- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 1, 2005


The Montgomery County Council voted yesterday to back state plans to build the long-proposed Intercounty Connector.

The 18-mile highway would run through the northern section of the county.

In several votes, council members agreed to support a proposal to run a six-lane road along a route that has long been on regional planning maps in the Burtonsville area. The state already owns much of the right of way on that alignment.

Council member Nancy Floreen, at-large Democrat, called yesterday’s vote “a no-brainer.”

Council member Phil Andrews, District 3 Democrat, does not support the estimated $2 billion highway project. He released a list yesterday of campaign contributions made by the developer of a residential and business project planned for near the highway.

Mr. Andrews said the developer spread donations across different limited-liability companies to circumvent state limits on campaign donations by individuals.

The recipients included Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, both Republicans, and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, a Democrat.

The activity is not illegal, but Mr. Andrews said Mr. Ehrlich should not benefit from what he said was a loophole in state law.

Mr. Ehrlich’s spokesman, Henry P. Fawell, called Mr. Andrews’ criticism “a lame attempt to distract from the fact he is on the losing end of the … argument.”

Mr. Ehrlich has said he wants work to begin on the road by fall 2006.

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