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Coming Up in Maryland Politics

Coming up in Maryland politics:


Today is the final day of the General Assembly's annual session. On Saturday, lawmakers passed the state budget, as well as such major measures as the computer services tax repeal and a plan for an independent authority to take over the financially troubled Prince George's public hospital system. But hundreds of bills remain to be considered. Among the proposals: requiring a reduction in carbon emissions; banning video bingo machines; approving a legal settlement with Constellation energy. Here is Lisa Rein's story on what's still unresolved.

By Anne Bartlett  |  April 7, 2008; 7:30 AM ET
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Next: Legislative Session Action: The Last Day


ANNAPOLIS: Here is how Lisa Rein characterizes the Donna Edwards Protection Act: "A bill allowing the governor to call a special general election this summer to fil the seat to be vacated by U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn is expected to pass."

No mention that this bill sets a precedent of doing away with the special primary election and replaces it with a decision to be made by the STATE Central Committee after only consultation with the central committees of the two affected counties. Thus we are having people from Baltimore and Hagerstown vote on the nominees for one of Montgomery County's two congressional seats! Plus, we are spending trillions to give the people of Iraq the right to vote and we are taking away the right to vote in a primary in Maryland. The issues in a primary without Albert Wynn would be far different from one where the only issue was Wynn's record. The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave the people the right to vote for U. S. Senators. Now Maryland wants a law to take away our primary right to vote. We know this is bad law because it is to apply for only one year. Bad Baaaaaad idea!

COUNTY GOVERNMENT: Wednesday evening at Paint Branch High School is the next debate between Property Tax Relief Hero Mark Fennel and Property Tax Increase Champion, fudging Don Praisner. 42 year old Fennel opposes the largest property tax increase in 20 years which has been proposed by the County Executive. Fennel has pledged to stick to and not exceed the charter property tax limit which was approved by the voters to protect homeowners. Fennel, a Vassar graduate supports our November ballot Question which makes it more difficult to exceed the charter property tax limit.

76 year old Praisner on the other hand opposes our ballot question to make it more difficult to exceed the charater property tax limit. Praisner has pledged to exceed the charter property tax limit. Praisner supports the largest property tax increase in 20 years although he is "troubled" by it. That is like saying your support the death penalty, but are "troubled," by it. Praisner should be selling fudge at the beach.

COUNTY GOVERNMENT: Public hearings by the council start tonight on the largest proposed property tax increase in 20 years. Don't be surprised if Praisner shows up to testify in favor.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | April 7, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

We had the 3/5 compromise in Article I Section 2 Paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution where only 3/5 of slaves were counted for purposes or apportioning the U.S. Congress, etc.

We had the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution where the right to vote could not be abridged by race or color.

We had the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution where it was said that women could vote.

So what is being foisted on the African Americans of P.G. and Montgomery Counties? S.B. 1014, the Donna Edwards protection Act which takes away the right to vote in a special election primary. The reason given? We are going to save money, so let's go backwards in time and take away rights and democratic opportunities. This last minute snake of a bill will more than likely pass the State Senate today and be sent to the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee. So call that committee to urge defeat of SB 1014.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | April 7, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Would someone please introduce a Robin Ficker Protection Act?!?!

Posted by: Fickered-Out | April 7, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse


I am probably going to regret this because trying to talk in a reasoned approach with you can very trying. But here goes...

Last week, you were complaining about the lack of representation in MoCo Council District 4 due to the death of Marilyn Praisner and you thought the process was too slow.

Now you are for vacancies in races you don't agree with by being against allowing representation for those from Congressional District Four.

Congratulations you are on record as being both for and against vacancies for districts within a few days. It is nice to know that you have both sides of the issue covered. Maybe you should consider a career as a professional campaigner. Oh you have.

As for your characterization of Fennell vs Praisner you ignore the fact there are three other candidates in both primaries.

More to the point, I have sat next to you at two of the MoCo Council District 4 debates (why I don't know), I think you are having a hard time sitting still and listening because you are constantly twitching, speaking out loud to those around you and then you get most of the basic facts incorrect. What was said does not match what you heard.

So tell us why we should listen to someone who is not a voter in either District and contradicts himself from week to week?

I did find it interesting that the police had to come by and take down your littering of Fennel signs at yesterday's debate.

I sure hope you did not get ticketed for this. It might cause you spend some time in front of a judge and not be able to blog incomplete facts.

I am fairly certain I am going regret engaging you because of your efforts as a professional heckler at Bullets games makes having a serious conversation with you about as productive as talking to a brick wall.

So if you have this compulsion to blog at least come within modicum of the facts.

So far you have failed.

Posted by: Kevin Gillogly | April 7, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, there is existing law in Maryland now which allows the Governor to call a special election or not when there is a Maryland vacancy in the U. S. House of Representatives. The existing law reqauires a speacial election AND a general election. O'Malley, in the Donna Edwards Protection Act, wants to do away with the Primary and hold only a Special General Election. He wants to decrease the franchise, not enlargen it. Like they do in dictatorships.

And Kevin, I have never sat next to you anywhere in my life, in the same room maybe, but never next to you. You have a vivid imagination. nYou don't like to talk the facts or laws, you just like to get personal.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | April 7, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Existing law requires a special election primary and a special election general election if the Governor decides to try and fill the seat rather than let it go vacant. The Governor wants a special election general election but NOT a special election primary, so he is trying to change the law for just this one year to do away with the requirement for the primary.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | April 7, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Mark Fennel has his campaign signs on more lawns than the other 7 council candidates put together. No wonder they are jealous of him. No wonder they spend their time putting their signs illegally in the right-of-way, not on the lawns of homeowners. After Mark is on the county council, I hope he shares his secrets with the Magnificent Seven.

Posted by: Candidate Jealousy | April 7, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

No, Robin, you idiot, once again you're WRONG. You state that "[O'Malley] is trying to change the law for just this one year to do away with the requirement for the primary."

It's not just for this one year. The requested change in the law is because at the time the vacancy became known, the primary for the NEXT election had already been held. The new law, if it is passed, will apply in the future to ANY special congressional election where the primary has already been held before the vacancy occurs. Why should the state be required to hold ANOTHER primary when we just did one in February? Let Peter James be the nominee for the Republicans and Donna Edwards for the Democrats. The voters just chose these two a month ago for the 2009-2011 term.

Now, some Republicans are complaining about not having a primary. Apparently, they don't like the choice their voters in CD4 made in February. Too bad. It just shows the absolutely terrible state of the Republican Party that it wants to turn its back on its own nominee, Peter James. If the Republican State Central Committee wants someone other than Peter James for the special election, go for it. Not my problem.

But what is my problem is that Robin Ficker is a mendacious, clueless moron who mindlessly repeats things that he either knows or ought to know aren't true. Internet pollution doesn't begin to describe the banality and inanity of the Robin Ficker Experience.

Robin, you're not in Congressional District 4, you're not in Council District 4, and really, nobody cares what you have to say. NOBODY. Not about this and not about anything else, either. It's a pathetic statement on your career and your lack of anything to do that you continue to behave this way. Get a life.

Posted by: lefty | April 7, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Lefty, you are living testament to the fact that human certainty is inversely proportional to factual knowledge. The bill was amended in the Senate so that it applied for only one year. If this idea of attacking the democratic process was such a good one, why was the bill amended to apply for just one year? It is the Donna Edwards Protection Act. The issue in her Feb. 12 primary was Wynn's record. Now The issues will be much different----Iraq, price of oil, illegal immigration, the economy, etc. I testified on the bill in Annapolis, unlike you sir. The Governor's representative didn't even know how any other state out of the 49 other states handled this problem. You just don't like people voting in elections, do you? Why should the central committee for the entire state pick the nominees for a district that lies entirely with Montgomery County and Prince Georges County?

P.S. Your name calling betrays your lack of education. There are lots of English courses available over the internet now. You should take one.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | April 7, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The name calling Ku Klux Lefty has come out of the cesspool again.

Posted by: Klu Klux Lefty | April 8, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Actually,'s site reported that the election bill sunsets in a year. That would make Ficker factually accurate.

Posted by: Everett W. | April 8, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse


You wrote: "I have never sat next to you anywhere in my life, in the same room maybe, but never next to you. You have a vivid imagination. nYou don't like to talk the facts or laws, you just like to get personal."

I must not have made a strong enough impression. Try the Aspen Hill Civic Association Event. I started at the same row as you this Sunday but I got up to record things. But I will make sure that you notice me next time. ;)

As for getting personal, I see when you call getting representation for the people of the Fourth Congressional District the "Donna Edwards Protection Act" that's not personal against Donna? But when I mention that the debate was between more than Fennel and Praisner it is. Or when I mentioned that the police came by and took down the signs you put up, that's personal. Or that you failed to get even your basic facts correct. That's personal.

I thought that this would be the case. Still it might help if you get the basic facts straight. I have recorded portions of Sunday's debate. Go here and tell where the facts are wrong.

When you fail to get even the basic facts correct then why should we believe you when offer an opinion?

Posted by: Kevin Gillogly | April 9, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

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