Archive: March 2009

D.C. United Stadium Opponents Denied Chance to Speak

Prince George's soccer stadium opponents don't testify

By Anne Bartlett | March 31, 2009; 5:52 PM ET | Comments (44)

MoCo Firefighters To Appeal Labor Ruling on Raises

montgomery firefighters appeal raise decision

By Ann Marimow | March 31, 2009; 4:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Not So Fast on D.C. United Bill

House of Delegates staffers have discovered an amendment on the DC United soccer stadium proposal made by the House Appropriations Committee would violate the Maryland constitution. The committee adopted a series of amendments in quick succession this afternoon, all designed...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 30, 2009; 7:18 PM ET | Comments (8)

D.C. United Study Bill Approved by House Committee

By a vote of 17 to 7, the House Appropriations Committee has given a favorable vote to a bill allowing the Maryland Stadium Authority to study the feasibility and economic cost of building a soccer stadium in Prince George's County...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 30, 2009; 3:44 PM ET | Comments (37)

Leggett Backs Kramer in MoCo's District 4

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) this morning formally endorsed the candidacy of Del. Benjamin Kramer (D) in this spring's special election to fill the District 4 seat on the County Council. Leggett, who has lived in the eastern county...

By Ann Marimow | March 30, 2009; 1:22 PM ET | Comments (2)

Monday is Game Day for D.C. United in Md. House

The D.C. United stadium study bill is facing an exceedingly tough battle in the Maryland General Assembly. On Saturday, the House Appropriations held a lengthy discussion of the bill, which would authorize the Maryland Stadium Authority, Prince George's, the team...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 29, 2009; 11:38 AM ET | Comments (15)

Trying to Catch License Fraud in Maryland

Lisa Rein and N.C. Aizenman reported this morning on Maryland's problems with illegal immigrants from elsewhere on the Eastern Seaboard coming to the state to get driver's licenses. Aizenman recently witnessed this scene at a motor vehicles agency office in...

By Anne Bartlett | March 28, 2009; 12:51 PM ET | Comments (3)

Showdown Coming on Immigrant Driver's Licenses

One of the sleeper issues of the legislative session, whether Maryland should continue to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, is headed for a showdown in Annapolis in coming days. Judicial committees in the Senate and House have passed opposing...

By Lisa Rein | March 26, 2009; 7:02 PM ET | Comments (7)

Kansas Church Says It Will Protest at Whitman High in MoCo

A church based in Topeka, Kansas, is scheduled to demonstrate next month outside Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda because the school, which opened in 1962, is named for a man who may have been homosexual. Westboro Baptist Church has...

By Anne Bartlett | March 26, 2009; 6:29 PM ET | Comments (57)

Leggett Set to Endorse Kramer in MoCo's District 4 Race

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) is expected on Monday to endorse Del. Benjamin Kramer (D) in his bid to join the County Council, sources close to the Kramer campaign said today. Kramer's campaign is also anticipating the backing of...

By Ann Marimow | March 26, 2009; 2:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

Senate President Scolds Pastor

Some prayer controversy occurred today in the Maryland Senate. Senate president Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) chastised the pastor of a Bowie church this morning for including too much Jesus in a prayer that opened the day's proceedings. That...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 25, 2009; 4:51 PM ET | Comments (10)

Lamari Leads in Fundraising in MoCo's District 4

Campaign finance reports filed this week show Montgomery County Council candidate Cary Lamari leading in fundraising in the District 4 special election contest to fill the open seat left by the death of Don Praisner in January. Lamari, a civic...

By Ann Marimow | March 25, 2009; 1:59 PM ET | Comments (3)

Key Senate Committee Approves Utility Re-Regulation

Legislation backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) to partially re-regulate the production of electricity in Maryland is headed to the Senate floor. The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill last night after several marathon work sessions. It would give the...

By Lisa Rein | March 25, 2009; 8:21 AM ET | Comments (17)

Schurick, Other Ehrlich Aides, Helping Slots Bid

Paul Schurick, a top aide to former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) who now works at Ehrlich's law firm, has surfaced as an adviser to the Cordish Cos., which is seeking to build a slots parlor at Arundel Mills...

By John Wagner | March 24, 2009; 6:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

D.C. United Bill Details Unveiled

Del. Melony G. Griffith (D-Prince George's) has begun circulating an amended version of her D.C. United bill, hoping to persuade doubters that her proposal will not commit Prince George's County or the state to building a new soccer stadium in...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 24, 2009; 9:49 AM ET | Comments (15)

Navarro Lines Up Council Support in MoCo's District 4

Montgomery County Board of Education member Nancy Navarro picked up endorsements from four of eight council members this afternoon in her bid to fill the vacancy left by the death of council member Don Praisner in January. Valerie Ervin (D-Silver...

By Ann Marimow | March 23, 2009; 1:50 PM ET | Comments (2)

Angelos Meets With O'Malley About Preakness

A State House meeting late this afternoon between Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) added to the intrigue over the future of the Preakness Stakes horse race. "I'd like to see the Preakness remain in...

By John Wagner | March 19, 2009; 5:46 PM ET | Comments (2)

Brown Fills In While O'Malley Plays With Band

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) pinch hit last night for Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on the monthly live Maryland Public Television call-in program, "Ask the Governor." The reason for the governor's absence? As Brown explained to viewers at the...

By John Wagner | March 19, 2009; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Miller Could Support Session to Address Preakness Problem

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) says he would support a special session to pass emergency legislation to keep the Preakness Stakes horse race in Maryland, the Associated Press reports tonight. According to AP, Miller says the race is...

By Anne Bartlett | March 18, 2009; 7:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

What's Next for D.C. United?

So where do things stand with the proposed D.C. United stadium for Prince George's? We know that County Executive Jack Johnson has asked Metro to sell land at the Morgan Boulevard Metro station to the Maryland National Capital Park and...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 18, 2009; 12:11 PM ET | Comments (4)

O'Malley Speaks Out for New Limits to Death Penalty

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) urged a House panel today to pass a Senate bill that tightens standards of evidence in death penalty cases, acknowledging a full repeal of capital punishment remains elusive this year. The Senate bill restricts capital...

By Anne Bartlett | March 17, 2009; 4:25 PM ET | Comments (1)

Miller: State Could Take Over Preakness If Necessary

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller said today the state could build a horse racing track and run the Preakness Stakes, if its financially troubled owner decides to sell the Triple Crown race, the Associated Press reports. According to AP, Miller...

By Anne Bartlett | March 17, 2009; 2:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Soccer Showdown Coming in Md. Legislature

Our colleague Steven Goff is reporting at the Post's Soccer Insider blog that D.C. United is organizing a bus and car caravan to transport fans from RFK stadium to Annapolis for tomorrow's hearing on a bill to provide financing for...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 16, 2009; 11:26 AM ET | Comments (23)

Md. Labor Secretary Chosen for Justice Post

Tom Perez, Maryland's labor secretary and a former Montgomery County council member, has been nominated to be President Obama's assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Justice Department. Our colleague Scott Wilson reports on the nomination in the 44...

By Anne Bartlett | March 13, 2009; 6:56 PM ET | Comments (2)

Porcari's Future Source of State House Buzz

There is growing chatter around the State House that Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari may soon be resigning to take a post in the Obama Administration. Porcari, who is widely regarded as one of Gov. Martin O'Malley's most talented Cabinet...

By John Wagner | March 13, 2009; 3:23 PM ET | Comments (1)

Rosenberg: Pass Senate Death Penalty Bill

The lead House sponsor of a bill to repeal Maryland's death penalty has reversed course and is now urging his colleagues to support a Senate bill that instead tightens evidence rules in capital cases. "I have concluded that the likelihood...

By John Wagner | March 13, 2009; 1:23 PM ET | Comments (3)

Tumult in the Md. GOP

A member of the House of Delegates' Republican caucus has confirmed that Del. Don Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel), one of the body's most conservative members, has told fellow party members that he no longer plans to caucus with the group. Dwyer...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 13, 2009; 7:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steele Again Clarifies His Position

Former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee chairman, is again trying to clarify a statement that angered some in his own party -- this time on abortion. Our colleague Chris Cillizza has the story in The Fix....

By Anne Bartlett | March 12, 2009; 4:25 PM ET | Comments (1)

Judge Rejects Laurel Slots Appeal

An Anne Arundel County judge today rejected a challenge to Maryland's slot machine-gambling law by Laural Racing Association, whose bid to operate a slots parlor was disqualified last month by a state panel. Circuit Court Judge William C. Mulford II...

By Anne Bartlett | March 11, 2009; 5:53 PM ET | Comments (3)

Md. House Speaker: Layoffs Are Off the Table

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said today that state employee layoffs and tax increases are off the table as Maryland leaders scramble to fill another $500 million hole in the state budget. But he and others cautioned that...

By Anne Bartlett | March 11, 2009; 5:23 PM ET | Comments (3)

House Hears a Song

A House of Delegates committee heard a bill yesterday to change the words of the Maryland state song from a poem written in 1861 that urges that the state secede from the union to a less fiery 1894 poem. Fourth...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 11, 2009; 4:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Expungement Bill: Not Quite Dead Yet

The House of Delegates today revived a controversial measure that had been killed yesterday, a bill that would allow for the expunging of requests for domestic protective orders that were dismissed. The body voted to reconsider the bill on a...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 11, 2009; 4:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

State GOP Pans New O'Malley's March Release

The Maryland Republican Party took a somewhat predictable swing today at Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) for striking up his band as the state's revenue collections deteriorate. The Post reported today that the governor is releasing the fifth O'Malley's March album...

By John Wagner | March 11, 2009; 12:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Keillor Takes Note of MoCo Disability Benefits

Montgomery County's controversial police disability retirement program, which Ann Marimow and Dan Morse explained on Monday, has caught the eye of humorist Garrison Keillor. Here is his column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune....

By Anne Bartlett | March 11, 2009; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (3)

Md. Environmental Advocates Say Sprawl Continues

Environment Maryland, one of the state's biggest environmental groups, concludes in a study released today that despite passage of the 1997 Smart Growth Act, which tried to reduce suburban sprawl and halt the decline of the Chesapeake Bay, development patterns...

By Lisa Rein | March 10, 2009; 4:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Praisner Daughter Backs Kramer in MoCo District 4

A daughter of former Montgomery County Council members Don and Marilyn Praisner said today she would back Del. Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Montgomery) in the District 4 special election. Kramer is one of 10 candidates seeking to fill the vacancy left...

By Ann Marimow | March 9, 2009; 3:16 PM ET | Comments (3)

Ten Candidates File to Run in MoCo District 4

Ten candidates have filed to run in the Montgomery County Council special election to fill the vacancy left by the death in January of Don Praisner (D-Eastern County). On the Democratic side, there are six candidates: funeral director Michael L....

By Anne Bartlett | March 6, 2009; 3:09 PM ET | Comments (12)

Two "Hard Heads" Put Forward Campaign Finance Bill

A campaign finance bill formally unveiled today required "two hard heads having a meeting of my the minds." That is the description of Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George's), who was referring to his noggin and that of Senate President...

By John Wagner | March 6, 2009; 12:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

MoCo Delegate's Emotional Appeal on Death Penalty

Del. Craig L. Rice (D-Montgomery), who this week shared the story of his murdered aunt and cousin with senators in an emailed plea for them to retain the death penalty in Maryland, said today that his story seems to be...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 6, 2009; 11:51 AM ET | Comments (12)

Miller To Sponsor Campaign Finance Bill

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) will join forces with some progressive groups tomorrow to announce campaign finance reform legislation that includes both an increase in contribution limits and a pilot program for public financing of legislative campaigns. Miller...

By John Wagner | March 5, 2009; 4:53 PM ET | Comments (5)

Pri. Geo. Tax Bill: On its Way to Official Death

A subcommittee of the Prince George's House Delegation voted 4 to 0 this morning to recommend killing an unpopular bill that would result in higher property taxes. They took the vote even though County Executive Jack B. Johnson, with whom...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 5, 2009; 3:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lawmakers Seek Answers on High Utility Bills

Lawmakers waded this morning into the thicket of why utility bills across Maryland are spiking this winter, but didn't appear to resolve much. Douglas Nazarian, the state's chief utility regulator, told members of two Senate committees that he's concerned about...

By Lisa Rein | March 5, 2009; 2:31 PM ET | Comments (1)

Ehrlich Ups His Visibility on Web and in Mailing

For those trying to keep tabs on whether former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) plans a political comeback, here are two intriguing developments: a revamped Web site and a new fundraising letter that calls for bringing "common political sense...

By John Wagner | March 5, 2009; 1:31 PM ET | Comments (1)

Leggett Calls For Tougher Drunk Driving Laws

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) made a personal appeal today to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to support legislation aimed at reducing drunk driving. In a letter to Del. Joseph Vallario (D-Prince George's), Leggett recounts how he...

By Ann Marimow | March 5, 2009; 1:28 PM ET | Comments (1)

Firefighters Rally in Annapolis

Dozens of uniformed firefigthers and paramedics descended on Annapolis yesterday to oppose legislation proposed by senator that could result in privatization of the state's Maryland State Police helicopter medevac problem. The bills were prompted by the September crash of Trooper...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 4, 2009; 3:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leggett Still Resting At Home After Car Crash

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) was still resting at home this morning, after the car he was riding in Sunday night was hit by an allegedly drunk driver. Leggett, 64, continues to feel some pain in his back, neck...

By Ann Marimow | March 4, 2009; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (3)

Death Penalty Debate: Evidence Limits Likely to Pass

The Maryland Senate this morning stopped considering amendments to a death penalty bill, with leaders indicating they plan to pass the legislation as it stood last night. The bill would prohibit death sentences based solely on eyewitness testimony and require...

By Anne Bartlett | March 4, 2009; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (8)

Death Penalty Debate: Repeal Stripped From Bill

The Maryland Senate has dramatically altered Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill to repeal the death penalty, allowing executions to continue as before except in cases where convictions were based solsely on eyewitness testimony.. The amendment, offered by Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore...

By Anne Bartlett | March 3, 2009; 4:38 PM ET | Comments (10)

Death Penalty Debate: Referendum Proposal Fails

As the Senate resumed debate late this afternoon, an attempt to let voters decide whether to repeal the death penalty was rejected. Sen. George Della (D-Baltimore) offered an amendment that would have turned Gov. Martin O'Malley's repeal bill into a...

By Anne Bartlett | March 3, 2009; 4:14 PM ET | Comments (1)

Blog Roundup: Maryland Death Penalty

Even before the bill to abolish Maryland's death penalty began to move through the legislative process, moving to debate this afternoon, the blogosphere began chattering about the legislation. Gov. Martin O'Malley, the driving force behind the legislation, made his case...

By Carolyn Phenicie | March 3, 2009; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

Md. Senate Votes to Allow Debate on Death Penalty

The Maryland Senate has approved a pair of procedural votes to allow floor debate of Gov. Martin O'Malley's death penalty repeal bill to begin this afternoon. In a preliminary victory for O'Malley (D), the Senate voted 25-22 to debate the...

By Anne Bartlett | March 3, 2009; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (6)

Md. Death Penalty Debate Starts This Morning

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) raised the specter of a lengthy floor debate today on the death penalty in remarks to the chamber last night. Miller said that debate would begin at 10 a.m. on a motion...

By John Wagner | March 2, 2009; 10:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

Leopold Submits Legislation for Slots Zoning in Anne Arundel

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R) submitted legislation to the County Council today that would allow conditional use zoning for a slot-machine gambling parlor at either Arundel Mills shopping mall or Laurel Park race track. Organizations have submitted...

By Anne Bartlett | March 2, 2009; 1:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

"Sister Buddies" Try to Help Each Other Through Tough Times

A new organization called the "Sister Buddy Group" met last weekend in New Carrollton and elsewhere to help support black women through life's challenges. A week earlier, a friend of some of the members was fatally shot outside her church...

By Anne Bartlett | March 2, 2009; 12:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Currie Defense Fund On Hold

Organizers of a legal defense fund established to help Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's) underwrite his attorney's fees have changed course, suspending fundraising until the mid-April end of the legislative session. Currie has hired two high-profile attorneys to assist him...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 2, 2009; 10:51 AM ET | Comments (1)

Leggett's Car Hit By Alleged Drunk Driver

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's car was struck Sunday evening by an allegedly drunk driver. Leggett and his wife, Catherine, were taken to Laurel Regional Hospital for a series of tests and released a few hours later at around 1:30...

By Ann Marimow | March 2, 2009; 9:54 AM ET | Comments (14)

O'Malley Asks For Help On Death Penalty Repeal

"I need your help on a matter of life and death." So begins an email sent yesterday by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), urging his supporters to help lobby members of the General Assembly on his bill to repeal Maryland's death...

By John Wagner | March 1, 2009; 5:13 PM ET | Comments (1)

Maryland! My Maryland!

Today, we presented in verse the story of an on-going controversy about the state song of Maryland. "Maryland, My Maryland," sung to the tune of "Oh Christmas Tree," has been the state's official ditty since 1939. Legislators periodically propose changing...

By Rosalind Helderman | March 1, 2009; 1:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

 

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