First Click -- Maryland
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Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009:
ACORN Files Suit Over Maryland Taping
ACORN is suing the conservative activists who posed as pimp and prostitute and secretly videotaped its employees appearing to provide advice on how to minimize tax bills for a fictitious Maryland brothel.
The suit seeks millions in damages from activists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, and from conservative columnist Andrew Breitbart, who posted the videos on his Web site.
The tape -- specifically the audio portion -- amounts to illegal wiretapping under Maryland's dual consent rule, the suit alleges, because the activists did not have permission to record ACORN employees.
The Post's Carol Leonnig writes that the legal action comes as the new head of the federal Census Bureau on Wednesday revealed his reason for dropping ACORN as an agency partner: The bureau's link to ACORN was hurting efforts to get Americans to participate in the count, he said.
ACORN has also hired former Massachusetts attorney general Scott Harshbarger to conduct its internal probe, Leonnig writes.
Democratic Nominee Drops Annapolis Mayoral Bid
Former White House aide Zina C. Pierre has dropped out of the Annapolis mayor's race - again, writes the AP's Brian Witte.
"Pierre narrowly won her Democratic primary by 127 votes last week. But questions arose about her personal finances and residency, and voters were whipsawed when her campaign announced abruptly that she had dropped out of the race, then announced a day later it was a mistake and she was running after all. Now, Pierre has left the race for a second time." Witte writes.
The Democratic Party will choose a new nominee after a meeting Friday night.
Slots Approved for Eastern Shore site
Maryland awarded its first license for slot-machine gambling on Wednesday, giving Ocean Downs racetrack on the Eastern Shore permission to operate up to 800 machines as early as Memorial Day.
Decisions on other sites in Anne Arundel and Baltimore are expected in coming months.
The state is counting on revenue from voter-approved slots to help offset budget gaps in coming years.
Stimulus Grants for Port of Baltimore, Glen Burnie
Maryland is getting $6 million in federal stimulus funds for port security projects and to help build an Anne Arundel County fire station, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday in Baltimore.
Napolitano said the grants will enhance resiliency and national security.
Baltimore Approves Layoffs, Budget Cuts
Twenty-seven people were laid off and Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon took $100,000 from a city witness protection program Wednesday. They were among 100 or so cuts she made to help close the city's budget gap, writes Annie Linskey in The Baltimore Sun.
O'Malley administration seeks change to life-vest law
After 15 deaths on state waterways this year, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources will seek a new law requiring children up to age 13 to wear life jackets and seek to place age restrictions on boaters.
One proposal endorsed by Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration would raise the age threshold for children required to wear a personal flotation device, from 7 to 13. Another would require that a person with a boater safety certificate supervising someone operating a boat without a certificate be 18 years old. There is no age requirement currently.
Aaron C. Davis
September 24, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories: Aaron C. Davis , First Click
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