Politics notes for 12-23

December 23, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

Hecht to help Democrates on state level

Del. Sue Hecht lost her bid for state Senate last month, but last week she was elected to be second-in-command of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Hecht, who represented parts of Washington and Frederick counties for eight years, will be the state party's vice chair.

She said her goal is to strengthen the party in rural areas, which saw losses in the last election. During her unpaid four-year term, Hecht will also help formulate state party policies and conduct grassroots organizing.

"We're thrilled she was open to it," said party spokesman David Paulson.

Hecht said she is still looking for a full-time job.

Democrats are embarking on an all-out effort to make sure they don't lose another governor's election in four years, Paulson said.

In two years, the party will focus on the congressional elections, including the seat of U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

"If I were Mr. Bartlett, I wouldn't sit pretty," he said.


Local delegate to sit on insurance committee

Del. John P. Donoghue will be on the new Health and Health Insurance Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates when the legislature convenes next month.

Donoghue, D-Washington, said he will also chair a subcommittee that will review the possible conversion and sale of CareFirst to a for-profit company, a move he opposes.

Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, were still awaiting word Friday on what their committee assignments will be.

New tax decision won't arrive this month

A decision on one of the most controversial local issues - a tax or fee increase in response to growth - won't be made until after the Maryland General Assembly convenes Jan. 8.

Washington County Commissioners were unable to decide last week whether they will ask for a transfer tax, an excise tax or an impact fee from the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly.

Commissioners said they need more information before making a decision. In addition, three of the five commissioners just started the job several weeks ago and were still trying to get up to speed.

Commissioners plan to meet with local lawmakers in January to seek some type of legislation.

New administration looking for workers

People interested in serving in the Ehrlich-Steele administration are being asked to contact the campaign through a Web site.

The site,, accepts online applications and also provides information for volunteers.

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