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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

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

Thursday, October 8, 2009:

It Doesn't Get Any Easier From Here
   Yesterday morning's Board of Public Works meeting served as Exhibit A for how politically perilous the coming months will be for Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) as he continues whacking away at the state budget.
   O'Malley told reporters after the meeting that Nov. 17 is the likely date that he will present his next round of cuts -- totaling up to $290 million -- to the board for its consideration. He provided no details.
   More telling was the item that dominated the meeting that wasn't even on the agenda: the board's decision in August to close the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center in Chestertown.
   The Sun's Laura Smitherman notes that the closure "has generated a lot of flak for O'Malley, who recently visited the Kent County hospital." And she keys in on Comptroller Peter Franchot's role in the controversy.
   Franchot, who voted for the cut as a member of the board, might now be against it -- or, as this WJZ headline puts it, he wants a do-over.
   Regardless of the merits of this particular cut, it foreshadows an increasingly difficult series of choices facing O'Malley as he heads into an election year, with many cuts to make that will keep the budget balanced but please no one.

Porn Policy Proving No Fun
   "We didn't ask for this, okay? This was forced upon us."
   So says former Montgomery state senator P.J. Hogan, now vice chancellor for government relations for the University System Of Maryland. He's talking, of course, about the process of adopting rules governing the acceptable use of pornographic movies on campus.
   The task was mandated by Hogan's former colleagues in the General Assembly following what will long be remembered as one of the most colorful debates in Maryland Senate history.
   The Post's Daniel de Vise updates the controversy. For those looking to jump start their mornings, a link with the Web version of the story has snippets of "Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge," the film that started it all.

What's My Job, Again?
   While in New Jersey today, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion on the role of lieutenant governors prior to a debate between the state's first candidates for the job.
   The lieutenant governor of New Jersey will take office for the first time in January 2010, the result of a constitutional amendment passed in 2005.
   The panel at Monmouth University is hosted by Leadership New Jersey. Also scheduled to appear: former Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Charles Fogarty (D); Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy (R); and Julia Hurst, executive director of the National Lieutenant Governors Association.

Briefly:

  • Prince George's County hospital system workers are planning to march today to County Executive Jack Johnson's office to demand that he release $3 million in funding for the hospitals, according to a news advisory. The union-fueled publicity bid will also include a series of radio ads over the next week.

  • The slots proposal in Cecil County appears to be rolling ahead, as noted below in this space and in The Sun.

  • In the pages of The Post, Michael Laris profiles Alexis Reed, "the one you call for constituent grunt work" if you live in a broad swath east of Rockville and north of Silver Spring.

  • U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) appears on the "Politial Pulse" talk show in Montgomery County to discuss her recent trip to Afghanistan, the Iraq war, the health care debate and rumors that she will have opposition in the 2010 Democratic primary. The episode debuts tonight at 9 on Channel 16 in Montgomery.
  • By John Wagner  |  October 8, 2009; 6:50 AM ET
    Categories:  First Click , John Wagner  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Cecil Slots Site Up For Approval Oct. 21
    Next: Audrey Scott Vying for Md. GOP Chair

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