Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Mizeur wins backing of national marijuana reform group

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather R. Mizeur on Friday picked up the endorsement of one of the nation’s leading groups that advocate for the reform of marijuana laws. Mizeur, a Montgomery County delegate who has proposed a system of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana in Maryland, was backed by the political action committee of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). (Wash. Post)

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Gansler opens Baltimore office, says he’ll be ‘somebody who cares about the city’

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler pledged Saturday that if elected governor of Maryland, he would make it a priority to help Baltimore, a city that he said has high taxes, too few jobs, too many low-performing schools and a crime rate that is “out of control.” (Wash. Post)

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A year after conviction, Leopold seeking a clean slate

Lawyers for John R. Leopold, the disgraced former Anne Arundel county executive, acknowledge his behavior was inappropriate. But they insist that's not a crime. His attorneys are scheduled to appear at the Court of Special Appeals on Wednesday to argue that the conviction of the veteran Republican politician last January for criminal misconduct in office was based on a flawed reading of an unclear law and should be overturned. (Balt. Sun)

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O’Malley reports raising nearly $1.2 million for his PAC in final six months of last year

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is weighing a 2016 White House bid, on Friday reported raising nearly nearly $1.2 million in the second half of last year, a sum that aides said reflected only part of his fundraising activities for the period. Over the full year, his O’ Say Can You See PAC brought in nearly $1.7 million. The total for the first six months was previously reported. (Wash. Post)

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Smith ices $500,000 campaign account

It looks like there will be no winners this election year when it comes to James T. Smith Jr.’s sizable campaign war chest. The former Baltimore County Executive was confirmed as secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation after agreeing to freeze the more than $531,000 he has left over in his state campaign account. (Daily Record)

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Charles County commissioner apologizes for DUI

A Charles County commissioner is apologizing after he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Democrat Reuben Collins, who is vice president of the Charles County Board of Commissioners, issued a statement Sunday saying he had wine with dinner with his family on Thursday evening. He says he made an error in judgment by then driving to his office. (Capital)

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State treasurer Kopp opposes O’Malley’s $100M cut in Md. pension contribution

State Treasurer Nancy Kopp told lawmakers Thursday that she opposed Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed $100 million cut in the pension contribution, and said it would undermine trust by the state’s bond rating agencies. “I think this is a very difficult thing to defend with the rating agencies,” Kopp told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Administration. Kopp was testifying as chairman of the State Retirement and Pension System Board of Trustees. As treasurer, she is also the top state official that handles Maryland’s bond issues and deals with the three New York firms that rate them. (Md. Reporter)

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Brown's skybox guests and their affiliates donated $20K to campaign

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has hosted politically influential guests in the state's skybox at the Washington Redskins' stadium — many of whom are also campaign contributors. In total, guests — and those associated with them, including corporate affiliates and relatives — have contributed about $20,000 to his campaign to become governor, according to the latest filings in that race. (Balt. Sun)

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