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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2010:


Gavels at noon open 427th General Assembly session; Prince George's Ivey to leave public office; O'Malley won't seek energy re-regulation but will push renewables.

Ivey won't challenge Edwards; will leave public office
ivey.jpgPrince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey announced Tuesday that he would not challenge Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) and instead will go into the private sector next year after his term as chief prosecutor ends," writes The Post's Jonathan Mummolo. "Ivey (D) cited "personal reasons" and a desire for a "vacation" from elective politics but shied from specifics. "I didn't have the appetite for another political campaign right now," he said. Responding to questions from reporters, he ruled out his health, his family's wishes or any potential scandal as reasons for his decision." Before he voiced ambition for a congressional bid, Ivey was long seen as a logical contender to replace term-limited County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D).

O'Malley will skip energy re-regulation but push renewables

O'Malley looking right.jpg"Gov. Martin O'Malley said Tuesday he won't push for legislation to re-regulate energy markets again in this upcoming session, relying instead on the Public Service Commission to use existing authority to order new power generation as needed," writes The AP's Brian Witte. "Legislation backed by O'Malley to steer Maryland back toward some re-regulation of energy markets died in a House committee last session."
But... "O'Malley will push legislators to pass a package of renewable energy initiatives that would boost solar production, make the state more attractive for offshore wind development and offer incentives for purchasing electric cars," writes The Baltimore Sun's Annie Linskey. The proposals "are designed to put Maryland on course to generate 20 percent of its electricity via renewable sources in about a decade. That was a goal the legislature set two years ago, and comes as President Barack Obama is set to promote green jobs at an appearance in Lanham today."

Maryland Democrats acknowledge a tough year ahead
mike miller.jpg"Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), a longtime student of Maryland politics, likened this year's political environment to the 1970s, when angry farmers came to Washington to protest the policies of President Jimmy Carter," writes The Post's John Wagner. "Speaking to an annual Maryland Democratic Party luncheon, Miller recalled one of those farmers diverting to his house to help plow snow with his corn picker -- and a horrified phone call from his wife upon seeing "Jimmy Carter sucks" signs on all sides of the massive machinery. 'This is a 'Jimmy Carter sucks' time to be in state government,' Miller said, before pivoting to more upbeat remarks about why Maryland Democrats will more than hold their own this election year."

New delegate may be named today
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Tuesday was meeting "with two Republican nominees for a state delegate seat that straddles the Frederick and Washington county lines," reports The AP. " The seat is being vacated by Delegate Richard Weldon, a Republican who switched to unaffiliated. He recently resigned to take a job in Frederick City Hall. "Rick Abbruzzese, an O'Malley spokesman, says O'Malley hopes to pick the new delegate before the official start of the Maryland General Assembly, which begins at noon Wednesday."

Lawmakers' online fundraising continues down to the wire

"Besides the more than 40 fundraisers that were scheduled in Annapolis and elsewhere during the final days before the legislative session, Delegates Alfred Carr (D-Montgomery), Jill Carter (D-Baltimore), Tom Hucker (D-Montgomery) and others were also making a last-minute dash for cash online," writes Wagner. "State law prevents legislators and statewide elected officials from soliciting campaign contributions during the annual 90-day session."

Public radio previews the coming legislative session
Cloudy State House.jpgGov. Martin O'Malley (D), Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) are all taking part Wednesday morning in the 7th Annual Annapolis Summit hosted by Marc Steiner and broadcast on WEAA 89.5 FM. Meanwhile, The Post's Wagner and The Sun's Julie Bykowicz appeared Tuesday on Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast on WYPR 88.1 FM. Audio is available here.

New texting law is being enforced
"Montgomery County is tied with Baltimore County in leading the state in the number of drivers cited for the new Maryland texting-while-driving law that took effect Oct. 1," writes The Gazette's C. Benjamin Ford. "Police in both counties have cited eight drivers for texting while driving, an offense punishable by a $500 fine and a point on the driver's license. Across the state, 60 citations have been issued so far."

Johnson second-guessed on speed camera decision
Jack B. Johnson.jpg"Several Prince George's County Council members voiced concerns Tuesday over County Executive Jack B. Johnson's decision to overhaul a plan to deploy dozens of speed cameras, with some saying that he was putting revenue ahead of safety and risked weakening the county's standing with state legislators," writes The Post's Mummolo. "Johnson (D) said last week that a plan to have cameras in 50 school zones would be scrapped, and that county police would use a much smaller number of mobile camera units in targeted areas."

Briefly:

Don Dwyer.jpg

  • Del. Donald H. Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel) is invoking provisions of Maryland's constitution to contend that Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's conviction prohibits her from receiving a lifetime pension, writes The Gazette's Margie Hylsop. He also contends that the state Constitution requires Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) to remove her from office after her conviction.

  • Del. Bill Bronrott (D-Montgomery) and Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery) confirmed Tuesday that they will introduce a bill to raise tax on alcohol, Linskey writes. They said a 10 cent-per-drink tax would raise an estimated $200 million for the state. The money would pay for programs to treat and prevent substance abuse and fill other funding gaps in health-related services

  • Montgomery County Council endorsements defy conventional wisdom, writes Adam Pagnucco at Maryland Politics Watch.

  • Montgomery's District 19 could feature a crowded field this year, says the Gazette.

  • Stifler mug.jpg
  • Some Maryland Republican lawmakers say they hope to repeal a law approved last year that extends unemployment benefits to part-time workers when they lose their jobs. Harford County Delegate Donna Stifler said Tuesday that a repeal would help employers who aren't hiring because too much of their money is going to the state's unemployment trust fund.

  • A group of watermen plan to meet Wednesday to decide if they will split from the Maryland Watermen's Association and create their own regional group. Jody Tull of Marion Station says he doesn't feel well represented by the statewide association and wants to start an association with that would focus on serving watermen in the middle and lower Eastern Shore.

  • Red Maryland says Prince George's Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D) is filing a bill to prevent Jerry Mathis, a member of the Prince George's Community College board, from running for county council.

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    By Aaron C. Davis  |  January 13, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
    Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click , John Wagner  
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