Campaign finance reports are due out later this week and one of the big questions begging for an answer is who will get a piece of Republican Councilman Bryan McIntire’s sizable war chest.
The four-term councilman who lost the September primary to challenger Todd Huff, had $221,421 in cash on hand, according to the last report filed on Sept. 2 (so there’s a chance the actual figure is probably less).
McIntire confirmed that he has been the focus of solicitations from a number of candidates “running in this county and others and one person from another state.”
It’s something that is new to him.
“I was never at a point where I wasn’t running and had money left over,” said the councilman.
McIntire declined to say who, if anyone would get a slice of the pie. He acknowledged that the obvious recipients could include Republican County Executive candidate Ken Holt and Republican council candidates David Marks, Ryan Nawrocki, and Steve Whisler. Read more…
A poll released today that shows Gov. Martin O’Malley leading over Republican challenger and former Gov. Robert Ehrlich also predicts that turnout among Democrats and independents will drop in the general election while Republican voters will increase.
The poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies shows O’Malley leading Ehrlich 47 percent to 42 percent. About 4 percent said they planned on voting for a third party candidate and 6 percent said they were undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
The poll of 816 registered voters who said they were likely to vote was conducted from Oct. 11-16.
The poll concludes that voter turnout will be key.
Last month, Democratic voter turnout was down 27 percent compared to the 2006 primary. Republican turnout was up 23 percent compared to the same year.
Based on the data, the poll predicts that less than 1.1 million Democrats will come out on Nov. 2 — a 7 percent decrease compared to 2006.
More than 644,000 Republicans, an increase of 11 percent over 2006, are expected to turnout for the election.
The poll also predicts that 232,000 independents will vote this year — a decrease of 2 percent compared to 2006.
Topics in the wide-ranging interview included education, his “new American’s quote,” what’s on O’Malley’s iPod and why Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith makes a promise to not raise any new taxes on behalf of O’Malley in a radio commercial that is in rotation currently. (You can hear that commercial here.)
Elliker’s exclusive interview, which was broken into segments, was played throughout today’s show.
Republican federal, state and local candidates and elected officials will be out in front of the Old Courthouse in Towson late Monday afternoon to sign a pledge that shows their support for pension reform for elected officials.
Steve Bailey, a Republican candidate for state’s attorney, said candidates will gather in Towon at 5 p.m. to sign the pledge and vow to work toward changing so-called defined benefit plans to a defined contribution plan similar to 401K style plans available to the public.
“We’re going to work toward these goals or at least the people who get elected,” said Bailey, who took up the issue of pension reform when he was co-chairman of the county chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a group that advocates smaller government.
Bailey said further pension reform on the county level “should be a reality if a majority of Republicans are elected to the council.”
Bailey said that the reforms on the county level would mean that current incumbents would not see a change in any accrued benefits under the current defined benefits plan – council members receive 20 percent of their highest salary for each term they complete. Future benefits would only be accrued if the council member elected to participate in the 401K-style plan.
“We don’t believe it would be fair or legal to make the changes retroactive,” Bailey said. “I don’t think you can do anything other than (make it prospective).”
Earlier this year the council passed a measure that limits council members to retirement benefits equal to 60 percent of their highest salary. The changes applied only to council members who begin their service on Dec. 6.
Expected speakers include Sen. Andy Harris, a candidate for Congress, and Del. Bill Frank. Both men sponsored legislation to create defined contribution plans for state legislators. Those bills were unsuccessful.
Jon Herbst was the guest on Sunday night’s edition of “All Politics is Local” featuring host Jay Liner as well as a panel of journalists including myself and Al Forman of Investigativevoice.com.
Herbst, the Republican candidate for the 2nd Council District in Baltimore County, came on to talk about his campaign and stances on schools, tax rates, business regulation and pension reform. (Vicki Almond, the Democratic nominee for the same seat was also invited but she declined citing a prior commitment.)
On the subjects of pension reform and lower taxes, I asked Herbst about how he could lower taxes without cutting services and still absorb state teacher pensions that are likely to be pushed down on the county in 2011.
You can listen in while Herbst tries to find $87 million after just one commercial break.
All Politics is Local is a live call in radio program about local politics. The show can be heard every Sunday night from 7-8p.m. on WCBM 680 AM and on WCBM.com.
NOTE: A reminder to my readers. This blog is my temporary home while I wait to join Patch.com as the assistant regional editor in Baltimore County where I will cover county government and politics. I’ll start over at Patch.com on Oct. 25.