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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis

Monday, October 5, 2009:

What About Bob?
   "I think he's running. He just doesn't know it yet."
   That was the measure of former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s chief fundraiser, Richard E. Hug, when asked whether the Republican will seek a rematch with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) next year.
   Ehrlich told The Post he is less sure, in a story that ran as he was preparing to host a family corn roast on Saturday that doubled as a fundraiser.
   On Sunday, the Baltimore Sun's Laura Smitherman led with Ehrlich's fundraiser and branched out to look at other fall money efforts.
   O'Malley told us he has no control over Ehrlich's decision.
   Gazette columnist Barry Rascovar, meanwhile, concludes "the stars aren't aligned for an Ehrlich comeback" in a piece in which he bids farewell to GOP chairman James Pelura and otherwise takes stock of the Maryland Republican party. It's not a pretty picture, he says.
   In a column in The Daily Record, C. Fraser Smith says Ehrlich "needs to find out if anyone in his party is fired up and ready to go on his behalf."
   And Karl Rove appeared on Bob and Kendel's radio show on Baltimore's WBAL Saurday before the corn roast in Reisterstown.

Ka-Ching?
   The state's slots commission, formally known as the Video Lottery Facility Location Commission, resumes deliberations this week, with three bids still pending.
   The seven-member commission is scheduled to discuss a proposal by Penn National Gaming to put machines in Cecil County and get updates on plans for slots in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County. Several controversies continue to simmer regarding the latter two sites.
   A leading anti-slots group says Cordish Cos. significantly understated the number of homes near its proposed slots casino at Arundel Mills mall.
   And The Sun today raises broader questions about the bidding practices of the Baltimore Development Corporation, the city's quasi-public development arm, which is involved in Baltimore's planned slots casino.
   Meanwhile, The Afro reports on a lack of minority representation in Maryland's slots bidding -- and a possible lawsuit. Hard to tell if this goes anywhere, though.

Mr. Gansler Goes to Washington
   The Baltimore Sun has details about a planned appearance today by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on a case testing the limits of Miranda rights.
   The Maryland case, reports The Sun's Tricia Bishop, involves Hagerstown child molester Michael B. Shatzer Sr., who in 2003 was newly imprisoned on a 12-year sentence for sexually abusing one child when allegations surfaced that he had also abused another. He asked for an attorney during questioning, but the investigation stalled and was dropped. Nearly three years later, it resumed and Shatzer ultimately confessed. But a state appeals court ruled that the statements were inadmissible because of Shatzer's much earlier request for a lawyer.

Mr. Johnson Loses Some Employees
   About 50 Prince George's County employees across numerous departments were told Friday that they would be laid off, effective Nov. 1, as part of an effort to close a $22.7 million budget gap left by recent state funding cuts, reports The Post's Jonathan Mummolo.
   Layoffs were largely concentrated among supervisory and administrative positions and spanned agencies including the offices of the county executive, finance, community relations, information technology, central services, sheriff, public works, social services, family services, fire and EMS and the departments of health and corrections.
   Though more layoffs are pending, the total will be lower than the potential amount mentioned in a recent announcement by County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), said Johnson's spokesman, James Keary.

Briefly:

  • The Baltimore Sun's Julie Bykowicz examines possible reforms of the oversight panel for Maryland's public defender.

  • The Sun notes that two more people with Maryland ties have been nominated to serve in the Obama administration.

  • Red Maryland goes after Gov. Martin O'Malley for plans to strike up his band.
  • By John Wagner  |  October 5, 2009; 5:49 AM ET
    Categories:  First Click , John Wagner  
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    Next: Penn National Expands Its Slots Proposal

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