First Click -- Maryland
Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis
Tuesday, January 5, 2010:
Leadership of Chesapeake council is transferring, Northrop Grumman is coming and Montgomery County's top lawyer is going
EPA chief takes over Chesapeake program
The government council responsible for setting the policy agenda for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup program will transfer authority today from Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. Gov. Martin O'Malley and other members of the Chesapeake Executive Council are expected to be on hand for the ceremony, reports The AP.
Related news: Chesapeake Bay Foundation president Will Baker has asked Jackson to support Maryland Sen. Benjamin Cardin's latest restoration bill. In a letter, Baker told Jackson that only 18 of 53 members of Congress from bay watershed states are co-sponsors and urged Jackson to lobby for passage, the AP reports: "The EPA is developing a restoration strategy in response to a presidential order. Cardin's bill, meanwhile, would reauthorize the bay program, and contains measures such as a cap-and-trade program for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution credits."
Defense contractor surveying region for best tax deal
"Northrop Grumman said Monday that it plans to move its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to the Washington area by 2011, solidifying the growing importance of Washington as a center for the defense industry and other businesses," reports The Post's Dana Hedgpeth and Thomas Heath. "Northrop executives said they are looking for a site in Maryland, Virginia or the District and plan to identify one by spring. ... The company is looking for the best tax incentive package in each jurisdiction."
Another top Maryland attorney leaves for Justice Department
Montgomery County's top lawyer, Leon Rodriguez, is stepping down to become chief of staff to former Maryland labor secretary, Tom Perez, who recently took over the Justice Department's civil rights division, writes The Post's Michael Laris. "Rodriguez, who has been Montgomery's county attorney since 2007, told his staff of the move Monday. He starts the job Jan. 19, at a time when the division is rebuilding after a mass exodus of attorneys during the Bush administration. Turnover was about 70 percent, he said."
Foes of slots site confirm use of paid petition help
"The president of the Maryland Jockey Club confirmed Monday that a coalition plans to use paid signature-gatherers in its efforts to force a public vote on a new zoning law that allows construction of the state's largest slots casino at Arundel Mills mall," reports The Post's John Wagner. "The Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Park racetrack, has teamed up with anti-slots activists in a bid to derail last month's zoning decision by the Anne Arundel County Council. Like other Maryland jurisdictions, Anne Arundel allows residents to challenge legislation through a ballot drive. If the opponents collect about 19,000 signatures, the zoning law will be suspended pending next year's election."
The Baltimore Sun's take on the petition drive is here.
Around the state:
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Aaron C. Davis
January 5, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Aaron C. Davis , First Click , John Wagner
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