Archive: November 2008

MoCo Council: Fix Disability Retirement Program

A majority of Montgomery County Councill members signed on to a letter to County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) this week, urging "swift action" to overhaul the county's disability retirement system. The missive appears to try to turn up the pressure...

By Anne Bartlett | November 28, 2008; 8:37 AM ET | Comments (3)

Pro-Slots Committee Raised More Than $7 Million

The committee that led Maryland's campaign to legalize slot machines collected more than $2.6 million during the final weeks before the election, with the vast majority of contributions coming from people and companies that could benefit from expanded gambling in...

By Anne Bartlett | November 26, 2008; 2:28 PM ET | Comments (1)

O'Malley Launches Tough-Times Website

Gov. Martin O'Malley today announced a new state website that provides information for people struggling with the consequences of the economic downturn: www.problemsolver.maryland.gov. It steers users to state and federal resources on topics such as heating and energy assistance, job...

By Anne Bartlett | November 26, 2008; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley Hints at Employee Furloughs

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) last night confirmed his plans to propose another round of mid-year budget cuts next month, suggesting the reductions could total about $200 million. Appearing on Maryland Public Television, O'Malley offered few specifics but strongly hinted...

By Anne Bartlett | November 25, 2008; 9:21 AM ET | Comments (9)

Md. Teachers Push to Preserve Funding

With a session of budget cuts coming in the Maryland General Assembly, the state's leading teachers lobby sought last week to fire a preemptive strike through a blitz of television and Web ads. In messages targeted at lawmakers, the Maryland...

By Anne Bartlett | November 24, 2008; 9:46 AM ET | Comments (13)

Brown's Name "Hotly Circulating" for Veterans Post

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) this morning acknolwedged speculation that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) is under consideration for a Cabinet post in the Obama administration, saying the former Prince George's delegate has been "a tremendous partner to me...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 22, 2008; 4:28 PM ET | Comments (2)

MoCo Professional Firefighters Pull Out of Talks

The fallout from the ambulance fee debate in Montgomery County continues: The county's professional firefighters union said today that it is pulling out of negotiations to help close a projected $250 million budget shortfall next year because the County Council...

By Anne Bartlett | November 21, 2008; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (8)

Cardin, Mikulski Turn to Lottery for Inaugural Tickets

Because of overwhelming demand for tickets to the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikuski and Ben Cardin, both Democrats, have decided to dispense their tickets by random drawing, staffers said. Cardin's office on Thursday notified the...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 21, 2008; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (2)

Glendening's Son Moves Up In Governors' Association

Raymond Glendening, the son of former Maryland governor Parris N. Glendening, has been named national political director of the National Governors Association, an organization that promotes the candidacies of the party's gubernatorial candidates. The younger Glendening, a Maryland resident, has...

By John Wagner | November 21, 2008; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (1)

MoCo Plans to Play Defense in Annapolis

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and County Council members will host a reception tonight for Montgomery's legislative delegation. The informal gathering and public hearing that follows are a sort of pregame strategy session to set next year's agenda for...

By Anne Bartlett | November 20, 2008; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (5)

Ivey Recalls His Former Boss: Eric Holder

Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey today praised the man who could well be President-elect Barack Obama's leading candidate for U.S. attorney general Long before Ivey was elected county prosecutor, he worked for Eric H. Holder Jr., who...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 20, 2008; 6:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

Layoffs Possible Next Year in Pr. Geo.'s County

County officials in Prince George's might need to lay off 400 to 500 county employees next year--more than 7 percent of the county's total workforce, according to an internal document obtained by the Washington Post. The document was presented to...

By Rosalind Helderman | November 19, 2008; 12:39 PM ET | Comments (7)

Ficker Prevails in MoCo by About 5,000 votes

After days of anticipation, it's official: Robin Ficker's anti-tax ballot measure in Montgomery County has prevailed by 5,060 votes. Election officials are still putting the finishing touches on some paperwork, but spokeswoman Marjorie Roher said this afternoon that "All the...

By Ann Marimow | November 19, 2008; 12:13 PM ET | Comments (4)

Political Hardball in MoCo's Ambulance Fee Debate

It was rare to see County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) publicly push back yesterday with a press conference to denounce a County Council alternative to his proposed ambulance fee. Council member Valerie Ervin, who supports the alternative, said she and...

By Ann Marimow | November 19, 2008; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steele Helping State Senate GOP Raise Money Tonight

Former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael S. Steele, who recently announced his candidacy for chairman of the Republican National Committee, is headlining a fundraiser in his home state tonight. The event, in Savage, Md., is being hosted by the state Senate's...

By John Wagner | November 17, 2008; 1:36 PM ET | Comments (3)

Md. Lt. Gov. Brown Lands Role In Obama Transition

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) is the latest O'Malley administration figure to surface in a role on the Obama transition team. Brown, who supported Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the Democratic primary, is one of two leaders of...

By John Wagner | November 17, 2008; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steele Seeks National GOP Post

Our colleague Chris Cillizza reports that former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael S. Steele said yesterday that he will seek the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, a move sure to shake up the race for control of a party demoralized...

By Anne Bartlett | November 14, 2008; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (2)

Council Veep Contest Underway in MoCo

While all eyes were fixed on the national presidential election, another presidential campaign of sorts has been underway in Montgomery County. Council member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), the current vice president, is slated to take over as County Council president from...

By Anne Bartlett | November 13, 2008; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (2)

On camera, live: The Governor

Live, from Maryland Public Television: Gov. Martin O'Malley. O'Malley (D) today announed that he will soon start a monthly live program called "Ask the Governor: Special Edition of Direct Connection." The 30-minute program will start at 7:30 p.m. on Nov....

By Anne Bartlett | November 12, 2008; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (2)

Inaugural Excitement in MoCo and the Post's New Blog

Montgomery County residents have been mistakenly calling the County Council offices in Rockville in search of tickets to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration. The council put out word yesterday that residents should instead look for a limited number of tickets...

By Ann Marimow | November 11, 2008; 12:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

MoCo's Anti-Tax Measure Still Ahead in Vote Count

After the first round of counting absentee ballots, Montgomery County's anti-tax measure is now leading by more than 4,000 votes. The measure, sponsored by low-tax activist Robin Ficker, would require a unanimous vote by the nine-member County Council to exceed...

By Ann Marimow | November 10, 2008; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (32)

Perez Heavily Involved In Obama Transition

Thomas E. Perez, the O'Malley administration's secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, has been playing a significant role in Barack Obama's presidential transition efforts. Perez is leading one of seven teams that for some months have been quietly overseeing transition...

By John Wagner | November 7, 2008; 3:26 PM ET | Comments (5)

MoCo Ambulance Fee Finds Surprising Support

The rock solid opposition from Montgomery County's volunteer firefighters to a proposed ambulance fee appears to have some cracks. Glen Echo Fire Department's volunteers are urging council members to support the fee, which County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) says is...

By Ann Marimow | November 6, 2008; 2:46 PM ET | Comments (2)

Not Everyone in Maryland Is Delighted

The historic nature of Barack Obama's election was not lost on Republican Bruce Wesbury when he woke up yesterday morning. He decided to mark it by... fixing his shower. "Life goes on," Wesbury said, taking a break from his shower...

By Anne Bartlett | November 6, 2008; 12:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley: The Governor, The Sandwich

While in Gaithersburg, which is Maryland's "capital for a day," Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will be greeted with a new sandwich bearing his name. O'Malley, a Montgomery County native, is scheduled to eat lunch at Roy's Place, a mainstay for...

By Anne Bartlett | November 6, 2008; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Joy at Prince George's County Hall

In Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County, the nation's wealthiest black jurisdiction, many lapels at the county government building yesterday sported Barack Obama buttons. A security guard and custodian flipped through of a copy of the Washington Post together. "I'm...

By Anne Bartlett | November 6, 2008; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Franchot: Slots Won't Help in Short Term

Election Night was not a good night for Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) whose ardent fight to keep slot machines out of Maryland met defeat in every county in the state. He was still fighting this morning, expressing "disappointment" that the...

By Lisa Rein | November 5, 2008; 1:34 PM ET | Comments (3)

Morning Update: Anti-tax Measure, Kratovil Ahead, Extra Edition TK

Morning dawned in Maryland to find Montgomery's County anti-tax measure leading by about 600 votes and Democrat Frank Kratovil ahead in the the First Congressional District by about 900 ballots with all precincts reporting. There are thousands of absentee...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 5, 2008; 10:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

Jockey Club Says It's In On Slots

The Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Race Track in Anne Arundel County, wasted little time this morning in announcing its intentions to bid for a slots license. In a statement, the club, which is owned by Canadian-based Magna Entertainment,...

By John Wagner | November 5, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

In Bowie, Obama Victory Brings Cheers and Tears

At the Bowie home of Robyn Mullen and Melvin Mitchell, Barack Obama's election as the nation's 44th president was greeted with cheers and tears. "Oh, my goodness. Thank you, Lord!" shouted Carlotta Ashton, wiping away tears. "Thank you! Thank you!...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 11:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

'King's Dream Has Come True'

The crowd of college students in the University of Maryland student union counted down the seconds to the polls closing on the West Coast. When Sen. Barack Obama was immediately declared the winner, the ballroom exploded in a frenzy of...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 11:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Exuberant Democrats Await Obama Victory

Across the Maryland suburbs, Democrats watched with excitement as Sen. Barack Obama neared victory in a historic presidential election. At the University of Maryland at College Park, scores of students in the Grand Ballroom turned to a huge screen showing...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 10:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Telephone Tax Hike Goes Down

Prince Georgians have overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative to raise the county's telephone tax from 8 to 11 percent and provide more funding for schools. County leaders had predicted the tax increase would bring in $17 million a year for...

By Rosalind Helderman | November 4, 2008; 10:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Yes to Slots, Yes to Early Voting

The Washington Post has called the election for Maryland's two statewide ballot questions: Voters approved both constitutional amendments. With 30 percent of the precincts statewide reporting, about 59 percent cast ballots to allow slot machine gambling at five locations...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 10:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Local Reps Win, but Dead-Heat in Md.'s 1st District

All the congressmen representing Maryland's Washington suburbs -- Reps. Donna F. Edwards (D), House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D) -- won reelection today. Meanwhile, Republican Andrew P. Harris and Democrat Frank M. Kratovil Jr....

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 10:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

MoCo Anti-Tax Measure Too Close to Call

Results are exceptionally close in Montgomery County on a ballot question that would make it harder for county leaders to raise the property tax. Now, it takes a vote of seven of nine county council members to exceed a local...

By Rosalind Helderman | November 4, 2008; 10:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Maryland for McCain? For a Moment, At Least

The pundits made an easy call just minutes after polls closed in Maryland: Sen. Barack Obama would win the state's 10 electoral points. But as results from the Free State trickled in, Maryland turned from light blue to pink on...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 9:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

At College Park: Fingers Crossed

Scores of students packed the Grand Ballroom at the student union of the University of Maryland at College Park to watch the results from today's historic presidential election. CNN played on one screen, while Comedy Central aired on another. Raucous...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 9:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

"Nothing Comes Close"

At 8:52 p.m. at Sen. Barack Obama's Bethesda headquarters, a huge cheer went up as NBC called Maryland for Obama. "Nothing comes close to this," Del. William A. Bronrott (D-Montgomery) exclaimed. "We're at a tipping point for so many issues,"...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 9:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama's Bethesda Troops Dial for Votes

The polls were closed across the Washington region, but at Sen. Barack Obama's field office in Bethesda, dozens of volunteers were still dialing for votes -- calling voters in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Nevada. In one corner, volunteers huddled over a laptop,...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 8:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama's Change Message Resonated in Maryland

Sen. Barack Obama appears to have clinched Maryland's 10 electoral votes, which comes as little surprise considering registered Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans in the Free State. Preliminary results from exit polling by the Associated Press suggests Obama's call for...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 8:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

At U.Md., Students Rush to Polls

As polls closed at the University of Maryland at College Park, the line of students waiting to vote swelled. One student leader organized an impromptu game of bingo for the students, while Lauren Kim, 21, a senior art history major,...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 8:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Guide to Tonight's Maryland Coverage

As polls close at 8 p.m., here's a guide to our online coverage tonight of the election in Maryland: * We'll track the ballot referendum to amend the state constitution to allow slot-machine gambling at five locations. Staff writers John...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 6:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

After Work, Voters Race to Polls in Gaithersburg

Just hours before polls closed at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, volunteers from both parties huddled under umbrellas as they handed out sample ballots and other information to voters. After long lines this morning, a steady stream of voters...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 6:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

One Woman's Tale: From Poll Tax to Presidential Candidate

Lorraine Bell had been planning for some time exactly what she would do should the day ever come that an African American would be in the running for president. She would bring with her a receipt for a poll tax...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 5:58 PM ET | Comments (1)

College Park Students Primed to Vote--and Party

At the Adele H. Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland at College Park, students were lined up to vote and primed to party. Posters advertising an election night fete decorated the halls and a long line of...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 5:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

For MoCo Dems, 'Mixed Feelings' On Slots

Longtime Democrat Pat Ryan, 53, has known for months which candidates she would vote for, but she had a hard time deciding how to vote on Maryland's slot-machine gambling referendum. Even as she stepped into the booth at Seneca Valley...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 5:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Historic Race Draws Young Voters to MoCo Polls

As the polling place at Rocky Hill Middle School in Clarksburg opened this morning, a line of voters stretched out of the school, through the parking lot and all the way to a stop sign on the nearby street. But...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 4:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lots of Voters, No Problems So Far at UMd.

State Sen. Jim Rosapepe (D-Prince George's), who has crusaded for more voting machines for the polling station at the University of Maryland's student union, reports long lines there today but says the process has run more smoothly than in past...

By Rosalind Helderman | November 4, 2008; 4:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Sense of History for First-Time Voters

In Charles County, Latia Downing, 21, and her mother, Felitia Buckner, 42, both of Waldorf, said they were excited to be participating in this year's election. "This is my first time. This is the first black president," said Downing, as...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 4:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

St. Mary's Volunteers Motivated to Help Campaigns

Jeremy Pevner, a 21-year-old senior at St. Mary's College of Maryland is one of about 40 undergraduates participating in St. Mary's Votes, a program with the College's Center of Democracy to register voters and drive them to the polls. He...

By Philip Rucker | November 4, 2008; 4:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Van Hollen Waits With Other Voters

At Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) stood in line for 40 minutes with the rest of his consituents, who offered to let him jump ahead. "There's no way I'm jumping the line," he said, preferring to...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 2:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

'Never Been So Proud'

The sign that normally displays sermon topics at Kettering Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro said, "You have to vote, but be patient on Nov. 4." Latisha Hoover, 25, smiled as she walked past the sign to join the line of...

By Anne Bartlett | November 4, 2008; 1:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

'Getting People Out There to Vote Is What It's All About'

Perhaps anticipating long waits, many Montgomery County voters arrived before polls opened, causing a morning crush with long lines. "When you have a large portion of a precinct turn out first thing in the morning, that's going to present a...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 12:42 PM ET | Comments (1)

First-Time Voters Swell Turnout at Silver Spring Precinct

New voters appeared to be contributing to the unusually long line at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, where the wait had been as long as 2 1/2 hours. Even the traditional pre-lunch lull had a wait of 1 1/2...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

After Early Rush, Takoma Park Lines Diminish at Mid-Morning

At mid-morning, a line that had been around the block at Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park had disappeared. By 9:30 a.m., 612 people had voted. Of those, 12 were registered Republicans. Precinct judge Anne Sergeant credited extra voting...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 11:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Voting Proceeds Despite Shooting Incident

At Oaklands Elementary School in Laurel, workers arrived to open the polls to find police investigating an attempted burglary that ended with a police officer grazed by a bullet. Prince George's County officials said the officer had responded to the...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

Early Voting in New Carrollton

Winsome Brissett, 48, came to the polls with her 11-year-old son, Ajani. The lab technician from New Carrollton, said she wanted to bring her son because "it is a historical moment. I wanted my son to be here because he...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

Takoma Park Voters Divide on Slots

While heavily Democratic Takoma Park was expected to be a shoe-in for Obama, the question of how local residents would vote on whether to allow slots gambling in Maryland proved far less certain as the went to the polls Tuesday...

By Phyllis Jordan | November 4, 2008; 9:29 AM ET | Comments (3)

Pr.Geo.'s Lawyer Part of Obama Legal Team in S.Fla.

Despite a drenching South Florida rain, Largo lawyer Bobby Henry said he didn't mind being outside the Miami-Dade County government center Sunday night while people waited in line for more than six hours to cast an early vote in the...

By Anne Bartlett | November 3, 2008; 1:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

MoCo's Absentees Swell to 50,000 and Counting

Election Day minus 1, but Montgomery County voters already have turned out in large numbers this year, requesting a record high 55,804absentee ballots. Among those are 14,000 voters who already showed up to vote in person at the board of...

By Miranda Spivack | November 3, 2008; 1:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Update: MoCo Mailer Citation Finally Accurate

When a mailer opposing Question B, a tax limitation measure on Tuesday's ballot in Montgomery County, arrived in mailboxes on Saturday, its claim that The Washington Post had editorialized against the proposal was not yet true. It became true today:...

By Anne Bartlett | November 2, 2008; 7:52 AM ET | Comments (9)

MoCo Mailer Still Ahead of the Facts

A postcard urging residents to vote "No on Question B!" started arriving in Montgomery County mailboxes today -- still claiming that The Washington Post had editorialized against the ballot measure, anti-tax activist Robin Ficker tells Maryland Moment. But as of...

By Anne Bartlett | November 1, 2008; 1:47 PM ET | Comments (3)

 

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