Archive: Aaron C. Davis

Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 11/13/2009

First Click -- Maryland

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

Friday, Nov. 13, 2009:


The heat is on as state waits for Ehrlich decision, Montgomery reaches deal on new music venue, six more deaths from swine flu, Dixon says she thought gift cards were a gift, and counties says kids should have to stay in school until 18.

Rhetoric heats up on eve of state Republican convention
"Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has yet to say whether he is running again for governor. But the Democratic campaign against him has apparently already begun," writes The Post's John Wagner. "On Thursday, Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Susan W. Turnbull released an "open letter" to the former Republican governor, posing several unflattering questions for him to consider during his deliberations about 2010. Among them: "Do voters know that ... you increased spending by almost 22 percent in your last two years in office?" and "Do voters know that ... you raised state property taxes 57 percent?" There are several more, but you get the idea.
In response to the letter, former Ehrlich aide Henry Fawell said the Democrats "are redefining the term "paranoid.'"

And more commentary on both sides:

Korman: Think twice, Gov. Ehrlich
"Former Governor Bob Ehrlich took a look at the election results in New Jersey and Virginia and liked what he saw. I think Bob Ehrlich should take a closer look before deluding himself further," writes Marc Korman in Maryland Politics Watch. "Ehrlich's belief that New Jersey holds any relevance for his own political future is a big mistake on his part."

O'Malley Watch: Think twice, Gov. O'Malley

The anti-O'Malley blog takes a swipe at O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell's letter to fundraisers.
"Mr. Russell points out that in New Jersey, that the absolute hated Governor Jon Corzine, won Democrats by 86% to Chris Christie's 8% and that if these numbers hold, then O'Malley wins easily. ...What Mr. Russell doesn't realize, is that Maryland Democrats are much more conservative as a whole than New Jersey Democrats. On top of that, Maryland Republicans supported Bob Ehrlich by a stronger percentage than the unified group behind Chris Christie in New Jersey, prior to O'Malley's massive tax hike."

Montgomery finally reaches deal on Fillmore Music Hall
After months of wrangling on the details, a deal has finally been reached on building a Fillmore Music Hall in downtown Silver Spring, Montgomery County officials said Thursday night. The Lee Development Group, which has development ambitions in the area, will give Montgomery the $3.5 million property needed for the venue, which will be run by the entertainment concern Live Nation.

Prince George's, Montgomery lobby to keep kids in school
School boards in Prince George's and Montgomery counties are asking Maryland legislators to pass a law requiring students to stay in school until they're 18 years old," writes Leah Fabel in The Examiner. "The Prince George's school board said that its more than 1,100 dropouts last year will end up costing the county more in the long run than it costs to keep reluctant 17- and 18-year-olds in school."

Dixon lawyer says mayor thought gift cards were, well, a gift.

"Prosecutors showed jurors slides of receipts they say prove Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon misappropriated holiday gift cards meant for needy family during the holiday," the AP reports. "The defense, meanwhile, argued in its opening statements Thursday that the cards were given to her for use at her discretion by former boyfriend and developer Ronald Lipscomb. Defense attorney Arnold Weiner told jurors that Lipscomb gave the gifts anonymously, as did developer Patrick Turner, and the mayor confused the cards from Turner as coming from Lipscomb. Prosecutors must prove she intentionally stole them."

More bad news for Maryland prisons

A former Maryland prison guard has pleaded guilty in a conspiracy to deal heroin as part of a scheme that smuggled drugs and cell phones into Maryland prisons. The sales may have helped the Black Guerilla Family gang, which is active in many state prisons.

6 more deaths in Md. from swine flu"

Maryland health officials say six more deaths associated with swine flu have occurred in the past month, the AP reports. Three are from the Baltimore area, two from western Maryland and one from southern Maryland. All involve adults with underlying health conditions. The deaths bring the state's total to 19.

State close to approving slots
"Members of a Maryland commission signaled Thursday that they are ready to award a license to operate the state's largest slot-machine gambling casino at Arundel Mills mall, citing the hundreds of millions of dollars a year it is projected to generate for the state," The Post's Wagner writes. "The 4,750-machine facility, proposed by Cordish Cos., still must win zoning approval from the Anne Arundel County Council, which has been divided over the issue for months."

The move came as Cordish says it will offer details next week on 4,000 jobs it says would be created by its planned slots casino at Arundel Mills, a show of confidence as the County Council will move toward a crucial vote on the proposal, writes Marc Shapiro in the Maryland Gazette

Del. Rosapepe's book arrives
"Too late for Halloween, but in time for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, Jim Rosapepe's new book "Dracula is Dead" is in bookstores now, 20 years after the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu and his communist regime," reports The Gazette.
"Rosapepe, the senator from District 21 who left a House of Delegates seat during the Clinton presidency to become ambassador to Romania, has written with his wife, broadcast journalist Sheilah Kast, a look at the little-understood country through a "series of vignettes," according to publisher Bancroft Press."


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Posted at 7:38 AM ET, 11/12/2009

First Click -- Maryland

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

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009:


No porn policy for University of Maryland. It's "impossible" board says. Prince George's criticized for new tax districts, documents show nonprofit overbilled MoCo.

Critics say Prince George's misusing special tax districts
"Struggling to find ways to compete in the Washington region and stimulate major development, Prince George's County is increasingly creating special taxing districts, a strategy used sparingly in the past," writes Ovetta Wiggins in The Post. Critics worry county officials might be overusing the tactic instead.

No porn policy for UMD

"Regents of Maryland's state university system voted Wednesday to defy a legislative order to regulate pornography on campus, concluding that any such rules would be impossible to enforce," writes The Post's Daniel de Vise. "The legislature gave Maryland's state-funded universities until Dec. 1 to submit policies on "the displaying or screening of obscene films and materials" after the proposed screening last spring of the adult film "Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge" at the University of Maryland's College Park campus.
The Baltimore Sun's take here.

O'Malley's campaign manager urges "deep breath"

In a memo to top financial backers Wednesday, Tom Russell, Gov. Martin O'Malley's campaign manager urged contributors "to take a deep breath" and argued that O'Malley remains well-positioned to win re-election next year, despite Democratic losses last week in Virginia and New Jersey," reports The Post's John Wagner, with the text of the letter: "Will it be Michael Steele, Larry Hogan, Delegate Pat McDonough or some other name we haven't heard yet? Frankly, it doesn't matter who the Republicans settle on," Russell wrote. "We'll be prepared for them, and we will beat them."

Documents show MoCo nonprofit overbilled county

"Centro Familia, the Wheaton nonprofit whose contracts are under scrutiny by Montgomery County and the FBI, overbilled Montgomery's health and human services agency $85,000 in the past year, according to a county analysis obtained by The Washington Post," writes Miranda Spivack. "The analysis cited possible "duplicate charges" and said county funds might have helped finance Centro Familia enterprises that were not linked to its county contracts."

Redmer adds to early crowd running for Baltimore Senate seat

"Alfred W. Redmer Jr., the former Republican state delegate and insurance commissioner, announced Wednesday his return to politics with a run for the Maryland Senate," Laura Smitherman writes in The Sun. "Redmer's entry into the race escalates early campaigning in Baltimore County for the seat that's expected to be vacated by Republican Andrew P. Harris, who plans to run for Congress a second time. Republican Del. J.B. Jennings has filed papers to become a candidate. Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., a Democrat, also is considering entering the race."

Briefly:

  • Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who is still mulling a rematch against O'Malley (D), is scheduled to address the state's Republican convention on Saturday in Bowie. Aides say not to expect any major announcement about whether he has decided to run.

  • State revenue may be leveling out, or even on the rise after two years of declines.

  • First Lady Katie O'Malley kicked off a statewide letter-writing campaign to military members for the nonprofit Blue Star Families on Veterans Day with 300 letters from students at Dumbarton Middle School.

  • Prince George's may stop filling pot holes and mowing medians as a result of state cuts in transportation funding.

  • American Eurocopter has dropped its protest over the bidding process for new Maryland State Police medevac helicopters.

  • NOAA deploys new 'smart buoy' off Annapolis.

  • W.Va pushing to dismiss power line that would cross Maryland.

  • Maryland, DC and Virgnia join forces for international tourism marketing pitch. The three have spent $60,000 to develop the site, www.capitalregionusa.org.
  • Check back here later this morning for a Q&A with Del. Gerron S. Levi, candidate for Prince George's County Executive, in Maryland Politics' latest installment of "Why You?"
    "I'm in the race because I don't feel as if there is the kind of vision to address what I consider to be the pressing issues for the county. At least I haven't heard it," Levi says.


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    Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 11/11/2009

    First Click -- Maryland

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

    Veterans Day
    Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009:

    Hundreds more state medevac flights than expected following crash, Maryland politicians commemorate Veterans Day, Baltimore bids to host World Cup, jury seated in mayor's corruption case.

    Could Iraq service buoy Brown?
    As the state pauses for Veterans Day, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown(D), the nation's highest ranking politician to have served in Iraq, continues a weeklong series of events with veterans. Brown's service has been lauded this fall by President Obama, and a recent survey suggested voters still trust politicians who have served in the military more than those who have not. A post-O'Malley gubernatorial bid could come for Brown as early as 2014. It may be early, but worth considering: Would Brown's military record play a role?

    Medevac use on the rise after crash
    Dr. Robert Bass, executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems told a panel of state lawmakers on Wednesday that Maryland State Police anticipate flying roughly 2,300 patients annually, following last year's deadly crash. That figure is up 600 from estimates last year, which included assumptions that restrictions on flights and additional safety measures would cut the MSP's annual number of flights to about 1,700. Bass also told lawmakers that patients the MSP is flying are sicker, on average, than they were before the crash. Thirty-five percent to 40 percent of those airlifted are released within 24 hours. That statistic brings Maryland closer in line with such rates in neighboring states. Prior to last year's crash, a higher 40 to 45 percent of patients were discharged within 24 hours,

    Prince George's schools could owe millions in fines
    The head of Prince George's County schools says that the district could be liable for as much as $26.8 million in penalties after Maryland's attorney general found that the county had failed to meet the state's minimum level of funding for education, writes Nelson Hernandez in the The Post. "When asked about the attorney general's opinion last week, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. had indicated that the county might not owe anything because of a decline in state aid. But when he looked into the issue, Hite found that aid had increased in some categories, leaving the county vulnerable, he said." Montgomery County has already indicated it may sue the state over its fees.

    Jury set for Dixon trial amid a new allegation

    "The jury of nine women and three men selected for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's criminal theft trial will begin work Thursday morning, but first a judge will weigh new allegations involving another batch of gift cards said to have been donated by a developer not previously named in the case," writes Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey of The Baltimore Sun. The newly named developer, Glenn Charlow, donated gift cards to Dixon to be used "in connection with her church activities," according to papers filed in court by the mayor's lawyers in an effort to block his testimony.

    Baltimore pitched for World Cup
    "State and city leaders charged with bringing World Cup soccer games to Baltimore in 2018 or 2022 traveled to New York Tuesday to pitch a blueprint for making the event a reality," writes Ryan Sharrow in the Baltimore Business Journal.
    "Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium is one of 27 stadiums remaining on an original list of 70 vying for a shot to host FIFA World Cup soccer games if the U.S. is selected as the host country in either 2018 or 2022. That list is expected to be shortened to 18 in December, with 12 stadiums eventually being awarded games."

    Magna seeks more time for bid

    "Magna Entertainment Corp. is seeking to extend the deadline to provide an initial bid for Maryland's thoroughbred race tracks," writes The AP. " After the initial bid is announced, those who wish to bid against it have until Dec. 4 to submit a bid to Miller Buckfire, the New York firm handling Magna's assets auction. An auction for Pimlico Race Track, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center is scheduled for Jan. 8. Potential buyers must agree to keep the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, in Maryland."

    Briefly:

  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski's back on her feet 124 days after surgery on a broken foot.

  • The National Park Service says $661,000 in federal stimulus money will pay for resurfacing of about 60 miles of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park towpath from Hancock to Cumberland.

  • Gov. O'Malley signs a memorandum formalizing support for a off-shore wind farm.

  • The U.S. Senate voted 72-16 to confirm Judge Andre M. Davis of Baltimore to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,

  • BRAC fuels building boom in Harford.

  • Maryland's pro- and anti-death penalty groups react to execution of John Allen Muhammad.

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    Posted at 9:31 AM ET, 11/10/2009

    First Click -- Maryland

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

    Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009:


    Obama administration considers cutting off Chesapeake Bay funding, Dixon pleads not guilty and a stabbing death spells more trouble for Maryland prisons.

    Dixon pleads not guilty, trial begins
    Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's corruption trial continues to be the top political saga this week in Maryland. On Monday, she pleaded not guilty to seven theft-related counts. The Baltimore Sun reports that prospective jurors whispered about Dixon possibly losing her job and pension. The AP reports Dixon had a one word answer about her first day in court: "interesting."

    EPA proposes cutting funding, penalties in Chesapeake cleanup
    "Trying to impose new accountability measures in the failing effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, the Obama administration is considering an odd-sounding threat: Stop missing deadlines for cleaning up polluted waterways, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would tell states in the bay watershed. Or we'll cut off funding," writes The Post's David Fahrenthold. "That idea, announced Monday in a new "draft strategy" for the Chesapeake, might sound as if the EPA is threatening to shoot itself in the foot. But it is at the heart of the Obama administration's plans to overhaul the failed cleanup of the Chesapeake, where federal and state governments have repeatedly broken promises to reduce pollution. EPA officials said this tactic, and other possible punishments announced Monday, are intended to erase the sense that deadlines mean little around the bay."

    Latino civil rights groups sue Frederick County over immigration enforcement
    LatinoJustice PRLDEF and Casa de Maryland say they will file suit in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt today alleging immigration and civil rights violations over the detention last year of a Salvadoran immigrant. Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins says LatinoJustice has left out some of the facts surrounding the arrest. Nicholas Stern has more details in the Frederick News-Post

    More violence in Maryland prisons
    State corrections officials say one inmate died and another was injured Sunday night in the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover. The inmate was serving 5 years on a drug charge.

    Briefly:

  • The recession continues to take a toll on state transportation projects.

  • Some business owners give Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan for a new small business commission positive reviews.

  • Add Allegany County to the list of western Maryland governments looking to reap new revenue from natural gas production.

  • CSX Transportation is first transportation provider named to Maryland's Green Registry.

  • The House health bill passed Saturday has stirred Maryland abortion activists.

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    Posted at 9:03 AM ET, 11/ 9/2009

    First Click -- Maryland

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

    Monday, November 9, 2009:


    Trial selection begins in case against Baltimore mayor
    Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) begins the first of two court battles today in an attempt to clear her name over allegations of theft and perjury. If she fails to sway a jury in either case, she could be forced from office.Sheila Dixon.jpg
    Dixon is accused of taking gift cards for needy children and using them to buy personal electronics, clothes and other items. Later, she's expected to face a separate court proceeding over perjury allegations.
    The AP's Ben Nuckols provides a good primer, and the Baltimore Sun has refreshers on the timeline, key players, and a look at jury selection.

    How will Kratovil's 'no' vote on health-care play out?
    Maryland's congressional delegation voted 6 to 2 Saturday night in favor of passage of the landmark health-care reform bill, with only first-term Democrat Frank Kratovil breaking with his party and voting no. In a statement, Kratovil, who represents a right-leaning district on the Eastern Shore, called the bill too expensive and said: "I was not able to support the bill before Congress today because I do not believe it meets my criteria for a sustainable solution."
    Maryland Politics Watch has a letter from Bob Stewart, Executive Director of Montgomery County's public employees union blasting Kratovil's decision, and questioning if he's the man unions should support for re-election.
    "We are smart enough to know that if we can't count on the Congressman to vote for Health Care Reform this year, then why delude ourselves into thinking that we could count on him to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act next year!" Stewart writes.

    Victims' families confront sniper's execution
    "At 9 p.m. Tuesday, if all goes as scheduled, Muhammad, the mastermind, is to be executed in Virginia by injection -- bringing closure, justice and finality, victims' friends and families say, to a saga that haunts the community still," writes The Post's Michael Ruane. "Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 24, 2002, when they were captured, Muhammad, then 41 and a former U.S. Army soldier from Louisiana, and Malvo, his 17-year-old sidekick, terrorized the District, Maryland and Virginia, shooting and killing people at random from the cover of their battered car. Sixteen people were shot, 10 fatally."

    Baltimore stimulus project hasn't produced a single job
    "In Baltimore, the 300 block of East 23 1/2 Street is getting patched up in time for winter. One economic stimulus program is paying to insulate 11 rental rowhouses, another is paying for furnaces and a third is covering the cost for reflective roofs to be installed by prison inmates in a job-training program," writes The Post's Alec MacGillis. "...the work on East 23 1/2 -- even with all of its activity -- has so far not produced a single job.

    McCartney: Democrats must stop coasting
    "In the annals of inept campaigns for governor in our region, the disastrous effort by Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds is rivaled in recent memory perhaps only by Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's humiliating loss in Maryland seven years ago.
    As Democrats study the results and look to 2010, however, they would blunder if they blame their mangling at the polls Tuesday exclusively on Deeds's poor candidacy.
    Instead, as the Republican victory in New Jersey also showed, Democrats need to recognize that they have grown too complacent after their successes earlier this decade," suggests Post columnist Robert McCartney. "The party must embrace those lessons or risk further setbacks next November. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), in particular, should pay attention as he seeks reelection. He could be vulnerable to some of the same trends that routed Deeds ..."

    Briefly:

  • Former Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens says she is "in serious mode" about announcing a bid to challenge John R. Leopold to reclaim her old job.

  • Draft report on Chesapeake expected today.

  • Annapolis Mayor-elect Josh Cohen likely to cast anti-slots vote before leaving county council.

  • Metro officials have barred independent monitors from walking along subway tracks in Maryland and elsewhere to observe safety procedures.

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    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Friday, November 5, 2009: Report: Head of energy committee won't support re-regulation Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George's), chairman of a key House committee that handles energy matters, will not...

    By Aaron C. Davis | November 6, 2009; 08:47 AM ET | Comments (1)

    Hundreds show for Currie's $250-a-plate fundraiser

    Nearly 18 months after FBI agents raided his home in a federal corruption probe, almost 200 Maryland lawmakers, fundraisers, lobbyists, labor organizers and business owners turned out Wednesday for a $250-a-plate fundraiser for Prince George's Sen. Ulysses Currie (D). The...

    By Aaron C. Davis | November 5, 2009; 04:31 PM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Thursday, November 5, 2009: Election Analysis: What's it mean for Maryland? Big Republican wins in Virginia and New Jersey were "relevant" to next year's gubernatorial race in Maryland, says former...

    By Aaron C. Davis | November 5, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Wednesday, November 4, 2009: Election Roundup: A Democrat won a narrower-than-expected victory for mayor in the state capital. Voters in Rockville, Maryland's second largest city, ousted its mayor and residents...

    By Aaron C. Davis | November 4, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Tuesday, November 3, 2009: But, what's it mean for Maryland? It's Election Day (in a few Maryland cities, but mostly in a bunch of other places). So what will it...

    By Aaron C. Davis | November 3, 2009; 08:06 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Monday, November 2, 2009: Constellation, EDF approve deal Constellation Energy and French energy giant, EDF, have accepted conditions laid out Friday by Maryland's Public Service Commission and will proceed with...

    By Aaron C. Davis | November 2, 2009; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

    Maryland approves nuclear deal

    Maryland regulators have offered conditional approval to let Constellation Energy Group join with French energy giant, EDF, in a $4.5 billion-dollar deal the two companies have argued is critical to building the nation's first new nuclear reactor in nearly 30...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 30, 2009; 02:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Friday, October 30, 2009: Record funding for the Chesapeake, O'Malley at the White House, housing money threatened in Prince George's, mixed signals on the economy, jockeying for control of Pimlico,...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 30, 2009; 08:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Thursday, October 29, 2009: How many stimulus jobs have been created in Maryland? We'll learn the estimate prepared by Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration today. The governor is stepping out in...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 29, 2009; 07:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Wednesday, October 28, 2009: Federal ruling on Medevac crash could spur more state action The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday concluded pilot error was the primary factor last September...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 28, 2009; 08:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Tuesday, October 27, 2009: New nuclear reactor may hinge on ratepayer rebates The final arguments are in and it appears the fate of the nation's first new, multibillion-dollar nuclear reactor...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 27, 2009; 08:32 AM ET | Comments (2)

    O'Malley to propose mandatory mediation

    Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) says mandatory mediation could help more unemployed Marylanders stay in their homes and he'll ask the General Assembly to pass a bill this winter to force banks to work out deals with distressed homeowners. Speaking...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 26, 2009; 03:47 PM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Monday, October 26, 2009: O'Malley begins state match for stimulus money Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) this morning is scheduled to travel to Laurel for "Capital for a Day." At a...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 26, 2009; 07:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Friday, October 23, 2009: Kratovil mounting early war chest Eastern Shore Rep. Frank M. Kratovil Jr. (D), who is expected to face a fierce re-election challenge net year in his...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 23, 2009; 08:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Thursday, October 22, 2009: State aborts effort to save money through refinancing The bad news: The fiscal hits keep coming. Maryland Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp says a spike in interest...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 22, 2009; 08:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Wednesday, October 21, 2009: O'Malley gives up on settlement talks to lower electricity rates In June Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) sent out a video over YouTube, Twitter and Facebook drawing...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 21, 2009; 07:50 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Tuesday, October 20, 2009: Md dems, enviros gush over Kratovil The League of Conservation Voters' night belonged to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (and Keith Campbell, who has donated a whopping...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 20, 2009; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis Monday, October 19, 2009: Environmental Day in Annapolis This morning Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) will tout new federal grant funding for the Chesapeake Bay....

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 19, 2009; 07:46 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Friday, October 16, 2009: Should Maryland Schools and Police Share Intel When Students Are Suspected Gang Members? House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) sees a virtual wall Maryland lawmakers...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 16, 2009; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

    MD Unions, Advocates: More Cuts Alone Can't Fix State Budget

    Maryland's largest public employee union and advocates for the disabled, mentally ill and residents struggling with substance abuse rallied in Annapolis today, demanding Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and state lawmakers consider tax increases and dipping into the state's untouched rainy-day...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 15, 2009; 05:02 PM ET | Comments (2)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Thursday, October 15, 2009: Advocates: New Poll Shows Marylanders Support Alcohol Tax For Disabilities, Substance-Abuse Treatment Get ready for a new fight in Annapolis over alcohol taxes. The Maryland Developmental...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 15, 2009; 08:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

    Is Your Lawmaker Giving Back State Pay?

    Six weeks after leaders of Maryland's Senate and House of Delegates asked lawmakers to return a fraction of their pay and join in solidarity with 70,000 state workers who have been furloughed for up to 10 days to help close...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 14, 2009; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (17)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Wednesday, October 14, 2009: Nearly 60 State Delegates Haven't Given Up Any Pay Warning: If you're one of Maryland's 70,000 employees forced to take furloughs to help close the state's...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 14, 2009; 07:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Tuesday, October 13, 2009:    Welcome back from a long Columbus Day weekend. Gov. Martin O'Malley has returned from Florida and a Miami Beach fundraiser. The General Assembly's House and Senate...

    By Aaron C. Davis | October 13, 2009; 08:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Friday, September 25, 2009: PSC Likely To Delay Vote on Constellation Nuclear Deal    The state's Public Service Commission plans to meet today and discuss a request made Thursday by Attorney...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 25, 2009; 08:19 AM ET | Comments (2)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009: ACORN Files Suit Over Maryland Taping    ACORN is suing the conservative activists who posed as pimp and prostitute and secretly videotaped its employees appearing to provide...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 24, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009: Gambling in MD by May? First Slot License Expected Today    The state's lottery commission is expected to award Ocean Downs racetrack with the state's first slot-machine...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 23, 2009; 07:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009: United Way Executive Joins O'Malley Cabinet Alex Sanchez has been chosen to succeed Thomas E. Perez, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 22, 2009; 08:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Monday, Sept. 21, 2009: Prince George's Layoff Announcement Expected Today Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) is expected to announce budget cuts today to close a $22...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 21, 2009; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

    Franchot Seeks Second Term as Comptroller

    Montgomery County's Peter Franchot (D), who has often cast himself as a fiscal hawk and outsider in Annapolis, will seek a second term as state Comptroller. Franchot, 61, announced his re-election bid Friday in a shaky, 1-minute You Tube...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 19, 2009; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Friday, Sept. 18, 2009: Multibillion-Dollar Budget Gaps Seen Through 2014 Shrinking paychecks for some of Maryland's wealthiest residents, along with new data showing wages falling across the state, will...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 18, 2009; 07:58 AM ET | Comments (1)

    Next Year's State Budget Gap Grows to Nearly $2 Billion

    Falling personal income tax revenue will leave Maryland with a budget gap near $2 billion to fill for the fiscal year that begins next summer, state finance officials say. And $700 million in cuts made in recent weeks won't go...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 17, 2009; 01:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009: Obama's Coming    Maryland Democrats have run the gamut of emotions from giddy to stressed-out this week, working to make sure one of the nation's bluest...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 17, 2009; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

    Budget Deja Vu: Another Growing Gap, More Cuts Likely, O'Malley Says

    Another revenue estimate, another write-down, more budget cuts. That's what Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) says Marylanders should brace for tomorrow when state leaders receive their latest tax revenue estimates. Last week, O'Malley predicted the new figures would show tax revenue...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 16, 2009; 03:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009: State Board Returns to Familiar Job: Spending Money    Maryland's all-Democrat Board of Public Works (Gov. Martin O'Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp) reconvenes...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 16, 2009; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

    Maryland Gang Law Useless, Prosecutors Say

    Prosecutors and police on Tuesday pressed Maryland lawmakers to make it easier to put gang members convicted of crimes behind bars for longer sentences, saying a 2-year-old state statute aimed at doing so had proven all but useless. Lawmakers, including...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 15, 2009; 06:27 PM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009: State Republicans Hope GOP Upheavel Sends Fundraising North    The resignation of embattled Maryland Republican Party Chairman James Pelura has party faithful hoping the end of...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 15, 2009; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Monday, Sept. 14, 2009: A political and bureaucratic smorgasbord will begin the week: Maryland Republican Party leaders remain mum about the future of embattled Chairman James Pelura as they...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 14, 2009; 09:30 AM ET | Comments (6)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Friday, Sept. 11, 2009: Eight Years Later    State and local leaders will mark the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with acts of service, following a call...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 11, 2009; 08:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009: Maryland Pols React to Health-Care Speech Sen. Ben Cardin (D) predicts a bill on the Senate floor by October. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R), says his party...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 10, 2009; 09:26 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009: Energy Re-Regulation Back on Front Burner    Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) failed attempt to reverse energy deregulation returns to Annapolis today. The House's Economic Matters Committee,...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 9, 2009; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

    Governor Claims Progress on Children's Dental Care

    Gov. Martin O'Malley, Rep. Elijah Cummings and several other elected local and state Democratic leaders on Tuesday claimed significant progress in bringing dental care to the state's school children -- an effort launched in 2007 after the death of a...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 8, 2009; 03:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009: Labor Day is over and First Click is champing at the bit to see what fall will bring. On the calendar, President Barack Obama's Chesapeake Bay...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 8, 2009; 09:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

    Former Opponent Duncan Criticizes O'Malley Campaign

    More than 300 endorsements 14 months from Election Day, without a glimpse of an opponent on the horizon. Many in Annapolis viewed the laundry list of Maryland Democrats released Thursday by Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) fledgling re-election campaign as an...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 5, 2009; 03:30 PM ET | Comments (7)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Friday, Sept. 4, 2009:    It's Maryland's first statewide furlough day for some 70,000 state workers. You'll be able to hear a pin drop in the State House, which wouldn't be...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 4, 2009; 07:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009: Nuclear Deal Coming To a Head    Supporters and opponents last night packed a hearing on a proposed deal between Constellation Energy and Electricite de France that...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 3, 2009; 08:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009: Day 2 of Swine Flu (News Conferences, That Is)    Part practice and part public awareness, part two of pandemic flu week continues today for Maryland politicians....

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 2, 2009; 08:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009: Health-Care Debate Returns    Congress returns next week to what's expected to be an intense new phase in efforts to reach consensus on health-care legislation. House Majority...

    By Aaron C. Davis | September 1, 2009; 07:56 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Monday, August 31, 2009: O'Malley, Franchot at Odds on Tax Amnesty?    Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and the legislature's top Democrats will join Maryland business leaders this morning to kick...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 31, 2009; 08:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Friday, August 28, 2009: CANDIDATE: PUBLIC HAD TO WAIT TOO LONG TO LEARN GUARDS WOULDN'T BE PROSECUTED IN JAIL DEATH. "Why You?" - A regular feature that introduces candidates...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 28, 2009; 08:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

    Maryland Lawmakers Asked to Give Up Some Pay

    A day after a board forced 70,000 state employees to take as many as 10 unpaid furlough days, Maryland's Democratic legislative leaders said they would volunteer to do the same and urged every member of the General Assembly to follow...

    By Anne Bartlett | August 27, 2009; 04:33 PM ET | Comments (2)

    The Back Story on the Governor's Horseback Ride

    NORTH EAST, Maryland - It's a Blue State, to be sure; and a Democratic administration, through and through. But it's not every day that a donkey's invited to Gov. Martin O'Malley's monthly cabinet meeting. Just 73 miles from Annapolis,...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 27, 2009; 11:59 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Thursday, August 27, 2009: A SLOT CITY FOR BALTIMORE? A group seeking to bring slot-machine gambling to Baltimore has revealed its vision for a mega-casino complete with "neighborhoods" of...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 27, 2009; 08:33 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Wednesday, August 26, 2009: BUDGET CUTS, BUDGET CUTS, BUDGET CUTS Welcome to Judgment Day - at least the latest one for Maryland. Gov. Martin O'Malley and the state's Board...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 26, 2009; 08:29 AM ET | Comments (2)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Tuesday, August 25, 2009: FURLOUGH PLAN LEAKED Details of Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to help close a budget shortfall through cuts to employees' pay emerged Monday. Tens of thousands...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 25, 2009; 08:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

    Maryland Records Seventh Swine Flu Death

    Gov. Martin O'Malley on Monday announced an elderly person from the Washington suburbs had become Maryland's seventh fatal H1N1, or Swine Flu, victim. He also said the state had become the first in the nation with 100 percent voluntary participation...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 24, 2009; 03:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Monday, August 24, 2009: GOVERNOR IN PRINCE GEORGE'S TO TALK SWINE FLU Gov. Martin O'Malley this afternoon is expected to announce an enhanced "bio-surveillance" effort by the state to...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 24, 2009; 08:24 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click - Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Friday, August 21, 2009: Welcome to "Maryland Politics" - a new "Maryland Moment" for the Old Line State. Our new name is one of several changes you'll notice in...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 21, 2009; 08:08 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Thursday, August 20, 2009: GOVERNOR TAKES ISSUE WITH JUDGE'S FURLOUGH RULING Gov. Martin O'Malley Wednesday night took issue with calling furloughs a "politically expedient" remedy to government budget woes,...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 20, 2009; 08:12 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland (Updated)

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Wednesday, August 19, 2009: FURLOUGH BOMBSHELL "...the Court cannot merely give lip service to the fundamental principles that undergird the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution. To do...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 19, 2009; 08:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Tuesday, August 18, 2009 Baltimore Police Probing Delegate's Engagement Hoax Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-Baltimore County) is at the center of a police investigation into apparent misuse of Baltimore...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 18, 2009; 07:32 AM ET | Comments (2)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Monday, August 17, 2009: DECISION WEEK ON BUDGET CUTS On Saturday it became obvious why Gov. Martin O'Malley canceled a $12,000 reception and his staff spent much of last...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 17, 2009; 05:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Welcome to First Click - Maryland, your essential new daily guide to politics in the Old Line State. Each weekday morning we'll provide you with a look at the...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 13, 2009; 08:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Welcome to First Click - Maryland, your essential new daily guide to politics in the Old Line State. Each weekday morning we'll provide you with a look at the...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 12, 2009; 08:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Welcome to First Click -- Maryland, your essential new daily guide to politics in the Old Line State. Each weekday morning we'll provide you with a look at the...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 11, 2009; 07:57 AM ET | Comments (1)

    First Click -- Maryland

    Your Daily Download of the State's Top Political News and Analysis Welcome to First Click -- Maryland, your essential new daily guide to politics in the Old Line State. Each weekday morning we'll provide you with a look at the...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 10, 2009; 07:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

    Markets Drive State Pension Fund Down 20 Percent

    The number is in for Maryland's public pension system, and it's not good: The pool to fund state employee retirement costs has shrunk by more than 20 percent in the past 12 months. From its high point, the value of...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 5, 2009; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

    Maryland: More Blue than New York or California?

    If the latest Gallup poll is right, the exhaustive history book. "Maryland: A Middle Temperament," might need to be renamed something more like: "Maryland: Deep Blue and Getting Bluer." Maryland is the nation's third-bluest state, behind Massachusetts and Hawaii, according...

    By Aaron C. Davis | August 3, 2009; 03:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

    O'Malley May Add Immigration Czar to Cabinet

    Gov. Martin O'Malley says he's inclined to create a cabinet-level ombudsman position to deal with the needs of Maryland's growing immigrant population, after a council he commissioned to study the issue recommended that and other new programs on Thursday. "I...

    By Aaron C. Davis | July 30, 2009; 03:41 PM ET | Comments (7)

    Kratovil Effigy Picture Burning up Blogs

    Mix a partisan health care debate, a little misinformation -- and, oh, a picture of a Democratic Congressman hanging in effigy -- and apparently you can light up the blogosphere. A snapshot taken by Eastern Shore blogger Joe Albero on...

    By Aaron C. Davis | July 29, 2009; 01:44 PM ET | Comments (1)

    For Lieutenant Governors, Big Leagues Have Come Calling

    Deputy Chief of Staff Jerry Boden looks on as Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown practices his pitching Tuesday on the grounds of the Maryland State House. As political metaphors go, the lieutenant governor's warm-up toss on the lawn of the...

    By Aaron C. Davis | July 29, 2009; 03:46 AM ET | Comments (1)

    About the Writers: Aaron C. Davis

    Aaron Davis covers Maryland government and politics for The Washington Post in Annapolis. He previously covered crime and justice for The Post in Prince George's County. There, he broke news of the jailhouse death of alleged cop-killer Ronnie White and...

    By Christopher Dean Hopkins | July 1, 2009; 01:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

     

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