O'Malley makes final arguments for gambling, same-sex marriage

In back-to-back Baltimore news conferences Monday, Gov. Martin O'Malley made his final arguments for expanding gambling and legalizing same-sex-marriage -- two of the most contentious questions on Tuesday's ballot.

The governor started with a "yes on 7" rally at the Inner Harbor, and in a twist on the John Denver classic, said: "Maryland cash, bring it back to the place where it belongs."

Supporters of expanding gambling have argued that voters should add a new casino and allow table games at all of them to entice Marylanders to gamble here rather than in surrounding states like West Virginia. They say the additional tax revenue will support more education funding and more jobs.

Opponents, who did not have any public events Monday morning, are skeptical that new revenues will go to education.

The governor said his only regret with the gambling expansion legislation is that it did not happen as one package in 2008 when the state initially approved five casinos. "I wish it had been possible," he said.

O'Malley next drove about half a mile to Federal Hill, where he stood with Sen. Ben Cardin (whose seat is also on the ballot Tuesday) and others to support same-sex marriage. "It is great to be here with our delegates who cast such courageous votes," O'Malley said.

He also unrolled a new slogan for the marriage ballot question: "We have to put the 'for' in 'forward' by voting 'for' Question 6," he said.

Opponents to same-sex marriage held a rally Monday morning, but it was closed to the press, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Marriage Alliance said. Kathy Dempsey, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Catholic Conference, which also opposes same-sex marriage, predicted the outcome on Tuesday will be "close."

"We are trying to get everyone to the polls," she said. "We are really thrilled with the volunteer turnout."