Archive: July 2009

O'Malley May Add Immigration Czar to Cabinet

Gov. Martin O'Malley says he's inclined to create a cabinet-level ombudsman position to deal with the needs of Maryland's growing immigrant population, after a council he commissioned to study the issue recommended that and other new programs on Thursday. "I...

By Aaron C. Davis | July 30, 2009; 3:41 PM ET | Comments (7)

County Governments Rank High for Online Services

Several Maryland counties recently were ranked in the top 10 in a national survey that examines the digital services offered to citizens by local governments. The survey, conducted by The National Association of Counties and e.Republic's Center for Digital Government,...

By Jonathan Mummolo | July 30, 2009; 2:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Maryland Lauded For Stimulus Site

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) was crowing on Wednesday about a new report that ranks Maryland first in the nation for its Web site tracking spending of federal stimulus dollars. In a report titled "Show Us The Stimulus," the advocacy group...

By John Wagner | July 30, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

O'Malley Advises Frugality For MACo Conference

The Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City next month could be a more sober affair than usual -- at least for Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration. With both the state and Maryland counties facing hundreds of millions in...

By John Wagner | July 29, 2009; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

Kratovil Effigy Picture Burning up Blogs

Mix a partisan health care debate, a little misinformation -- and, oh, a picture of a Democratic Congressman hanging in effigy -- and apparently you can light up the blogosphere. A snapshot taken by Eastern Shore blogger Joe Albero on...

By Aaron C. Davis | July 29, 2009; 1:44 PM ET | Comments (1)

For Lieutenant Governors, Big Leagues Have Come Calling

Deputy Chief of Staff Jerry Boden looks on as Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown practices his pitching Tuesday on the grounds of the Maryland State House. As political metaphors go, the lieutenant governor's warm-up toss on the lawn of the...

By Aaron C. Davis | July 29, 2009; 3:46 AM ET | Comments (1)

Pelura Seeks 'Massive Gains' in Legislature

Say what you will about embattled Maryland Republican Party Chairman James Pelura, but he certainly seems to be trying to raise money. A week ago, Pelura acknowledged in a fundraising solicitation that the party is "broke." In another letter that...

By John Wagner | July 28, 2009; 8:46 AM ET | Comments (3)

Mikulski Has Ankle Surgery -- and Calls for Health Care Reform

Sen. Barbara Milulski (D-Md.) underwent surgery on her fractured ankle at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore -- and used the occasion to score a point on the health care legislation debate. "I'm more committed than ever before to making sure...

By Anne Bartlett | July 27, 2009; 8:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Extra Zero Put Popham Among Top Lobbyists

Our most loyal readers might remember a post last week that noted that Bryson F. Popham had moved up significantly in the most recent list of top-earning Annapolis lobbyists. Well ... never mind. With reported earnings of $714,633, Popham made...

By John Wagner | July 27, 2009; 1:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

Brown's Colleagues Coming to Maryland

They're not the most recognizable elected officials in America, but they have some potential, and most every state has one. And they're coming to Maryland this week. The National Lieutenant Governors Association is convening Wednesday in Baltimore for its annual...

By John Wagner | July 27, 2009; 9:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley Talks Health Care With Labor Leaders

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) may have a challenging time keeping organized labor happy as he cuts the state budget in coming months. But things seemed pretty chummy today as the governor addressed a national conference on health care at the...

By John Wagner | July 24, 2009; 2:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lollar May Turn Attention to Hoyer

Given the slow start of Maryland's race for governor, this development may qualify as drama: Charles Lollar, perhaps the Republican's most charismatic alternative to Bob Ehrlich, might not actually get into the race. The Gazette reported that Lollar is in...

By John Wagner | July 24, 2009; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (2)

WSSC Nominee Advances

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson's nominee to replace a controversial member of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission got one step closer to approval Thursday, despite concerns raised by some council members that he lacked relevant experience for the...

By Jonathan Mummolo | July 23, 2009; 2:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

Got Ideas for Trims? Md. Guv Says: Help Wanted.

By Aaron Davis Got an idea that could save Maryland a few pennies? E-mail the governor. That's what Gov. Martin O'Malley suggested today as he challenged his Cabinet to find new ways to cut another $400 million or more from...

By Matt Mosk | July 23, 2009; 2:07 PM ET | Comments (2)

Rozner Tops Md. Lobbyist Listings

This year's legislative session produced some reshuffling among the best-paid lobbyists in Annapolis and added some new names to the top of the list. Joel D. Rozner, a perennial top earner with Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan & Silver, claimed the top...

By John Wagner | July 23, 2009; 9:43 AM ET | Comments (1)

Pelura Says Md. Republican Party is 'Broke'

"Our Party is broke, and we need your help." That rather frank admission is included in a new fundraising solicitation sent out this week by James Pelura, the embattled chairman of the Maryland Republican Party. Pelura, who has refused to...

By John Wagner | July 22, 2009; 4:51 PM ET | Comments (12)

State GOP Gets Repayment Extension

The State Board of Elections has granted a 45-day extension to the cash-strapped Maryland Republican Party to pay $77,500 to a campaign account maintained by Michael S. Steele. The extension followed a letter in which Robert B. Ostrom, the state...

By John Wagner | July 21, 2009; 5:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pr. George's Council Okays Furlough, Delays Lease

In its final session of the summer Tuesday, the Prince George's County Council approved a plan to furlough county workers for 10 days for the second straight year, but deferred a vote on a controversial measure to lease a pricey...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | July 21, 2009; 1:32 PM ET | Comments (2)

Service With a Smile: Fruit plates and dueling personalities in Montgomery and Annapolis

My, that was an awkward meeting. Montgomery County council members invited some powerful members of Maryland's general assembly over for breakfast Tuesday morning, then proceeded to serve them a little finger wagging. The talk was focused on a controversy over...

By Michael Laris | July 21, 2009; 11:25 AM ET | Comments (4)

O'Malley to Propose Nearly $300 Million in Cuts

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) told legislative leaders Monday night that he will propose close to $300 million in budget cuts on Wednesday, the bulk of them targeting state agencies. More furloughs of state workers could follow in future rounds...

By Anne Bartlett | July 20, 2009; 8:51 PM ET | Comments (22)

Laurel Slots Case Dismissed For Now

Maryland's highest court has put the brakes on an effort by Laurel Racing Association to get back in the bidding for a slot-machine license in Anne Arundel County, ruling the legal challenge was premature. In an opinion issued today, the...

By John Wagner | July 20, 2009; 11:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

Pelura Gets "No Confidence" Vote

Leaders of the Maryland Republican Party expressed "no confidence" yesterday in embattled Chairman James Pelura but stopped short of calling for a special convention that would be required to oust him. Pelura, an Anne Arundel County veterinarian, has faced growing...

By John Wagner | July 19, 2009; 1:40 PM ET | Comments (9)

Tazelaar Gets Maryland Dems Job

Travis Tazelaar, a Montgomery County resident who had been serving as acting director of the Maryland Democratic Party, had the "acting" removed from his title today. Party Chairwoman Susan Turnbull announced Tazelaar's permanent appointment this afternoon, saying in a news...

By John Wagner | July 17, 2009; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Franchot Chats About the Budget, California and His Web Site

Maintaining it is important to "speak candidly" to Marylanders about the state of the state budget, often-chatty Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) held an online chat yesterday. Franchot has posted a full transcript here. We present some highlights: • At least...

By John Wagner | July 17, 2009; 12:55 PM ET | Comments (5)

What Did You Want to Ask Sotomayor?

Politicians taking queries from the electronic masses is no longer a reliable attention grabber. Just this past Monday, President Obama answered a couple of questions lobbed his way from Nigeria and Niger, and few around Washington noticed. Instead, in District...

By Michael Laris | July 16, 2009; 8:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Union Asks O'Malley to Avoid More Layoffs, Pay Cuts

Maryland state employees called on Gov. Martin O'Malley on Thursday to do all he can to steer a $700 million budget shortfall away from already battered state agencies, but the governor braced for tough decisions -- once again. Union workers...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | July 16, 2009; 4:03 PM ET | Comments (2)

O'Malley Seeks Private Help With Disasters

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) today announced the creation of Maryland's "Civic Guard," an initiative to tap private and nonprofit organizations for assistance during a major emergency -- and one that should have minimal cost to the state during tight budget...

By John Wagner | July 16, 2009; 3:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Franchot Documents Continued Fiscal Woes

Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) this morning offered the latest evidence that Maryland's fiscal challenges are continuing: Revenue collections for June -- the final month of the state's 2009 fiscal year -- were down 12 percent from last June. In a...

By John Wagner | July 16, 2009; 9:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Md. Politicians Mull Future, Eat Crabs

Gov. O'Malley meets a fan of his band at the Crisfield crab and clam bake on Wednesday. (John Wagner/The Washington Post) Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D)was the biggest head-turner on the grounds of an annual crab and clam bake...

By Matt Mosk | July 15, 2009; 5:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

Montgomery Enviros Fault Leggett Over Mega-Church

Environmentalists who have fought successfully to limit mega-churches in Montgomery County say they are now being thwarted by County Executive Isiah Leggett. At issue is Wheaton-based Global Mission Church's proposal to build in a largely rural area of Frederick County,...

By Miranda Spivack | July 15, 2009; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (9)

Prince George's Furloughs On Hold

By Jonathan Mummolo Employees of Prince George's County facing the specter of a second straight year of furloughs got a stay today, when the county council voted to delay approval of the furloughs until later this month. The two-week furloughs...

By Matt Mosk | July 14, 2009; 6:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

More Cracks in WSSC Relations

By Jonathan Mummolo Prince George's and Montgomery Counties have long had acrimonious relations over the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission -- the troubled Maryland utility whose underground water pipes have been breaking with a startling regularity. But the push by Prince...

By Matt Mosk | July 14, 2009; 1:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Delegates Ask State To Probe Kane Company

Four Democratic delegates asked yesterday for an investigation into whether a major office moving company headed by the former chairman of the Maryland Republican Party had violated any state wage laws. The Post reported last week that federal prosecutors have...

By John Wagner | July 14, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

Schlick Leaving Md for FCC

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) is losing one of the most visible lawyers in his office to the federal government: Austin Schlick, chief of litigation, has been named general counsel at the Federal Communications Commission. Schlick has argued...

By John Wagner | July 13, 2009; 1:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley Invites Donors To Drink Pints With Him

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is heading into the District later this month to down some Guinness -- and raise money for his 2010 re-election campaign while he's at it. "Join us for pints with Gov. Martin O'Malley at the...

By John Wagner | July 13, 2009; 7:57 AM ET | Comments (6)

O'Malley Offers Kind Words To Pepco, PSC

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) applauded both Pepco and the state's Public Service Commission today after the utility announced it would grant $39 million in bill credits to its 500,000 Maryland customers as a result of an earlier legal settlement with...

By John Wagner | July 10, 2009; 5:08 PM ET | Comments (7)

State GOP Told To Repay Steele

State elections officials have directed the Maryland Republican Party, which has been struggling to pay off debts, to reimburse $77,500 to a state campaign account maintained by Michael S. Steele, the state's former lieutenant governor and the current chairman of...

By John Wagner | July 10, 2009; 12:26 PM ET | Comments (1)

More Maryland Budget Woes

Less than two weeks into its new fiscal year, Maryland is already facing a $700 million budget shortfall, according to the legislature's chief fiscal analyst. The gap amounts to about 5 percent of the roughly $14 billion general fund that...

By Matt Mosk | July 10, 2009; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (27)

Former GOP Chair's Company Accused of Labor Violations

A major moving company led by former Maryland Republican Party chairman John Kane for years paid its workers less than required by federal contracts while submitting "false and fraudulent documents" indicating the company was in compliance, federal prosecutors have alleged....

By Anne Bartlett | July 10, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

Johnson Renews Push for Costly Lease

A proposal by Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson to lease out pricey private office space for public employees is back. The controversial leasing arrangement had been set aside earlier this year after an outcry from critics who called...

By Matt Mosk | July 9, 2009; 3:46 PM ET | Comments (4)

Top GOP Senators Ask Pelura To Resign

The top two Republicans in the Maryland Senate are calling for the resignation of James Pelura, the state GOP chairman, in the latest sign of party turmoil. "We do not feel that you have positioned the Party to take advantage...

By John Wagner | July 9, 2009; 2:50 PM ET | Comments (1)

GOP Executive Director Fired, Creating Turmoil

The Maryland Republican Party, which has struggled for relevance in recent years, was in a state of upheaval today following the ouster of its executive director, Justin Ready. Ready, who was in charge of the party's day-to-day operations, was asked...

By John Wagner | July 7, 2009; 2:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

Baltimore County Exec Will Not Challenge Franchot

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith (D) said today that he would not run for Maryland comptroller next year, forgoing what was expected to be a spirited Democratic primary against the incumbent, Peter Franchot (D). Franchot, a former Montgomery County delegate,...

By John Wagner | July 6, 2009; 5:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leopold Pulls Anne Arundel Slots Legislation For Now

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R) today temporarily withdrew zoning legislation needed for operation of the largest slots parlor envisioned by the state, but pledged to reintroduce it within the month. The decision effectively could extend debate well...

By John Wagner | July 6, 2009; 5:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley Seems Open to Recognizing Out-of-State Gay Marriages

During a radio show this morning, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) suggested he was open to recognizing gay marriages performed in other states -- something he hasn't said publicly before -- with several caveats. "If a person has those rights...

By John Wagner | July 6, 2009; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (8)

About the Writers: Michael Laris

Mike Laris came to Maryland by way of Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Beijing and various stops around Northern Virginia and the District. He's written for The Post about everything from a part-time barber who racked up a $21,000 bill for...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | July 1, 2009; 7:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

About the Writers: Jonathan Mummolo

Jonathan Mummolo joined The Washington Post's Virginia desk in 2007, where he covered a mix of political (and not-at-all-political) stories, including the commonwealth's much-derided "abusive driver fees," the shifting partisanship of Loudoun County, and a farmer in said county who...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | July 1, 2009; 4:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

About the Writers: Aaron C. Davis

Aaron Davis covers Maryland government and politics for The Washington Post in Annapolis. He previously covered crime and justice for The Post in Prince George's County. There, he broke news of the jailhouse death of alleged cop-killer Ronnie White and...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | July 1, 2009; 1:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

 

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