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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis

Monday, October 19, 2009:

Environmental Day in Annapolis
This morning Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) will tout new federal grant funding for the Chesapeake Bay. Tonight, the League of Conservation Voters will honor Sen. Barbara Mikulsi (D) for a lifetime of environmental achievement. O'Malley will address the gathering.

The John V. Kabler award puts Mikulski in the company of former governors Harry R. Hughes, Parris Glendening, and last year's recipient, U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest.

The day's events also shine a light on an environmental constituency O'Malley has been able to keep relatively happy through successive rounds of budget cuts.

Last year, the League, which endorsed O'Malley in 2006, awarded him the group's highest-ever ranking of A- in its annual gubernatorial report card.

Only this summer did his relationship begin to show signs of strain. In July, the environmental watchdog group was upset that O'Malley cut an additional $2 million from a fund created in 2007 to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. At the time, League spokeswoman Jen Brock-Cancellieri told The Post's John Wagner that environmentalists would be lobbying O'Malley not to cut other priorities, including a land-preservation fund that Ehrlich raided to balance the operating budget early in his administration.

O'Malley has not indicated if next month's expected round of nearly $300 million in new budget cuts will spare environmental concerns.

Md congressional dems talk up stimulus funding
Sen. Cardin, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D), U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D) and Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), this afternoon will tout federal stimulus spending that's allowed Prince George's to hire additional police and new public safety equipment.
The Baltimore Sun's Paul West took a look at the distribution of federal stimulus dollars in Maryland compared to regional economic woes.
"The city of Baltimore, with the largest concentration of low-income residents and the highest unemployment rate in the state along with Dorchester, has been awarded the most, $675.3 million, as of Oct. 1. Well-to-do Montgomery, the state's most populous county, got $579 million, a figure fattened by federal contracts for businesses in the Washington suburbs. .... Prince George's County, received $410.5 million, followed by Baltimore County with $274.9 million"

Grayson makes only headlines from HBO appearance
O'Malley, who spent most of the day in the air on Friday, flying to and from an appearance on the Bill Maher show, watched along with other guests as U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (D), the Florida freshmen, continued a string of recent one-liners (Republicans are "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals,"the GOP should change its name to the "The Selfish Party") that have made him a hit with the Democratic faithful on cable television and in Internet clips.
On Friday, Maher at one point commented that Grayson came prepared "with some material," writes Michael J. Mooney in the New Times blog.
"Grayson suggested President Obama will eventually win two more Nobel prizes (one for ending the war in Afghanistan, another for ending the war in Iraq). He also said the Republican idea of health care reform 'would be to allow you to take your gun to the doctor's office.'"
O'Malley Watch has started a comment thread here.

Movement today on Arundel slots?
Two slots-related zoning bills could be introduced today, the Maryland Gazette reported on Saturday.
One would allow for slot-machine gambling at Arundel Mills mall, a prospect that previously languished for months before the divided council. The second proposal would allow a slots casino only on large parcels south of Route 32, which would rule out Arundel Mills but include Laurel Park racetrack.
Post columnist Robert McCartney weighs in calling the consequences of last year's referendum legalizing slot machines in Maryland deplorable. "The latest evidence of that is the sorry fact that after so many years of strife over the issue, the future of gambling machines in the Washington region depends for now on two Anne Arundel County Council members."

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By Aaron C. Davis  |  October 19, 2009; 7:46 AM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More Slots Rumblings From Anne Arundel
Next: O'Malley goes "overtime" with Maher and other panelists


I witnessed a Arundel Mills Mall security employee removing a Stop Slots at AMM sign this morning. The sign was located in the median strip in front of my neighborhood and not on mall property. With all the crime that is happening at the mall, one would think that mall security would have their hands full protecting mall visitors and not be restricting freedom of speech.

Posted by: douglasp | October 24, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

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