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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

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

Monday, December 14, 2009:


Montgomery officials kick off legislative season
Busch photo.jpgSome 600 elected officials, business leaders and community leaders are expected to be on hand this morning for the Committee for Montgomery's annual legislative breakfast.
Ben Cardin.jpgThe group has yet to release its priorities for the upcoming session, but House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) are among those scheduled to address the gathering in Bethesda.

Dixon retrial request raises questions about Facebook friends

Dixon photo.jpg"On Friday, lawyers for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) asked for a new trial in part because five of the jurors who convicted her of embezzlement Dec. 1 were communicating among themselves on Facebook during the deliberations period - and at least one of them received an outsider's online opinion of what the verdict should be. The "Facebook Friends," as Dixon's lawyers call them in court documents, became a clique that the lawyers argue altered jury dynamics," writes Andrea Siegel in The Baltimore Sun.
Dixon's attorneys also say they've since learned two jurors lied in pre-trail screening, including Juror No. 3, who had previous contact with Dixon and an aide who testified at the trial.

O'Malley to open "Gateway to Frederick"
O'Malley reception room.jpgGov. Martin O'Malley will be in Frederick on Monday for the opening of a new $107 million highway interchange at Interstate 70 and Maryland Route 85. The interchange has been dubbed the "Gateway to Frederick."

Report: Sun state house reporter leaving Annapolis for business editor post

Accomplished Baltimore Sun reporter Laura Smitherman has been named the paper's business editor, according to Talking Biz blog, which posts the text of a staff announcement by Sun executive editor Monty Cook: "We are pleased to announce that Laura Smitherman will lead The Baltimore Sun's business staff as the new head of money and spending. ...In 2007, Laura became a political reporter for the paper, keeping a watchful eye on the governor, the General Assembly and the state budget. She deftly distilled state spending stories into readable prose and broke news on the state's slot-machine gambling efforts."

Briefly:

  • Anne Arundel County still waiting for boom from BRAC funding, writes Joshua Stewart in The Capital.

  • All six candidates for an open Anne Arundel County Council seat appear to support slots at Arundel Mills Mall.

  • State's budget woes could impact legislators' ambitions come January.

  • Maryland's public employee retiree costs still on the rise.

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    By Aaron C. Davis  |  December 14, 2009; 6:31 AM ET
    Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click  
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