August 17 // In a polarized era, this 2020 presidential candidate is preaching pragmatism

At 7 a.m. on a recent weekday, Rep. John Delaney was on a sidewalk here showing off his presidential campaign’s newest toy: a 36-foot-long motor coach, his name embossed in large letters next to renderings of the American flag, a barn, and a stalk of corn. In the past year, Delaney (D-Md.), the first Democrat to declare his candidacy, has traveled to Iowa 14 times and visited each of the state’s 99 counties, a milestone he hopes proves that his campaign is more than the equivalent of fantasy camp for a largely unknown tycoon-turned-politician. “It has given us a great opportunity to listen to Iowans,” the three-term congressman told reporters. But is anyone listening to John Delaney? (Wash. Post)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan pledges $20 million in state funds for Ocean City convention center renovation

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is backing a plan to renovate and expand the convention center in Ocean City, pledging $20 million in state funds for the project. He said Thursday he would submit 2019 legislation seeking money for the $34 million upgrade, which will be overseen by the Maryland Stadium Authority. Hogan’s support comes after a legislative effort this spring to secure the funds for the project failed. “We’re really excited,” Hogan said at the announcement in Ocean City. “It’s a wonderful facility, but it needs to be expanded and updated.” (Balt. Sun)

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Democrat Ben Jealous offers plan to combat lead poisoning while criticizing Gov. Hogan's efforts

Ben Jealous, the Democratic nominee for governor, offered a plan Thursday to fight lead poisoning in Maryland, saying Gov. Larry Hogan hasn’t done enough to alleviate a problem that has afflicted Baltimore and other parts of Maryland for generations. The governor’s office quickly pushed back, accusing Jealous of following Hogan’s lead and failing to do his homework. Holding a news conference in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, Jealous proposed giving the Maryland Department of the Environment $5 million in extra funding to hire additional inspectors to identify lead paint hazards. (Balt. Sun)

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Melania Trump to address cyberbullying summit in Maryland

Melania Trump plans to address a cyberbullying summit in Maryland next week. The White House says the first lady will deliver remarks "addressing the positive and negative effects of social media on youth." She'll also attend a panel discussion with representatives from various social media platforms participating in the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Cyberbullying Prevention Summit, which is being held Monday in Rockville. (Balt. Sun-AP)

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August 16 // Baltimore shuts down trouble-ridden Bike Share program in favor of dockless Bird, Lime options

Baltimore has shut down its problem-plagued bike share program after less than two years and entered into a pilot program with two firms that offer dockless scooters and bikes, Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday. The city has entered into agreements to allow Bird, which launched a pilot fleet of more than 60 dockless, electric scooters in the city this summer, and Lime, which offers dockless bicycles and scooters, to each place 1,000 scooters or bikes on the streets. The bikes and scooters will come at no cost to the city, unlike the now-canceled program, which cost the city a total of $3.2 million, according to the Department of Transportation. (Balt. Sun)

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Independent Senate Candidate Neal Simon Seeks To Raise Profile with TV Ad Blitz

Ramping up his bid to become the first independent candidate ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Maryland, Potomac businessman Neal Simon this month launched a six-figure TV advertising effort to introduce himself to Maryland voters. Simon, taking aim at the seat now held by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Baltimore, spent a little more than $160,000 on a two-week ad campaign on Baltimore’s four over-the-air TV stations that wrapped up Monday, according to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FEC) public website. (Bethesda)

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Democratic women’s group seeks swift end to Anderson investigation

Several dozen Democratic women in Baltimore are calling on leaders in the General Assembly and the state party to speed up an ethics investigation into city Del. Curt Anderson. Baltimore Women United said they planned to hold a protest Wednesday night outside a meeting of the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee to highlight concerns about Anderson and ratchet up pressure for a resolution. “In our statement regarding sexual harassment and specifically the accusations against Delegate Anderson, we called for the Democratic Party to come up with a policy for how to address sexual harassment in the cases of candidates,” said Denise Gilmore, co-chair of the group. (Daily Record)

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Md. judge blocks effort to shield military transgender ban info

A federal judge in Maryland has denied an effort by President Donald J. Trump’s administration to shield information it used to implement a ban on transgender people in the military. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the administration on behalf of a dozen transgender people who are currently serving or want to serve in the armed forces. U.S. Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite ruled Tuesday that the documents are relevant to the administration’s intent. He says whether the ban was for military purposes or for purely political and discriminatory purposes “is at the very heart of this litigation.” (WTOP-AP)

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