Archive: December 2008

O'Malley Ready To March Again

The semi-retired Celtic rock band fronted by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is about to become a little less retired. An email sent recently to fans of O'Malley's March advertises a March 14 CD release party in Baltimore, meaning new...

By John Wagner | December 30, 2008; 11:07 AM ET | Comments (3)

Cost of Johnson's Africa Trip Remains Unclear

There is still no word on how much Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) and aides spent on a trade mission to Senegal and Cameroon earlier this month. County officials put out a two-page memo about the trip...

By Rosalind Helderman | December 29, 2008; 3:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

Anti-Nuke Group Plans Petition to Constellation

The Chesapeake Safe Energy Coalition, which opposes nuclear power, plans to deliver its Christmas present to Constellation Energy Tuesday morning: A petition with more than 8,000 signatures urging the company to sever its ties to the joint nuclear venture Unistar....

By Lisa Rein | December 22, 2008; 4:46 PM ET | Comments (4)

Broad Coalition in Md. Supports Universal Health Care

The Maryland Citizens Health Initiative announced today that more than 350 organizations have endorsed its legislative proposal for universal health care. The list is a Who's Who of labor unions, churches and synogogues and advocates for immigrants, the elderly, tenants,...

By Lisa Rein | December 22, 2008; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Md. Ministers Comment on Warren Choice

Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville had President Elect-Barack Obama on his mind this weekend in the wake of Obama's selection of a popular evangelical author Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation. Warren's selection has outraged...

By Anne Bartlett | December 22, 2008; 9:42 AM ET | Comments (20)

Pr. Geo.'s Leaders Defend School Funding

Prince George's leaders are reacting angrily to a suggestion by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. that the county's request for state school construction funds this year was driven by political considerations instead of the needs of children. In...

By Rosalind Helderman | December 18, 2008; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (5)

Busch, Miller Urge Colleagues To Return $604.20

In a gesture of solidarity with soon-to-be-furloughed state employees, the presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly have asked their members to give up a portion of their pay. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) announced yesterday that most state employees would...

By John Wagner | December 17, 2008; 1:51 PM ET | Comments (4)

MoCo Union Closes In On Pay Raise Deal

Gino Renne, president of Montgomery County's largest public employee union, said today that he is close to a compromise with County Executive Isiah Leggett on planned pay raises for workers, a far more upbeat assessment of negotiations than in recent...

By Ann Marimow | December 16, 2008; 4:21 PM ET | Comments (1)

O'Malley Orders Furloughs for State Workers

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) today announced a furlough plan under which state employees will lose the equivalent of two to five days of pay by June, an attempt to generate savings in a worsening budget climate. The announcement came...

By Anne Bartlett | December 16, 2008; 2:25 PM ET | Comments (18)

Weaver Leaves Franchot Office for Van Hollen Post

Maryland political veteran David Weaver, currently top aide to Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), has been hired as Rep. Chris Van Hollen's chief of staff in his Capitol Hill office. Van Hollen (D) announced today that he's hiring Weaver to replace...

By Anne Bartlett | December 16, 2008; 1:09 PM ET | Comments (1)

Prince George's Wants Say in Fed Funds

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson, members of the County Council, and county delegates and senators met with Gov. Martin O'Malley behind closed doors this morning in Annapolis. Their message: We want a say in how to distribute federal...

By Rosalind Helderman | December 16, 2008; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (4)

Ficker's Law License Restored

Low-tax activist Robin Ficker reports that he is back in action in the courtroom and "on a roll." The Maryland Court of Appeals last week issued an order reinstating Ficker's law license. The court had suspended his license last year...

By Ann Marimow | December 16, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (6)

It's Official: Maryland Goes For Obama

About 150 people looked on yesterday in Annapolis as Maryland's 10 presidential electors cast their votes for Barack Obama (D), with several of them reflecting upon the historic significance of their action. The ceremony was moved from its traditional location...

By John Wagner | December 16, 2008; 9:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

Johnson Watch: He's Back!

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) has returned from Africa, according to his spokesman. James Keary said Johnson returned from his two-week trip overseas this weekend and was back to work today. Keary said aides are working on...

By Rosalind Helderman | December 15, 2008; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (4)

O'Malley: Extended D.C. Bar Hours Might Strain Police Resources

Gov. Martin O'Malley came just short this morning of criticizing the DC Council's emergency law allowing bars and nightclubs in the District to stay open all night during inauguration week. "I would hope we would not distract from the main...

By Lisa Rein | December 15, 2008; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (1)

Johnson Watch: Friday Edition

Still no word from Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson, whom we presume is still traveling on an trade mission in an unnamed African country that might be the Republic of Cameroon. Johnson (D) has been gone since Dec....

By Rosalind Helderman | December 12, 2008; 3:26 PM ET | Comments (2)

MoCo Council Takes Aim at Commission Stipends

Before wrapping up for the holiday recess this week, some Montgomery County Council members took aim at a small, but significant line item in the budget. Council member George Leventhal is leading the charge to wipe out the county's Fire...

By Ann Marimow | December 11, 2008; 4:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

Marylanders Worried About Money But High On Obama

A new poll shows large majorities of Marylanders worried about their financial situations -- yet placing high bets on Barck Obama's presidency. In the poll, by OpinonWorks of Annapolis, 72 percent of Maryland adults said they worry about money as...

By John Wagner | December 11, 2008; 2:39 PM ET | Comments (3)

Is Steele a Real Contender for RNC Post?

Our colleague Chris Cillizza assesses former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's chances of getting the top job at the Republican National Committee today in The Fix....

By Anne Bartlett | December 11, 2008; 9:31 AM ET | Comments (2)

Johnson Watch: Wednesday Edition

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson has still not returned from his trip to Africa. This is clear because his spokesman said again today that he had no information about the trip and that Johnson will answer all questions...

By Rosalind Helderman | December 10, 2008; 4:56 PM ET | Comments (2)

O'Malley Sends Stimulus Priorities To Md. Delegation

Gov. Martin O'Malley today provided the Maryland congressional delegtation with a wish list for federal stimulus projects, including $100 million in highway resurfacing, $50 million in bridge redecking, $100 million in affordable housing and waste and wastewater investments with a...

By John Wagner | December 10, 2008; 2:22 PM ET | Comments (1)

Johnson Watch: Tuesday Edition

Eight days after Prince George's Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) and at least three other county workers left for Africa, his top aides have still been unable to produce basic details about the trip, including any kind of itinerary or...

By Rosalind Helderman | December 9, 2008; 3:37 PM ET | Comments (1)

Christmas Tree Sale Ban Gets a Hearing--In February

Looks like it'll take until 2009 to get to the bottom of why it's illegal to sell a Christmas tree in Montgomery County prior to Dec. 5. At the request of County Executive Ike Leggett (D) the council voted...

By Phyllis Jordan | December 9, 2008; 3:12 PM ET | Comments (2)

Griffith Delegation Chair in Pri. Geo.

Griffith works for the Prince George's County Health Department as director of the Center for Healthy Lifestyle Initiatives. She said she hopes to foster "greater communications among the delegation's members," including other delegates who serve in the leadership of the House. County delegations play an important role in Annapolis, in part because bills that affect only one county are traditionally heard first by delegation committees. The chairman controls which members consider which local bills and in what order -- a tremendously powerful tool in establishing a county's legislative agenda. Delegation chairmen also work closely with House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and help distribute perks, like seating assignments on the House floor. Griffith replaces Del. Barbara A. Frush (D-Prince George's), who served one two-year term as chair. Frush said she declined to challenge Griffith when she realized a vote between them would likely be very close. "Rather than to divide the delegation, I felt it was in the best interest of the delegation not to bring it up for a vote and have people choose sides," Frush said. Griffith said she was pleased Frush decided to step aside rather than force an uncomfotable vote. "She spared people that tough decision," she said.

By Rosalind Helderman | December 9, 2008; 2:51 PM ET | Comments (1)

David Ross Among Marylanders Aiding Transition

Another Marylander, this one with progeny who are up-and-comers in state government circles, is playing a role in the Obama transition. David Ross has been appointed to the Health and Human Services transition team of President-elect Barack Obama. Ross served...

By John Wagner | December 9, 2008; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (2)

O'Malley, Lawmakers Choose Slots Commission

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and legislative leaders yesterday named the remaining members of powerful new commission that will determine who will operate Maryland's slot-machine parlors. The seven-member commission, which includes former legislators and several business leaders, will pick the winning...

By Phyllis Jordan | December 9, 2008; 7:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Johnson Watch Enters Week Two

Have you seen this man? Though Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson has now been in Africa on county business for a full week, residents still have no clear picture of what he is doing there or how much...

By Rosalind Helderman | December 8, 2008; 3:10 PM ET | Comments (3)

Tough Talk Between Leggett and Miller

There were croissants, eggs and tough talk this morning from Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), who used a power breakfast with county leaders to "draw a line in the sand" on state funding for local schools. Leggett wasn't shy...

By Ann Marimow | December 8, 2008; 11:12 AM ET | Comments (11)

MoCo Delegate Tapped for Obama Transition Team

Del. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery) is among the latest Maryland politicians to land a role in the Obama transition. Feldman, who worked for 13 years as a tax division lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice before getting into politics,...

By John Wagner | December 5, 2008; 2:22 PM ET | Comments (1)

Fry Appointed to Lead Md. Slots Commission

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) today tapped Donald C. Fry, a former state legislator who heads the Baltimore area's largest business association, as chairman of a powerful new commission that will select the operators of Maryland's slot-machine sites. The appointment was...

By Anne Bartlett | December 4, 2008; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (2)

Divisions on Pr. Geo's School Board?

The Prince George's County Board of Education voted to keep Verjeana M. Jacobs and Ron Watson in the panel's top two posts for the coming year, but only after a process that highlighted divisions among the school system's leadership without...

By Anne Bartlett | December 4, 2008; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley Elected Vice Chair of Democratic Governors

Gov. Martin O'Malley has been elected vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association for 2009, the Associated Press is reporting. . Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana will serve as 2009 chair, succeeding Gov. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. According to...

By Anne Bartlett | December 3, 2008; 5:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

In Prince George's, Top Aide Gets Top Billing

In her first official speech after being elected chairman of the Prince George's County Council yesterday, Marilynn M. Bland (D-Clinton) reserved her highest praise for a man who has become a familiar presence to anyone who has watched the council...

By Rosalind Helderman | December 3, 2008; 1:39 PM ET | Comments (1)

Gansler Advising Justice Team But Plans To Stay Put

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has landed a role as an adviser to the transition process for the Obama administration's Justice Department -- but doesn't expect to play a longer-term role for president-elect. Gansler (D), who co-chaired Barack Obama's...

By John Wagner | December 3, 2008; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (2)

MoCo Talks With Unions Stall Over Pay Raises

Montgomery County's annual Arts and Humanities ball was not all dancing and celebration last night. Instead, several council members huddled with union representatives who reported that talks had stalled with County Executive Isiah Leggett over rolling back planned pay raises...

By Ann Marimow | December 2, 2008; 3:21 PM ET | Comments (7)

MoCo Council Chooses Andrews As President

Without debate, the Montgomery County Council today unanimously elected Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville) as its president and Roger Berliner (Potomac-Bethesda) as vice president as the panel confronts a budget shortfall that has doubled since September. Andrews, a former executive director of...

By Anne Bartlett | December 2, 2008; 2:53 PM ET | Comments (3)

Campaign Planned to Boost Alcohol Tax For Health Funding

Health advocates will launch a campaign Wednesday to increase the state's tax on alcohol by a dime a drink to fund a plan for universal health care. But the initiative is likely to be dead on arrival in Annapolis, at...

By Lisa Rein | December 1, 2008; 3:57 PM ET | Comments (2)

Md. Peace Activists Post Police Files

Three peace activists who were classified as terrorists in a Maryland State Police database have posted their police files on DC Indymedia, a Washington-area website. Pat Elder and Nadine Bloch of Montgomery County and Medea Benjamin of San Francisco tell...

By Lisa Rein | December 1, 2008; 3:32 PM ET | Comments (2)

O'Malley to Attend Governors Summit With Obama

Gov. Martin O'Malley will be among the governors meeting with President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden in Philadelphia at a summit tomorrow to discuss the economic crisis. O'Malley was originally a supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton in the...

By Anne Bartlett | December 1, 2008; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steele to Headline in Virginia

One of Maryland's political stars, former lieutenant governor Michael S. Steele, will deliver the headline speech at the Silver Anniversary Dinner Saturday as part of the Republican Party of Virginia's GOP Advance. The Advance, an annual gathering of Republican activists...

By Anne Bartlett | December 1, 2008; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (1)

 

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