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 her name over allegations of theft and perjury. If she fails to sway a jury in either case, she could be forced from office.
Dixon is accused of taking gift cards for needy children and using them to buy personal electronics, clothes and other items. Later, she's expected to face a separate court proceeding over perjury allegations.
The AP's Ben Nuckols provides a good primer, and the Baltimore Sun has refreshers on the timeline, key players, and a look at jury selection.
How will Kratovil's 'no' vote on health-care play out?
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, who represents a right-leaning district on the Eastern Shore, called the bill too expensive and said: "I was not able to support the bill before Congress today because I do not believe it meets my criteria for a sustainable solution."
Maryland Politics Watch has a letter from Bob Stewart, Executive Director of Montgomery County's public employees union blasting Kratovil's decision, and questioning if he's the man unions should support for re-election.
"We are smart enough to know that if we can't count on the Congressman to vote for Health Care Reform this year, then why delude ourselves into thinking that we could count on him to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act next year!" Stewart writes.
Victims' families confront sniper's execution
"At 9 p.m. Tuesday, if all goes as scheduled, Muhammad, the mastermind, is to be executed in Virginia by injection -- bringing closure, justice and finality, victims' friends and families say, to a saga that haunts the community still," writes The Post's Michael Ruane. "Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 24, 2002, when they were captured, Muhammad, then 41 and a former U.S. Army soldier from Louisiana, and Malvo, his 17-year-old sidekick, terrorized the District, Maryland and Virginia, shooting and killing people at random from the cover of their battered car. Sixteen people were shot, 10 fatally."
Baltimore stimulus project hasn't produced a single job
"In Baltimore, the 300 block of East 23 1/2 Street is getting patched up in time for winter. One economic stimulus program is paying to insulate 11 rental rowhouses, another is paying for furnaces and a third is covering the cost for reflective roofs to be installed by prison inmates in a job-training program," writes The Post's Alec MacGillis. "...the work on East 23 1/2 -- even with all of its activity -- has so far not produced a single job.
McCartney: Democrats must stop coasting
"In the annals of inept campaigns for governor in our region, the disastrous effort by Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds is rivaled in recent memory perhaps only by Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's humiliating loss in Maryland seven years ago.
As Democrats study the results and look to 2010, however, they would blunder if they blame their mangling at the polls Tuesday exclusively on Deeds's poor candidacy.
Instead, as the Republican victory in New Jersey also showed, Democrats need to recognize that they have grown too complacent after their successes earlier this decade," suggests Post columnist Robert McCartney. "The party must embrace those lessons or risk further setbacks next November. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), in particular, should pay attention as he seeks reelection. He could be vulnerable to some of the same trends that routed Deeds ..."
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Aaron C. Davis
November 9, 2009; 9:03 AM ET
Categories: Aaron C. Davis , First Click
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