Senate still grappling with tax bill that would have big impact in Maryland

Senate Republicans were scrambling Thursday to lock down support for a major tax overhaul that could deliver President Donald J. Trump one of his first legislative victories while potentially cutting — or increasing — the taxes paid by nearly 3 million Marylanders. Republican leaders, negotiating last-minute changes to secure votes from within their own ranks, appeared to have momentum on their side early in the day as they sprinted toward a final vote. But as the evening wore on, a compromise to appease deficit hawks appeared to break down — slowing progress. (Balt. Sun)

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Four Democrats from Virginia and Maryland call on Rep. John Conyers to resign

Four local members of Congress on Thursday afternoon joined the chorus of Democrats who say Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) should leave office as the veteran lawmaker faces multiple allegations that he sexually harassed women who worked for him. “Those who commit these offenses must be held accountable, no matter how powerful they are,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said in tweets. “Congress cannot be exempt, and I believe that Congressman John Conyers should resign.” The number of Democrats who decided he should leave office grew rapidly after one of Conyers’s accusers went on television to explain her allegations and followed a call from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for Conyers to resign. The second-highest ranking House Democrat, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), followed her lead. (Wash. Post)

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Mosby to hold fundraiser hosted by leading Baltimore politicians

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who faces re-election next year, is scheduled to hold a fundraiser Thursday hosted by leading Democratic politicians from the city. The list of hosts includes the City Council president, the city comptroller, the sheriff and the majority of the City Council and the city’s delegation to the General Assembly. Rep. Elijah Cummings is listed as a guest speaker. One of the politicians listed as a host for the event is particularly notable: state Sen. Nathaniel Oaks, who is facing federal fraud, bribery and obstruction of justice charges. He has pleaded not guilty. (Balt. Sun)

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Farewell to the mayor’s press spokesman

What The Brew disclosed last week is now official: Mayor Catherine Pugh’s press secretary has left his $137,700-a-year job. Anthony Wayne McCarthy said he plans to found a new house of worship, Sanctuary Community Church, and will announce “several new endeavors” in coming weeks. Amanda Rodriguez-Smith, a $68,000-a-year executive assistant to the mayor, was given the duty of replacing the veteran political insider, starting tomorrow, while a nationwide search is underway for a new director. (Brew)

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November 30 // Uncapher wins second stint as county GOP chair, ousting incumbent Jurgena

Mark Uncapher of Bethesda was narrowly elected Tuesday night to a second stint as chair of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, a post he held from 2008 to 2013. Uncapher, who launched his campaign for the job this month, won by a 24-22 vote. He ousted the incumbent, Dick Jurgena of Darnestown, in a battle Uncapher said was about organizational shortcomings in county party. But other GOP sources characterized it as being fueled in large measure by personality conflicts, along with some divisions between older and newer factions within the committee. (Bethesda)

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Hogan: 'not sure' about Pugh's crime plan, will issue his own solutions

Gov. Larry Hogan expressed concern this week about Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's crime-fighting strategy, saying he's not sure what her plan is to reduce the record homicide rate. While Hogan told reporters Tuesday that he had "a lot of confidence" in Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, he demurred when asked about his confidence in Pugh's crime plans. "That’s a real tough question, because I’m not sure what the mayor’s plan is to fight violent crime in Baltimore City," Hogan said at an Annapolis news conference. "I don't know that there is a plan." Asked whether that concerned him, Hogan said, “It does.” (Balt. Sun)

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Hogan, Md. Democrats feud over who failed to negotiate on sick leave

Maryland’s debate over paid sick leave has devolved into a series of accusations and counteraccusations between Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Democratic legislative leaders. When Hogan unveiled his latest sick-leave proposal at a Tuesday news conference, he devoted much of his time to criticizing the legislature for the sick-leave bill it passed early this year, which the governor vetoed. Hogan described that bill as overly intrusive and burdensome to small businesses. He also accused top Democrats of spurning invitations to negotiate a compromise plan. Democratic leaders, in turn, issued a lengthy statement on Wednesday saying the governor’s claims of outreach were false. (Wash. Post)

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Cummings asks FBI director to make Suiter investigation a 'top priority'

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings pressed the director of the FBI on Wednesday to make the investigation into slain Baltimore homicide detective Sean Suiter “a top priority” and called on the federal agency to “do everything” in its power to help. Cummings and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus held a closed-door meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray to discuss concerns with an unrelated Aug. 3 report from the bureau that warned of a threat posed by “black identity extremists.” Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, said he also wanted to raise the killing, which has shocked the police department and the city. (Balt. Sun)

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