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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

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

Thursday, December 10, 2009:


Glitches in governor's first online campaign event
"There were more audio and video streaming glitches than headlines coming out of Gov. Martin O'Malley's 'virtual town hall meeting' broadcast on the Web Wednesday night from a Baltimore County community center," write The Post's John Wagner and Aaron Davis. O'Malley fielded questions from a live audience, as well as those submitted via his campaign Web site, Facebook and Twitter. He seemed less resolute than in the past about maintaining state funding of teacher pensions. He also reiterated his preference for civil unions as a middle ground in the debate over legalizing gay marriage. O'Malley has yet to draw a high-profile Republican challenger but has been aggressively raising money in recent months. For his first online town hall, however, he chose to utilize UStream, which advertises itself as a free service paid for by ads. Among those that appeared below the governor's video stream: "Washington Online Dating: Get matched to sexy singles in the Washington area." Alongside the governor, the site also showed questions posed via Twitter, which were monopolized by several people less than friendly to O'Malley - and others who complained that the broadcast was unwatchable.
Video from the first hour of the event is posted online here.

MoCo lawmakers to try again on drunk driving law
Jamie Raskin.jpg"Sen. Jamie B. Raskin and Del. Benjamin F. Kramer both said they will introduce legislation to require the Motor Vehicle Administration to install ignition interlock devices in the cars of convicted drunken drivers, including first-time offenders," writes Marcus Moore at The Gazette. "The proposed legislation comes in the wake of an October incident in which the vehicle of a previously convicted drunken driver struck and killed a Johns Hopkins University student in Baltimore."

Franchot opposes combined reporting
Franchot looks up.jpg"Comptroller Peter Franchot told the Maryland Association of CPAs last week that he will oppose efforts to initiate combined reporting in the next General Session," writes blogger Adam Pagnucco at Maryland Politics Watch. "Add that to House Speaker Mike Busch's assessment of the prospects for the idea and it looks like the corporate tax restructuring measure may not be going anywhere for now."

Maryland tourism revenue down
State tourism revenues were down by more than $7 million or 2.3 percent over the last year, writes Liz Farmer at The Daily Record.

Commission scrutinizing legislators pay, expenses
"A 9-member compensation commission began work this week on whether legislators will get a pay hike after the next election. The panel will also review pensions and expenses such as lodging and meals, with recommendations due Jan. 27," writes Len Lazarick at MarylandReporter.com. "Members of the General Assembly are the nation's second-highest paid part-time lawmakers, bringing in $43,500 a year, but they haven't gotten a raise in four years."

Md. congressional delegation angles for earmarks
Nearly $100 million in spending earmarked by Maryland lawmakers appears headed to more than 70 projects in the state under a huge year-end spending measure that the House is expected to approve Thursday, reports The Sun's Paul West.

Briefly:

  • A small business task force created by O'Malley presented recommendations Wednesday to increase growth and job creation, the AP reports.

  • Red Maryland says let the sunshine in, demonstrating bipartisan support for Montgomery Del. Saqib Ali's bill to require online posting of state lawmakers' committee votes and other information.

  • Nancy Floreen, the newly elected President of the Montgomery County Council will be on the 'Political Pulse' tonight.

  • Maryland did not get a competitive grant from the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help put together an application for the federal education-reform money, The Sun reports.
  • The state's Department of Natural Resources suggests going green for the holidays.
  • By Aaron C. Davis  |  December 10, 2009; 6:45 AM ET
    Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click , John Wagner  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: O'Malley "virtually" addresss education, marriage
    Next: Now It's Your Turn: Thoughts on the town hall?

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