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Morning Read: Jobless Rate Decreases in Va., Stays the Same in Md., D.C.

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AM Read: Jobless Rate Decreases in Va., Stays Same in Md., D.C.

Virginia’s unemployment rate in February 2012 dropped to 5.7 percent, according to the latest statistics released by the Department of Labor.

The rate decreased slightly from 5.8 percent in January and is the lowest it’s been since January 2009.

Maryland’s unemployment remained the same this month at 6.5 percent. But over the year the state’s unemployment has steadily decreased, adding nearly 50,000 jobs to its workforce this year.

D.C.’s unemployment rate also stayed the same at 9.9 percent.

The national jobless rate is 8.3 percent—the same as it was in January 2012 but .7 percentage points lower than it was in February 2011.

* A Baltimore Sun article published today writes about the growing tension between the state and county governments as the state seeks more power while leaning harder for the counties for money.

The General Assembly proposed measures this year that would force counties to require sprinkler systems in new housing, levy a new fee on residents and make the ethics forms of county officials be controlled by the state.

VIA The Sun

"The scope of the issues in this session is bigger than I've ever seen," said Michael Sanderson, executive director of the Maryland Association of Counties, a group that advocates for the state's 23 counties and Baltimore. "I don't think that the state is giving up on its counties, but you look at the legislation this year and I see how somebody could reach that conclusion."

 

O’Malley says however, that these changes are not about the state seizing power from the counties.

"I don't see it so much as a matter of control as a matter of re-balancing," he said. "Re-balancing our shared efforts where public education is concerned, a more proper balancing of our efforts where pensions are concerned, a balancing of the way we live in harmony with this very fragile eco-system of the Chesapeake Bay."

Read more here.

* Just one day before the primary, candidates in D.C. are scrambling for last minutes votes.

The Post reports that candidates have been traversing the city, hunting for votes “on foot, in the mail and on wheels. “

D.C. Council Tom Brown—who is running to represent Ward 7 in one of the election’s most competitive races—knocked on doors over the weekend after attending three Palm Sunday church services and doing a radio interview, according to the Post.

Running for the at-large seat, Peter Shapiro was out in Eastern Market with his wife over the weekend talking to potential voters.

Sekou Biddle, also running for the at-large seat and trying to unseat Vincent Orange, was in North Portal Estates while Orange was in Georgetown donning a button that read “Vote for the Double O, Obama & Orange.”

The voter turnout is expected to be low with about 50,000 voters, the Post reports.

Candidates in Maryland were similarly trying to galvanize voters in the days leading up to the election.

They attended forums and rallies and walked through critical neighborhoods handing out campaign literature and yard signs.

All eyes are on one of the race for Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District. Rob Garagiola and John Delaney are the two top Democrats trying to snatch the nomination and unseat ten-term Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett.

According to The Sun, Garagiola went door to door in a complex of town homes handing out flyers and reminding people of his list of endorsements, which includes one from Governor O’Malley.

For John Delaney it was a family affair h as his parents helped to make phone calls to possible voters. He also knocked on doors in Montgomery Count and attended a meet-and-greet at a supporter’s home in Gaithersburg, according to The Sun.
 
Voters in Maryland and D.C. will also be picking the GOP presidential nominee on Tuesday.

On Sunday, the Baltimore Sun endorsed Romney, saying he is the candidate best able to govern as president.

"Mr. Romney's record in the public and private sectors has been one of putting pragmatism over ideology. Despite his recent insistence that he is "severely" conservative, he has shown a willingness and ability to be a problem-solver first and foremost, someone able to work with those of divergent political views to achieve common goals. That was the hallmark of his time as Massachusetts governor. Given the destructive gridlock in Washington today — caused in no small part by the unwillingness of recently elected tea party Republicans to agree to compromises that serve the broad public interest — that is what the nation needs."

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