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Morning Read: O'Malley to Endorse Garagiola

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to formally endorse state Senate Majority leader Rob Garagiola for Maryland’s 6th congressional district today, according to Politico.

    Garagiola is locked in an unexpectedly tough primary fight against financier John Delaney. Former President Bill Clinton has already endorsed Delaney. 

    Recent reports show that Delaney out raised Garagiola by three-to-one this year.

    The Democrats are hoping to unseat ten-term incumbent Republican Roscoe Bartlett.

    O’Malley will cast his vote in Maryland’s primary election today at 1 p.m. at the Public Training Facility, 3500 W. Northern Parkway in Baltimore.

    Through extended early voting, Maryland residents can vote on any one of six days. Early voting for the 2012 Primary Election began on March 24th and ends on March 29th. To find your early voting center, visit www.mdearlyvote.com.

    * Gov. O’Malley is one of the country’s biggest proponents of President Obama’s health care law.

    His state is one of just ten states that have enacted a state-run “exchange," or competitive marketplace, which parts of Obamacare established so people who do not have employer-sponsored insurance can purchase government-subsidized plans.

    But on Wednesday, O’Malley said he was unsure how Maryland’s program would be affected if the Supreme Court rules the federal health care law unconstitutional.

    VIA The Washington Post:

    “I don’t know. We’ll deal with that, and we’ll figure out other ways to move forward,” O’Malley told reporters Wednesday.

    State lawmakers passed legislation this session that would continue the process of setting up the state exchange program, but some, according to The Post, question whether the state should rush into enacting such a plan when the Supreme Court is still deciding on its viability.

    While O’Malley is one of the law's biggest supporters, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is one of its most vocal critics.

    Cuccinelli , who is running for governor of Virginia, was one of the first people to file a lawsuit against the federal reform. He’s been at the center of anti-Obamacare rallies in D.C. this week.

    The Washington Times posted an article Wednesday saying that the Supreme Court health care hearings has put the spotlight on Cuccinelli, allowing him to sprint ahead of his gubernatorial race opponent, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. 

    The article juxtaposes the sights of Cuccinelli rallying against the health care law in front of hundreds of people in the Mall Saturday, with Bolling similarly denouncing the law in Richmond in the dining room of a small business.

    VIA The Times:

    “When you’re a Republican attorney general and there’s a Democratic president in the White House, the environment is tailor-made for Virginia’s attorney general to be one of the most visible points of opposition to that Democratic president,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington. “Cuccinelli has owned health care from day one in Virginia. Whatever the Supreme Court decides, Cuccinelli does not lose.”

    * A new poll shows that Marylanders are evenly split on the issue of same-sex marriages.

    A referendum on Gov. O’Malley’s bill to legalize same-sex marriages is expected to be on the ballot this fall. Conducted by the independent firm OpinionWorks, the poll found that 43 percent of registered voters would vote to make same sex marriage illegal, while 40 percent would vote to make it legal, according to The Post.

    Read more here…

    * Barely-still-running GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke at Georgetown University last night to talk about his “big ideas”

    The speech came a day after he cut nearly a third of his campaign staff to save money and reorganize his campaign around courting undecided convention delegates.

    The Associated Press reports that Gingrich spoke about his plan to privatize Social Security and touched on topics such as secularism, judicial power and domestic energy production.