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MarylandReporter.com: State Roundup August 3, 2010

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From the Maryland Reporter website:

SLOTS FOES The newly branded "No Slots at the Mall," which will work to overturn zoning legislation that allows slots at Arundel Mills Mall, has filed necessary paperwork with state officials to begin work on its referendum campaign, Nicole Fuller reports for the Baltimore Sun.

GOV'S RACE Len Lazarick writes for MarylandReporter.com that this tight governor's race is focusing too much on Martin O'Malley and Bob Ehrlich's past performance -- and not enough on their future performance.

HEALTH CARE Sean Sedam of the Gazette writes that Maryland's House GOP chief Anthony O'Donnell is blasting the recent health care panel report on how the legislation will affect Maryland as election year "fluff."

DHCD MOVE The planned move of the Department of Housing and Community Development to PG County is as much about transit-oriented development and stimulating the economy as medical marijuana is about medicine, writes Marta Mossburg in her op-ed piece for the Sun.

ENERGY PROGRAM Elisha Sauers of the Annapolis Capital reports that 14 weeks after Maryland rolled out its version of the national "cash for appliances" initiative, state officials are modifying their strategy to spend the stimulus money quicker.

JOBS PROGRAM U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin dropped by Hagerstown Community College to hand over a ceremonial check for $1.8 million from the feds for the school’s alternative energy job-training program, Julie Greene writes for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

LAWMAKERS CONFERENCE Baltimore city has been selected to host the 2016 National Conference of State Legislatures annual conference, a four-day event expected to bring thousands of state lawmakers, legislative staff and exhibitors to the city and pump millions of dollars into the local economy, Alan Brody of the Gazette reports.

JESSAMY DEFENSE Baltimore City State's attorney Pat Jessamy is defending her office in the wake of a high profile murder case, insisting on MPT's "Direct Connection," that neither she nor her staff is responsible for the stabbing death of Stephen Pitcairn, reports Steve Fermier for WBAL-Radio.

CAMPAIGN SIGNS Roadsides in Anne Arundel County won't need Mother Nature's rain this election season to sprout new and colorful adornments, writes the Capital's Liam Farrell; candidates will do that on their own.

HOCO EXEC SECURITY Rosie Leftwich of WMAR-TV reports that opponents say that Howard County Exec Ken Ulman shouldn't be using his paid police driver and security to take him to campaign events and other non official events.

LOBBY LAW The head of the union that represents Baltimore County firefighters is promising legal action after the County Council passed a bill that appears to bar him from negotiating with the county, Bryan Sears reports for Patuxent Publishing.

HUTCHINSON Bryan Sears blogs for Patuxent that former Baltimore County Executive Don Hutchinson’s appointment as chairman of the board of directors that governs the county Revenue Authority got a second look at Monday’s meeting of the County Council.

YOUR OPINION John Wagner in his Washington Post blog asks you to be the political pundit about Maryland elections.

MOCO CONTRIBUTIONS Adam Pagnucco of Maryland Politics Watch begins compiling the site's "gigantic dataset of Montgomery County political contributions!"

BILLBOARD BASH A billboard bashing Baltimore city's mayor and council sprouted over the weekend in view of Baltimore City Hall at the mouth of I-83, the latest salvo in the fight over pensions for city police and firefighters, writes Justin Fenton for the Sun. WBAL-TV has a video report on the story.

MAYOR IN ASIA Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is visiting China and India this week with the Aspen Leadership Institute's Rodel Fellowship Program, blogs Julie Scharper of the Sun.

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