Archive: November 2009

Now It's Your Turn: Can you help with budget cuts?

With a $2 billion shortfall looming, members of the state House and Senate budget committees are holding retreats this week to get a sense of the work that they must tackle in January. If you were in the legislature, what...

By John Wagner | November 30, 2009; 12:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Monday, Nov. 30, 2009: Most state government workers today return from a forced five-day Thanksgiving vacation, thanks to furloughs; the jury in the Sheila Dixon theft trial resumes debate over...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 30, 2009; 6:45 AM ET | Comments (1)

Barve among leftovers for Obama state dinner

Some high-profile Marylanders, including Reps. Steny Hoyer and Elijah Cummings, made the guest list for Tuesday night's state dinner in honor of the Indian prime minister. But state House Majority Leader Kumar P. Barve (D) was among several prominent Indian...

By John Wagner | November 26, 2009; 7:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009: Dixon verdict today? Speculation is mounting about whether the jury weighing a potentially career-ending conviction of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on theft charges will feel pressured...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 25, 2009; 6:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley: Not involved in future of Terps football coach

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) acknowledged rumors Tuesday about his involvement in the future of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen but told reporters that neither he nor his staff have intervened. University officials are reportedly wrestling with whether to retain Friedgen...

By Anne Bartlett | November 24, 2009; 5:25 PM ET | Comments (3)

Now It's Your Turn: Slots at Arundel Mills mall?

Aftter months of debate, state and county panels could make key decisions Dec. 7 about a proposed slots casino at Arundel Mills mall. Before they act, tell us what you think. Should slots be allowed at the mall? If not,...

By John Wagner | November 24, 2009; 2:16 PM ET | Comments (12)

State, county look to act on Arundel slots on Dec. 7

Dec. 7 is shaping up as a pivotal day for a proposed slots casino at Arundel Mills Mall. A divided Anne Arundel County Council had already planned to take up two zoning bills that night -- one which would allow...

By John Wagner | November 24, 2009; 1:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley defends state's slots program

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) defended the state's slots program during a radio interview Tuesday morning, saying the process of awarding licenses is unfolding largely "as the voters approved it." With bids to operate the state's two largest venues hanging...

By John Wagner | November 24, 2009; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009: Dixon jury still out Day Four of jury deliberations in Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's theft trial are underway. Maryland's disappearing millionaires Laura Smitherman at The Sun...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 24, 2009; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (1)

Now It's Your Turn: If not Bob, who?

As we wait to hear whether former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) will run again in 2010, let's assume for the moment he doesn't. Who's the best Republican to take on Gov. Martin O'Malley (D)? Larry Hogan? Pat McDonough?...

By John Wagner | November 23, 2009; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (16)

Unspun: Prince George's County Council Member Tony Knotts

The Washington Post Magazine's "Unspun" interviews take a look at the person behind the position in local government and politics. See excerpts of this Sunday's edition below or read the full article. Did you play any sports in high...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | November 23, 2009; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

New U.S. civil rights chief pulled back into transgender staffer fight in Montgomery

Just a week after Tom Perez was formally installed as chief of the Justice Department's Civil Rights division, the former Maryland labor secretary and Montgomery Council member was given a little welcoming gift Friday by council member Duchy Trachtenberg: a...

By Michael Laris | November 23, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Monday, Nov. 23, 2009: Spotlight on judge in Dixon trial As jurors on Monday morning are set to resume deliberations over whether Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon is guilty of stealing...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 23, 2009; 6:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

Now It's Your Turn

Well, technically, it's still the jury's turn. But they were dismissed until Monday, so let's debate this for the weekend: Would you convict Mayor Sheila Dixon? Her attorneys have argued the Baltimore mayor mistakenly used gift cards for the needy,...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 20, 2009; 7:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Friday, Nov. 20, 2009: O'Malley to tout new jobs in port deal Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) this morning is expected to announce the award of a long-term partnership with Ports...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 20, 2009; 9:12 AM ET | Comments (1)

Another $85 million down in Montgomery

Montgomery County officials are trying to digest a new batch of ugly budget figures from the state, particularly this one: $85 million. That's how much less the county is getting in income tax revenues in November, and it comes on...

By Michael Laris | November 19, 2009; 4:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Md. lobbyist with 7 drunk driving convictions not alone, report shows

Several readers expressed outrage today at the sentence imposed on Maryland lobbyist David A. Jacobs for his seventh drunk driving conviction. After 36 days in jail, Jacobs--who has represented the Prince George's County Council and sheriff in Annapolis--was sent to...

By Jonathan Mummolo | November 19, 2009; 4:39 PM ET | Comments (1)

O'Malley to announce major port partnership, tout jobs

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to announce Friday the award of a long-term partnership with Ports America to operate an expanded, state-owned Seagirt Marine Terminal in southeast Baltimore. The deal will be touted as creating 5,700 jobs, something O'Malley...

By John Wagner | November 19, 2009; 3:23 PM ET | Comments (2)

Now It's Your Turn: Who should make the big cuts?

Maryland's governor can make budget cuts of up to 25 percent with the blessing of the three-member Board of Public Works. Should controversial decisions, such as Wednesday's closure of an Eastern Shore psychiatric hospital, be left to the legislature? What...

By John Wagner | November 19, 2009; 9:05 AM ET | Comments (4)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009: Dixon case heading to jury Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, who's accused of using gift cards intended for...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 19, 2009; 6:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Delegate seeks to put Md. committee votes online

The Maryland General Assembly is pretty good about letting the public know how legislators vote on bills that reach the House or Senate floors. Citizens can go on the legislature's Web site and pull up a tally sheet, as long...

By John Wagner | November 18, 2009; 4:29 PM ET | Comments (4)

Pr. Geo's County Exec: No relation between Johnson & Johnson

In case anyone was wondering -- and people were -- Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) is NOT related to one of his appointees, James E. Johnson, the county executive said Tuesday. In one of several bizarre moments...

By Jonathan Mummolo | November 18, 2009; 4:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

An odd path to victory for County Exec Johnson's nominees

(Nominee Mary Lou McDonough) Three officials nominated by Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) to be permanent agency heads are going to get their posts. Nothing unusual there--nominees sent down from the exec's office pretty much always...

By Jonathan Mummolo | November 18, 2009; 11:33 AM ET | Comments (1)

Now It's Your Turn: Are ICC tolls too high?

The Montgomery County Council thinks proposed tolls for the Intercounty Connector would be too expensive and leave the highway with too few users to justify its cost. The Maryland Transportation Authority is scheduled to vote on the toll plan next...

By John Wagner | November 18, 2009; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (5)

First Click -- Maryland

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009: Budget cuts put college aid in crosshairs Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Wednesday will ask the state's top two fiscal officers to approve about $105 million in new spending cuts that could reduce financial aid for...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 18, 2009; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Ehrlich sees difficult rematch vs. O'Malley, but wife is eager

His wife is "wildly enthusiastic" about him running for governor again. Some of his close friends are decidedly less so. Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s latest ruminations on 2010 were shared Tuesday during an appearance before a college class...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | November 17, 2009; 5:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Now It's Your Turn: Who should be the next LG?

Here's something you haven't heard much about yet: running mates. Should Martin O'Malley keep his lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown, on the 2010 ticket? Who would you pick if you were Bob Ehrlich, Larry Hogan or Pat McDonough? Let's start the...

By John Wagner | November 17, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (3)

Pr. George's cab drivers protest outside final council session

A group of about 30 irate Prince George's County taxi drivers gathered outside the county administration building Tuesday to protest a lack of action by county lawmakers over what they say are unfair working conditions. About 30 protesters--one with a...

By Jonathan Mummolo | November 17, 2009; 9:54 AM ET | Comments (6)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009: No hints on state budget cuts Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Wednesday is expected to ask the state's Board of Public Works to approve nearly $300...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 17, 2009; 6:45 AM ET | Comments (2)

Mall owners court media as slots vote looms

With the fate of Maryland's largest proposed slots venue hanging in the balance, the owners of Arundel Mills mall conducted a media blitz Monday designed to counter opposition to putting a casino on the property. "We thought it was appropriate...

By John Wagner | November 16, 2009; 4:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Now It's Your Turn: Can Ehrlich win in 2010?

Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has said he will conduct polls and convene focus groups to help decide whether a rematch against Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is winnable. Democrats have mocked his efforts. What do you think? Can...

By John Wagner | November 16, 2009; 1:23 PM ET | Comments (13)

O'Malley: Federal funds could be 'challenge pay' for principals

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) floated the idea Monday morning of using federal education dollars for which Maryland is competing as "challenge pay" to lure principals to low-performing schools. O'Malley's comments regarding "Race to the Top" funding came during an appearance...

By John Wagner | November 16, 2009; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (1)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Monday, Nov. 16, 2009: State Republicans pick a new party leader; virtual blackjack and roulette likely coming to Maryland; House health-care bill includes billions more in stimulus money for Maryland,...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 16, 2009; 6:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Ehrlich mum on 2010 plans at GOP convention

Former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) was greeted with a standing ovation Saturday at the state Republican convention and gave a pep talk to the more than 200 delegates in attendance. But he did not say a word...

By John Wagner | November 14, 2009; 4:11 PM ET | Comments (1)

Md. GOP picks Scott to guide cash-strapped party

Maryland Republicans on Saturday overwhelmingly elected Audrey E. Scott, a Cabinet secretary under former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), as their new party chairwoman. Scott, a former member of the Prince George's County Council who later served as Ehrlich's...

By John Wagner | November 14, 2009; 1:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Sources: Sheriff Jackson will run for Pr. Geo.'s county exec

UPDATE: Jackson has indeed decided to run for county executive, according to several politically connected sources who spoke on condition of anyonimity, including one elected official in the county who said he spoke to Jackson directly. (County Photo) Prince George's...

By Jonathan Mummolo | November 13, 2009; 11:08 AM ET | Comments (3)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Friday, Nov. 13, 2009: The heat is on as state waits for Ehrlich decision, Montgomery reaches deal on new music venue, six more deaths from swine flu, Dixon says she...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 13, 2009; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

Fillmore deal done, Montgomery officials say

After months of wrangling on the details, a deal has finally been reached on building a Fillmore Music Hall in downtown Silver Spring, Montgomery County officials said Thursday night. The Lee Development Group, which has development ambitions in the area,...

By Michael Laris | November 12, 2009; 8:09 PM ET | Comments (4)

Democrats don't wait for Ehrlich to enter

Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has yet to say whether he is running again for governor. But the Democratic campaign against him has apparently already begun. On Thursday, Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Susan W. Turnbull released an "open...

By John Wagner | November 12, 2009; 6:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

Arundel Mills casino close to winning nod from state

Members of a Maryland commission signaled Thursday that they are ready to award a license to operate the state's largest slot-machine gambling casino at Arundel Mills mall, citing the hundreds of millions of dollars a year it is projected to...

By John Wagner | November 12, 2009; 5:31 PM ET | Comments (4)

"Why You?": Gerron Levi in Prince George's

With 2010 around the corner, candidates in Prince George's County at all levels of government are beginning to sculpt their campaign messages. In a semi-weekly series --"Why You?" -- we sit down with the county's political hopefuls to ask about...

By Jonathan Mummolo | November 12, 2009; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009: No porn policy for University of Maryland. It's "impossible" board says. Prince George's criticized for new tax districts, documents show nonprofit overbilled MoCo. Critics say Prince...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 12, 2009; 7:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley campaign manager urges "deep breath"

In a memo to top financial backers Wednesday, Gov. Martin O'Malley's campaign manager urged Marylanders "to take a deep breath" and argued that O'Malley remains well-positioned to win re-election next year, despite Democratic losses last week in Virginia and New...

By John Wagner | November 11, 2009; 2:49 PM ET | Comments (1)

GOP governor hopefuls on display this weekend

When Maryland Republicans convene this weekend, selecting a new chairman to succeed James Pelura will be foremost on the agenda. But the state convention in Bowie also should provide a showcase for the party's 2010 candidates for governor. Firing up...

By John Wagner | November 11, 2009; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (2)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Veterans Day Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009: Hundreds more state medevac flights than expected following crash, Maryland politicians commemorate Veterans Day, Baltimore bids to host World Cup, jury seated in mayor's...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 11, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009: Obama administration considers cutting off Chesapeake Bay funding, Dixon pleads not guilty and a stabbing death spells more trouble for Maryland prisons. Dixon pleads not guilty,...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 10, 2009; 9:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

O'Malley named Governor of the Year? Kind of.

Since landing on the cover of the November issue of Governing, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has trumpeted the magazine's praise in his fundraising appeals. He also has played it up on his campaign Web site, and the cover now...

By John Wagner | November 10, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Some details on HUD projects in Pr. George's emerge

After Prince George's County came within one day of losing more than $5 million in federal housing funds, a few details on how it plans to spend the money have emerged. The funds that were at stake come from the...

By Jonathan Mummolo | November 9, 2009; 3:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Monday, November 9, 2009: Trial selection begins in case against Baltimore mayor Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) begins the first of two court battles today in an attempt to clear...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 9, 2009; 9:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

Health care: How Maryland members voted

Maryland's congressional delegation voted 6 to 2 Saturday night in favor of passage of the landmark health-care reform bill, with only first-term Democrat Frank Kratovil breaking with his party and voting no. In a statement, Kratovil called the bill too...

By John Wagner | November 8, 2009; 7:20 AM ET | Comments (3)

O'Malley emergency order allows paramedics to give swine vaccine

Gov. Martin O'Malley issued an emergency order Friday to help speed immunizations once more swine flu vaccine is available in Maryland. The order allows paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and cardiac rescue personnel to give shots to the general public. Before,...

By Michael Laris | November 6, 2009; 1:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Friday, November 5, 2009: Report: Head of energy committee won't support re-regulation Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George's), chairman of a key House committee that handles energy matters, will not...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 6, 2009; 8:47 AM ET | Comments (1)

O'Malley to pledge help on unemployment insurance

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will promise Thursday night to work with business leaders to find a "more sustainable solution" to a state employment insurance system under which tax rates are tripling next year for many Maryland companies. The pledge is...

By John Wagner | November 5, 2009; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

Hundreds show for Currie's $250-a-plate fundraiser

Nearly 18 months after FBI agents raided his home in a federal corruption probe, almost 200 Maryland lawmakers, fundraisers, lobbyists, labor organizers and business owners turned out Wednesday for a $250-a-plate fundraiser for Prince George's Sen. Ulysses Currie (D). The...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 5, 2009; 4:31 PM ET | Comments (1)

State may levy millions in fines against Montgomery schools

The Montgomery County school system could be forced to pay millions of dollars in penalties under an opinion Wednesday by Maryland's attorney general that its county government had "artificially" satisfied a state law that sets a minimum funding level for...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | November 5, 2009; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Thursday, November 5, 2009: Election Analysis: What's it mean for Maryland? Big Republican wins in Virginia and New Jersey were "relevant" to next year's gubernatorial race in Maryland, says former...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 5, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Poll: O'Malley leads Ehrlich but could be vulnerable

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) holds a 7 percentage point lead over former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) in a hypothetical 2010 rematch, according to a poll released late Wednesday by the nonpartisan Clarus Research Group. The spread --...

By John Wagner | November 4, 2009; 11:38 PM ET | Comments (1)

Hogan to claim support of Pappas in Md. governor's race

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Larry Hogan is preparing to announce an endorsement from fellow GOP candidate Mike Pappas, who is dropping out of the race, according to Hogan's campaign. Pappas, a Towson lawyer who launched a gubernatorial exploratory bid months ago,...

By John Wagner | November 4, 2009; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

Ehrlich buoyed by Virginia, New Jersey results

Former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said Tuesday's Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey were "a relevant event for us" as he decides whether to seek a rematch next year against Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). Ehrlich, in...

By John Wagner | November 4, 2009; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Wednesday, November 4, 2009: Election Roundup: A Democrat won a narrower-than-expected victory for mayor in the state capital. Voters in Rockville, Maryland's second largest city, ousted its mayor and residents...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 4, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

With labor talks underway, Andrews calls for pay freeze in Montgomery

Montgomery Council President Phil Andrews warned Monday that the ballooning county budget deficit - it's now hit at least $400 million, given rollbacks in expected tax revenues - will require an across-the-board salary freeze next year. "All the alternatives to...

By Michael Laris | November 3, 2009; 8:53 AM ET | Comments (3)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Tuesday, November 3, 2009: But, what's it mean for Maryland? It's Election Day (in a few Maryland cities, but mostly in a bunch of other places). So what will it...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 3, 2009; 8:06 AM ET | Comments (1)

Two state delegates said to be running for Pr. George's County Executive

One female Maryland State delegate has decided to join the growing list of candidates for Prince George's County Executive, and another is rumored to be throwing her hat in the ring as well. The delegates--either of which would be the...

By Jonathan Mummolo | November 2, 2009; 3:52 PM ET | Comments (11)

Schaefer statue unveiled in Baltimore

William Donald Schaefer can still command an audience. The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor was not listed on the program Monday as having a speaking role at the unveiling of his larger-than-life statue at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore....

By John Wagner | November 2, 2009; 3:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Click -- Maryland

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Monday, November 2, 2009: Constellation, EDF approve deal Constellation Energy and French energy giant, EDF, have accepted conditions laid out Friday by Maryland's Public Service Commission and will proceed with...

By Aaron C. Davis | November 2, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

 

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