Winners and Losers
Here are some winners and losers in Maryland politics in recent days.
Homeowners facing foreclosure: Lawmakers passed a sweeping package of laws designed to help control the housing crisis. Property owners currently in foreclosure don't get any relief, but those about to go into foreclosure have a longer timetable to make their case: 150 days, instead of the previous 15 days. A big political winner was Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who proposed the package -- a splashy regulatory victory in a year in which money is too tight for many new initatives. And he plans to sell it in a media campaign that associates him with help for hard-hit homeowners. Here is Philip Rucker's coverage.
Maryland millionaires: When the computer services industry got whacked with an unexpected sales tax in last year's special session, its executives vowed to fight back. They did, very successfully: The Senate has repealed the tax, and the House is expected to follow suit. But lawmakers had to make up the lost revenue somehow, so they chose to impose a three-year surcharge on millionaires. Other losers were two Montgomery Democratic senators, Rona Kramer and Richard Madaleno. They were outspoken opponents of the surcharge, saying it could drive residents out of Montgomery to D.C. or Virginia. Their stance is unlikely to be forgotten by Democratic leaders. John Wagner explains the repeal.
Fourth Congressional District constituents: There really no good answer to the question of how to replace U.S. Rep. Albert Wynn (D), when he resigns in June to join a prominent law firm. If Gov. Martin O'Malley calls a special primary and election, it will cost $2 million, and the winner will serve only a matter of weeks before the November general election chooses someone to take office in January. If he gets permission from the legislature to forego the primary, the election will still cost $1 million. If he allows the seat to stay vacant until January, constituents will be unrepresented for six months. Payback from Wynn for his defeat in the February Democratic primary? We don't know -- he isn't answering questions from the Post. Here is coverage by Rosalind S. Helderman and Lisa Rein.
April 4, 2008; 9:19 AM ET
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