Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sunday News Roundup

The Baltimore Sun finally weighs in with an endorsement of Peter Franchot for Comptroller and Stuart Simms for Attorney General. This paragraph ought to warm Franchot's heart:

During his 20 years in the General Assembly, Mr. Franchot has risen from an obscure gadfly to a respected and outspoken chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee. He has a strong grasp of budget intricacies and an appetite to shed light on corporate income tax loopholes. Mr. Franchot is no wallflower, and if he can curb his enthusiasm for straying into matters of policy beyond the scope of the comptroller's office, he will be a strong advocate for the interests of the taxpayer both on and off the Board of Public Works. The Sun endorses Mr. Franchot for comptroller in the Democratic primary.
The Sun joins many Democrats in viewing incumbent William Donald Schaefer as essentially too cranky and validates Franchot's criticism of Janet Owens as too close to Gov. Ehrlich and too supportive of sprawl for the taste of many Democrats. Franchot has now won the support of both the Post and the Sun. Will the boost from the Sun be enough to boost Franchot's standing in the Baltimore area enough for Franchot's campaign to shoot up from third in the polls in this fluid race? Janet Owens can claim the support of Baltimore Jewish Times, the local paper of a group that can be expected to turn out in force for Ben Cardin. The Sun also has many nice words for Stu Simms and a few harsh ones for Doug Gansler:

His pursuit of a new Juvenile Justice Center in Baltimore proved one of the smarter moves in the department's history. During his tenure in public safety, he rejuvenated the criminal injuries compensation commission and launched Maryland's sexual offense registry, a program that continues to improve.

If elected attorney general, Mr. Simms has promised to bolster local law enforcement efforts to attack the problems of gang violence, street crime and drug trafficking and would go so far as to designate members of his staff to serve as prosecutors, investigators or auditors at the city and county level. He opposes slot machines and casino-style gambling in Maryland, and while he personally objects to the death penalty (as does Mr. Curran), he has pledged to uphold the law as required by his office. And he envisions opportunities to team with other state attorneys general to help resolve issues of national importance such as energy pricing, affordable health care, and air and water pollution. But ultimately, Mr. Simms notes, he's charged with upholding the law, advising state agencies and looking out for the interests of the citizens of Maryland. We could not agree with him more.

Mr. Simms has been criticized for his low-key style, and it is certainly a contrast to his well-financed and media-savvy opponent, Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler. . . But Mr. Gansler lacks Mr. Simms' breadth of experience and moderate temperament that is better suited for this critical role.

Will this solidify Baltimore support for Simms despite Gansler's barrage of advertisements?

Meanwhile, fellow blogger Crablaw has endorsed Dr. Dana Beyer for a delegate seat in District 18 (originally seen on Free State Politics).

The Annapolis Capitol has also made its endorsements for Anne Arundel County Council races.

The Washington Post has now run profiles of both Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume.

The Baltimore Sun has a nice synopsis of the race for Baltimore County State's Attorney which is of particular interest because of the open seat and because of outgoing Republican Sandra O'Connor's aggressive death penalty policy. They also handicap several state legislative races in the Baltimore region, including the state legislative races in District 40 (Baltimore City). They also survey the hot state senate challenge in District 21 (Prince George's) by former Del. James Rosapepe to incumbent Sen. John Giannetti, Jr. Giannetti, who narrowly defeated incumbent Sen. Arthur Dorman in 2002, has a "strained" relationship with the delegates in his district who are all supporting Rosapepe.

The Sun also reports that Senate Majority Leader Nathaniel McFadden backs Cheryl Glenn for the open delegate seat in District 45 (Baltimore City). The Republican primary for the state senate in District 8 (Baltimore County) also attracts attention as two candidates are vying for the nomination against incumbent Democrat Sen. Katherine Klausmeier. Republicans hold two delegate seats in this district.

The Post has a piece on the open race for Anne Arundel County Executive.

Racial tensions resurface in Charles County as the leading Republican candidate for president of the Board of County Commissioners said that "I do not want to see Charles County become another Prince George's" and "There's a crime wave coming from the northern border." Incumbent Democrat Wayne Cooper doesn't share these sentiments.

John Sarbanes, the son of guess who, leads in the money chase in the hot open-seat race for the Third Congessional District being vacated by Senate candidate Ben Cardin. Indeed, his warchest dwarfs that of the other competitors for this seat.

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Ehrlich outraised O'Malley in funds in the 17 days ending August 25.