Daily "Recent Prince George's County News" updates were suspended in early March 2016. They were compiled primarily from retweets of news headlines. Those retweets continue, but in unformatted and unarchived form at PG-Politics-Briefs. To follow such headlines on a current basis, follow @pgpolitics on Twitter.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

News Briefs (Saturday and Sunday)

(Posted 29 Jan 2006)
Gory Prince George's
Politicians, etc.
  • In Pr. George's, A New Political Guessing Game; Johnson's Offer to Rival Dissected.
    • Post, 29 Jan 2006 (by Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post Staff Writer).
    • On the surface, Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson's offer to appoint a rival to oversee the powerful board that controls land use was seen by political observers as a grand gesture.

      But some say Johnson may have a larger political agenda: breaking up the "Gang of Six," a bloc of County Council members that often votes against him.
      [. . .]
      The Gang of Six is made up of five council members who are known collectively as the Community Coalition Advocacy slate: Chairman Thomas E. Dernoga (D-Laurel), Vice Chairman Camille Exum (D-Seat Pleasant), Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville), Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Bowie) and David Harrington (D-Cheverly). The group is often joined in voting by Tony Knotts (D-Temple Hills).
      [Full story].
    • Also mentioned: Councilwoman Marilynn M. Bland and prospective council candidates Adrion Howell, Phil Lee, Keith Washington, and Fred Harley.
  • Gay Unions Fracture Md.'s Black Caucus; Civil Rights Pull as Strong as Church's .
    • Post, 28 Jan 2006, (by Matthew Mosk, Washington Post Staff Writer).
    Maryland's African American lawmakers are deeply divided in the emerging debate over same-sex marriage, which forces them to balance their communities' bedrock religious convictions against a traditional commitment to civil rights.

    In the short time since a Baltimore circuit court declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, black Democrats in the General Assembly have reached consensus only on one thing: They don't want the matter put to a vote.

    "We've been discussing it ever since the court issued its opinion," said Del. Joanne C. Benson (D-Prince George's). "There is a split. And no easy way to resolve it."

    Consider Sens. Ulysses Currie and Gwendolyn T. Britt. Both are Democrats who represent progressive African American districts in Prince George's County. But they are on opposite extremes of a gulf that divides their communities.

    Currie said he will be guided from the pulpit and by Christian constituents who on this issue alone, he says, "are as conservative as the conservatives."

    Britt said she answers to the echoes of the civil rights era and supports gay men and lesbians because she knows "how to walk a mile in someone else's shoes."
    [. . .]
    "I'm just hoping and praying the courts will step in," said Currie, who attends an African Methodist Episcopal church.
    [. . .]
    Del. Carolyn J.B. Howard (D-Prince George's) said the church community is hard to ignore on this issue, especially when she agrees with them. Given the power invested in the Democratic leadership in Annapolis, she thinks it is highly unlikely that the measure will reach the floor of the House or Senate.

    But if it does, she said, she has no doubts about what she will do.

    "You don't compromise your principles when it comes to these issues. If it comes to the floor, no one will back away just because of what party leaders want," she said.
  • Stem Cell Research Funding Advances.
    • Post, 28 Jan 2006, (by Ann E. Marimow and John Wagner).
    A bill that would provide $25 million a year for embryonic stem cell research cleared its first hurdle in the Maryland General Assembly yesterday.
    [. . .]
    Sen. Ulysses S. Currie (D-Prince George's), chairman of the Budget and Taxation Committee, did not indicate yesterday how quickly his panel would consider the measure or whether he would seek to alter the level of funding.
  • A Long-Range Plan for Juvenile Justice.
    • Post, 28 Jan 2006, (by Ann E. Marimow and John Wagner).
    . . . At the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County, the plan, by a Bethesda-based consultant, recommends replacing the campus-style setting with a single 96-bed detention center.

    Sen. Leo E. Green (D-Prince George's) said Cheltenham's location, which is not served by public transportation, defeats the purpose of trying to increase community involvement.

    "How can you justify putting all this money back into it?'' Green asked at a joint hearing of four committees that handle financial and judiciary issues. "They are isolated and insulated."
    [Full story].

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