- Gearing Up for Costly Races; Fundraising Quickens for Executive Bids
- Post, 19 Jan 2006 (by Tim Craig. Washington Post Staff Writer).
. . . In Prince George's, County Executive Jack B. Johnson held a huge cash advantage over his declared Democratic primary challenger, former delegate Rushern L. Baker III. In the last reporting period, Baker reported raising about $141,000 for his bid to unseat the first-term executive, including a $10,000 loan to his campaign. Baker also retired about $60,000 in debt from his failed 2002 campaign for county executive. He had about $75,000 on hand for his underdog effort.
Johnson's campaign said it had just less than $1 million on hand, after raising about $340,000 and spending just more than $68,000 in the last reporting period, 2005.
Johnson has not formally declared his candidacy for reelection and has sought to present himself as above the fray, brushing off Baker's criticisms of his record on crime and schools. Johnson depicts himself as a hands-on incumbent who has promoted business development, public safety and education in a county on the rise. . . .
- Sniping marks hearing on child welfare programs; Legislators confront state officials on troubling findings of recent audit
A joint hearing on the status of child welfare programs in the state turned confrontational today as legislators in Annapolis grilled Department of Human Resources officials who are still recovering from a recent audit that exposed serious flaws in the agency's staffing numbers, abuse and neglect investigations, and record keeping.
The sniping between legislators and state officials started almost immediately, with Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George's County Democrat who chairs the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, scolding DHR Secretary Christopher J. McCabe for wasting time with a long introduction about what his department does.
"You are going to get to the findings of the audit," said Currie, cutting McCabe off mid-sentence. "We really want to get to these findings."
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- Study: Md. among leaders in cervical cancer prevention efforts
- Baltimore Businss Journal, 18 Jan 2006 (Alan Zibel, Staff).
. . . "We should be encouraged that Maryland is among the top-five faring states and has improved since last year, but clearly we still need to do more, given that this disease is preventable," state Sen. Gloria Lawlah, a Prince George's County Democrat, said in a statement.
Lawlah authored a law, which passed last year, requiring insurance coverage for HPV testing as part of cervical cancer screening. . . .
- Overrides don't stop Ehrlich
- Times, 19 Jan 2006 (by S. A. Miller, The Washington Times).
. . . Mr. Miller, a Democrat representing Calvert and Prince George's counties, reportedly told his caucus last week that Republican leaders are "going to be flying high, but we're going to shoot them down. We're going to bury them face down in the ground, and it'll be 10 years before they crawl out again."
The quote was posted on the outside of doors to the governor's press offices on the second floor of the State House. . . .
- Report leaves schools seeking answers
- Gazette, 19 Jan 2006(by Douglas Tallman, Staff Writer).
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. unveiled a $29.6 billion budget Tuesday that showers election-year generosity into voter-friendly programs such as education and the environment.
[. . .]
‘‘He wants to spend his way back into popularity with the people of Maryland,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. ‘‘It’s an election-year budget to appease angry voters and buy votes.”
Miller (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach already had his knives sharpened Tuesday, acerbically calling the governor ‘‘Budget-Busting Bob” for exceeding the spending affordability guideline.
Miller said the legislature would bear the budget-cutting burden, figuring the governor would try to gain political mileage off cuts to his budget.
Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Dist. 25) of Forestville called the budget plan ‘‘a Christmas tree” because of all the programs that benefited from spending increases.
‘‘It’s interesting coming from a governor who for the last three years has been highly critical of the previous administration for having spent money like a drunken sailor,” said Currie, who chairs the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee.
Prince George’s County will receive $990 million in state aid, a 11.2 percent increase. The dollar amount is exceeded only by Baltimore city, with $1.15 billion.
Sen. David R. Brinkley (R-Dist. 4) of New Market said the legislature would make cuts.
‘‘The challenge for Democrats is Martin O’Malley and Doug Duncan are saying it’s not enough and the legislature is saying it’s too much,” Brinkley said. O’Malley is the Baltimore mayor and Duncan is the Montgomery County executive, both vying for the Democratic nomination for governor.
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