Trachtenberg supporters attack Berliner from both sides of environmental debate

Duchy Trachtenberg’s supporters can’t seem to decide whether her Democratic primary opponent, District 1 Montgomery County Council incumbent Roger Berliner, is an environmental radical or a shill for developers. Soltesz heads an engineering firm that has worked on numerous major building projects in the region, including the Peterson Companies’s unsuccessful plan for a major retail project near Clarksburg Town Center. Berliner was a major opponent of the project, as was the Sierra Club. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

NRA endorses Serafini, Parrott

The National Rifle Association has endorsed Del. Andrew Serafini, R-Washington, and Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington, in their re-election campaigns for Subdistrict 2A. Parrott and Serafini received an “A” rating from the NRA’s Political Victory Fund. (Herald-Mail)

Read Full Article

May 23 // O’Malley returning to New Hampshire next month as he weighs a 2016 White House bid

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who continues to eye a 2016 White House bid, is headed back to New Hampshire next month. O’Malley (D) has been booked as the “special guest” June 13 at an annual Flag Day Dinner hosted by the Manchester Democrats, the organization announced Thursday. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

35 state lawmakers issue statement condemning Cardin's missed committee votes

Thirty-five state lawmakers on Thursday issued a statement condemning Del. Jon S. Cardin for missing nearly 75 percent of his committee votes this year. "As members of the Maryland House of Delegates and State Senate, we must comment on the recent articles about Jon Cardin’s missed votes," states a letter signed by lawmakers who support Cardin's opponent in a race for attorney general, Sen. Brian Frosh. "We have been trying to wrap our heads around his unacceptable attendance record and want to say clearly and unequivocally: under no circumstances should a member of the legislature selectively decide to skip 75% of his or her committee votes." (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Mikulski introduces measures to reform veterans' claims system, build Navy cybersecurity facility

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation Thursday to reduce a backlog in veterans' claims and build a $120 million cybersecurity training facility at the Naval Academy. The measures are part of a $72 billion bill that funds Veterans Affairs programs and construction on military bases. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, chairs the committee. That bill is expected to go to the Senate floor in the coming months, and then to the House. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Gansler: Maryland teachers should be ‘competent’ and held accountable

Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, believes that major problems with the state’s worst schools could be fixed by paying certified teachers more money, increasing tenure standards and allowing administrators to more easily fire underperforming teachers, among other changes. Gansler released an education reform plan this week that he says will reduce the achievement gap between low-income and wealthier students. The plan calls for major changes in the state’s teacher force, expanding pre-kindergarten, making it easier for parents to get involved, encouraging attendance, modernizing schools and offering more technology courses.  (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

200 General Assembly candidates support cigarette tax hike

Advocates backing a $1 tax increase on every pack of cigarettes sold in Maryland say they've lined up more than 200 General Assembly candidates to support the hike. The Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative has planned two news conferences for next week to announce what the group says is widespread support for a proposal to increase the tax from $2 to $3 per pack of cigarettes. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Budget bill signed by O’Malley contained unconstitutional provisions, Gansler says

The key budget-balancing bill signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley last Thursday contained several unconstitutional provisions, including language exempting Carroll and Frederick counties from aspects of the rain tax. That’s what Attorney General Doug Gansler told O’Malley in a letter the day before he signed the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2014, SB172. But the AG still said O’Malley could sign the bill. (Md. Reporter)

Read Full Article