Gansler names Ivey as running mate

ganslerMaryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has officially named Del. Jolene Ivey, D-Prince George’s, as his running mate in his bid for governor.

Ivey, 52, is a two-term member of the House and chairs the Prince George’s County delegation. She sponsored a constitutional amendment, approved by voters last year, requiring politicians found guilty of certain crimes to be removed from office at conviction rather than sentencing.

A graduate of High Point High School in Beltsville, where the announcement was made Monday, Ivey is also the wife of former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey.

Some political observers thought Gansler, a Montgomery County resident, would pick a running mate from the Baltimore area in order to “balance” the ticket between two voter-rich jurisdictions, as many previous gubernatorial candidates have done.

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, a Prince George’s County resident and one of Gansler’s rival in the primary election, selected Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate earlier this year.

Del. Heather L. Mizeur, D-Montgomery, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, has not yet announced a running mate.

Gansler’s announcement came a day after The Washington Post reported the attorney general “regularly ordered state troopers assigned to drive him to turn on the lights and sirens on the way to routine appointments, directing them to speed, run red lights and bypass traffic jams by using the shoulder.”

Top court explains why 17-year-olds can vote in primaries

Voters cast ballots in Baltimore during the 2012 general election. (File photo)

Voters cast ballots in Baltimore during the 2012 general election. (File photo)

On Feb. 8, 2008, the Court of Appeals issued an order that 17-year-olds who would be 18 before November’s general election could vote in the primary election four days away. It promised an opinion at a later date.

Now, more than five-and-half years later, we get the whole megilah.

The case stemmed from the court’s 2006 decision finding early voting unconstitutional, which led to a series of inquiries and advisory opinions culminating with the attorney general recommending that 17-year-olds can vote in primary elections only if they are affiliated with a political party and do not vote in nonpartisan elections, such as for a county board of education.

(The Maryland State Board of Elections has a handy and comprehensive timeline of all the events.)

The case before the Court of Appeals was filed Feb. 1, 2008 on behalf of a pair of 17-year-olds in Frederick and Montgomery counties who were denied voter registration. The Court of Appeals heard the case one week later and issued its order the same day.

Retired Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, writing Friday for the unanimous court, said when the state constitution refers to “the next election” to establish voting age, it is referring to a general election, not a primary one. The constitution, Bell continued, “is not in conflict with” the election law allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections.

And, since election law requires school board members to be nominated in the primary election, 17-year-olds can vote in nonpartisan elections, Bell added.

“It would be inconsistent with with the purposes of Maryland law regarding the individual elective franchise were we to hold that an individual must be 18 years-old at the time of the primary election in order to vote in that election,” Bell concluded. “Such a result would deny 17 year-old persons, who would otherwise be eligible to vote in the subsequent general election, the opportunity to participate fully in the elective process.”

‘Consumer heroes’ in the General Assembly

Sen. Richard Madaleno (File photo)

Sen. Richard Madaleno (File photo)

The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition has released its annual consumer scorecard for members of the General Assembly and this year there is a twist.

In addition to looking at the 2013 session, MCRC has named eight legislators “consumer heroes” for earning perfect scores for each of the past three sessions:

– Sen. Richard Madaleno, D-Montgomery

– Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s

– Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Prince George’s

– Del. Al Carr, D-Montgomery

– Del. Bill Frick, D-Montgomery

– Del. Barbara Frush, D-Anne Arundel and Prince George’s

– Del. Carolyn Howard, D-Prince George’s

– Del. James Hubbard, D-Prince George’s

As for the 2013 session, nine senators and 51 delegates earned scores of 90 percent or better, while eight senators and 16 delegates received failing grades (under 65 percent).

The Eye on Annapolis Podcast

The Eye on Annapolis Podcast returns with a look at the races for governor and attorney general, including the impact of Doug Gansler’s controversial comments about Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

Alex and I also examine why some candidates might be stepping down from the General Assembly before the sessions starts and what was the buzz at the annual Ocean City confabs for the Maryland Municipal League and Maryland Association of Counties.


The Eye on Annapolis Podcast

The Eye on Annapolis Podcast returns with a look at the governor’s race one year before the primary election.

Alex and I review the candidates who have declared (Brown, Craig and George) and look at who might still throw a hat in the ring (Gansler, Mizeur, Ruppersberger).

We also discuss why Dec. 31 is the unofficial filing deadline for candidates.


The first lady strikes a pose

Katie O'MalleyFor those of you wondering about the answer to that age-old question, “What do judges wear under their robes?”, here’s one answer:

I usually just wear simple black pants and a shirt—very rarely a suit. There’s some freedom in that, especially since I have so little time in the morning.

That’s Baltimore City District Court Judge Catherine Curran O’Malley, also known as Katie O’Malley, Maryland’s first lady.

O’Malley shared this tidbit and other details about her personal fashion and being a working mom in the newest issue of Baltimore Style Magazine (which was recently redesigned and relaunched.)

O’Malley also posed in the latest spring styles for a photo spread shot all around Government House.

The first lady also confirmed she loves finding a good deal:

I am a bargain shopper. My daughters shop quality. I buy my makeup at CVS and they buy theirs at Nordstrom. I go to Old Navy and buy yoga pants while they go to Lululemon.

That’s not to say she disregards her daughters’ fashion sense:

If I walk downstairs and look ridiculous, they won’t let me go out.

And isn’t that what family is for?

(Photo courtesy of Baltimore Style Magazine)

The Eye on Annapolis Podcast

The Eye on Annapolis Podcast returns with a look at two of our favorite topics: casinos and elections.

Alex and I discuss the three bids for a Prince George’s County casino and why many believe any of the options would become one of the most successful in the mid-Atlantic.

We also look ahead to the 2014 gubernatorial election and the challenges presumptive candidate Doug Gansler would face against Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the Democratic primary plus sort out some Republican candidates.


The Eye on Annapolis Podcast

The Eye on Annapolis Podcast looks back at the 2013 General Assembly session with special guest (and Daily Record columnist) C. Fraser Smith. We examine how and why lawmakers were so productive and the state of politics in Maryland. We also discuss Gov. Martin O’Malley’s future and what could be on the General Assembly’s 2014 agenda.


The Eye on Annapolis Podcast

The Eye on Annapolis Podcast returns with a preview of the General Assembly’s final week.

With Sine Die now six days away, Alex and I have the latest on legislation concerning the budget, gun control and pit bulls. Alex explains why the memory of last year’s final day is on the minds of legislators and we discuss what this week means for Gov. Martin O’Malley.



The Eye on Annapolis Podcast

The Eye on Annapolis Podcast returns with a look back at a busy weekend in the House of Delegates.

Alex and I discuss the latest on the gun control and transportation bills and whether lawmakers will be able to resolve the major sticking points in the bills in the General Assembly’s final two weeks.

We also examine the prospects of tax increment financing (better known as TIFs) and reveal the man behind the medical marijuana bill.