Lobbying Shop Adds Ex-State Senator, Other Strategists

A top-earning Annapolis lobbying firm is adding new muscle – including a prominent former state senator. Perry, White, Ross & Jacobson announced Thursday that former Anne Arundel County Sen. James “Ed” DeGrange Sr. (D) and Prince George’s County government senior official Brad Frome are joining the firm. PWRJ also recently added former state Senate staffer MaeAnna Hassell. DeGrange served in the Senate for 20 years before retiring in 2018, rising to become chairman of the Capital Budget and the Public Safety and Transportation & Environment subcommittees. DeGrange has also served on the Anne Arundel County Council and the Maryland Lottery Commission. (Md. Matters)

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Queen Anne’s County Considers Bill To Outlaw Balloon Releases

Lawmakers of a Maryland county are considering a bill that would outlaw balloon releases and impose a $250 fine on those who ignore the mandate. The Capital reports the bill was introduced to the Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners last week by Commissioner Christopher Corchiarino, who says releasing balloons is littering. The bill wouldn’t penalize accidental releases or those done by government agencies. The bill is backed by the Queen Anne’s Conservation Association. (AP)

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Case Of Virginian Who Wants Maryland Voter List Is Revived

An appeals court has revived the case of a Virginia man who wants a list of Maryland’s registered voters so he can conduct a letter-writing campaign against a Maryland state prosecutor. The Daily Record of Baltimore reports the court ruled Friday that Dennis Fusaro has a claim to the list. Maryland law restricts list access to residents and a federal judge dismissed Fusaro’s claim last year, saying the First Amendment wasn’t implicated in the state Board of Elections records request. (AP)

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Most Americans say no statehood for the District of Columbia, poll shows

A majority of Americans oppose making the District the 51st state, according to a new poll released Monday. The Gallup poll found a clear majority of 64 percent don’t think the nation’s capital should attain statehood, compared to 29 percent who support the idea. The poll comes as Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s nonvoting delegate, and city officials have been trying to build national support for statehood, framing it as a civil rights issue and arguing that the city’s 700,000 residents are disenfranchised because they lack voting representation in Congress. (Wash. Post)

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Trump administration plans immigration enforcement operation

The Trump administration is moving forward with a nationwide immigration enforcement operation targeting migrant families, despite loud opposition from Democrats and questions over whether it’s the best use of resources given the crisis at the border. The operation could happen as soon as this weekend after being postponed by President Donald Trump late last month. It would pursue people with final deportation orders, including families whose immigration cases were fast-tracked by judges in 10 major cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami. (News-Post) 

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As Maryland leaders condemn expected ICE enforcement in Baltimore region, Gov. Hogan ‘monitoring the situation’

Gov. Larry Hogan was silent leading into Sunday on the expected targeting this weekend of undocumented immigrants across the country and in the Baltimore region by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Michael Ricci, a spokesman for Hogan, said the Republican governor’s office “is monitoring the situation” and “staying in touch with” the Maryland State Police and local officials, but would otherwise not be commenting on the situation as of late Saturday. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan appoints new communications deputy

Gov. Larry Hogan has named Kata Hall to serve as his deputy director of communications. Hall, who has worked for Hogan since 2015, previously served as the governor’s senior speechwriter. “Kata is an incredibly talented communicator whose work and dedication set the highest standard,” the Republican governor said Thursday in a statement. A Chestertown native, Hall holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the Hogan administration, she spent six years with Fox News, including as an associate producer for “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace. (Balt. Sun)

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Inspector General: Former Baltimore transportation director’s criticism of staff ‘often exceeded the bounds of professional conduct’

Baltimore’s inspector general found that the former director of the city’s transportation department demeaned her staff and engaged in criticisms of their work that were so harsh they bordered on being “personal attacks.” A summary of the investigation was released Friday and described the department as having a “toxic environment.” The report refers only to a manager at the department, but sources previously told The Baltimore Sun that former director Michelle Pourciau was the subject of the investigation. (Balt. Sun)

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