Archive: February 2009

Ehrlich Says Obama Plan is "Class Warfare"

Former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), whose political future remains a big mystery, surfaced last night on MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews.   During the segment, Ehrlich mostly had unkind things to say about President Obama's stimulus plan...

By Phyllis Jordan | February 27, 2009; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (21)

Pet Trusts Advance

A bill to allow Marylanders to create trusts for their pets passed the House of Delegates this morning and will now be considered by the senate. We wrote about this issue yesterday. The bill passed by a vote of 105...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 26, 2009; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (1)

Miller: Death Penalty Could Get Some Floor Debate

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said this afternoon that he plans to accomodate Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) by allowing at least some consideration by the full Senate of a bill to repeal the death penalty. "I want...

By John Wagner | February 25, 2009; 1:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Should You Be Allowed to Leave Money to Fido in Md.?

As we reported this morning, the Maryland House of Delegates is scheduled to vote as early as today on a bill that would allow residents to set up legally binding trusts for the care of their pets in the event...

By Anne Bartlett | February 24, 2009; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (1)

Ficker Changes Primary Residence To Run in MoCo's District 4

Low-tax activist Robin Ficker is hoping to take his message directly to the Montgomery County Council. Ficker, a former state legislator and champion of anti-tax ballot measures, has filed his candidacy for the District 4 special election. To run for...

By Ann Marimow | February 24, 2009; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (19)

State Asks Court To Toss Laurel's Complaint

Lawyers for the state are asking a judge to dismiss a legal effort to reinstate a bid to put slot machines at Laurel Park race track in Anne Arundel County. The track operators submitted a bid this month but failed...

By John Wagner | February 24, 2009; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (1)

Miller Wants Quick Committee Vote on Death Penalty

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said this afternoon that he would like to see a relatively quick, up-or-down committee vote on a bill to repeal Maryland's death penalty. His pronouncement is the latest move in a procedural...

By John Wagner | February 23, 2009; 2:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Senators Seek Answers from DHS on Spying

Sen Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wi.) yesterday called on the federal Department of Homeland Security to reexamine claims that they did not share information about nonviolent protest groups with the Maryland State Police. Their letter to DHS...

By Lisa Rein | February 20, 2009; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

Perez In the Mix for Immigration Job

Tom Perez, Maryland's labor secretary and a former Montgomery County council member, could soon join the Obama administration, sounces tell The Post. Immigrant advocates say the White House and the Department of Homeland Security have nearly finalized their choices to...

By Phyllis Jordan | February 19, 2009; 7:08 PM ET | Comments (2)

Johnson: Considering Statewide Run

There's a lot of chatter in Annapolis about an article that appeared on the website of the Prince George's Gazette newspaper, based on an interview the newspaper's editorial board did with Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson yesterday. In...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 19, 2009; 4:35 PM ET | Comments (4)

Police Disability Retirements "Spike" As MoCo Seeks Changes

The number of Montgomery County police officers applying for disability retirement has risen dramatically in the last three months compared to the same period last year, according to statistics provided this afternoon to the County Council. The jump from 5...

By Ann Marimow | February 19, 2009; 3:44 PM ET | Comments (7)

Md. House Debates Abortion, Er, Tattoos

The Maryland House of Delegates spent more than a half an hour this morning engaged in a procedural debate that was, essentially, about abortion--yet the delegates managed to do so without once mentioning the word. At issue was a bill...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 19, 2009; 2:10 PM ET | Comments (7)

O'Malley: Stimulus Could Erase Layoffs, Restore College Funds

With federal stimulus money on the way, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is reconsidering plans for 700 layoffs next year and may restore funding for community colleges that was not included in the budget proposal he presented to lawmakers last month....

By John Wagner | February 19, 2009; 8:45 AM ET | Comments (1)

Federal Stimulus Money Earmarked for Md. Transportation

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced today that his state would use its first wave of federal stimulus money to jumpstart $365 million in transportation, from road resurfacing to bridge maintenance. Work on some projects will start within 30 days, he said....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | February 18, 2009; 12:20 PM ET | Comments (4)

Miller Makes Procedural Appeal On Death Penalty

Less than two hours before the start of a hearing today on repealing the death penalty, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) made an usual procedural appeal from the rostrum that could affect the course of debate. The...

By John Wagner | February 18, 2009; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Duncan Faults Leaders For "Uninspired" Fiscal Response

Former county executive Douglas M. Duncan takes local and state leaders to task in a column that appeared in Sunday's Post. Duncan faults elected officials for relying too much on the federal stimulus package to cope with budget problems instead...

By Ann Marimow | February 17, 2009; 1:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

Exact Text of D.C. United Bill

The actual text of the bill to finance the new D.C. United soccer stadium in Prince George's is not yet online--these things sometimes take a few days in the Maryland General Assembly. But a few readers have asked us for...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 13, 2009; 4:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

D.C. United: We Could Break Ground This Year in Pr. Geo.'s

D.C. United co-owner Victor MacFarlane pledged to Prince George's delegates and senators this morning that the team is "negotiating in good faith" as it works to move from the RFK Stadium in the district to a new stadium in county--he...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 13, 2009; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (3)

Ask Your Questions about D.C. United Move to Prince George's

As Rosalind S. Helderman reported this morning, the D.C. United soccer team's co-owner told Maryland lawmakers yesterday that the team plans to move from RFK Stadium in the District to a site yet to be determined in Prince George's County....

By Anne Bartlett | February 13, 2009; 11:16 AM ET | Comments (2)

D.C. United's Owner Says Team Headed to Prince George's

Victor MacFarlane, owner of the D.C. United soccer team, said today that he is committed to moving the soccer team to Prince George's County. Meeting with state senators from the county in Annapolis, he said the team wants to build...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 12, 2009; 5:12 PM ET | Comments (1)

State House Talks State Aid

Prince George's has pulled the trigger on its net taxable income proposal, a complicated budgetary issue that Montgomery delegates were warning could cause friction between the neighboring jurisdictions. Or, at least, it has kind of pulled the trigger. We told...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 12, 2009; 3:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

MoCo Sets Dates for District 4 Special Election

With little discussion this afternoon, Montgomery County Council members overcame their earlier differences to set a date for the special election to choose Don Praisner's successor in the Eastern County's District 4. The primary contests will be held April 21...

By Ann Marimow | February 12, 2009; 1:14 PM ET | Comments (2)

Facebook in Md. Good, MySpace Bad? What Do You Think?

As we reported this morning, General Assembly Facebook users are now free at last! No such joy for MySpace account holders, however. The granddaddy of social networking sites will remain blocked as security risk to the General Assembly's computer networks....

By Rosalind Helderman | February 11, 2009; 9:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley Again Pushes Climate Change Legislation

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2009 got a full-court press in Annapolis today on the lawn of the governor's mansion. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has made the legislation to mandate controls on the carbon dioxide emissions believed to contribute...

By Lisa Rein | February 10, 2009; 2:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Special Election Date Confounds MoCo Council

Who knew choosing a date for a special election could be so complicated? Montgomery County Council members this morning put off picking a date for the contest to chose Don Praisner's successor after an extensive debate over timing. Praisner (D-Eastern...

By Ann Marimow | February 10, 2009; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (1)

Republicans Talk Stimulus, Plug Tax Bill

Republican leaders of the Maryland General Assembly cautioned this morning against getting hooked on anticipated federal stimulus dollars. Appearing at a morning news conference, House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell (R-Calvert) and others argued that the state could face larger...

By John Wagner | February 10, 2009; 11:07 AM ET | Comments (1)

Old Friend Heads Currie Defense Fund

This morning, we reported on the creation of the legal defense fund to support Sen. Ulysses Currie. A website has been created for the fund. The organization's leader is Bobby Henry, an attorney who is now representing the family of...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 10, 2009; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steele on 'This Week'

New Republican National Committee Chairman (and former Maryland Lt. Governor) Michael Steele was on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday, discussing his selection to lead the GOP and a Post story about allegations of financial improprieties. Click the image...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | February 9, 2009; 11:56 AM ET | Comments (1)

MD Facebook Lovers Fight Back

Members of the General Assembly and others are now protesting the ban on using MySpace and Facebook from legislative computers the only way they know how: Through a snarky Facebook group. Computer gurus with the assembly last week blocked access...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 9, 2009; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (1)

Kramer and Navarro Set To Run for MoCo's Open Council Seat

Montgomery County Del. Ben Kramer (D) and School Board member Nancy Navarro said this afternoon that they plan to run for the County Council seat left vacant by the death last week of Don Praisner. The Council has not set...

By Ann Marimow | February 5, 2009; 4:31 PM ET | Comments (8)

Biden Visits Laurel to Stump for Stimulus

Biden speaks about transportation at the MARC train station in Laurel. (AP) In an effort to push through the economic stimulus package in Congress, Vice President Joe Biden visited a Laurel train station today, using the dilapidated train platform...

By Anne Bartlett | February 5, 2009; 2:52 PM ET | Comments (3)

Now on YouTube: Don't Tear Your Hair, Md., File Online!

Comptroller Peter Franchot's office has turned to You Tube to urge Marylanders to file their tax electronically to avoid lengthy delays in getting tax refunds. As we said in an earlier posting, budget cuts have halved the number of...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | February 5, 2009; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (2)

More Gloom and Doom For MoCo's Economic Outlook

There was more gloomy economic news this week for Montgomery County's elected officials who will soon have to make tough budget decisions to close a projected $450 million shortfall for fiscal 2010. Council members heard from the county's fiscal team,...

By Ann Marimow | February 4, 2009; 12:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Victim of Botched Pr. Geo.'s Raid Pushes SWAT Bill

Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo is in Annapolis today, advocating for legislation he helped craft that require state police agencies to issue monthly reports about their use of SWAT teams. In July, Calvo's two dogs were shot and killed by...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 4, 2009; 9:52 AM ET | Comments (10)

Md. Common Cause Seeks Friends in High Places

Add to the list of sponsors of legislative receptions usually reserved for high-priced Annapolis lobbyists: Common Cause Maryland. The non-profit government watchdog group is hosting is first-ever reception for lawmakers Monday night, in the Montgomery County delegation room of the...

By Lisa Rein | February 3, 2009; 7:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Miller to Propose Amnesty for Delinquent Md. Taxpayers

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) will announce Wednesday that he is sponsoring legislation calling for an amnesty for deliquent taxpayers who pay the income and payroll taxes that they owe, aides to the Senate leader said. The...

By Lisa Rein | February 3, 2009; 5:50 PM ET | Comments (1)

Rocky Gap Bidder Wants Law Change, Withholds Required Fee

A representative for the New York-based company that put in the only bid to operate slot machines near the Rocky Gap resort in Allegany County said this morning that its bid is contingent on a difficult legislative change that would...

By Rosalind Helderman | February 3, 2009; 9:42 AM ET | Comments (4)

Failure to Submit Slots Licensing Fee for Laurel Creates Uncertainty

The Maryland Jockey Club effort to bring slots to Laurel Park racetrack proved chaotic yesterday -- and it is unclear what might happen next. Late last night, Magna Entertainment, the organization's owner, acknowledged it had not submitted a required $28.5...

By Anne Bartlett | February 3, 2009; 9:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

MoCo Will Hold Special Election To Fill Praisner's Seat

In a final note to Montgomery County Council colleagues before he died last week, Don Praisner asked that the council skip a special election to replace him and instead appoint someone to serve out his term in District 4. Praisner...

By Ann Marimow | February 2, 2009; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

Kratovil Votes Against Stimulus Package

Newly elected First District Congressman Frank Kratovil was one of only 11 House Democrats to vote against an $819 billion stimulus proposal last week. In a statement explaining his decision, he said "not enough of its spending was focused on...

By Anne Bartlett | February 2, 2009; 8:32 AM ET | Comments (1)

 

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