Friday, November 20, 2015

Gov. Larry Hogan Tows Trump & Carson's Party Line on Syrian Refugees // Will HoCo's Exec Allan Kittleman Break With GOP?

A SHAME IN MARYLAND: In the week following the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, 30 Governors have said they won’t allow Syrian refugees to resettle in their states until security concerns are concerned. All but one of those governors have been a Republican.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan - who is huddling with his fellow Republican Governors at their conference in Las Vegas this week - had initially sought more time to make a “reasoned and careful decision“ but a day later followed the direction of  almost all the Republican candidates for President and called on federal authorities to “cease any additional settlements of refugees from Syria in Maryland.

Granted, Hogan - nor any of his fellow governors - don’t really have anything with whether refugees are allowed into the US or where they are resettled. Though they can make the lives of women and children fleeing a violent civil war even more miserable. Also it doesn’t seem to matter that of the 2 million refugees welcomed in the US since 1990, zero have been involved in a terrorist attack.

THE ACTUAL SCREENING PROCESS FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES: The US - which has a stringent 18-24 months process to vet and approve refugees - admitted less than 200 Syrian refugees between 2011 and 2014, and only recently quickened the pace. According to the US State Department, 39 such refugees have resettled in Maryland since 2011 - 79% of them arriving in 2015. The United States had planned to accept 10,000 refugees in 2016. In contrast, French President Francois Hollande said his country would accept 30,000, and expend 50 million euros to support refugee housing.

MARYLAND DEMOCRATS RESPOND: Hogan’s decision has drawn widespread criticism from Democrats. Rep. Cummings called Hogan’s actions “heartless” and “a betrayal of America’s values” while Rep. Van Hollen decried the Governor’s “shameful” demagoguery. Former Governor O’Malley - who was the first Democratic candidate for President to call on the Obama Administration to accept more refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war -- called on Americans to “overcome fear and remain true to [our] values.”

Local Democratic leaders have also sought to separate themselves from the Governor. Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake released the following statement (emphasis mine):
BALTIMORE MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: Baltimore, Maryland and the United States have proud traditions of welcoming refugees seeking assistance from crises around the world. There are few among us who can claim that their ancestors were indigenous to the United States. Welcoming immigrants and New Americans is a critical part of my strategy to grow Baltimore, and I hope that refugees from Syria will look to our city as a potential place to call home.
This call was echoed today by the Democratic members of the Howard County Council. On Thursday, In a letter to Governor Hogan, the four Democratic members of the Council - Mary Kay Sigaty, Calvin Ball, Jenn Terrasa and Jon Weinstein - stated (emphasis mine):
HOCO DEMOCRATIC COUNCILMEMBERS: In Howard County, we know that our diversity is our strength. Your request to end the settlement of Syrian refugees under the guise of protecting Marylanders erodes that strength by succumbing to fear—a fear that leads to overt racial profiling, which is an affront to our values. Opening our doors to those who are fleeing violence does not endanger our safety; it shows our compassion and hope.
1 in 5 of Howard County’s residents are foreign born and come from over 90 countries. None of Maryland’s current Syrian refugees are located in the County.

WAITING FOR KITTLEMAN: A spokeswoman for Governor Hogan reiterated his stance on Friday. There has been no response from Republican County Executive Allan Kittleman. Blinding following national Trump-Carson Republican herd not only threatens Hogan and Kittleman image as as kinder, gentler Republicans - but their compelling sales pitch as non-ideological, post-partisan executives. Sure, there may be no direct political risk (and as the Huffington Post wrote - hating refugees is pretty much as American as apple pie) - but calls into question their reputation. Hogan and Kittleman still need Democrats to govern - and and mean-spirited decisions could poison the well and erode trust.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Elections Today for Maryland Cities: Rockville, Salisbury, Gaithersburg, College Park, Greenbelt, Takoma Park & More!

Election Day 2015 is upon us. Nationally, Democrats and progressives have a number of competitive races to watch: Attorney General Jack Conway battling to keep the Kentucky Governor's mansion in Democratic hands; Republicans trying to fortify their one-seat State Senate majority in battleground Virginia; 3 open Pennsylvania State Supreme Court seats that could determine which party controls redistricting in 2022; Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood trying to keep his title as the last Democratic statewide official in the Deep South; and, a number of ballot measures including initiatives to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in Ohio and a referendum on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

In Maryland, some of the largest municipalities head to the polls. The vast majority of municipal elections are non-partisan. Baltimore City (elections in '16), Frederick ('17), Annapolis ('17), and Hagerstown ('16) are among the few exceptions.  Many of the contests this year feature open races, multi-candidate fields challenging incumbents, and the usual accusations of stolen yard signs. With many town and city officials going on to run for higher office, Maryland Juice runs through some races to watch.

ROCKVILLE: Incumbent Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton faces a stiff challenge from political organizer and consultant Sima Osdoby, with development and growth being among the top issues in the race. Osdoby is part of Team Rockville slate - which includes incumbent city Councilmembers Julie Palkovich Carr and Virginia Onley, former Councilmember Mark Pierzchala and first-time candidate Clark Reed. Also running are Councilmember Beryl Feinberg, Twinbrook Civic Association President Rich Gottfried, former candidate Brigitta Mullican, Planning Commission member David Hill, and businessowner Patrick Schoof. The Mayor and Council are being elected to a 4-year term for the first time.

  • Bridget Donnell Newton (i)
  • Sima Osdoby

At-large Council (4 seats)
  • Beryl Feinberg (i)
  • Richard Gottfried
  • David Hill
  • Brigitta Mullican
  • Virginia Onley(i)
  • Julia Palakovich Carr (i)
  • Mark Perirzchala
  • Clark Reed
  • Patrick Schoof

GAITHERSBURG: Current Mayor Jud Ashman - who was appointed to the post after Mayor Sidney Katz was elected to the Montgomery County Council,  longtime Councilmember Henry Marraffa and Darline Bell-Zuccarelli are running to fill the balance of Katz's term. Ashman has been endorsed by Mr. Katz. Running for the 3 at-large Council seats are City Council Vice President Ryan Spiegel, appointed Councilmember Neil Harris, African American Democratic Club President Laurie Anne-Sayles, and attorney Robert Wu.

  • Jud Ashman (i)
  • Darline Bell-Zuccarelli
  • Henry Marraffa

At-large Council (3 seats)
  • Neil Harris (i)
  • Laurie-Anne Sayles
  • Ryan Spiegel (i)
  • Robert Wu

BOWIE: 21 year city council veteran Dennis Brady is challenging Mayor G. Frederick Robinson, who has the position since 1998. A number of newcomers are challenging incumbents as Bowie residents elect councilmembers who will now serve a 4 year term. These include veteran Kelly Rowe challenging Councilmember Diane Polangin in District 2, and former President of the Bowie Chamber of Commerce Craig Muckle trying to oust Councilmember Isaac Trouth. Two open city council races have attracted Comptroller Senior Advisor Monica Best-James, former Senator Peters aide Michael Esteve, and County Executive Baker intergovernmental affairs attorney Courtney Glass among others.  Dufour Woolfley, Jimmy Marcos and Henri Gardner - all sitting Councilmembers - are vying for 2 at-large spots.

  • Dennis Brady
  • G. Frederick Robinson (i)
  • Keith Alphonso Jackson

At-large Council (2 seats)
  • Henri Gardner
  • James L. Marcos
  • Dufour Woolfley (i)

Council District 1
  • Jenmaire Dewberry
  • Michael P. Esteve
  • Pauletta G. Handy
  • Monica Best-James

Council District 2
  • Diane M. Polangin (i)
  • Kelly P. Rowe

Council District 3
  • Babatunde O. Alegbeleye
  • James Scott Hessberger, Jr.
  • Courtney D. Glass

Council District 4
  • Isaac C. Trouth (i)
  • Craig M. Muckle

COLLEGE PARK: District 4 Councilwoman Denise Mitchell and District 1 Councilman Patrick Wojahn are vying to succeed Mayor Andy Fellows, who is stepping down after three terms. Mitchell would be the first African American woman to hold the post, and Wojahn would be the City's first openly gay mayor. Incumbent Councilmembers Faziul Kabir, P.J. Brennan, Monroe Dennis, Robert Day, Stephanie Stullich and Alan Hew all face competitive races. Interesting to note that 6 out of 18 candidates running in College Park are either UMD alumni, professors or students.

  • Denise Mitchell
  • Patrick Wojahn

Council District 1 (2 seats)
  • Faziul Kabir (i)
  • Christine Nagle
  • Cory Sanders

Council District 2 (2 seats)
  • Daniel Blasberg
  • P.J. Brennan (i)
  • Vivian Conway
  • Monroe Dennis (i)

Council District 3 (2 seats)
  • Ryan Belcher
  • Robert Day (i)
  • Robert McCeney
  • John Rigg
  • Stephanie Stullich (i)

Council District 4 (2 seats)
  • Mary Cook
  • Oscar Gregory
  • Alan Hew (i)
  • Dustyn Kujawa

SALISBURY: The Eastern Shore's largest city has revamped its electoral system for 2015 -- moving elections from the spring tot he fall, synchronizing terms of all elected officials, creating five single-member districts and eliminating their primary election. Current Mayor Jim Ireton decided against running for reelection, and instead filed to run for Council. City Council President Jake Day is running opposed for Mayor. All four City Council members are running for reelection - with Jack Heath and Tim Spies contesting from the same district. In the open District 2, former candidate and Libertarian Muir Boda seems to have the inside track.

  • Jake Day

Council District 1
  • Sarah Halcott
  • April Jackson
  • Shanie Shields (i)

Council District 2
  • Keyvan Aarabi
  • Marvin Ames
  • Muir Boda
  • Justin Gregoli

Council District 3
  • Jack Heath  (i)
  • Kevin Lindsay
  • Tim Spies (i)

Council District 4
  • Jim Ireton
  • Roger Mazullo

Council District 5
  • Laura Mitchell (i)

LAUREL: Mayor Craig Moe running unopposed for a fourth term, and all five City Council incumbents are favored to win reelection. Laurel has been in the news recently over the possible closure of Laurel Regional Hospital and the local MARC train station.

  • Craig Moe (i)

At-large Council
  • Michael Leszcz (i)

Council Ward 1 (2 seats)
  • Carl Dewalt
  • Jeffrey Mills
  • Valerie Nicholas (i)
  • H. Edward Ricks (i)

Council Ward 2 (2 seats)
  • Donna Crary (i)
  • Fred Smalls (i)
  • Mansoor Zia

GREENBELT: Residents elect a 7 member at-large Council with the highest vote getter traditionally being selected as mayor. Emmett Jordan -  who became the City's first African American Mayor in 2013 - is running for reelection, along with former longtime Mayor Judith 'J' Davis and the 5 other incumbent members of the City Council.

At-large Council (7 seats)
  • Silke I. Pope (i)
  • Susan H. Stewart
  • Emmett V. Jordan (i)
  • Leta M. Mach (i)
  • Konrad E. Herling (i)
  • Rodney M. Roberts (i)
  • Edward V. J. Putens (i)
  • Judith F. Davis (i)
  • Kathleen Marie Shaw
  • Bill Orleans
  • George R. Boyce

TAKOMA PARK: Councilmember Kate Stewart and local landlord Warren Holmes are facing off to become Takoma Park's next Mayor. Outgoing Mayor Bruce Williams - who is completing his 22nd year on the City Council - was the region's first openly gay elected official. Stewart - who has been endorsed by Williams, State Senator Jamie Raskin and County Councilmember Tom Hucker - is the frontrunner. The only other contested race is in Ward 1 where former HUD Assistant Secretary Peter Kovar and two others are running to replace Seth Grimes.

  • Warren Holmes
  • Kate Stewart

Council Ward 1
  • Peter Kovar
  • Victor Thuronyi
  • Elizabeth Forbes Wallace

Council Ward 2
  • Tim Male (i)

Council Ward 3
  • Rizzy Qureshi

Council Ward 4 
  • Terry Seamens (i)

Council Ward 5
  • Jarrett Smith (i)

Council Ward 6
  • Fred Schultz (i)

ABERDEEN: Incumbent Mayor Michael Bennett who prevailed in 2011 by only 26 votes, is fending of challenges from the City's first elected Mayor Ruth Elliott, Republican activist and perennial candidate Patrick McGrady, and former teacher and Delegate candidate Marla Posey-Moss. The City Council race includes incumbents Sandra Landbeck and Stephen Smith, and a 3 person slate aligned with McGrady. Mayor Bennett has endorsed both current Councilmembers as well as Appeals Board member Melvin Tyalor and  teacher Tim Lindecamp.

  • Michael Bennett (i)
  • Ruth Elliott
  • Patrick McGrady 
  • Marla Posey-Moss

Council (4 seats)
  • Carol Bruce
  • Sean DeBonis
  • Daniel Forte
  • Jason Kolligs
  • Barbara Kreamer
  • Sandra Landbeck (i)
  • Tim Lindecamp
  • Stephen Smith  (i)
  • Melvin Taylor

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Round-Up of New Endorsements in Maryland's Open-Seat US Senate & House Races: Less Than Six Months Until Primary Day

As we pass the sixth month mark until Maryland's April 26 primary, more endorsements were announced this week in the state's open seat US Senate race and in the open 4th and 8th District Congressional races. We previously published a round-up of all the endorsements in those races, but more have begun pouring in as the races take shape. Maryland Juice's Matt Verghese has a full round-up of updates below:

FIREFIGHTERS ENDORSE VAN HOLLEN FOR SENATE: The Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland - the state association for the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) locals, which represents 10,000 current and retired professional fire fighters, unanimously endorsed Chris Van Hollen for United States Senate. Local affiliates in Baltimore, Prince George's and Montgomery Counties have also endorsed Van Hollen.
PFFM President Mike Rund: Congressman Van Hollen has shown that public safety is and will continue to be a top priority for him. The money that has been secured through federal grants wouldn’t have been possible without Chris’s help. It is for these reasons and many more that that we endorse Chris Van Hollen for United States Senate.
This continues the split in local labor endorsements between Van Hollen and Congresswoman Edwards.

OFFICE EMPLOYEE UNION ENDORSES RASKIN FOR CONGRESS: Office and Professional Employees International Local 2 (OPEIU Local 2), a member of the AFL-CIO, became the second labor union to endorse Senator Jamie Raskin in the 8th Congressional District race. OPEIU Local 2 represents 7,000 workers in the region.
OPEIU Local 2 President Dan Dyer: OPEIU Local 2 is excited to endorse Jamie Raskin, an unwavering supporter of Maryland's working families and the proven progressive leader we need in the 8th District. Senator Raskin’s exemplary record of success in Annapolis shows that he is willing to stare down the powerful interests and stand up for the rights and values of working men and women. Our union is proud to stand with Jamie so he can go to Washington and take on the big-money special interests that are trying to destroy the right to organize and to engage in collective bargaining. We know we have a true partner in Jamie Raskin and we are excited to do everything we can to support his campaign for Congress.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM SUPER-PAC ENDORSES RASKIN: Raskin was also endorsed by Mayday, a pro-campaign finance reform super PAC formed by Democratic Presidential hopeful and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, and House Judiciary Committee Vice Chair Delegate Kathleen Dumais (D-15).

EMILY'S LIST COMES OUT FOR MATTHEWS: Kathleen Matthews earned the coveted support of EMILY's List. The well respected and well funded organization that backs pro-choice female candidates, could be one of the most important endorsements in the CD8. The organization's support often brings fundraising assistance, visibility and potentially staff and advertising support.
EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock: Kathleen Matthews is a lifelong advocate for women and families and a dynamic leader who will fight for progressive change in Congress. As a news anchor at WJLA-TV, she put a spotlight on issues affecting women and families – jobs, education, health care, and equality in the workplace – and as an executive, she spearheaded efforts to advance women's careers and women-owned businesses around the world. Maryland’s Eighth District has never elected a Democratic woman to Congress, and the EMILY’s List community is thrilled to endorse Kathleen Matthews: a pro-choice leader fighting for Planned Parenthood and deeply committed to helping Maryland working families get a fair shot.
EMILY's List previously endorsed Donna Edwards in the US Senate Race.

SIERRA CLUB ENDORSES PENA-MELYNK & RASKIN FOR CONGRESS: The Sierra Club announced its endorsement of Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk in Congressional District 4. The Maryland chapter previously announced its support of Jamie Raskin. No endorsement quote was provided, but the chapter's endorsement release is excerpted below:
Sierra Club: Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk has been a staunch supporter of environmental legislation and has worked well with the environmental community in the State Legislature where she represents State District 21. She has a lifetime score of 94% as reported by MD-LCV and she has proved herself to be a fierce fighter for our issues. We know she will be a great representative for District 4.

Donna Edwards is Running Out of Cash for US Senate Race // Will Campaign Depend on Outside Spending to Keep It Viable?

The headline of Josh Hicks’ article in the Washington Post on October 25 - Donna Edwards ahead in polls but far behind Van Hollen in fundraising - accurately summed up the emerging consensus among observers of Maryland’s US Senate race. Congresswoman Edwards' support with the state's sizable African American community gives her an early lead in the race, but it remains to be seen whether she has the resources to wage a winning campaign with less than 6 months to go until the April 26 Democratic primary.

A deep dive into the Donna Edwards for Senate FEC reports suggests, and some Edwards supporters admit, that Rep. Edwards could soon be out of money - and time.

While the $638,000 Rep. Edwards raised in Q3 may seem respectable (though once again far short of Van Hollen, and other Senate contenders across the country), her campaign managed to spend more than she raised and ended with a paltry $369,000 in the bank (with almost $20,000 in debt). Her third quarter “burn rate” was 107.9%

This gives Edwards less than a tenth of the resources Van Hollen currently has at his disposal, and puts her behind and a handful of CD4 and CD8 candidates. Without airing a single TV spot or sending a piece of persuasive mail - where did all the money go?

STAFFING: $311,460 (45% of Q3 Spending)

Staff Salary/Stipends $186,259
Payroll Taxes/Fees $105,188
Health Insurance $10,530
Reimbursements $9,483

The bulk of Edwards spending came from staffing up her campaign. In the first half of September, Edwards had 24 people receiving either a salary or stipend - more than the Van Hollen payroll during the same period. Edwards report also does not include paychecks for the second half of September. This is another $60,000 expenditure against the campaign’s cash on hand.

While it is impossible to run a statewide campaign without people on the ground - payroll becomes a monthly cost that could become increasingly burdensome over time as more organizers are brought on board closer to Election Day. If cash becomes tight, we may see the Edwards camp decide to take a page out of the Jeb! Bush playbook and reduce salaries and downsize, or try and outsource field operations to an externally run paid canvass.

FUNDRAISING: $160,819 (25% of Q3 Spending)

Direct Mail $82,499
Fundraising Consultants $64,000
Credit Card Fees $12,772
Postage $8,726
Fundraising Expenses* $1,548
* Doesn’t include other line-itemed costs for catering, facility rental, travel and lodging

It costs money to raise money, and it is costing Rep. Edwards at least $0.27 per dollar raised. That is not insignificant for a candidate who has historically struggled with fundraising. These expenses will likely increase as her campaign tries to raise even more money, especially from more out-of-state donors.

In addition to Jeremiah Pope, Amie Kershner and Ann Lewis - Edwards added Greg Kalik as one of her fundraising consultants in Q3.

CONSULTANTS AND SERVICES: $105,583 (15% of Q3 Spending)

Polling $53,000
Research $20,554
Compliance $16,047
Campaign Consulting $6,250
Mail Consultant $5,314
Legal $4,418

At the time of the filing deadline, the Edwards campaign had yet to pay some of these expenses. At least $15,749 of unpaid bills is noted on her FEC reports including $8,066 to Evans & Katz for Compliance, $5,820 to her mail vendor Mission Control Inc, and $1,863 to the firm Perkins Coie.

While it is certainly possible - though unlikely - that the Edwards camp won’t spend any additional money on polling or opposition research, compliance and legal both are ongoing costs. A substantive persuasive direct mail program to a statewide universe, will likely cost six figures.

DIGITAL: $35,612 (5% of Q3 Spending)

Website Services $16,289
Online Advertising $15,257
Software $4,066

There was a sharp drop (64% reduction) in digital spending by the Edwards camp in Q3, as they pared back their online program. Rising Tide Interactive - the campaign's digital consultant - performs a number of services including list acquisition, email programs, fundraising and persuasion, so it is difficult to determine exactly what was specifically cut and whether this level of spending is sustainable for the duration of the campaign.

The campaign ended with $3,950 in unpaid bills ($1,250 to Blue State Digital and $2,700 to NGP VAN for website related services).

OVERHEAD: $57,729 (8% of Q3 Spending)

Office Rent $17,638
Catering/Facility Rental $13,425
Travel $10,354
Printing $5,495
Office Supplies $5,444
Phones/Internet $2,783
Lodging $2,590

Nearly 45% of these costs seem associated with fundraising events. Including these would raise the campaign’s cost to $0.31 per dollar raised.

Other overhead expenditures are related to Edwards’ headquarters in Prince George’s. These costs will undoubtedly increase as field offices are opened in different regions of the state. At least one more is open now.

DONNA EDWARDS NEEDS FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES : It is hard to make a case that the Edwards campaign is financially viable and equipped to compete as we approach the new year. Not only is Edwards starting the home stretch with effectively less money than her FEC report suggests, but her ongoing monthly expenses is a growing drain on her limited resources.

And the Edwards campaign hasn't spent a dime on paid media. Spending in the expensive and inefficient DC media market looks completely out of the question, while even a small ad buy in Baltimore seems cost prohibitive. Try to budget in a statewide mail program, more online advertising and a radio buy - and one must wonder how the cash strapped Edwards campaign will get any real exposure to voters especially those outside Prince George's County. Van Hollen, on the other hand, is already on the air in the Baltimore-media market and will likely run several thousand points worth of advertising before 2016.

What Rep. Edwards desperately needs is a campaign bailout - some outside group to prop up her candidacy. This realization may have dawned early on Edwards when she rejected a proposal to keep outside money outof the race. Aside from Emily's List the the Edwards campaign likely is relying on Labor for significant outside spending - making the recent decision of the the AFL-CIO to sit on sidelines  a significant blow.

But how big does Edwards' bailout have to be to keep her viable? And who is willing to part with millions of dollars to defeat progressive Van Hollen, when Democrats may have the opportunity to put the first woman in the Oval Office, and see a competitive path to a Senate majority through strong female candidates in GOP-held Illinois (Tammy Duckworth), New Hampshire (Maggie Hassan) and Pennsylvania (Kathleen McGinty)? Plus, how will anti-superPAC pro-campaign finance reofrm progressive Maryland voters feel about this?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Baltimore City Councilmember Brandon Scott Hints at Citywide Run // Mayor's Race Getting Crowded: Will He Or Won't He?

Even as Nick Mosby launched his campaign for Mayor on Sunday, Baltimore City Councilmember Brandon Scott wrote an open letter hinting at his own aspirations for the top job (emphasis mine):
Dear Baltimore, 
Helping to make our city a better place is all that I have ever wanted to do with my life. In fact, I believe that serving Baltimore is the reason that I exist. 
Your outpouring of support and my expectations of what I believe this city can be, demand that I take my service to the next level. I have heard you and I sincerely appreciate you. 
Baltimore is at its most critical point and needs true leadership that can bring the entire city together, unifying our strength and our voice. The support you have given me, and the belief that I can do, and should do, more shows that without a doubt, you believe that I can lead Baltimore to being the best Baltimore we can be
With your continued support and active participation, I am confident in that belief. Together, we can bring this remarkable city back to its best. In the coming weeks I look forward to hearing from you all as I share my plan for leadership that will invest in, inspire and innovate Baltimore. 
Councilman Brandon M. Scott
Scott, who turned 30 last year, was the city's second youngest-ever elected Councilman (the record belongs to current Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake) in 2011. Prior to his time on the Council, Scott was community liaison to Northeast Baltimore for the City Council President and then the Mayor.

Despite being a time when a lot of voters want a change - which could favor fresh faces over old hands - an increasingly crowded field could lead to an unexpected dynamic come Election Day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Senator Jamie Raskin Wins Backing of Machinists Union // First Labor Endorsement in Maryland 8th Congressional District Race

Sen. Jamie Raskin picked up the endorsement of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the first union to formally weigh in on the Democratic primary to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen. IAM represents nearly 5,000 workers in Maryland, and over 600,000 active and retired members across North America.

In a statement released by the Raskin campaign, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger said:
This seat is an essential one for labor and Raskin has shown extraordinary leadership in the Maryland General Assembly and that he will take on the tough fights and build the coalitions needed to win big victories for working families. As a distinguished constitutional law professor and civil rights lawyer, Jamie has always fought hard for the rights of unions and working people. As a State Senator, he has been a staunch defender of the right to organize and collectively bargain and he’s been a passionate opponent of union-busting.”

The labor movement needs effective progressive leaders we can count on to do the right thing at a time of big-money corporate politics and right-wing assaults on the living standards of working people. We are proud to stand with Jamie and will do whatever we can with our brothers and sisters in the Labor movement to see that he wins this crucial Democratic primary election on April 26, 2016
IAM earlier this year endorsed Donna Edwards for the U.S. Senate, and Hillary Clinton for President.

IAM is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, who has not endorsed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Nick Mosby Announcement This Sunday // Fresh Face Jumping Into Crowded Field for Baltimore Mayor: Who Else Is Running?

Ending months of speculation, Baltimore City Councilmember Nick Mosby appears ready to jump into the race to become the next Mayor. As reported by The Baltimore Sun, Mosby emailed supporters this morning inviting them to an important announcement taking place Sunday afternoon where they will hear from "the best choice for a better Baltimore." Below is a hard copy invite that has been circulating for a number of weeks:

Mosby has been an active and vocal member of the City Council in his first term, helping pass 'Ban the Box' legislation, being only 1 of 2 Councilmembers to vote against confirming Kevin Davis as police chief, and constantly pressing the flesh in neighborhoods across the City. He and his wife, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, gained national attention following the protests and unrest set off by the death of Freddie Gray.

Mosby is a client of well-respected fundraiser Colleen Martin-Lauer. Martin-Lauer has also worked for Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Governor O'Malley (among many, many others). 

With 175 days until early voting starts in Maryland's April Democratic primary, Mosby jumps into a crowded field filled with a number of well-known candidates many of who have previously run for the City's top job. A list of announced and potential candidates is listed below. The winner of the Democratic primary is the heavy favorite to win in November.

  • Richard Black, accountant
  • Mack Clifton, minister and author
  • Sheila Dixon, former Mayor
  • Mike Maraziti, President of Fells Point Main Street Business Association
  • Catherine Pugh, Senate Majority Leader
  • Carl Stokes, Baltimore City Councilman
  • Calvin Young, former Baltimore City Youth Commissioner

On The Fence
  • Jill Carter, Delegate
  • Nick Mosby, Baltimore City Councilmember
  • Brandon Scott, Baltimore City Councilmember
  • David Warnock, venture capitalist and foundation head
  • Jack Young, Baltimore City Council President

  • Ben Jealous, former NAACP President  
  • Joan Pratt, Baltimore City Comptroller
  • Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, current Mayor
  • Wes Moore, nationally renowned author and TV host/producer