Americans. Under heavy pressure from the caucus, the O'Malley administration agreed to change the bill to require that a DNA sample be automatically expunged if the suspect is exonerated, and to mandate stricter regulations on how DNA samples are collected at crime scenes. Here is Philip Rucker's coverage.

LOSERS

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett (D): No matter how legitimate the need, spending more than $65,000 in public money on the construction of a bathroom -- with shower -- for your private office suite while you're asking for higher taxes and county job cuts is not an ideal public relations move. Leggett and his staff say the bathroom is needed for security reasons, and was planned before the current budget cycle began. Critics say it sends the wrong message. Here is Ann E. Marimow's story.

Chillum residents: Neighborhood activists have tried for years to stop Washington Gas from building a 13 million-gallon LNG storage tank in Chillum, about a block from the West Hyattsville Metro station. Legislation designed to block the plant by changing the rules for construction approvals from state regulators died in a House committee this week. The bill's sponsor, Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George's), says she'll try again.

By Anne Bartlett  |  March 21, 2008; 8:25 AM ET
 
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