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Winners and Losers

Some winners and losers in Maryland politics in recent days:

WINNERS

Gov. Martin O'Malley: Since his election campaign, O'Malley (D) has been bashing the electric power companies, and promising to push for rate relief -- to little avail, until this week. He reached a legal settlement with energy giant Constellation that gets 1.1 million customers a one-time credit of $170 on their bills. The deal also shifts the $5.2 billion cost of decommissioning the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant from the customers to the company. It's at least a short-term political win for O'Malley. But of course, Baltimore Gas & Electric customers will still be paying rates 72 percent higher than before the industry was deregulated. Here is Lisa Rein's coverage.

Drivers with cellphones: You can still drive the roads of Maryland while talking on your cellphone, now that the House has killed a proposed ban. The Senate passed the proposal narrowly last week, but it didn't survive a House committee. Supporters vow they'll be back next year. Philip Rucker explains.

LOSERS

Same-sex marriage supporters: After Maryland's highest court tossed the issue back to the legislature last year, gay rights activists had high hopes that they would get a bill allowing civil unions passed this session, even if they didn't have the votes for same-sex marriage. But both measures in effect died this week. Only more incremental bills that allow certain property and health care rights for domestic partners are likely to survive.

Activists against illegal immigration: They filed more bills in the legislature than ever seeking to curb rights and services available to illegal immigrants -- a record 20. And the measures died just as quickly as in previous years, despite more activism in their favor. Pamela Constable and Lisa Rein look at the issue.

By Anne Bartlett  |  March 28, 2008; 9:29 AM ET
 
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Next: Coming Up in Maryland Politics

Comments

WINNER: Mark Fennel for County Council in April, May 13 special election. Mark is running on a platform of property tax relief. He has pledged to stick to the charter property tax limit while in office. He supports our November ballot question which will make it more difficult to raise property taxes beyond the charter limit. When elected he will serve on the Council's Fiscal Policy Committee. Fennel is a long-time employee of Citizens Against Government Waste. How could there be a better committee for him? His campaign has been given a huge boost by County Executive Ike Leggett who, unfortunately, has proposed the largest property tax increase in Montgomery County in 20 years.

Fennel is slow growth and a likable guy. Nobody doesn't like Councilman Fennel.


WINNER: Our November ballot question making it more difficult to exceed the charter property tax limit. Fortunately County Executive Ike Leggett has come out in opposition to the ballot question. How could you possibly find a better opponent for a proposition that makes property tax increases more difficult than someone who has proposed the largest property tax increase in a generation? Lots of people in our nightly polling cite Leggett's $65,000 bathroom.

WINNER: Steve Kanstoroom, Democrat for County Council. His ads published this week make lot sense.

LOSER: Montgomery County residents. Faced with the largest property tax increase in 20 years, they have heard news from Annapolis that they are facing the double whammy of an even larger income tax hike. The 16% of Maryland residents who happen to live in Montgomery County were hit with over 50% of the recent state income tax hike. Now some are trying to make that 60 or even 70% of state income tax increases.

WINNERS: The people of Baltimore City. Even though Baltimore gets back $1 in state aid for every quarter it sends to Annapolis, nobody wants to look at cutting their state ad.

WINNER: Jean Cryor of the Planning Board. Jean has missed several Board meetings after having surgery. Jean, best of luck.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | March 28, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Robin, I don't think anyone considers Baltimore residents "winners".

Posted by: Liz | March 28, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Could a Post reporter do a story on which groups are supporting slots now, compared to when Gov. Ehrlich first proposed them? I'd like to see who switched positions and why.
Thanks.

Posted by: Ken | March 28, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Could a Post reporter do a story on which groups are supporting slots now, compared to when Gov. Ehrlich first proposed them? I'd like to see who switched positions and why.
Thanks.

Posted by: Ken | March 28, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

martin o'malley is no winner. he, like the little child he is, pre-emptively sued BGE to make all of us idiot Marylanders think he was doing something because he PROMISED TO STOP THE RATE HIKES. so instead of owning up to his lie, he sued with no chance of winning and then had to call Mayo Shattuck and beg for a settlement that let him save face. if lying, suing with no cause and no chance of winning, and pushing bills that will further RAISE our electricity rates is winning in the post's book, well, you have completely lost the audience you are supposed to be writing for as you look down from your guilded perches at the lowly taxpayers of Maryland.

Posted by: wrong | March 29, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

when will the post stop writing articles based purely on o'malley's press releases? it's getting pretty embarrassing for such a 'beacon' of information.

why don't you put down maryland taxpayers as losers? actually, every week the legislature is in, maryland taxpayers lose. it could be a standing rating for your winners/losers schtick. 'no surprises this week, but maryland taxpayers lose again. Pick your poison this week on which legislation will cost you more, not do a darned thing, and will have martin o'malley, mike miller, and mike busch patting themselves on the back on tv.'

Posted by: indy | March 30, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Martin O'Malley: a lier, fraud and one term Governor. Marylanders are waiting for Bob Ehrlich

Posted by: George | March 31, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Erlich? Can't the dwindling MD GOP muster anyone better? He's too closely associated with Bush and the power industry. I'm a Dem, but if I was the MD GOP, I'd start from scatch for the next ticket. Observe the success of Ron Paul...though he was never a national contender. Erlich should find other work...away from government. Just my opinion...well, and the opinion of the majority of Maryland voters.

Posted by: Donny | March 31, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

LOSERS: Central American Solidarity Association otherwise known as CASA of Maryland. All their bills directed to giving illegal aliens more benefits were killed in committee.

WINNERS: American Citizens who killed the in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

WINNERS: Maryland citizens are beginning to realize that they have a voice against the criminals also known as illegal aliens.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK MARYLANDERS!!!!

Posted by: Citizen Payne | April 1, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

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