Soft shell crab sandwich gets Miller’s backing

The effort to designate the soft shell crab sandwich the official state sandwich is back.

And this time,  Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller

Miller, D-Calvert and Prince George’s, joins lead sponsor Sen. Richard Colburn, R-Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot and Wicomico, on a a bill that was pre-filed in the Senate for the 2014 session. Del. Rudolph C. Kane, D-Dorchester and Wicomico, has again filed a similar bill in the House of Delegates.

Miller, who does not sign on lightly to bills creating state designations, testified in favor of the soft shell crab sandwich before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.   Continue reading

Griffith challenges Currie for Senate seat

Sen. Ulysses Currie will have at least one challenger for the Senate seat he has held for five terms.

Del. Melony Griffith

Del. Melony Griffith [photo: Maryland State Archives]

Del. Melony Griffith, in a statement emailed Thursday afternoon, announced she had filed for the seat.

“It is with the next generation in mind that I have decided to run for the State Senate seat, building on the foundations of the past with vision and commitment to a better future,’ Griffith said in her statement. Continue reading

What about David Craig?

One candidate for governor and his running mate are curiously missing from the recent lawsuit filed  in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Thursday that seeks an injunction against an opinion issued on campaign fundraising.

Harford County Executive David Craig

Harford County Executive David Craig

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone are all named as defendants in the suit filed  [subscriber access] by supporters of Doug Gansler.

The board issued a memo Dec. 19 that effectively barred Gansler and his running mate Del. Jolene Ivey from raising money during the 90-day General Assembly session under a law that prohibits state elected officials from doing so during the session. That same memo allows Ulman to raise money by claiming that the law does not apply to him even though it does apply to Brown.

That memo also would allow Harford County Executive David Craig, a Republican,  to continue to raise money for his gubernatorial bid despite the fact that his running mate Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio legally cannot.

So what gives? Continue reading

Cardin praises release of Russian punk band

Sometimes elected officials surprise you.

Sen. Ben Cardin

Sen. Ben Cardin

Such is the case of Sen. Ben Cardin who, in a message on Twitter Monday, praised the release of the all-female Russian punk rock protest band called Pussy Riot.

“Glad #PussyRiot is[no] longer being held as political prisoners. Hoping this is a sincere move by Russia and that ’14 brings freedom to more,” Cardin (or a staffer) wrote on his social media account. Continue reading

Obamacare fallout and the race for Maryland governor

Doug Gansler’s campaign for governor has gotten off to a rocky start and the attorney general and Montgomery County Democrat may now be attempting to paste a political opponent with the failures of the state’s fledgling  health care exchange.

Gansler, DougMF30

Doug Gansler

On Friday, Gansler replaced campaign manager Matthew “Mudcat” Arnold with Antigone Davis, a long-time Gansler aide. Davis is the third person to hold the job since August.

Earlier in the year, the attorney general was the focus of a number of unflattering stories including a Washington Post report about issues related to the use of his Maryland State Police protection unit and his state vehicle. A separate report highlighted Gansler’s appearance at an underage kegger [Gansler said he was just visiting his son who was at the party but not drinking alcohol].

But the failure of the Maryland state health benefits exchange presents an opportunity to turn the focus on to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, according to Politico. Continue reading

Legalizing marijuana: Baby boomers should admit they ‘want to get high’

Proponents of an effort to legalize and tax marijuana in Maryland will end a failed war on drugs and the criminalization of portions of the state’s population.

weedmoneyAnd money, of course. One bill that will be sponsored by Del. Curt Anderson, D-Baltimore City, and Sen. Jamin B. “Jamie” Raskin, D-Montgomery, projects that the money raised from the taxing of pot sales could generate $100 million for the state. [subscriber access]

Not everyone is buying into the arguments. Continue reading

Board of elections memo hurts Gansler fundraising effort

A four-page memo on campaign fundraising during the 2014 General Assembly session will mostly likely hurt Doug Gansler more than any other declared gubernatorial candidate.

Doug Gansler and Jolene Ivey

Doug Gansler and Jolene Ivey

The memo released Thursday by the Maryland State Board of Elections lays out who is legally allowed to raise money during the 90-day session. Under state law, the governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, attorney general and all 188 members of the House and Senate are barred from soliciting or receiving donations or participating in the planning or promotion of events that would happen after the session ends. Continue reading

Eye on Annapolis on Inside Maryland Politics

How will the debate on increasing the minimum wage play out in Annapolis?

Inside Maryland Politics. Logo courtesy of WYPR

Inside Maryland Politics. Logo courtesy of WYPR

C. Fraser Smith, host of Inside Maryland Politics on WYPR, talks about the issue with me based on a story written as part of the Annapolis Summit series. Continue reading

Cardin wants your butts biodegradable

Hey smokers, Del. Jon Cardin is angry about what your butts are doing to the environment and has a plan to fix it.

Jon Cardin

Del. Jon Cardin

Today’s entry from the Wheel of Random Issues comes from the Baltimore County Democrat who is also a candidate for state attorney general. Cardin announced Thursday that he plans to introduce a bill requiring all cigarettes sold in Maryland to come with biodegradable butts.

“Cigarette filters are toxic to both humans and the environment,” Cardin said in a statement. “I know this will be viewed as an audacious idea by some, but these are the kinds of forward thinking ideas we need to protect our children and families and to ensure that we continue to have safe air to breath and clean water to drink.” Continue reading

McDonough calls for training wage

As the Maryland General Assembly prepares to return to Annapolis and discuss the issue of minimum wage, one legislator said he would like to see the state create a second, lower tier of wages for entry-level workers.

Del. Pat McDonough

Del. Pat McDonough

Del. Pat McDonough, R-Baltimore County, said he plans to introduce a bill creating a training wage for new employees at companies of 100 workers or less. Continue reading