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.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Political News Briefs (Thursday and Friday)

(Posted 16 Feb 2006)
Everett W. at DCABloob has added more links to candidates for Governor, Senator, and D.C. Mayor.


  • Candidates have $1.6 million on hand for county election campaigns.
  • . . . Council members Samuel H. Dean (D-Dist. 6) of Mitchellville and Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Dist. 4) of Bowie had the largest individual campaign funds when reports were filed last month. Each raised slightly more than $40,000.

    Councilman David Harrington (D-Dist. 5) of Cheverly had the smallest individual account, reporting a balance of $79.
    [. . .]
    The Community Coalition Advocacy Slate, which includes five of the county council members, has raised $458,000. The slate is led by Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Dist. 25) of Forestville, Sen. Nathaniel Exum (D-Dist. 24) of Capitol Heights and Del. Mary A. Conroy (D-Dist. 23A) of Bowie. Included in the group are Council Chair Thomas E. Dernoga (D-Dist. 1) of Laurel and Councilwoman Camille A. Exum (D-Dist. 7) of Capitol Heights, along with Dean, Peters and Harrington.

    Councilwoman Marilynn M. Bland (D-Dist. 9) of Clinton is the only member of the council included with County Executive Jack B. Johnson on his Vision 2006 Slate, which is worth more than $900,000.

    According to filings with the Maryland Board of Elections, Councilman Will Campos has one of the lowest balances of campaign funds, with $2,030 in his individual account and $566 reported in the Progressive Prince George’s Slate he shares with Del. Justin Ross (D-Dist. 22) of Greenbelt and Del. Victor Ramirez (D-Dist. 47) of Cheverly.
    [. . .]
    Only one of the candidates filed to run against the sitting council members had raised any funds so far. Former Planning Board Commissioner James ‘‘Fred” Harley has raised $3,705 for his campaign for the District 9 seat held by Bland.

    Keith Washington, deputy director of Homeland Security for the county, has raised close to $10,000 to run in the same district though he has not filed to run yet.

    Ken Laureys, deputy director of the Prince George’s County Office of Community Relations, who is running in District 3, and Landover Hills Mayor Lee Walker both reported a zero balance.
    [. . .].
  • Olson would be good for county; .
  • Bland not giving Clinton the help it needs.
  • . . . Councilwoman Bland, I’m sorry to say, is just another empty promise. After eight years of residency, it would take me a lot more than a polished campaign speech to believe otherwise.
  • Republicans missing on big issues.
    • Gazette, 16 Feb 2006 (Letter from Khadijah and Robin Tribble).
  • City defends tax break; Revitalization of historic buildings said to be at stake.
    • Sun, 16 Feb 2006 (by Lorraine Mirabella, Sun reporter).
    A proposal to lift a cap on the amount of historic tax credits that can be awarded to redevelopment projects in Baltimore encountered some resistance yesterday in a legislative committee hearing the bill, which is backed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
    [. . .]
    "I just disagree with this," said Sen. Gloria G. Lawlah, a Democrat from Prince George's County. "We had good reason for doing that [instituting a cap]."
    [. . .].
  • The "ashtray" of the east.
    • Maryland Moment (Post blog), 14 Feb 2006 (Ann Marimow).
    . . . "It appears to me that hell has frozen over in Richmond," said Del. Barbara Frush (D-Prince George's), the bill's sponsor in the House, where there was a hearing Tuesday in the Health Committee. . . .
  • Pro-life Dems slap chief for backing ‘morning-after’ pill.
    • Gazette, 17 Feb 2006 (by Douglas Tallman, Staff Writer).
    Pro-life Democrats voiced concern Thursday that their party chairman, Terry L. Lierman, crossed a line in supporting a bill that would expand access to so-called morning-after pills.

    Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., a pro-choice legislator, went so far as to say Lierman’s advocacy has hampered Democratic efforts to reclaim the governorship in November.
    [. . .]
    ‘‘Terry Lierman is a lot farther to the left than I am. He ought to be a lot more sensitive to the party’s image and not just his personal views,” said Sen. Leo E. Green (D-Dist. 23) of Bowie.
    [. . .]
    The emergency contraception bill failed last year, Miller noted, not just because the 14-member Republican caucus opposed it, but because ‘‘blue dog” Democrats opposed it as well.

    ‘‘If we didn’t get the middle on our side, Bob Ehrlich will be re-elected,” Miller said.
  • Group sues over text amendment abuse.
  • . . . The lawsuit, filed on Feb. 8, challenges a text amendment introduced by Councilman Tony Knotts (D-Dist. 8) of Temple Hills, that would increase the density of the proposed Baig Court development in Fort Washington, a housing development for elderly residents.
    [. . .]
    Although he said he could not speak specifically about the Feb. 8 lawsuit, Councilman Thomas Hendershot (D-Dist 3) of New Carrollton said the council’s implementation of text amendments is the council’s responsibility. Hendershot said he probably voted for most of the text amendments he’s seen during his nine years on the council but only because he thought they were best for the county.
    [. . .]
    Knotts did not respond to calls for comment.

  • Closed meetings under attack; Two bills seek modifications.
  • Under one part of Maryland law, government can meet absolutely secretly.

    You won't know when the meetings go on, and, if by some chance you do find out, no one has to tell you what happened or even concede the meeting ever took place.

    It's called "executive function," and in a recent report by a state board that presides over Maryland's "sunshine" laws, was called the "most bedeviling" aspect of the Open Meetings Act — laws that govern when public bodies, such as county commissioners and town councils, must meet in public.
    [. . .]
    Two versions of legislation that would refine the laws about executive function went to a hearing of the House Health and Government Operations Committee Thursday.

    One, by Prince George's Democrat Del. James Hubbard is the result of a yearlong investigation into the executive function by the Open Meetings Act Compliance Board.
  • Bills would change Open Meetings Act.
  • Two bills that would expand Maryland's Open Meetings Act - to permit more public access to actions taken in closed meetings - were presented Thursday in the House Health and Government Operations Committee.
    [. . .]
    The second, sponsored by Del. James W. Hubbard, D-Prince George's, would change the law's exemption from "executive function" to "administrative function" and would subject such activities to the same notice requirements as open meetings. It also applies the Open Meetings Act to a public body's consideration of the budget for its next fiscal year.

    Though there was little opposition to Weldon's bill, Hubbard's bill drew opposition from the Maryland Association of Counties.

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