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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

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 the needy for personal shopping. On Wednesday, Dixon's defense rested after calling a total of four witnesses over two days, write Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey in The Baltimore Sun.

Some lawmakers upset budget cuts not deferred to legislature

The Board of Public Works approved $362 million in budget actions Wednesday despite protests from lawmakers that the governor and board should defer controversial decisions until January, when the legislature reconvenes, writes The Post's Aaron Davis. The article also looks at rumblings in the legislature over whether Gov. Martin O'Malley's cuts went too far. "In the days leading up to Wednesday's board meeting, lawyers for the General Assembly and governor's office and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) passed around opinions from 1991, debating whether O'Malley and the board had the right to cut an agency's total budget by 25 percent or individual programs by 25 percent."
The Sun's take on the cuts is here. The Gazette's is here.

Sheriff stands by his men at what cost?
"Since the day his officers gunned down two pet Labrador dogs and handcuffed two innocent people for hours in a drug raid in 2008 at the home of the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Prince George's County Sheriff Michael Jackson has clung to what seems like a preposterous notion that his men did nothing wrong," writes Post columnist Robert McCartney. "Voters will now get a chance to pass judgment on that, as Jackson confirmed to political associates last week that he's running for county executive."

Lobbyist with 7 DUI convictions given "slap on the wrist"
"A Maryland lobbyist with seven drunken-driving convictions who has represented the Prince George's County Council and Sheriff's Department was ordered released Wednesday after 36 days in jail. David A. Jacobs, 53, of Mitchellville, was sent to an in-patient alcohol treatment program for 28 days. A prosecutor had asked the court to sentence Jacobs to 10 months in jail. Prince George's District Court Judge Hassan Ali El-Amin told Jacobs to hire a chauffeur. "When they pour the drinks down in Annapolis, you'll tell them, 'I'll have a Perrier.' "

  • Del. Saqib Ali (D-Montgomery) will introduce a bill that would require committee votes to be posted on the General Assembly site, as well as any other recorded votes on amendments and motions related to bills that are taken during committee meetings, writes The Post's John Wagner.

  • U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski has introduced "Rosa's Law," a bill that will eliminate the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from the federal law books.

  • The agency that administers the state's pension fund is seeking firms to advise it on its real estate investments and investments in private equity funds, writes Gary Haber in the Baltimore Business Journal.

  • Stressed county and local budgets could get plowed under if snow piles up this winter.

  • State auto insurer chided for bonuses.

  • Washington Examiner columnist Gregory Kane offers his take on Bob Ehrlich's recent visit to Professor Richard Vatz's class.

  • Simon Companies, Cordish Cos., and Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold are now engaging in a full scale public relations blitz to try and rescue their casino proposal, writes anti-slots activist Rob Annicelli for Maryland Politics Watch.

  • Environmental interests will push lawmakers to take a fresh look at transportation funding and are drafting legislation intended to steer more dollars toward transit projects such as the Purple Line, which would link either end of Metrorail's Red Line in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, writes Sean Sedam in The Gazette.

  • Enrollment increased at Maryland's public and private colleges this fall, with public two-year colleges seeing the greatest growth and private institutions the least, according to a report released Wednesday, writes The Post's Daniel de Vise.

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  • By Aaron C. Davis  |  November 19, 2009; 6:45 AM ET
    Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Delegate seeks to put Md. committee votes online
    Next: Now It's Your Turn: Who should make the big cuts?

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