Ben Jealous endorsed by Progressive Maryland, CWA in Md. governor’s race

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous has picked up two more endorsements from progressive organizations. Progressive Maryland, a grass-roots group with more than 100,000 members and supporters across the state, and Communications Workers of America, a labor union representing 4,500 workers in Maryland and the District, voted to support the former NAACP president’s bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. “We will be backing him heavily,” said Larry Stafford Jr., executive director of Progressive Maryland. “We’ll hit doors and hit the pavement across the state to make sure we have a progressive to put forward in the primary.” (Wash. Post)

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After complaints, Pugh restores Baltimore's MLK Day parade

After fielding complaints from community members, Mayor Catherine Pugh said Tuesday she was reversing a plan to replace next month’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade with a day of service. “We heard from people. We’ll do the parade and the day of service,” she said. “People want to do both.” Pugh had previously said she was planning to cancel the long-running parade to replace it with a day of service, which she felt better honored King’s legacy. But the announcement was quickly criticized by some who saw the mayor taking away a beloved tradition. Nearly 1,400 people signed an online petition Tuesday asking for the parade to be restored. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. GOP “in great shape in 2018,” says Rep. Harris

Democratic talking points for next year’s election in Maryland are familiar from the speeches of its eight candidates running to replace Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. They paint him as a do-nothing that refuses to stand up to President Trump. The governor’s own speeches depict an alternative state, emphasizing job creation, tax cuts, roads and education — and no mention of the Republican president. Unlike Hogan, the more conservative Rep. Andy Harris, the state’s sole remaining Republican congressman, does not shy away from Trump, and he previewed his own GOP talking points at Saturday’s GOP Christmas Party in Baltimore. (Md. Reporter)

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Hogan appoints Corderman to delegate seat

Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Hagerstown City Councilman Paul D. Corderman to the Maryland General Assembly on Tuesday. Corderman was recommended last week by the Washington County Republican Central Committee to replace Judge Brett Wilson in the House of Delegates. Hogan appointed Wilson to the Circuit Court for Washington County last month. “Paul has served his constituents well as a councilman for the City of Hagerstown,” Hogan said in a statement. “I am confident he will continue to work hard for the people of his district as a member of the General Assembly.” (Herald-Mail)

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Pugh’s grant of $50,000 to a Nation of Islam affiliate questioned

Mayor Catherine Pugh’s award of $50,000 to a group associated with the Nation of Islam is stirring controversy in the wake of her “gifting” of a Chevy Tahoe patrol car to an Orthodox Jewish watch group. Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer – who convinced Pugh to divert Pimlico slots money for a patrol vehicle to the Shomrim watch group  – has questioned how this gift differs from the mayor’s contract with Baltimore Brothers Inc. for “violence interruption services” in Northwest and West Baltimore. Baltimore Brothers is headed by four members of the Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 6 on Garrison Blvd. (Brew)

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Protecting the 'chum chums': Grasso bill aims to support community cats

County Councilman John Grasso, what’s a chum chum? “It’s a beautiful animal that somebody loves,” said the Republican from Glen Burnie. “It is an animal that is part of your family and friendly to you.” Grasso has proposed legislation to tackle a heated issue in Anne Arundel County: protecting free-roaming community cats that are fixed — and spaying and neutering non-fixed community cats. He wants to reduce how often cats are euthanized. Community cats are cats not specifically owned by someone but still receive food and shelter. Think of people leaving out food dishes and putting together boxes and blankets for cats. The bill goes before the County Council on Monday. (Capital)

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December 12 // Maryland legislature to start tracking harassment complaints

Maryland’s legislature is set to start tracking sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers and their staff members, as statehouses across the country confront mounting allegations of sexual misconduct and examine their policies for dealing with them. The General Assembly plans to update its sexual harassment policy to require the legislature’s human resources director to keep track of the number and type of complaints, and how they were resolved. Lawmakers would be briefed on this information every year — but would not be given the identities of the alleged harassers. The changes are expected to win approval from a legislative policy committee that is meeting Tuesday, said Alexandra Hughes, chief of staff to Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel). The committee sets rules for the General Assembly. (Wash. Post)

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Hogan discusses plans to help Baltimore fight violent crime

Gov. Larry Hogan said his moves last week to direct more state and federal resources at fighting gangs and violent crime shouldn't be taken as a statement on how City Hall and the police department are doing their jobs. "This is a city responsibility and only the city police force and the mayor are going to be able to get this under control, but the state is trying to provide as much assistance as we possibly can," Hogan told C4 on Monday. Speaking from his office in Annapolis, Hogan said he knows Mayor Catherine Pugh's job isn't easy. "I support the mayor, I support the commissioner and we have a great working relationship with both of them and that will continue," Hogan said. (WBAL)

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