Donald Fry: Maryland readies its health care exchange, but will market be there?

Maryland took a bold step when it decided to become what the federal government classifies as an “early innovator” in setting up its own health care benefit exchange to offer health insurance to individuals and small companies under the Affordable Care Act. Few will dispute the fact that those who have built the Maryland exchange have done a credible, difficult and far-from-completed job with a noble goal. But like any entrepreneurial venture, choosing to set up a state exchange has its risks and rewards. One reward is federal funding. As an early innovator Maryland got early money from the federal government. In 2011 seven states got early innovator grants to pioneer the development of IT infrastructure to support the exchange operations.

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Josh Kurtz: Take Back Tawes!

Bruce Bereano has hijacked the J. Millard Tawes Clam Bake and Crab Feast. The Annapolis uber-lobbyist has always been a fixture at the annual sweat-fest in Crisfield. He’s sponsored a tent there for almost a decade now. But over the years, Bereano and his tent have become the focal point for all the politicians who routinely attend, and for almost all the politicking. More is the pity – because it detracts from the overall flavor of the event.

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Center Maryland, On The Air Friday

Want to hear more from Center Maryland’s Josh Kurtz? Tune in to Midday with Dan Rodricks on WYPR (88.1 FM) on Friday. Josh will be the air during a portion of the noon hour talking state and local politics.

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Josh Kurtz: Mizeur Makes It Official

As she treks with the rest of the Maryland political community to the Tawes crab feast in Crisfield today, state Del. Heather Mizeur (D) will be doing so as an officially announced candidate for governor. Not that there was much doubt about her intentions – and she isn’t making a big public speech just yet. But Mizeur today is unveiling a new Mizeur for governor website and sending an email to supporters informing them that the exploratory phase of her campaign is over. “I want Maryland to live up to her full potential rather than settling for good enough,” Mizeur said in an interview yesterday.

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Josh Kurtz: Quick Hits

You could almost hear the gasps in Maryland political circles Friday when U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that she was resigning. What if President Obama chooses Gov. Martin O’Malley to replace her? people inevitably thought. That could screw up two statewide races in 2014 and any number of down-ballot contests. Under the O’Malley-to-DHS scenario, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown would move up to be governor, making it harder for Democrats to run against him -- if they run against him at all. That could mean Attorney General Doug Gansler stays put, affecting any number of candidates farther down the ballot -- making what was shaping up to be the most wide-open state election in a generation a status quo election in a distressing heartbeat. But hey, ambitious Maryland pols -- there’s probably no reason to panic.

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Laslo Boyd: Matt Gallagher’s New Job

If you recognize Matt Gallagher’s name, it’s because for the past 13 years he has worked closely with Mayor and then Governor Martin O’Malley. Actually, if you’re reading this column and follow government and politics in Maryland, there’s absolutely no doubt that you know who Matt Gallagher is. The innovation in government decision-making most associated with O’Malley’s years as an elected official is CitiStat, later rechristened StateStat. O’Malley has received a lot of favorable national attention for his use of data in the public sector. Gallagher is the person who oversaw the operation, first in City Hall and then in the State House. Now, as O’Malley enters this last stage of his final term as governor and contemplates a campaign for the presidency, Gallagher has seized what he sees as a very special opportunity to “try to improve Baltimore.” Gallagher has left his position as O’Malley’s Chief of Staff to become the President and CEO of the Goldseker Foundation.

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Josh Kurtz: Two Smart Moves

Much has been made over the announcement this week that Jim Messina, the campaign manager for President Obama’s re-election, is going to become a strategist for Anthony Brown’s campaign for governor. Messina is an enormously talented and tough operative, and any degree of assistance he can offer Brown will be a tremendous asset to the lieutenant governor’s campaign. Another smart – and unreported – move that Brown made recently was his decision to travel to the National Education Association convention in Atlanta last week to host a reception for the 300-strong Maryland delegation.  Because this was a campaign appearance, he flew down on a commercial flight, with no security detail in tow.

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Ravens Stories and Insights with Nestor Aparicio - Part 2 - VIDEO

WNST's Nestor Aparicio highlights more from his book, "Purple Reign 2 - Family, Faith and Football." Nestor shares behind-the-scenes stories and insights from the Ravens leadership and their philosophy in building a team of champions.

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