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First Click, Maryland -- Help us cover gov's race

First Click

Your morning download of Maryland political news

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Thursday, June 3, 2010:

The Agenda
Do you know something that we don't know about Maryland's governor's race? Its candidates? Their motivations? Political connections? Have you caught one of them saying something interesting at a fundraiser? Have a picture? A video? Have you simply received a new campaign flier in the mail or heard a new ad?

Now you can tell us -- and every Marylander.

Today, The Washington Post begins a brave (we hope) new experiment in campaign coverage. We've launched a Web page dedicated to the rematch of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) that anyone, anywhere can log onto to update with the latest news or pertinent info to better understand the race.

Aaron.jpgAt The Post, my colleague John Wagner and I cover the candidates, but we can't be everywhere, every day. The idea is that combined, we can all know much more. For the uninitiated, the model is called a Wiki, and Washington Post editors will proof and in some cases ask John or me to verify information before it's added to the site.

But our vision for the site is that it will quickly grow, take on a life of its own, and become a must-read for the latest news and discussion on the governor's race.

We expect the campaigns to participate in the evolving back-and-forth. Critics will surely be among the first to weigh in, and only the campaigns will be best suited to make sure their positions are clear. But we also hope the site provides a new forum to connect voters with candidates. If someone cares enough to write a post or pose a question, we hope the campaigns will take the time to write, too.

Take a spin through the site and let us know what you think. We'll be adding more bells and whistles in coming days and weeks, and if all goes well, more pages with more campaigns, too.

While you're poking around, check out many of the other new voices and features to help you track politics and government on the new Local Post Web site.

Among the columns and features added this week:

-- The Daily Gripe: Need a stop sign on your street? Got an abandoned car or other $%*)#! problems in your neighborhood? Stop muttering to yourself. Report it to The Daily Gripe and get a direct line to local officials who can fix them.

-- Mike DeBonis joined The Post's talented group of political bloggers. (Yes, THAT DeBonis, the former Loose Lips columnist from From Maryland to D.C. to Virginia -- and sometimes beyond -- he'll dig into the characters, campaign and conflicts of local politics.

-- Lori's A.M. Buzz: Wake up to the buzziest news with The Post's Lori Aratani. Each weekday morning, she'll tell you what's going on and what The Post will be covering for you in the D.C. region over the next 24 hours.

-- News Reload: We know you miss us when you're gone. So the next time you come home from, say, a six-day weekend in Vegas, there's a simple way to find out what happened in the D.C. region. News Reload lets you select the days you missed and then read the top stories from each of those days.

-- DataPost: Do you love numbers? Or maybe you have a research paper due, or you want to see the math behind the day's stories. DataPost is where you'll find an ever-growing collection of databases created by The Post, by local governments or other organizations. Sort, search and dig in!

-- Aaron C. Davis

News You Should Know

Fenty, O'Malley and McDonnell meet as future of Bay comes back in focus
"With states that are the primary polluters of the Chesapeake Bay lagging far behind their cleanup goals, the governors of Maryland and Virginia and D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty are scheduled to meet Thursday to contemplate the salvation of the nation's largest estuary," writes The Post's Ashley Halsey III. "The gathering in Baltimore comes after decades of failure to meet goals set to cleanse the bay, and after a pair of potentially significant developments that will put additional pressure on state and local governments in the 64,000-square-mile watershed. An Obama administration initiative rolled out two weeks ago requires that each of the six watershed states and the District come up with its own restrictions on farmers, developers, homeowners and others to curtail the flow of pollutants into the bay. .... A second fresh element in play when Maryland's Martin O'Malley (D) and Virginia's Robert F. McDonnell (R) meet with Fenty (D) on Thursday is the settlement last month of a lawsuit brought against the EPA by bay advocates."

O'Malley seeks to increase venture capital by $100 million
"Gov. Martin O'Malley wants to multiply Maryland's investment in biotech and life sciences startups by borrowing money from insurance companies," writes The Washington Examiner's Hayley Peterson. "O'Malley's initiative, named InvestMaryland, would offer tax credits to insurance companies such as Geico, AllState and State Farm if the companies expedite paying off a portion of their state taxes due in 2015. The plan aims to free up $100 million, which the state would pump into its $2 billion venture capital fund over the next five years. The state would turn to insurance companies rather than banks because 'these are folks, unlike us mere mortals, that take sort of the 10-year, 20-year view of life,' O'Malley said, adding that insurance companies 'feel very comfortable with fixed-rate returns.' The state Department of Business and Economic Development would invest half the fund in biotech and life sciences startup companies, and pour the rest into Maryland-based venture capital funds -- which also invest in startups. The General Assembly would have to approve the plan."


"We have a gulf oil spill right here on the Chesapeake every day. Almost a million pounds of nitrogen flows into the bay every day."
-- William C. Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, at a gathering Wednesday in advance of today's Bay meeting.


Trust First Click for critical news and analysis you need to navigate Maryland politics. Each Monday and Thursday, First Click brings you The Agenda, a concise, forward-looking analysis of a top development in politics or policy. "News You Should Know" breaks down top stories from across the state. And other features keep you up to speed with power brokers in Annapolis and beyond. Want First Click on the go? Sign up for our free e-mail edition, and get the news delivered to your inbox or mobile device.

You can also find First Click on Facebook and Twitter.

By Aaron C. Davis  |  June 3, 2010; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  First Click  
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Next: Ehrlich begins pivot to education issues


Good to see you guys are trying so hard to find news, especially having such a small staff. You make a great team and I will try to follow your new governor developments.

Posted by: DANIELVOVAK | June 3, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

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