First Click -- Maryland
Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis -- special post-snowstorm edition
Monday, December 21, 2009:
Anne Arundel Council tries to clean up slots mess
Barring a snow-related delay (or a delay of some other kind, for that matter), the Anne Arundel County Council could finally vote tonight on zoning legislation that would allow a slots casino at Arundel Mills mall. It's worth noting that the council actually will have two zoning bills in front of them: one that would allow slots at the proposed 4,750-machine facility at the mall (depicted here in an artist's rendering), as well as several other locations; and another that would allow slots in several other locations besides the mall. The mall is the only site that has been awarded a slots license by the state (contingent on zoning), but it's possible the council could reject that biil and pass the other one -- which County Executive John R. Leopold (R) has hinted he might veto.
Confused? Erin Cox of the Capital sets the scene for tonight's meeting, writing: "With competing claims, conflicting predictions and large sums of money on the line, the only certainty in the slots debate is that the outcome is still uncertain." Cox also takes a look at the accuracy of some slots claims. And whether the council should change the way it replaces its members.
Meanwhile, the editorial page of The Baltimore Sun says a state commission made the right call last week by killing a bid for the Baltimore slots site -- and seeks closure tonight on Anne Arundel.
O'Malley gives Grasmick plan a frosty reception
"Gov. Martin O'Malley criticized state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick's decision to delay a request for federal stimulus money for education, saying Friday that he wants Maryland to go after the $150 million next month," reports The Baltimore Sun's Julie Bykowicz. "'I find it very unusual that in the area where we're recognized as the best in the nation, that this is the one department that's not applying as aggressively as every other department has for these things,' O'Malley said" during a visit To The Sun.
O'Malley's March plows ahead
What Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Saturday described as "one of the largest snowfalls we've ever had" was not enough to keep his Celtic rock band from playing two shows Sunday to near-capacity crowds at the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, reports The Post's John Wagner.
Meanwhile, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Larry Hogan wrote on his Facebook page that he was "taking a short break from hours and hours of shoveling and sweating, now back is aching. Betcha Martin didn't do any digging out at the Governor's Mansion this morning. He's probably tired from staying out all night playing with his rock band. That's just one of our main differences, I'm a work horse and he's just a show pony."
In other snow-related news:
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