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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009:

Port of Baltimore lease up for final vote
Gov. Martin O'Malley today will ask the Board of Public Works for final approval to give the nation's largest port operator control of the Port of Baltimore BPW.jpgfor the next 50 years in exchange for the company's promise to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to expand and maintain the facility. State officials consider the deal Maryland's broadest so-called public private partnership - a trend that has caught on through partially privatized roads and lotteries in recent years as states have struggled to find the revenue to fully fund operations they once considered the government's business.
Meanwhile, the board appears "poised to approve a $21.5 million contract to set up the central operating system for the state's slot machine program to a company that has been accused of questionable practices in other states and countries and at one time was connected to a scandal here," reports The Baltimore Sun's Laura Smitherman. A background document, however, notes that "Lottomatica Group, an Italian company and one of the world's largest lottery operators, acquired GTECH more than three years ago and implemented a 'comprehensive overhaul of the corporate culture.'" Also, several states, including Nevada, have licensed the company.

10,000 doses of swine flu recalled in Maryland
Some doses of swine flu vaccine for young children are being recalled in Maryland and Virginia, writes The Post's Michael Laris. "The issue is not one of safety, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the strength of the vaccine had dropped slightly after it was shipped, the CDC said. ... Maryland Health Department spokesman David Paulson said the state has received 10,300 doses of vaccine from the affected lots. They went to 48 providers, though not to any local health departments, he said."
The Baltimore Sun's story here.

Angelos out of Pimilico bidding

Thumbnail image for Angelos mug.jpg"Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos was not among the half-dozen bidders Friday for Laurel racetrack, Pimilico Race Course and other Magna Entertainment properties, according to two racing industry sources with knowledge of the process," reports The Post's John Wagner. Angelos confirmed to The Post ten days ago that he was considering trying to buy Magna's tracks, which are being auctioned off in bankruptcy proceedings. Neither he nor his family followed through with a bid, however, according to the two sources.

Edwards votes to sanction Iran
Donna Edwards mug.jpgRep. Donna Edwards voted Tuesday to impose sanctions on Iran aimed at derailing the nation's reported efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, writes The Post's Jonathan Mummolo. "The vote was being closely watched by some in the local Jewish community, given the flap Edwards has found herself in over her record on Israel." In a one-minute floor speech, Edwards said: "Sadly, the response of the Iranian leadership, particularly following their flawed elections, has been anything but forthcoming and cooperative."

Very briefly:

By Aaron C. Davis  |  December 16, 2009; 6:44 AM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click , John Wagner  
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Next: Now It's Your Turn: Should votes be online?

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