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First Click -- Maryland

Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis

Welcome to First Click - Maryland, your essential new daily guide to politics in the Old Line State. Each weekday morning we'll provide you with a look at the day's upcoming political events. We'll also search from the Eastern Shore to the Western Mountainside to bring you the most comprehensive daily roundup of Maryland's top political news, analysis and provocative thoughts. Have a comment or question about the day's news? Write it down. Have we missed something? Write a comment and let us know that, too. We'll try to bring you a little of everything and answer your questions as we strive to make First Click your morning one-stop for the state's political news.

Thursday, August 13, 2009:

E-Mails, E-Mails and More E-Mails
Gov. Martin O'Malley's office today is expected to release some 600 pages worth of e-mails from state residents filled with suggestions for closing the remainder of Maryland's estimated $700 million budget gap.

O'Malley solicited the suggestions from residents
last month, and the popularity of the government-by-e-mail plan has afforded the Democratic governor several light-hearted media reports in recent weeks, even as he cut social services and announced plans to furlough state workers.

At a meeting last week, O'Malley held up a four-inch-thick binder he said was filled with thousands of suggestions, and promised that the e-mails would be made public and studied before he proposes about $470 million in cuts on Aug. 26.

Health Care Watch:
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin yesterday afternoon faced a second rowdy town hall meeting on health care, this one in Hagerstown.

Cardin will be back at it again today in the opposite corner of the state, addressing a private gathering of local officials, nonprofits and others focused on the needs of the aging.

The senator's trip to the Eastern Shore hasn't gone unnoticed, however. Already the site of several demonstrations in recent weeks against Rep. Frank Kratovil, reform opponents have planned yet another protest.

Much continues to be written about Cardin's Towson town hall on Monday. Here's an editorial by The Baltimore Sun, and a conservative response on Maryland Politics Blog.

Red Maryland also has weighed in, asking what the Republican plan is, other than protest.

Conservative Considers Gubernatorial Bid
Del. Patrick L. McDonough (R-Baltimore County) says he's "testing the waters" for a possible 2010 gubernatorial bid, and will begin traveling the state to gauge interest.

McDonough, best known in Annapolis for his hard line against illegal immigration, said he would not run if former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) sought a rematch against O'Malley (D) next year. Besides immigration, McDonough said education reform and the fiscal stewardship of the state would be themes of his campaign.

He discussed the possible bid yesterday on conservative talk radio. it was first reported by Bryan P. Sears.

Slots Where?
The state commission picking slots locations is in Cecil County today for the latest in a series of site visits as it prepares to issue licenses early this fall. Penn National has proposed initially putting 500 machines at a site in Perryvile. And maybe a parlor with 1,500 machines off I-95, says WBAL.

Briefly:

  • Today at MACo: O'Malley arrives and makes a presentation on the state of Chesapeake Bay cleanup and on economic recovery efforts.

  • A controversial Prince George's land deal that Senate President Thomas Mike V. Miller Jr. waded into may get more interesting. Miller's being asked to block construction of a planned shopping center in Accokeek, The Gazette, reports.

  • For the grief Cardin has taken this week in the health care arena, some residents in Hagerstown yesterday said they were at least pleased he's been in public. They dinged Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who is recovering from a severely broken ankle, for not yet holding a town hall meeting.

By Aaron C. Davis  |  August 13, 2009; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click  
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Next: McDonough Expects Ehrlich's Decision in January

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