Mount Airy approves funding for town's first-ever special election

The Mount Airy mayor and Town Council on Monday, Aug. 6, voted unanimously in favor of ordinance 2018-7, which amends the town’s 2018-2019 budget to include money for the impending special election — Mount Airy’s first. The election is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 10, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company Reception Hall. Town Planning Commission member Patty Washabaugh; Scott Sirchio, an alternate on the same commission; and Matthew McDonough are running for the recently vacated council seat. (Carr. Co. Times)

Read Full Article

August 8 // Maryland senators ask Treasury panel to investigate Russian oligarch's ties to state election contractor

Less than three months before early voting begins, Maryland’s U.S. senators have joined the chorus of elected officials warning that the November elections could be threatened by a Russian oligarch’s stake in a firm that manages some of the state’s most critical electoral systems. Maryland has already endured one major election snag this year. Some 80,000 voters were told just before the June 26 primary to cast provisional ballots because their change-of-address requests were flubbed by a faulty computer program. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Facing an onslaught of debris in the Chesapeake, Gov. Hogan asks other states to do more

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday escalated pressure on neighboring states to reduce the amount of trash and pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay, accusing other jurisdictions of not doing their fair share to clean up the nation’s largest estuary. He pressed Pennsylvania in particular to help clear the blanket of debris unleashed into the Chesapeake after last month’s historic rain. The cresting floodwaters forced the Conowingo Dam’s operator to open as many as 20 of more than 50 floodgates designed to relieve pressure and lower the water level behind the dam. Since then, tree trunks, trash, tires and other flotsam have poured down the Susquehanna River through the floodgates and into the bay. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Don’t ease offshore drilling rules, Frosh tells U.S. regulators

The U.S. Interior Department’s proposed relaxation of regulations designed to prevent another catastrophic offshore-drilling explosion could prove disastrous for the mid-Atlantic shoreline, Maryland’s attorney general wrote in a letter this week to regulators. (Daily Record)

Read Full Article

GSA met at White House on FBI HQ, and Van Hollen wants more details

A top GSA official attended several meetings at the White House where plans for a new FBI headquarters was discussed in the lead-up to the federal government's about-face decision to keep the agency in downtown D.C., according to documents obtained by the Washington Business Journal.The GSA declined to say whether the president's views on the project were stated at any of those meetings, citing "established executive branch practices." The lack of detail has some, including Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., demanding more transparency from the federal government's main civilian real estate arm. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

Read Full Article

County Executive Steve Schuh proposes stronger solar panel laws

As the eight-month moratorium on solar panel projects nears its end, Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh announced Tuesday legislation strengthening approval requirements for larger solar panel developments. But the finer details of these changes have not been made public. The county has not released the related legislation. Schuh’s changes would allow solar panels on residential homes in any district. But community and utility projects — larger scale developments — will require special exceptions in rural-agriculture zones but not in other zones. (Capital)

Read Full Article

August 7 // Democratic group publishes opposition research on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

A 1,418-page opposition research report on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan was made public last week by the Democratic Governors Association, the latest move by Democrats to attack Hogan’s reelection bid. Normally, opposition reports are closely guarded documents used by campaigns to create talking points and attack ads. But Doug Thornell, a Democratic strategist not involved in the Maryland gubernatorial race, said Republicans and Democrats sometimes make such research available for various reasons, including so that independent expenditure campaigns — which can support candidates but may not coordinate with them — can access the information. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Floreen turns in 20,343 signatures supporting independent bid for county exec

County Council member Nancy Floreen on Monday delivered four boxes containing 20,343 signatures to the Montgomery County Board of Elections, hoping it'll be enough to earn her a place in the county executive race. About 7,200 of those names will have to stand up to scrutiny for the independent candidate to appear on the November ballot next to Democratic council member Marc Elrich and attorney Robin Ficker, the Republican nominee for county executive. (Bethesda)

Read Full Article