Saturday, December 20, 2014

House of Delegates Committee Rosters, MD Congressmen Split on Cromnibus & Business Leaders Launch Purple Line Effort

Friends, this may be one of the final few "Juiceblenders" I publish before being sworn into the General Assembly in January. After that, I plan to turn over curation of this blog to a handful of new Juicers. This would be an all-volunteer project and a potentially time-consuming labor of love, but if you're a progressive Maryland politico who might be interested in joining the team, shoot me a note at david---(AT)---marylandjuice.com, and I can explain what this'll entail. In the meantime, I have a few interesting updates for politicos:

JUICE #1: HOUSE SPEAKER MICHAEL BUSCH ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS // PLUS: MD JUICE CONSTRUCTS FULL LISTS OF NEW ROSTERS - Below we publish a press release from the Speaker's office highlighting which committees the 58 incoming Freshman Delegates will serve on. Note that the press release only indicates where the new members are headed and where incumbents who are changing committees are headed. As a result, below the Speaker's press release, I've constructed lists of each committee's full membership that includes the incumbents staying put alongside the new committee members.
PRESS RELEASE

SPEAKER BUSCH ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

ANNAPOLIS, MD – House Speaker Michael E. Busch today announced committee assignments for six standing committees in the House of Delegates.  In the upcoming session, Appropriations will have 26 members, Health & Government Operations and Economic Matters each will have 24, and Environmental Matters, Ways & Means and Judiciary will have 22 members.

The committees are balanced to reflect the demographic, geographic and party makeup of the legislature.

The following Delegates and Delegates-elect were appointed today.  Delegates not included on this list will maintain their current committee assignments.

APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
Delegate Aruna Miller (District 15)
Delegate Benjamin S. Barnes (District 21)
Delegate-elect Brooke Lierman (District 46)
Delegate-elect Patrick Young (District 44B)
Delegate-elect Shelly Hettleman (District 11)
Delegate-elect Mark Chang (District 32)
Delegate-elect Marc Korman (District 16)
Delegate-elect Michael Jackson (District 27B)
Delegate-elect Carol Krimm (District 3A)
Delegate Andrew Serafini (Delegate 2A)
Delegate-elect Jeff Ghrist (District 36)
Delegate-elect Michael McKay (District 1C)
Delegate-elect Mary Beth Carozza (District 38C)
Delegate-elect David Vogt (District 4)
Delegate-elect Robin Grammer (District 6)

ECONOMIC MATTERS COMMITTEE
Delegate Luke Clippinger (District 46)
Delegate Kris Valderamma (District 26)
Delegate C. William Frick (District 16)
Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher (District 18)
Delegate Talmadge Branch (District 45)
Delegate C.T. Wilson (District 26)
Delegate-elect Mary Ann Lisanti (District 34A)
Delegate-elect Ned Carey (District 31A)
Delegate-elect Benjamin Brooks (District 10)
Delegate Mark Fisher (District 27C)
Delegate Steve Arentz (District 36)
Delegate-elect Christopher Adams (District 37B)
Delegate-elect Seth Howard (District 30B)
Delegate-elect Johnny Mautz (District 37B)

ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
Delegate Kathy Szeliga (Delegate 7)
Delegate-elect Tony Knotts (Delegate 26)
Delegate-elect Clarence Lam (District 12)
Delegate-elect Cory McCray (District 45)
Delegate-elect Carl Anderton (District 38B)
Delegate-elect Andrew Cassilly (District 35B )
Delegate-elect Robert Flanagan (District 9B)

HEALTH & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE
Delegate Herb McMillan (District 30A)
Delegate-elect Antonio Hayes (District 40)
Delegate-elect Angela Angel (District 25)
Delegate-elect Erek Barron (District 24)
Delegate-elect Terri Hill (District 12)
Delegate-elect Sheree Sample-Hughes (37A)
Delegate-elect Karen Young (District 3A)
Delegate-elect Matt Morgan (District 29A)
Delegate-elect Sid Saab (District 33)
Delegate-elect Christian Miele (District 8)
Delegate-elect Chris West (District 42B)

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
Delegate-elect Will Campos (District 47B)
Delegate-elect Will Smith (District 20)
Delegate-elect David Moon (District 20)
Delegate-elect Marice Morales (District 19)
Delegate-elect Vanessa Atterbeary (District 13)
Delegate-elect Charles Sydnor (District 44B)
Delegate-elect Jay Jalisi (District 10)
Delegate-elect Deb Rey (District 29B)
Delegate-elect Brett Wilson (District 2B)
Delegate-elect Trent Kittleman (District 9A)
Delegate-elect William Folden (District 3B)

WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE
Delegate Mary Washington (District 43)
Delegate-elect Andrew Platt (District 17)
Delegate-elect Eric Ebersole (District 12)
Delegate-elect Darryl Barnes (District 25)
Delegate-elect Diana Fennell (District 15)
Delegate-elect Jimmy Tarlau (District 47A)
Delegate-elect Edith Patterson (District 26)
Delegate-elect Bob Long (District 6)
Delegate-elect Ric Metzgar (District 6)
Delegate-elect Jason Buckel (District 1B)
Delegate-elect Meagan Simonaire (District 31B)
Delegate-elect Haven Shoemaker (District 5)
Delegate-elect Kevin Hornberger (District 35A)
Delegate-elect Teresa Reilly (District 35B)

###

The lists above do not tell you what the full memberships of the new committees will look like, so I went ahead and tried to compile this information. If you see any errors, please email me at david---(AT)---marylandjuice.com.
    JUDICIARY
    1. Joe Vallario (D)
    2. Kathleen Dumais (D)
    3. Curt Anderson (D
    4. Jill Carter (D)
    5. Frank Conaway, Jr. (D)
    6. Sandy Rosenberg (D)
    7. Geraldine Valentino-Smith (D)
    8. Will Campos (D)
    9. Will Smith (D)
    10. David Moon (D)
    11. Marice Morales (D)
    12. Vanessa Atterbeary (D)
    13. Charles Sydnor (D)
    14. Jay Jalisi (D)
    15. Deb Rey (R)
    16. Brett Wilson (R)
    17. Trent Kittleman (R)
    18. William Folden (R)
    19. Glen Glass (R)
    20. John Cluster, Jr. (R)
    21. Susan McComas (R)
    22. Neil Parrott (R)

    WAYS AND MEANS
    1. Sheila Hixson (D)
    2. Frank Turner (D)
    3. Carolyn Howard (D)
    4. Anne Kaiser (D)
    5. Eric Luedtke (D)
    6. Jay Walker (D)
    7. Alonzo Washington (D)
    8. Mary Washington (D)
    9. Andrew Platt (D)
    10. Eric Ebersole (D)
    11. Darryl Barnes (D)
    12. Diana Fennell (D)
    13. Jimmy Tarlau (D)
    14. Edith Patterson (D)
    15. Kathy Afzali (R)
    16. Bob Long (R)
    17. Ric Metzgar (R)
    18. Jason Buckel (R)
    19. Meagan Simonaire (R)
    20. Haven Shoemaker (R)
    21. Kevin Hornberger (R)
    22. Teresa Reilly (R)

    APPROPRIATIONS
    1. Maggie McIntosh (D)
    2. James Proctor (D)
    3. Tawanna Gaines (D)
    4. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D)
    5. Keith Haynes (D)
    6. Adrienne Jones (D)
    7. Barbara Robinson (D)
    8. Ted Sophocleus (D)
    9. Craig Zucker (D)
    10. Aruna Miller (D)
    11. Ben Barnes (D)
    12. Brooke Lierman (D)
    13. Pat Young (D)
    14. Shelly Hettleman (D)
    15. Mark Chang (D)
    16. Marc Korman (D)
    17. Michael Jackson (D)
    18. Carol Krimm (D)
    19. Andrew Serafini (R)
    20. Jeff Ghrist (R)
    21. Michael McKay (R)
    22. Mary Beth Carozza (R)
    23. David Vogt (R)
    24. Robin Grammer (R)
    25. Wendell Beitzel (R)
    26. Tony McConkey (R)

    ECONOMIC MATTERS

    1. Dereck Davis (D)
    2. Charles Barkley (D)
    3. Cheryl Glenn (D)
    4. Sally Jameson (D)
    5. Ben Kramer (D)
    6. Michael Vaughn (D)
    7. Luke Clippinger (D)
    8. Kris Valderamma (D)
    9. Bill Frick (D)
    10. Jeff Waldstreicher (D)
    11. Talmadge Branch (D)
    12. C.T. Wilson (D)
    13. Mary Ann Lisanti (D)
    14. Ned Carey (D)
    15. Ben Brooks (D)
    16. Susan Aumann (R)
    17. Richard Impallaria (R)
    18. Warren Miller (R)
    19. Kelly Schulz (R)
    20. Mark Fisher (R)
    21. Steve Arentz (R)
    22. Christopher Adams (R)
    23. Seth Howard (R)
    24. Johnny Mautz (R)

    ENVIRONMENT & TRANSPORTATION
    1. Kumar Barve (D)
    2. Pam Beidle (D)
    3. Al Carr (D)
    4. David Fraser-Hidalgo (D)
    5. Barbara Frush (D)
    6. Jim Gilchrist (D)
    7. Anne Healey (D)
    8. Marvin Holmes (D)
    9. Stephen Lafferty (D)
    10. Shane Robinson (D)
    11. Dana Stein (D)
    12. Tony Knotts (D)
    13. Clarence Lam (D)
    14. Cory McCray (D)
    15. Jay Jacobs (R)
    16. Tony O'Donnell (R)
    17. Charles Otto (R)
    18. Cathy Vitale (R)
    19. Kathy Szeliga (R)
    20. Carl Anderton (R)
    21. Andrew Cassilly (R)
    22. Bob Flanagan (R)

    HEALTH & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
    1. Pete Hammen (D)
    2. Shane Pendergrass (D)
    3. Eric Bromwell (D)
    4. Bonnie Cullison (D)
    5. Ariana Kelly (D)
    6. Dan Morhaim (D)
    7. Nathaniel Oaks (D)
    8. Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D)
    9. Kirill Reznik (D)
    10. Antonio Hayes (D)
    11. Angela Angel (D)
    12. Erek Barron (D)
    13. Terri Hill (D)
    14. Sheree Sample-Hughes (D)
    15. Karen Young (D)
    16. Herb McMillan (R)
    17. Nicholaus Kipke (R)
    18. Susan Krebs (R)
    19. Pat McDonough (R)
    20. Justin Ready (R)
    21. Matt Morgan (R)
    22. Sid Saab (R)
    23. Christian Miele (R)
    24. Chris West (R)

JUICE #2: MARYLAND CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION SPLITS OVER CROMNIBUS BUDGET VOTE // WALL STREET WELFARE VS. PASSING A FEDERAL BUDGET? - Last week, members of Congress came dazzlingly close to not passing a budget. But in contrast to past instances of budget showdowns, it was liberal members of Congress (spearheaded by Senator Elizabeth Warren and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) joined by conservative budget hawks, who were raising a ruckus. The Boston Globe provided a summary of what went down (excerpt below):
BOSTON GLOBE: Last week in Washington was supposed to go like this: The House and Senate would each introduce a $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government running through September; Senator Ted Cruz would briefly seize the spotlight with his diva routine; then both houses would pass their respective bills and go home....

Evidently, no one consulted Elizabeth Warren. You’d think by now they would have learned. Warren objected to two provisions slipped into the bill at the last moment. One increased by tenfold the amount of money rich donors can give to party committees. The other unwound a part of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms forbidding banks from gambling on risky swaps using government-guaranteed accounts. Appallingly, as Mother Jones revealed, Citigroup lobbyists wrote the language gutting this protection, a change that will directly benefit the bank.

Warren’s election to the Senate coincided with a change in the way the institution operates that she has masterfully exploited. In the days before crises and shutdowns were standard, senators exerted influence through legislation. But Congress has all but stopped legislating. The current one has passed the fewest bills in 60 years. Today, the senators most effective at influencing the national debate are not Old Bulls like Ted Kennedy but younger figures like Cruz and Warren whose ability to communicate clear, powerful ideas resonates with the public....
Interestingly, Maryland's Congressional Delegation split in half over this vote, with 50% of Maryland House Representative's supporting the budget, and 50% opposing it. The overall vote in the U.S. House was 219-206, and here's how Maryland members voted:

YES ON CROMINBUS
  1. Rep. John Delaney (D)
  2. Rep. Andy Harris (R)
  3. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D)
  4. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D)
NO ON CROMNIBUS
  1. Rep. Elijah Cummings
  2. Rep. Donna Edwards
  3. Rep. John Sarbanes
  4. Rep. Chris Van Hollen
If you want to hear more about the reason for the split on this vote, you can listen to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's floor speech decrying giving more power to big banks like Citigroup:



JUICE #3: MARYLAND BUSINESS LEADERS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE PURPLE LINE // READ THEIR LETTER TO GOVERNOR-ELECT LARRY HOGAN - With Governor-elect Larry Hogan's stance on the Purple Line coming down soon, Maryland business leaders have launched an effort to make the case for the project. Indeed, maintaining a predictable business environment, creating thousands of new jobs, and bringing millions in investment to Maryland are all goals pegged to keeping the light rail project on track. Below we publish a letter recently sent by business leaders to Mr. Hogan:
Dear Governor-Elect Hogan:

We are the Economic Partners of the Purple Line, a coalition of developers and business groups working in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. We are writing to you in support of the Purple Line light rail project. Many of us have been Purple Line advocates for over the last two decades, and we would like to meet with you to discuss this project’s overwhelming economic benefits to our businesses, our local communities, and the State of Maryland.

After many years of hard work and planning, the Purple Line is almost ready for construction, which is scheduled to begin in 2015. Cancelling or delaying this project at this late stage would have drastic consequences, including the loss of almost $1 billion in federal funding and approximately $170 million in state funds that have already been spent on engineering and right-of-way acquisition.

The federal funds come from the Federal Transit Administration’s “New Starts” program, and thus cannot be used for anything other than the Purple Line light rail project. If the project is delayed or canceled, these federal funds may instead fund another transit project in a different state. In fact, Congress recently approved a budget deal immediately appropriating $100 million for the Purple Line, which the state would have to repay if the project does not go forward. Furthermore, because of the “lockbox” amendment, for which many of us advocated, the Purple Line funds already programmed in the State’s CTP can only be used for transportation.

This transit project connecting Maryland’s first-ring suburbs will generate economic activity that far exceeds the initial investment of $2.45 billion in federal, state, and private dollars. It is projected to carry over 70,000 riders a day along its 16 mile alignment, and will connect Metro’s Red, Green, and Orange lines as well as MARC and local bus services. Essentially, it will function as an expansion of the Metro system at much less cost. Some of the economic benefits this transit enhancement will generate include the following:
  • According to a 2014 study by the American Public Transportation Association, roughly every $1 billion spent on transit generates $3.7 billion in economic activity. Between 2003 and 2013, the expansion of Dallas’ light rail system generated $7.4 billion in additional activity, in return for the $4.7 billion investment—this represents a ROI of 157%. 
  • Increasingly, residents want to locate or live near transit, and this preference is reflected in higher rental rates and land values. Attracting and retaining these younger, professional residents who want to live in urbanizing, transit-oriented neighborhoods is essential to growing our local economy. 
  • The Purple Line will bring jobs to Maryland by making this area more competitive in the increasingly challenging market for federal agencies and private employers. For example, Prince George’s and Fairfax Counties are currently vying for the new FBI headquarters, which would bring 11,000 federal jobs to Maryland. 
  • The Purple Line will be delivered as a public-private partnership, leveraging between $500-900 million in private funding for the project. Because the project will be financed, designed, built, operated, and maintained privately, this arrangement will allow for cost savings as a result of multiple efficiencies in labor management, materials, and scheduling. The fact that four multinational consortia, each consisting of several major construction and engineering firms, are bidding on the Purple Line is a strong  indication of the project’s strength and viability. 
  • The Purple Line will better connect the researchers and students at the University of Maryland with the employers in Silver Spring and Bethesda— two of the state’s major job centers.
As you know, success in real estate and business requires long-term strategic thinking. Accordingly, many of our companies have made significant investments and business decisions in reliance on the expectation that the Purple Line would be built after so many years of intensive, detailed study. Thousands of hours have been spent scrutinizing and debating a variety of transit options and routes, and the plan that is now moving forward has been thoroughly vetted by community groups, developers, businesses, and local, state, and federal agencies. In addition, the four finalists bidding on the Purple Line have spent tens of millions of dollars preparing their proposals in response to the Maryland Transit Administration’s RFP process.

We are eager to work with you to ensure the project is delivered cost-effectively, and that the opportunity for transit-oriented development around the stations is maximized. However, halting this project at the eleventh hour would further undermine business confidence in Maryland—and we know this is exactly the opposite of your intention.
In Northern Virginia, business leaders successfully rallied to help secure the funding and construction of the Silver Line, which will bring enormous economic benefits to Tysons Corner and Reston. The existing road network inside Maryland’s Capital Beltway is essentially “built out,” so even if we wished to expand it significantly we would be unable to do so—which means that our innermost suburbs cannot continue to grow or compete with Virginia unless we expand our transit capacity. We are one state, and the continued prosperity and economic vitality of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties benefit all of Maryland.

We sincerely congratulate you on your victory, and share your goals of improving the state’s business climate, growing our economy, and putting Marylanders to work. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss how the Purple Line can help achieve these goals.

Sincerely,

Thomas S. Bozzuto, Chairman and CEO
The Bozzuto Group

Rob Bindeman, President
Landmark Realty, Inc.

Chris Bruch, President and COO
The Donohoe Companies

Desiree A. Callender, President
Prince George’s County Association of REALTORS

Oliver Carr III, CEO
Carr Properties

John F. Collich, Senior Vice President
B.F. Saul Company

Robert O. Eisinger, Managing Member
ProMark Real Estate Services LLC

Thomas M. Farasy, President
Purple Rail Alliance, Inc.

Doug Firstenberg, Principal
StonebridgeCarras

Greg Ford, President
Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS

Georgette Godwin, President and CEO
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Evan Goldman, Vice President
Federal Realty Investment Trust

David Harrington, President and CEO
Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce

Lori Graf, Chief Executive Officer
Maryland Building Industry Association

Charles A. Irish, Jr., President
VIKA Maryland, LLC

Ginanne Italiano, President and CEO
The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce

Rich Jordan, Senior Vice President
The JBG Companies

David Kitchens, Principal
Cooper Carry

Bruce H. Lee, President
Lee Development Group

Sally T. Modjeska, Executive Director
NAIOP Maryland/DC Chapter

Charles K. Nulsen III, President
Washington Property Company

Richard Parsons, Vice Chair
Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance

Jane Redicker, President and CEO
Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce

Thomas L. Regnell, President and CEO
The Chevy Chase Land Company

Stacy Spann, Executive Director
The Housing Opportunities Commission

Bob Youngentob, President
EYA

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

JUICE: Speaker Mike Busch Announces New Maryland House Leadership, Gansler Heads to Firm & Hogan for Public Finance?

Below Maryland Juice provides some post-election updates regarding leadership shuffles in Annapolis and more:

JUICE #1: MEET THE NEW DEMOCRATIC LEADERS IN THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES - Due to retirements and election losses, the House of Delegates was bound to go through a reshuffling of leadership and committee assignments. Speaker Mike Busch just sent out the following press release announcing some of the changes:
SPEAKER BUSCH ANNOUNCES
NEW COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP APPOINTMENTS
ANNAPOLIS, MD – House Speaker Michael E. Busch today announced his first round of leadership appointments following the 2014 general election.   Speaker Busch describes the group collectively as “the right additions to the existing House leadership team to help move us forward into the coming term.”    He adds, “We are fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals to help lead the House.”   Speaker Busch plans to announce additional leadership appointments and committee moves in the coming weeks.

Delegate Maggie McIntosh (Baltimore City, D43) will become Chairman of the Appropriations Committee.   Delegate McIntosh has chaired the Environmental Matters Committee since 2003, but served on the Appropriations Committee early on in her legislative career.  Said Speaker Busch, “Maggie McIntosh is one of the most well respected leaders in Annapolis and I have total confidence in her ability to manage the myriad of subjects that fall within the jurisdiction of the committee, most importantly legislative review and oversight of the State’s annual budget.  She is the right person to take the lead on budget issues as we continue to provide critical services to the citizens of our State and to use our resources to foster a growing economy.”  

Delegate Kumar Barve (Montgomery County, D17) will become the Chairman of the newly designated Environment & Transportation Committee (formerly Environmental Matters).   Moving forward, transportation policy issues will be consolidated within the Committee’s subject matter jurisdiction.   Delegate Barve has served as Majority Leader since 2003 and prior to that served on the House Economic Matters Committee under then-Chairman Busch.  He currently sits on the Ways and Means Committee.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Barve has demonstrated time and time again his command of complex issues and he is a natural choice of someone to guide State environment and transportation policy.”  

Delegate Adrienne Jones (Baltimore County, D10) will remain Speaker Pro Tem and will now oversee State higher education policy as Chairman of the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee in the Appropriations Committee.   Delegate Jones was Busch’s first appointment as a newly elected Speaker in 2003.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Jones is one of the most versatile leaders in the House.  She is a consensus builder and an extremely hard worker.  With job growth and economic development at the forefront of our agenda in the coming term, I can think of no better person to lead on policy and budget issues related to our system of higher education.”   Delegate Jones will also continue to serve as the Chairman of the Capital Budget Subcommittee.

Having served as an instrumental member of the Ways and Means Committee since 2003 and as the Chair of the Education Subcommittee since 2007, Delegate Anne R. Kaiser (Montgomery County, D14) has been appointed as the Majority Leader.  Delegate Kaiser will also maintain her roles on the Ways and Means Committee. “Anne Kaiser has worked tirelessly for the House Democratic Caucus and demonstrated leadership capabilities on crucial legislative priorities,” said Speaker Busch.

Assuming the role of Vice Chairman of the Environment and Transportation Committee will be Delegate Dana Stein (Baltimore County, D11).   Stein was first elected to the House in 2006 and serves on the Environmental Matters Committee.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Stein is a thoughtful legislator whose considerable knowledge and even temperament make him an ideal choice for Vice Chairman.”

Delegate Sally Jameson (Charles County, D28) will become Vice Chairman of the Economic Matters Committee.   Delegate Jameson is a long-time member of the Committee (since 2003) and is known for her work on energy issues.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Jameson brings a business background and a pragmatic approach to the important workforce and economic development issues handled in the Economic Matters Committee.”

Delegate Marvin Holmes (Prince George’s County, D23B) will become Chairman of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.    Delegate Holmes has been a member of the House since 2003 and has served in a number of leadership roles.   “Delegate Holmes is a model public servant and a person of great integrity.   He is the clear choice to Chair this important committee,” said Speaker Busch.

Delegate James Proctor (Prince Georges and Charles Counties, D27A), Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, will remain in that role and also assume the House Chairmanship of the Spending Affordability Committee.     The Committee plays a critical role in the budgeting process as it annually establishes State spending guidelines based on current and projected economic conditions.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Proctor’s commitment to public service and his budgetary experience is unparalleled and I look forward to his continued leadership in this new role.”

# # # 

JUICE #2: ATTORNEY GENERAL DOUG GANSLER TO BECOME PARTNER AT DC LAW FIRM - Doug Gansler will wait out the next four years until the 2018 cycle as a partner at a downtown law firm. He announced the move in a press release yesterday (excerpt below):
Attorney General Doug Gansler Announces Post-Term Plans
Law firm partnership fits with AG’s extensive litigation experience

Baltimore, MD (Nov. 18, 2014) – Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that he will be joining the law firm, BuckleySandler LLP, when he completes his second term as Maryland Attorney General on January 12, 2015. AG Gansler will step into BuckleySandler as a Partner in its Washington, DC office where he will play a leading role in the firm’s government enforcement and litigation practices. The former President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) will also assist firm clients in complying with and managing increased regulatory expectations on issues ranging from consumer protection to cybersecurity and privacy. 

“I am extremely proud of the great things we’ve been able to accomplish during my eight years as Maryland’s Attorney General,” said Attorney General Gansler. “I will be leaving this office satisfied that our efforts made a positive impact on Maryland and across the country.”

“Joining BuckleySandler gives me the opportunity to practice law with longtime friends at one of the nation’s preeminent litigation and enforcement law firms. I am looking forward to putting those years of litigation experience to work on a regular basis.”

JUICE #3: CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORMERS SEE OPPORTUNITY IN HOGAN WIN - This week Common Cause MD and Progressive MD convened campaign finance reformers for a panel discussion in Silver Spring, MD. Speaking toward the opportunities to tackle the problem of money-in-politics were gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur, Congressman John Sarbanes, Montgomery Councilmember Phil Andrews, and Delegate Eric Luedtke. The packed house heard interesting commentary indicating reformers are hopeful that incoming Governor Larry Hogan (who is the first candidate to win a Governor's race with public financing) may embrace their cause:


Sunday, November 16, 2014

POST-HOGAN JUICE: Sen. Pinsky & Dems Decry Comcast Jab, Middle-Class Woes, Change MD, Progressive Caucus & More!

Below Maryland Juice provides a quick round-up of election analyses and discussion of life after Larry Hogan's victory in the gubernatorial race:

JUICE #1: SENATOR PAUL PINSKY & FRESHMEN HOUSE DEMOCRATS DECRY "WACKO" LABEL AND DEFEND EFFORT TO END CORPORATE TAX DODGING - Immediately after Larry Hogan's win in the Governor's race, Maryland Reporter wrote that Comcast lobbyist Sean Looney called incoming Freshmen Democrats "anti-business" and said Democrats who want to end corporate tax-dodging were "far-left wackos." The comments struck a nerve with numerous lawmakers and Looney has since apologized, but not before two response pieces from Democrats were published.

State Senator Paul Pinsky of Prince George's County drafted a strong op-ed in The Baltimore Sun noting that ending corporate tax loopholes through a practice called "combined reporting" is anything but wacky (excerpt below):
PAUL PINSKY (VIA BALTIMORE SUN): At a Chamber of Commerce luncheon talk right after Larry Hogan's victory, Comcast lobbyist Sean Looney derisively dismissed ongoing legislative efforts in Annapolis to pass a corporate tax loophole-plugging reform known as "combined reporting."

"The far left wackos in the Democratic Party think it's a great idea," Mr. Looney told his high-powered business audience. Nearly a majority of Maryland's Senate — apparently the "far left wackos" decried by Mr. Looney — want to stop huge corporations like Comcast from charging their business expenses to their Maryland operations while shifting their profits to subsidiaries or companies incorporated in low- or no-tax states....

It seems this tax scheme is popular among the big boys doing business in our state. Our Maryland comptroller's office reports that many multi-state, multinational companies pay less in corporate tax than you and I pay in personal income tax. This tax avoidance garners these big corporations a major competitive advantage over Maryland's small businesses — and costs our state over $100 million in lost revenue annually.

We must have a good many such wackos in America today. Over half our states with corporate income taxes — 24 states in all — already have combined-reporting laws on the books. And these combined-reporting states include Texas, Utah and a host of other hotbeds of far-left wacko-ism....
Meanwhile, incoming Freshman Delegate Cory McCray of Baltimore organized a sign-on letter from 17 Democratic Delegates-elect (myself included) responding to Comcast's commentary. The response was published at Maryland Reporter (excerpt below):
17 FRESHMEN DELEGATES (VIA MARYLAND REPORTER): It was with a mixture of amusement and frustration that we awoke days after our new election to the General Assembly to read that you, the lobbyist paid by Comcast to work with us, had attempted to publicly insult us and demean our ideas....

We will not use this time to debate the substance of your grievance, which seemed to be that combined reporting is a radical idea, even though numerous states (many with Republican legislatures) have passed similar legislation in recent years. We look forward to discussing the value of combined reporting, as well as any benefit Comcast receives from government programs and services, with you and your client....

Shelly Hettleman, Terri Hill, Clarence Lam, Vanessa Atterbeary, Marc Korman, Andrew Platt, Marice Morales, David Moon, William Smith, Daryl Barnes, Antonio Hayes, Charles Sydnor, Patrick Young, Cory McCray, Brooke Lierman, Diana Fennell, Jimmy Tarlau

JUICE #2: NATIONAL PUNDITS HIGHLIGHT WAGE STAGNATION AS OBSTACLE TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY & DEMOCRATS' ELECTORAL FORTUNES - Soon after Larry Hogan won Maryland's race for Governor, Maryland Juice concluded that the biggest failure of state Democrats' was in missing the populist tide sweeping through the electorate. I then penned a piece calling on Maryland Democrats to prioritize measures to provide economic security for middle and working class residents, instead of joining the GOP and Big Business call for trickle-down (aka voodoo) economic measures like corporate & upper bracket tax cuts.

PAID SICK LEAVES WINS WHERE GOP BEAT DEMOCRATS: There is now a loud clamor of agreement from national pundits and economic analysts that Democrats have got to craft a strong economic populist message and start tackling our historic wealth gap. See a few examples below, starting with a case study from Massachusetts, where Republicans won control of the Governor's mansion -- at the same time that 60% of voters in the state approved a sick leave requirement at the ballot:
DAVE JAMIESON (VIA HUFFINGTON POST):  Massachusetts on Tuesday became the third state in the nation to guarantee paid sick days for workers, with voters decisively approving a sick-leave ballot initiative, 60 percent to 40 percent....

Although more employers voluntarily provide paid sick leave than they used to, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that about 39 percent of the U.S. private-sector workforce has no paid sick time. Workers without it are disproportionately employed in lower-wage jobs, such as food service and retail, where companies tend to keep a tighter grip on payroll hours....

As with raising the minimum wage, Americans in general seem to back the idea of placing a sick-leave requirement upon businesses, making such proposals good fodder for voter referendums. In a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, 74 percent of respondents said they would support such a mandate, while just 18 percent said they would oppose it. That backing included majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents....

WAGE STAGNATION HURT DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL FORTUNES: The Democrats' recent electoral drubbing has pundits pointing to working class economic justice issues as the greatest challenge for the Party in coming years:
DAVID LEONHARDT (VIA NY TIMES): The Democratic Party’s short-term plan to help the middle class just isn’t very clear.... The fact remains that incomes for most Americans aren’t growing very fast and haven’t been for years. Median inflation-adjusted income last year was still $2,100 lower than when President Obama took office in 2009 — and $3,600 lower than when President George W. Bush took office in 2001.... We’re living through the great wage slowdown of the 21st century, and nothing presents a larger threat to the Democrats’ electoral fortunes than that slowdown. The Democratic Party fashions itself as the defender of working families.... But if Democrats can’t deliver rising living standards, many voters aren’t going to remain loyal. They’ll skip voting or give a chance to Republicans who offer an alternative, even a vague alternative....

HILLARY CLINTON NEEDS A REAL RESPONSE TO MIDDLE-CLASS WOES: The place where we're seeing this debate become increasingly relevant is in the upcoming Democratic Primary for the 2016 Presidential Election. Hillary Clinton, who is notoriously close to the party's Wall Street and industry backers, may have to sing a different tune to secure the White House:
ALBERT HUNT (VIA NY TIMES): It won't be sufficient to run on competence, breadth of experience.... [Hillary Clinton] needs an innovative, or even bold approach... to dealing with middle-class economic stagnation and income inequality....

LOW-INCOME VOTERS CHOSE GOP OR DIDN'T VOTE: Indeed, data from the November General Election shows that these bits of advice are not just speculation, they're backed by evidence:
JONATHAN MARTIN (VIA NY TIMES): Sifting through returns showing that lower-income voters either supported Republicans or did not vote, liberals argue that without a more robust message about economic fairness, the party will continue to suffer among working-class voters, particularly in the South and Midwest....

“Too many Democrats are too close to Wall Street,” said Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. “Too many Democrats support trade agreements that outsource jobs, and too many Democrats are too willing to cut Social Security — and that’s why we lose elections.”

Mr. Brown said he had talked to over 60 Ohio Democratic leaders and activists since they were trounced in every statewide election. “The message I heard from all of them was: The Democratic Party should fight for the little guy,” he said....
Progressives pointed to three Democrats who ran as populists as models for success: Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Senator-elect Gary Peters of Michigan.

Mr. Merkley, who focused on the loss of well-paying jobs, the cost of college tuition and opposition to trade deals that he said sent jobs overseas, won by 19 percentage points. While Democrats nationally lost whites without a college degree by 30 percentage points, Mr. Merkley narrowly carried that bloc....

Many liberals believe that the disconnect between the politics of the party’s grass roots and the message coming from Democratic administrations has left blue-collar voters unenthused. “We do not have to struggle for an agenda that connects with working-class voters,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut. “We have an agenda that does that, but it does not get vocalized at the top....”

S&P ANALYSIS SAYS WEALTH GAP IS HURTING ECONOMIC RECOVERY: And while some Democrats continue to insist that economic populism is bad for business, the evidence actually points to the opposite conclusion. Indeed, trickle-down economics has never worked, and that fact has not changed today. In fact, S&P analysts seem to believe that caving to the millionaire & corporate tax cut crowd is hurting America's economic recovery and dragging down state revenues. Where is the courage?
JOSH BOAK (VIA WASHINGTON POST): The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has been matched by a slowdown in state tax revenue, according to a report being released Monday by Standard & Poor’s.

Even as income has accelerated for the affluent, it has barely kept pace with inflation for most other people. That trend can mean a double whammy for states: The wealthy often manage to shield much of their income from taxes. And they tend to spend less of it than others do, thereby limiting sales tax revenue.

As the growth of tax revenue has slowed, states have faced tensions over whether to raise taxes or cut spending to balance their budgets as required by law. “Rising income inequality is not just a social issue,” said Gabriel Petek, the S&P credit analyst who wrote the report. “It presents a very significant set of challenges for the policymakers.”

Stagnant pay for most people has compounded the pressure on states to preserve funding for education, highways and social programs such as Medicaid. The investments in education and infrastructure also have fueled economic growth. Yet they’re at risk without a strong flow of tax revenue....
S&P’s analysis builds on a previous report this year in which it said the widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has slowed the U.S. economy’s recovery from the Great Recession. Because consumer spending fuels about 70 percent of the economy, weak pay growth typically slows economic growth....

U.S. VOTERS BACK INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING AT THE NOVEMBER BALLOT:  Policymakers would be short-sighted to think that Republican wins at the ballot reflect a desire to gut infrastructure spending. In fact, several states (Maryland included) had infrastructure spending measures on the ballot this November, and the message is loud and clear:
FAWN JOHNSON (VIA NATIONAL JOURNAL):  ...both Republican and Democratic lawmakers agree that dedicating money to infrastructure is one of the best ways to boost the economy....

Last week's midterm elections showed that the willingness to set aside money for transportation extends to the voting public. In Hawaii, California, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin, and Maryland, voters approved ballot initiatives to secure funding for water resources, roads, and transit. In Texas, 81 percent of voters approved a measure to dedicate half of the state's oil and gas revenues to a state highway fund, as long as that money isn't going to tolled roads. Maryland and Wisconsin voters approved "lockbox" initiatives to make it harder to take money out of the state's transportation coffers. Rhode Island voters gave a thumbs-up to bond initiatives for infrastructure. California voters, facing one of the most severe droughts on record, gave the OK to more than $7 billion in general obligation bonds to shore up the state's water supply.
"The outcomes of these elections demonstrate that Americans value well-maintained infrastructure and are willing to make the investment," said American Society of Civil Engineers President Robert Stevens.

U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATS RESPOND TO ELECTION LOSSES BY GIVING ELIZABETH WARREN A LEADERSHIP SPOT: At the national level, U.S. Senate Democratic leaders have responded to these challenges by giving economic populists a larger say in the Democratic Caucus. They recently elevated liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren to a leadership post. Will Maryland Democrats follow suit?
AMANDA TERKEL & RYAN GRIMM (VIA HUFFINGTON POST):  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gained a leadership position in the Senate Democratic caucus Thursday, giving the prominent progressive senator a key role in shaping the party's policy priorities.

Warren's new role, which was created specifically for her, will be strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, helping to craft the party's policy positions and priorities. She will also serve as a liaison to progressive groups to ensure they have a voice in leadership meetings and discussions, according to a source familiar with the role....

JUICE #3: CHANGE MARYLAND? // PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND & ACTIVISTS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO PRIORITIZE ECONOMIC JUSTICE ISSUES - It seems clear that Maryland progressives are getting fired up after the Democrats' recent electoral losses. The message moving forward is obviously that its time for the Party to start focusing on poor and working class Marylanders. Maryland Juice recently received the following event invitation from Progressive Maryland announcing a new campaign to move this message forward (details below and at www.newrulesmd.tk):
LARRY STAFFORD (VIA PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND): Yesterday I came on board as the Deputy Director for Progressive Maryland. After years of progressive activism that has included work with Project Vote, the New Organizing Institute, and with Heather Mizeur's campaign for Governor, I'm looking to bring my skills and experiences to build on the successes of this great organization. With last Tuesday's results in mind, Progressive Maryland is issuing a call to action for all progressives in the state to begin organizing and mobilizing for this upcoming legislative session. On November 18th at 7pm, we will be hosting an event to kick-off our upcoming organizing efforts.
It has become clear. The status quo in Maryland politics is no longer acceptable. Many of our elected leaders have become disconnected from the voters that they have been elected to serve. Maryland's political leadership has found its opportunities to be progressive on important social issues, but has failed to speak to the economic plight facing poor and working families in Maryland.

Conservatives win when we are not boldly and clearly articulating our message of economic justice and fairness. They repeat dishonest messages that are designed to arouse the frustrations of the neglected communities of our State. They speak boldly of the problems that face poor and working families, but offer no real solutions that will create good paying jobs that uplift our communities....

When: November 18th at 7pm
Where:  4371 Parliament Pl Lanham, MD

JUICE #4: A PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS IN MARYLAND - As pundits continue to ponder Maryland's recent election results, one thing is clear: the Democratic Caucus is now much more progressive. Barry Rascovar recently discussed the developments at Maryland Reporter (excerpt below):
BARRY RASCOVAR (VIA MARYLAND REPORTER): Hardly noticed in the Nov. 4 election that saw Anthony Brown wiped out in an embarrassing avalanche of rejection was the obliteration of the Democratic Party’s moderate-conservative wing in Annapolis. Gone is Southern Maryland Sen. Roy Dyson. Gone is half-century veteran Baltimore County Sen. Norman Stone (retirement). Gone is a Howard County fixture, Sen. Jim Robey (retirement).

Also out of luck, conservative Western Maryland Del. Kevin Kelly, moderate Western Maryland Del. John Donoghue, conservative Baltimore County Dels. Mike Weir, Jimmy Malone (retirement), Steve DeBoy (retirement) and Sonny Minnick (retirement), moderate-conservative Del. Emmett Burns of Baltimore County (retirement), Eastern Shore Committee Chairman Del. Norm Conway, Cecil County Del. David Randolph, Southern Maryland Dels. John Bohanan and Johnny Wood (retirement), Harford County Del. Mary-Dulany James, and Frederick County Del. Galen Clagett (retirement).

The Democratic Party’s fulcrum in the State House now is dangerously weighted to the strident left. The party’s center-right legislators have shrunk to a handful.

It’s tough even coming up with who you’d place in that category in the House of Delegates once you get beyond House Speaker Mike Busch.  You can count less than 10 moderates still left in the Senate, including President Mike Miller — Charles County’s Mac Middleton, Frederick’s Ron Young, Anne Arundel’s John Astle and Ed DeGrange, Ocean City’s Jim Mathias, Baltimore County’s Jim Brochin and Kathy Klausmeier....
Rascovar calls this development "dangerous," but that seems like centrist spin. Believe it or not, many progressives (myself included) are outcome-oriented individuals and prioritize moving good policy over partisan politics. And while the GOP believes tax cuts will help ordinary Marylanders, progressives believe there are other was to help the middle-class. But the key commonality is that (if you take the GOP at their word), both the far right and far left are trying to help ordinary Marylanders. That may not be true of powered and institutional interests, and it presents an interesting opportunity to get things done in the future. Unfortunately, much of the pundit class is posing this question to liberal Democrats, but I think it is just as fair to pose this question to incoming GOP Governor Larry Hogan. Is he willing to play ball?


JUICE #5: MARYLAND JUICE & RED MARYLAND'S BRIAN GRIFFITHS DISCUSS THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS AND LIFE AFTER LARRY HOGAN: Maryland Juice (aka David Moon) recently appeared on WNAV radio with our frenemy Brian Griffiths at Red Maryland. We talked about the recent election results and what the future of Maryland politics might look like with a Republican Governor. You can listen to the three-part radio interview below:







Saturday, November 8, 2014

JUICE - A Way Forward for MD Democrats: Brian Frosh vs. Anthony Brown and Lessons from Connecticut & Minnesota

A WAY FORWARD FOR MARYLAND DEMOCRATS: Politicos have been chattering about Anthony Brown's loss this week, and everyone seems to have their own theory about how this happened. Was it a a reaction to partisan gridlock in Congress? Was it a canned campaign by the Democratic nominee? Was it a revolt against taxes? Was Maryland just part of the national anti-Obama wave? We'll never know for sure, but there are clear lessons for the future looking at examples both from outside and inside Maryland. Indeed, it seems clear that neither Democrats nor Republicans can take for granted the message from the electorate. To be sure, my side missed the populist tide sweeping through the electorate, but Republicans would be equally foolish to see this as a mandate for conservatism or austerity measures. Below, I make the case for Democrats embracing economic populism (as a contrast to an anti-tax agenda) in the coming years. After all, many of the Assembly Democrats who are closer to Hogan than Brown on tax policy lost this year anyway.

IT'S STILL ABOUT THE MIDDLE & WORKING CLASS: I previously wrote that my key takeaway from Maryland Democrats' disastrous election night was that the state party needed to step up its game on economic populism -- especially in a way that counters the GOP's trickle-down economic talking points (eg: the idea that tax cuts for millionaires and corporations will magically create jobs and wealth for ordinary Marylanders). But Larry Hogan's simple anti-tax message clearly had appeal with Maryland voters, because our Democratic Party simply didn't even try to present a progressive or populist vision on economic issues. And when we did, it wasn't really responsive to anyone except the wealthy and industry interests (who are often one and the same). For example, in the last few years Maryland Democrats tried to disarm the Hogan-style message by passing an estate tax cut on inheritances up to $5.9 million and reducing the state's millionaire's tax. I don't begrudge Maryland Democrats for trying to play the anti-tax game, but I think the ineffectiveness of the strategy in fending off Hogan warrants discussion (without even getting into the policy and revenue merits of these cuts).

In an era of a much-talked-about, historic wealth gap, how many ordinary Marylanders will actually benefit from these measures? Are those who declined to vote really in the dark about growing income and wealth inequality, or did they simply think Democrats weren't planning on doing anything different than in the past? The question is not, are you better off today than you were four years ago -- it is, will you be better off four years in the future than you are today if we are in charge. If you have children at the pre-K age, you might've been able to answer yes to this question -- but if you don't....

To be sure, trying to jump on Larry Hogan's broad anti-tax bandwagon didn't work this year. But I think this had less to do with taxes per se, and more to do with a failure by the party to passionately address the policy sins we all know exist that have led to the spiraling gap between the rich and the poor (both in Maryland and nationally). As Roy Meyers, a professor of political science at UMBC, noted in Maryland Reporter (excerpt below):
ROY MEYERS (UMBC PROFESSOR): "...repeatedly promising 'no new taxes' in this campaign was insufficient protection from the narrative Republicans, and Hogan in particular, have been building over recent years. Much of that narrative was false or misleading, yet many voters bought it. Though Maryland is still one of the richest and most productive states in the nation, the Republicans convinced many that the economy was worse than most other states’. Though even after the tax increases of recent years, when Maryland still has below-average tax rates per individual incomes, many voters came to believe that the tax burden promoted flight of high-income taxpayers (there’s no convincing proof of this)."
Indeed, many Maryland politicos (Democrats included) over the last few years have become cheerleaders for the idea that we're losing millionaires (we're not) and that we're losing residents to Virginia (we're not). In fact, The Washington Business Journal recently reported that effective corporate tax rates are often lower in Maryland than Virginia. So rather than fight trickle-down economics in Maryland, we've largely embraced it as a policy solution for unquantifiable problems like "poor business reputation" or millionaires maybe/potentially/hypothetically leaving the state (some day).

But where I believe Democrats have faltered is on prioritizing relief for the middle-class and working class. During the gubernatorial race, there was always a lingering choice about whether to try and mobilize the base, or whether to try and convert voters on the other side. In many ways, these choices were mutually exclusive. Karl Rove famously chose the former tactic (to great success) in multiple elections. But in some states, it appears that the populist message was the winning one -- and it's not always a partisan message. Larry Hogan ran a populist campaign running against taxes. But in other states, the populist campaign manifested as sick leave and economic justice.

A LESSON FROM OTHER BLUE STATES: CONNECTICUT & MINNESOTA - Many politicos have been looking at Maryland in the same light as elections across the nation, where Republicans won tight races. But a better apples-to-apples comparison would be comparing Maryland to Connecticut (another traditionally Blue state with a tight Governor's race). Luke Brinker at Salon.com just did exactly that, and I think he's got some good points (excerpt below):
LUKE BRINKER (VIA SALON.COM): Amid this week’s disastrous Democratic drubbing, Connecticut emerged as one of the few bright spots for Democrats. Facing a formidable challenge from wealthy investor Tom Foley, whom he defeated by less than one percentage point in 2010, Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy secured another term, fending off Foley 51 to 48 percent....

But Malloy also boasted something many Democrats who lost Tuesday night did not — an actual track record of economic populist accomplishments. Malloy could point to specific policies he’d signed into law — most notably, mandatory paid sick leave and the nation’s first-ever state-level minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour — that benefited Connecticut families but would be jeopardized if Foley, who opposed those policies, won the governorship....

A late-stage Malloy ad — aired as public polling indicated a tied race — put the issues at the very top. “On Tuesday, you future is on the ballot,” the ad’s narrator began. “What kind of state will Connecticut be? Tom Foley’s made his plans clear. No paid sick days for workers. No to raising the minimum wage....”

Lindsay Farrell, Connecticut director of the Working Families Party, told Salon that the issues resonated with a broad swath of voters.... But, Farrell noted, Malloy signed both paid sick leave and the minimum wage increase into law despite encountering opposition among more moderate Democrats in the state legislature, particularly on the former.... “Things that give people economic security and tackle economic inequality in this country are popular with voters,” [Farrell] added.

Results elsewhere bear this out. Bloomberg Politics’ Dave Weigel observes that while Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia barely survived after running a “radical centrist” campaign about the importance of slashing the national debt, Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken cruised to a 10-point victory over his GOP opponent after a remarkably economic populist campaign. Earlier this year, most commentators — including this one — would have told you that of the two senators, Warner was almost certain to win by a larger margin....
And so the push for paid sick leave in Maryland begins (again)....


A LESSON FROM WITHIN MARYLAND: BRIAN FROSH VS. ANTHONY BROWN - Indeed, it would be foolish of Maryland Democrats and Republicans to extrapolate lessons for the future only from this year's Governor's race. After all, my suspicion is that Hogan's win is more of a mandate for populism than it is for conservatism. Within Maryland results, comparing the vote totals of Anthony Brown and Democratic nominee for Attorney General Brian Frosh is very instructive. After all, the Frosh race makes it hard to see the rejection of Anthony Brown as a rejection of Democrats (or liberal political ideology more broadly). I think Frosh's race and multiple other races in the state suggest that the message, tactics, and tone of the Brown campaign were more decisive than party label or liberal vs. conservative.

Indeed, Brian Frosh is a clear liberal politician from Montgomery County (representing much-maligned Bethesda, no less). He's also been the target of true hatred and ire from the NRA and gun owners, many of whom blame him for shepherding Maryland's tough new gun regulations through the State Senate. As a Senator, Frosh has also not been afraid to raise taxes, and voted for bills like transgender nondiscrimination that the rightwing base has revolted against. Frosh also opposed the estate tax cut and tax cuts for Lockheed Martin. He's not exactly a Larry Hogan clone, and would be the perfect foil if we were indeed witnessing a wave of anger toward Democrats. But Frosh won big, and that counters the narrative that voters were looking to blindly oust Democrats or liberals. Indeed, in a realignment cycle like we saw this year, several underfunded Republicans defeated better-known, better resourced candidates.

PROGRESSIVE SENATOR FROSH WON WHERE BROWN LOST: Looking at the voting totals below, you can see that progressive lawmaker Brian Frosh beat his Republican opponent by almost a quarter-of-a-million votes, and he did so by winning in places that Anthony Brown failed to carry: Baltimore County, Charles County and Howard County. Frosh even nearly tied his Republican opponent in Kent County.


Brian Frosh Democrat Jeffrey Pritzker Republican
Allegany 5707 12056
Anne Arundel 71548 91789
Baltimore City 108198 17471
Baltimore 132912 108605
Calvert 11330 18009
Caroline 2708 5491
Carroll 16927 40940
Cecil 8065 16127
Charles 26045 17579
Dorchester 3979 5355
Frederick 30799 41319
Garrett 1823 6194
Harford 30289 52859
Howard 54534 41781
Kent 3394 3537
Montgomery 163238 72205
Prince George's 178809 24346
Queen Anne's 5836 11670
St. Mary's 10283 18779
Somerset 2292 3452
Talbot 5496 8045
Washington 11584 23005
Wicomico 9604 13904
Worcester 6430 11031
Totals 901,830 665,549


PROGRESSIVE SENATOR FROSH OUTPOLLED BROWN IN EVERY MARYLAND COUNTY: Even more interesting is that Brian Frosh got more votes than Anthony Brown in every single county in Maryland, netting over 115,000 more votes for Frosh than Brown. Looking at the results below is a depressing vision of what could've been:


Brian Frosh Democrat Anthony Brown Democrat
Allegany 5707 4539
Anne Arundel 71548 55918
Baltimore City 108198 102219
Baltimore 132912 100121
Calvert 11330 9355
Caroline 2708 1900
Carroll 16927 10181
Cecil 8065 5396
Charles 26045 23936
Dorchester 3979 3067
Frederick 30799 27041
Garrett 1823 1588
Harford 30289 19404
Howard 54534 48019
Kent 3394 2568
Montgomery 163238 151593
Prince George's 178809 177993
Queen Anne's 5836 3715
St. Mary's 10283 8030
Somerset 2292 1979
Talbot 5496 4285
Washington 11584 9480
Wicomico 9604 8572
Worcester 6430 5427
Totals 901,830 786,326


OTHER COUNTER-INTUITIVE TEA LEAVES FROM MARYLAND ELECTIONS: Before you start extrapolating that there was something special about Brian Frosh (not that he isn't special), I would point out that rabid anti-tax, pro-business deregulation Republican Blaine Young lost his bid for Frederick County Executive this year to Democrat Jan Gardner -- even as Republicans swept 5 of the 7 County Council seats, and Brown lost big in the county. Moreover, Democrat John Delaney won re-election not just through Montgomery County -- he carried the Frederick portion of his district too. Rep. Elijah Cummings carried the Baltimore and Howard County portions of his district; Rep. John Sarbanes won the Baltimore and Howard County portions of his district, and nearly tied in Anne Arundel; Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger won in the Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, and Howard County portions of his district; and so on....

On the other hand, you could listen to the advice of Comcast's Maryland lobbyist Sean Looney, who apparently wants to preserve corporate tax loopholes, thinks the Assembly's incoming freshman are anti-business and a "headache," and believes some of Maryland's Democratic incumbents are "wackos." Stay classy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

AFTERMATH - So Larry Hogan's Our Governor: What Happened Down-Ballot, What's Next & What About the Purple Line?

Below Maryland Juice provides a few thoughts on last night's wild (and disappointing) election returns:

JUICE #1: WHAT HAPPENED IN MARYLAND'S DOWN-BALLOT RACES? - I have to admit, I wasn't quite expecting Larry Hogan to have a shot at winning the Governor's race (known unforced errors notwithstanding). However, I fully expected that several races down-ballot would be hotly contested in the General Election. After all, Maryland's rapidly growing Democratic electorate is geographically concentrated with some tentacles into counties like Howard & Frederick that are adjacent to Blue hotspots. When political demographics shift, wave years for political parties (like we saw this year, in 2010, and during the Newt Gingrich years) can often eliminate incumbent lawmakers who sit in districts that have become home to the opposing party. This year in Maryland was (unfortunately) no different.
The short summary is this: In the House of Delegates, Democrats are facing a net loss of 7 seats, and in the Senate, Republicans will gain 2 seats. Democrats will still hold a solid majority in both chambers. Blogger David Lublin over at The Seventh State framed the consequences accurately: "The Democrats who lost in the General Assembly are almost all moderate or conservative Democrats.... The Democrats will be more liberal and the Republicans more conservative." Heading into the 2015 legislative session, Democrats will hold 91 seats in the House of Delegates, while Republicans will hold 50. But of the 91 Democratic lawmakers, 26% will represent Montgomery County, 25% will represent Prince George's County, and roughly 18% will represent Baltimore City. That means nearly 69% of the Democratic House Caucus will come from the "Big 3" jurisdictions.

In the State Senate, Democrats will hold 33 seats, with the Republicans holding 14. 24% of the Democrats will be from Montgomery County, 24% will represent Prince George's, and 15% will represent Baltimore City. In the upper chamber, 63% of Democrats will represent the "Big 3" jurisdictions.
Below I've noted some of the noteworthy down-ballot election results from around the state. Though it was a bad night for Democrats, some of the races below are Democratic pick-ups:

STATE SENATE CHANGES (GOP NETS 2 SEATS):
  • D6 (-1 DEM OPEN SEAT): Johnny Ray Salling (GOP) beats Johnny Olszewski Jr (DEM)
  • D29 (-1 DEM): Steve Waugh (GOP) beats incumbent Roy Dyson (DEM)
  • D34 (GOP HOLD OPEN SEAT): Bob Cassilly (GOP) beats Mary-Dulany James (DEM)

HOUSE OF DELEGATES CHANGES (GOP NETS 7 SEATS):
  • D1B (-1 DEM): Jason Buckel (GOP) beats incumbent Kevin Kelly (DEM)
  • D2B (-1 DEM): Brett Wilson (GOP) beats incumbent John Donoghue (DEM)
  • D3A (+1 DEM IN 2 OPEN SEATS): Carol Krimm & Karen Young (ALL DEM) beat Paul Smith & Victoria Wilkins (ALL GOP)
  • D6 (-3 DEM): Bob Long, Robin Grammer & Ric Metzgar (ALL GOP) beat incumbent Mike Weir & 2 Democrats
  • D29A (-1 DEM IN OPEN SEAT): Matt Morgan (GOP) beats Daniel Slade (DEM)
  • D29B (-1 DEM): Deb Ray (GOP) beats incumbent John Bohanan (DEM)
  • D31A (+1 DEM): Ned Carey (DEM) beats Terry Lynn DeGraw (GOP)
  • D34B (-1 DEM IN OPEN SEAT): Susan McComas (GOP) beats Cassandra Beverly (DEM)
  • D35A (LOSS ACCOUNTED FOR IN D34B): Kevin Bailey Hornberger (GOP) beats incumbent David Rudolph (DEM)
  • D38B (-1 DEM): Carl Anderton Jr (GOP) beats incumbent Norm Conway (DEM)
  • D34A (NO CHANGE): Incumbent Glen Glass (GOP) & Mary Ann Lisanti (DEM) win
NOTE ON DEFEATED DEMS: Del. Norm Conway is House Appropriations Chair; Del. David Rudolph is House Economic Matters Vice-Chair; Sen. Roy Dyson is Senate Education, Health & Environmental Vice-Chair. We can expect some shifting of positions due to these losses.


CONGRESS (ALL INCUMBENTS WIN RE-ELECTION): Though every member of Congress in Maryland is headed to re-election, the CD6 race between Rep. John Delaney and Dan Bongino was an interesting one. Here are the final numbers (not including absentee and provisional ballots):
  • John Delaney 89,318
  • Dan Bongino 87,152

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY EXECUTIVE (GOP HOLD OPEN SEAT)

BALTIMORE COUNTY EXECUTIVE (DEM HOLDS SEAT)
  • Incumbent Kevin Kamenetz (DEM) beats George Harman (GOP)
  • County Council will be 3 GOP to 4 DEM

FREDERICK COUNTY EXECUTIVE (DEM WINS FIRST EVER ELECTION)
  • Jan Gardner (DEM) beats Blaine Young (GOP)
  • County Council will be 5 GOP to 2 DEM

HOWARD COUNTY EXECUTIVE (GOP WINS OPEN SEAT)
  • Sen. Allan Kittleman (GOP) beats Courtney Watson (DEM)
  • County Council will be 1 GOP to 4 DEM

BALLOT QUESTIONS
  • MD Question 1 - "Transportation Fund Lock Box" was Approved
  • MD Question 2 - Authorization for County Executive Special Elections was Approved
  • MoCo Question A - Residency Requirement for District Councilmembers was Approved
  • PG Question J - Longer Term Limits for County Officials was Rejected

JUICE #2: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: 2018 ELECTION TEA LEAVES - Last night Maryland Juice was watching election coverage on News Channel 8. Doug Gansler's running-mate, Jolene Ivey, was on-air talking about the election returns, and it sure sounds like Gansler might run again in 2018. Gansler has also since appeared in post-election coverage criticizing the Brown campaign (see eg: WBAL). The other candidate in the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, Heather Mizeur closed out the General Election with a Baltimore Sun op-ed stating, "our time will come at some future election." Let's also not forget that Congressman John Delaney was polling the Governor's race (with his name included) during the primary. The Baltimore Sun included Ken Ulman in a list of election winners & losers (listed as a winner), with the following statement: "You may have dodged a bullet by avoiding the trap of being Maryland's lieutenant governor, historically a one-way ticket to nowhere.... See you in four years." Lastly, The Sun's list also mentioned Comptroller Peter Franchot, who also flirted with a gubernatorial bid this cycle: "In an awful year for Democrats, Comptroller Peter Franchot actually increased his margin of victory from 2010. He ran strong where Democrats did well, and he ran strong where they didn't." Last night's election results were utterly disappointing, but I guess we'll at least have something to talk about for four years.


JUICE #3: MOVING FORWARD & THE FUTURE OF THE PURPLE LINE - I don't want to spend too much time talking about the Governor's race, but I posted my very brief thoughts on Facebook earlier this evening:


As noted above, I am indeed thinking about how to adjust to the reality of a Hogan administration. Of primary concern are two issues that should not be seen as partisan: 1) funding for severely overcrowded schools in Montgomery County, and 2) funding for transit projects that are near-ready to break ground, like the Purple Line. The transit-focused blog Greater Greater Washington today discussed the impact of a Hogan administration on the Purple Line and included some of my thoughts (excerpt below):
GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON: Business groups supported Hogan because of his message of tax cuts. They also have strongly favored the Purple Line. Will they tell Hogan that it's important to them? David Moon, an organizer who once ran the Purple Line Now campaign and was just elected to the House of Delegates from the Silver Spring/Takoma Park area, said, "You're not going to be able to [win Hogan over] from a regional DC-suburban perspective, or a liberal transit versus roads perspective," or the environment (he ran against a stormwater fee calling it a "rain tax"). But if businesses are willing to stand up for infrastructure that will generate economic growth, he said, that is more compelling....
The interesting piece has generated a decent amount of commentary and debate (see here).


That's all I got for now....

Monday, October 27, 2014

Early Vote Turnout Analysis, Hillary Clinton in MD, Brown vs. Hogan Polls, Raskin vs. Zirkin for JPR Committee Chair & More!

Below Maryland Juice provides a roundup of news and analyses of key races of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: DUELING POLLS IN THE RACE BETWEEN ANTHONY BROWN VS. LARRY HOGAN - Maryland's top race this cycle is undoubtedly the gubernatorial match-up between Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and former Ehrlich-administration official Larry Hogan. Here is a quick round-up of recent polls in the race. Note: the Gonzalez poll below was commissioned by supporters of Larry Hogan:
NEW YORK TIMES-CBS-YOUGOV (10/23/14) - BROWN +13
  • Anthony Brown (D) - 51%
  • Larry Hogan (R) - 38%

BALTIMORE SUN (10/11/14) - BROWN +7%
  • Anthony Brown (D) - 49%
  • Larry Hogan (R) - 42%

WASHINGTON POST (10/6/14) - BROWN +9%
  • Anthony Brown (D) - 47%
  • Larry Hogan (R) - 38%
  • Shawn Quinn (L) - 4%

GONZALEZ RESEARCH (10/1/14) - BROWN +4%
  • Anthony Brown (D) - 47%
  • Larry Hogan (R) - 43%
  • Shawn Quinn (L) - 1%

JUICE #2: MARYLAND JUICE EARLY VOTE TURNOUT ANALYSIS // WHO'S BEEN VOTING? - Below Maryland Juice takes a deep dive into early vote turnout data by party, gender, and county -- and we also give breakdowns in all Montgomery County state races, a few swing districts and in key Maryland counties. Early voting is currently underway in Maryland, as voters can cast early ballots until Thursday, October 30, 2014. Polls are open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm at early vote centers across the state. Who has been voting early in the Free State? Below you can see some of our findings from turnout data for the first three days of early voting (Thursday, Friday & Saturday).

EARLY VOTE TURNOUT BY COUNTY & PARTY: Below we take a look at early vote turnout by raw party advantage and by county turnout. Not surprisingly, Democrats are turning out at an almost 2-1 rate over Republicans, reflecting their statewide registration advantage. As a result, the top raw turnout counties are not surprising (Baltimore, Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, etc). But in terms of the % of eligible voters casting ballots, Montgomery County is near the bottom of the state, along with Baltimore City. Though you cannot assume all Democrats will vote for Brown and all Republicans will vote for Hogan, the data reflect mixed news for Democrats. The party can try and coast on its registration advantage, but the low turnout %'s in heavy Democratic counties should be seen as a call to arms. Montgomery County is seriously lagging in % turnout (again, probably owing to the fact that the large numbers of new MoCo voters who registered over the last few years are not turning out at the polls):
2014 Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 62,765
  2. Republicans = 29,533
  3. Independents = 8,275
2010 Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 60,547
  2. Republicans = 26,146
  3. Independents = 7,508
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Top 8 Counties by Raw Turnout (First 3 Days):
  1. Baltimore County = 16,893 (3.25%)
  2. Prince George's = 14,004 (2.58%)
  3. Anne Arundel = 12,930 (3.7%)
  4. Montgomery = 11,271 (1.78%)
  5. Baltimore City = 8,413 (2.25%)
  6. Howard = 7,064 (3.62%)
  7. Harford = 6,301 (3.83%)
  8. Frederick = 3,712 (2.46%)
2014 Early Vote Turnout - All Counties Ranked by % Eligible Turnout (First 3 Days):
  1. Talbot = 1,651 (6.43%)
  2. Queen Anne's = 1,885 (5.68%)
  3. Kent = 719 (5.65%)
  4. Worcester = 1,415 (3.96%)
  5. Harford = 6,301 (3.83%)
  6. Somerset = 486 (3.74%)
  7. Anne Arundel = 12,930 (3.7%)
  8. Howard = 7,064 (3.62%)
  9. Wicomico = 1,859 (3.28%)
  10. Baltimore County = 16,893 (3.25%)
  11. Caroline = 577 (3.14%)
  12. Dorchester = 582 (2.84%)
  13. Calvert = 1,672 (2.79%)
  14. Prince George's = 14,004 (2.58%)
  15. Frederick = 3,712 (2.46%)
  16. Carroll = 2,751 (2.44%)
  17. Cecil = 1,491 (2.41%)
  18. Garrett = 460 (2.38%)
  19. Saint Mary's = 1,466 (2.27%)
  20. Baltimore City = 8,413 (2.25%)
  21. Charles = 2,069 (2.06%)
  22. Montgomery = 11,271 (1.78%)
  23. Washington = 1,279 (1.42%)
  24. Allegany = 587 (1.38%)
EARLY VOTE BY GENDER & PARTY: Below we take a look at the first three days of early vote turnout by gender and party. Statewide, women are turning out in larger numbers than men, a trend which clearly benefits Democrats. Women make up almost 60% of the Democrats early voting electorate, while men are a majority of Republican and Independent early vote turnout:
2014 Early Vote Turnout by Gender (First 3 Days):
  1. Women = 54,759
  2. Men = 46,778
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Democrats by Gender = 62,765:
  1. Democrats Female = 36,787 (58.6%)
  2. Democrats Male = 25,967 (41.1%)
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Republicans by Gender = 29,533 
  1. Republicans Female = 14,078 (47.7%)
  2. Republicans Male = 15,447 (52.3%)
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Independents by Gender = 8,275 
  1. Independents Female = 3,522 (42.6%)
  2. Independents Male = 4,747 (57.4%)
EARLY VOTE TURNOUT BY AGE AND PARTY: Below we take a look at the first three days of early vote turnout, sorted by age and party. The largest block of early voters is age 65+, with almost equal numbers of early voters from the large 45-64 demographic. In every age category, Democrats are turning out in larger numbers than Republicans. But again, you cannot assume that voters are going to vote party-line:
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Ages 18-24 = 2,363
  1. Democrats 18-24 = 1,249
  2. Republicans 18-24 = 736
  3. Independents 18-24 = 349
  4. Libertarians 18-24 = 15
  5. Greens 18-24 = 4
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Ages 25-44 = 10,775 
  1. Democrats 25-44 = 6,170
  2. Republicans 25-44 = 2,992
  3. Independents 25-44 = 1,459
  4. Libertarians 25-44 = 64
  5. Greens 25-44 = 23
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Ages 45-64 = 43,605
  1. Democrats 45-64 = 26,465
  2. Republicans 45-64 = 13,057
  3. Independents 45-64 = 3,668
  4. Libertarians 45-64 = 75
  5. Greens 25-44 = 55
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Ages 65+ = 44,794 
  1. Democrats 65+ = 28,881
  2. Republicans 65+ = 12,748
  3. Independents 65+ = 2,799
  4. Libertarians 65+ = 36
  5. Greens 65+ = 14
EARLY VOTE BY PARTY IN THE TOP 8 TURNOUT COUNTIES: Below we take a look at early vote turnout in the top 8 highest turnout counties. In 7 of 8 of these counties, Democrats are turning out in much higher numbers than Republicans. In Harford County, Republicans have a slight edge of roughly 300 votes over the Democrats. Though you can't quite assume that all Democrats will vote for their County Executive candidates, the county-level turnout may be reassuring news for Democrats in some of the competitive County Exec races. Some of the turnout numbers are tight enough to warrant extra energy from Dems:
Anne Arundel Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 6,169
  2. Republicans = 5,282
  3. Independents = 1,433
Baltimore City Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 7,636
  2. Republicans = 417
  3. Independents = 326
Baltimore County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 11,259
  2. Republicans = 4,334
  3. Independents = 1,090
Frederick County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 1,698
  2. Republicans = 1,538
  3. Independents = 460
Harford County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Republicans = 2,967
  2. Democrats = 2,657
  3. Independents = 602
Howard County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 4,167
  2. Republicans = 2,035
  3. Independents = 775
Montgomery County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 7,909
  2. Republicans = 1,962
  3. Independents = 1,295
Prince George's County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 12,443
  2. Republicans = 878
  3. Independents = 507
EARLY VOTE TURNOUT IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY DELEGATE RACES: In all 8 of Montgomery County's House of Delegate Districts, Democrats are turning out in far greater numbers than Republicans. My home District 20 has the highest Democratic turnout in MoCo, and here Independents are tied with Republicans for turnout. Meanwhile District 14 has the highest overall turnout (counting all parties):
Maryland House District 14 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,953 Total Votes
  1. Democrats = 1,258
  2. Republicans = 472
  3. Independents = 317
  4. Libertarians = 3
  5. Greens = 0
Maryland House District 15 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,161 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 709
  2. Republicans = 275
  3. Independents = 163
  4. Libertarians = 5
  5. Greens = 1
Maryland House District 16 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,092 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 796
  2. Republicans = 171
  3. Independents = 119
  4. Libertarians = 2
  5. Greens = 0
Maryland House District 17 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,242 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 835
  2. Republicans = 234
  3. Independents = 161
  4. Libertarians = 2
  5. Greens = 2
Maryland House District 18 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,335 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 999
  2. Republicans = 182
  3. Independents = 136
  4. Greens = 6
  5. Libertarians = 0
Maryland House District 19 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,676 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 1,220
  2. Republicans = 257
  3. Independents = 183
  4. Greens = 4
  5. Libertarians = 3
Maryland House District 20 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,741 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 1,425
  2. Republicans = 148
  3. Independents = 148
  4. Greens = 7
  5. Libertarians = 3
Maryland House District 39 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,070 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 666
  2. Republicans = 222
  3. Independents = 170
  4. Libertarians = 3
  5. Greens = 1
EARLY VOTE TURNOUT IN A FEW SWING RACES: Below we provide early vote turnout figures and party breakdowns in a few key races on the November ballot. Democratic turnout from the first three days of early voting looks okay across the board, but there are a couple districts where the party needs to turn up the heat!

Senate District 3 Early Vote Turnout by Party (Ron Young vs. Corey Stottlemyer) 
  1. Democrats = 1,091
  2. Republicans = 719
  3. Independents = 246
Senate District 42 Early Vote Turnout by Party (Jim Brochin vs. Tim Robinson)
  1. Democrats = 1,062
  2. Republicans = 683
  3. Independents = 153
Delegate District 9B Early Vote Turnout by Party (Tom Coale vs. Bob Flanagan) 
  1. Democrats = 742
  2. Republicans = 506
  3. Independents = 158
Delegate District 12 (Eric Ebersole/Terri Hill/Clarence Lam vs. Gordon Bull/Joe Hooe/Rick Martel)
  1. Democrats = 1,773
  2. Republicans = 566
  3. Independents = 220
Delegate District 29B (John Bohanan vs. Deb Rey)
  1. Democrats = 190
  2. Republicans = 158
  3. Independents = 40
Delegate District 30A Early Vote Turnout by Party (Mike Busch/Chuck Ferrar vs. Herb McMillan/Genevieve Lindner)
  1. Democrats = 1,384
  2. Republicans = 839
  3. Independents = 257
Delegate District 38B Early Vote Turnout by Party (Norm Conway vs. Carl Anderton Jr) 
  1. Democrats = 430
  2. Republicans = 388
  3. Independents = 85

JUICE #3: NATIONAL PARTIES NOW SPENDING IN MARYLAND // PLUS: OBAMA, CHRIS CHRISTIE & THE CLINTONS CAMPAIGN IN MD - As we head into the homestretch for Maryland's gubernatorial race, the national Democrats & Republicans are engaging in a proxy battle in the Free State. Here are a few signs of activity from national politicians:
HILLARY CLINTON TO RALLY FOR ANTHONY BROWN THIS THURSDAY: So far Lt. Governor Anthony Brown's campaign has brought President Obama and former President Bill Clinton onto the campaign trail in Maryland. This Thursday, they are continuing the proxy battle with a rally with Hillary Clinton (press release excerpt below). You can RSVP at: http://www.anthonybrown.com/Oct30

This event is free – supporters will be admitted on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited and supporters must RSVP at www.anthonybrown.com/Oct30, or pick up tickets at a Democratic office listed here: www.anthonybrown.com/offices.

Who: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, County Executive Ken Ulman, and the Maryland Democratic Team

What: Early Vote event – Final push before polls close at 8 p.m. (Nearest Early Vote location is the College Park Community Center at 5051 Pierce Avenue, College Park, MD)

When: Thursday, October 30th, Doors open to the public at 2:45 pm

Where: University of Maryland College Park, Ritchie Coliseum, 4533 Rossborough Lane, College 
Hillary Clinton's visit comes on the heels of an Anthony Brown rally with President Obama (see TV news coverage) and a fundraiser with President Bill Clinton (see TV ad w/ Bill Clinton). Meanwhile, Larry Hogan has enlisted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (see TV coverage) to campaign for him in the Free State.

NATIONAL PARTY TV AD WARS: Meanwhile, the Democratic Governor's Association (aka DGA) has now spent at least $1.15 million in deep Blue Maryland to shore up the Brown campaign. The Washington Post reported on the ad buys (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: The DGA previously spent about $750,000 on three weeks of ads in the Baltimore market that attack Hogan’s record on social issues, including his past opposition to abortion rights.... The latest DGA outlay in the heavily Democratic state will keep ads on the air on Baltimore stations through mid-October. The purchase appears to be roughly $400,000, based on publicly available records and people familiar with the buy....
To counter the DGA, the Republican Governor's Association (aka the RGA) has bought airtime in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reported on the news (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: The RGA's intervention in the race in deep-blue Maryland reflects a growing hope in GOP circles that Hogan can score an upset despite the state's 2-1 Democratic registration advantage. The RGA's chairman, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, campaigned and raised funds for Hogan this week on his second visit to Maryland on Hogan's behalf. lRelated Distortions fly in race for governor POLITICS Distortions fly in race for governor SEE ALL RELATED 8 According to filings with the Federal Communication Commission, the RGA will spend $166,515 to advertise on WJZ-TV. The ad the group released Thursday is a 30-second spot rattling off taxes, fares and other charges that have gone up under Brown and Gov. Martin O'Malley....

JUICE #4: SENATORS RASKIN & ZIRKIN BATTLING FOR CHAIR OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE - One of the non-election stories politicos are currently following is the battle between State Senators Jamie Raskin & Bobby Zirkin for Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee. After all, not all of the hot races this year are electoral battles -- some of them relate to the assignment of leadership posts. This November, State Senator Brian Frosh is all but certain to be elected Maryland's next Attorney General, but Frosh also chairs the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee (aka JPR). With his looming departure from that post, Senate President Mike Miller will soon have to choose a replacement. Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz recently highlighted the basics of the JPR battle (excerpt below):
JOSH KURTZ VIA CENTER MARYLAND: At first glance – and maybe even at second and third glance – it’s a no-brainer: A Harvard-educated constitutional scholar vs. a guy who advertises his ability to win dog bite cases prominently on his law firm website. Put another way, it’s a choice between a lawyer who wrote a best-selling book about the Supreme Court and a lawmaker who introduced a bill that would have prevented the wife of an Annapolis lobbyist from serving on the Baltimore County school board because the lawmaker didn’t like a natural gas pipeline project in his neighborhood that the lobbyist’s firm was promoting....

By all accounts, the battle is between Montgomery County Sen. Jamie Raskin (D), an American University law professor and constitutional scholar, and Baltimore County Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D), the trial lawyer and pipeline foe. But [Senate President Mike] Miller’s decision isn’t as easy as one might expect given the two contenders’ credentials, because this is not an academic exercise – and the chairmanship of JPR is anything but an academic position. In fact, it’s become a major dilemma for Miller, the longest-serving Senate president on Planet Earth who once held the JPR gavel himself....
WILL MOCO & LIBERALS HAVE A ROLE IN THE STATE SENATE? - But there is much more to the JPR battle than just the resumes of Senators Raskin & Zirkin. The decision has much to do with the trajectory of the chamber, and Montgomery County's role in the future of the State Senate. With the exit of Senator Brian Frosh and the retirement of former Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, Montgomery County may soon be without any Senator in a senior leadership position in the state's upper chamber.

Moreover, with the ever-increasing liberal bent to Maryland's Democratic electorate, the JPR battle foreshadows whether progressives in the State Senate will be given a correspondingly larger voice in the body. On this point, there are some similarities and some differences in voting record between Raskin & Zirkin. Most notably, Zirkin voted against the Dream Act while Raskin supported the bill. The two Senators also disagree on whether landlords should be able to discriminate against tenants based on the form of payment for rent (eg: housing vouchers for veterans and low income residents). Raskin opposes discrimination against form of payment, while Zirkin supports it.

That being said, both Senators voted for marriage equality and both support marijuana legalization. Both Senators also voted against corporate welfare for Lockheed Martin, and Zirkin ultimately joined Raskin in supporting death penalty repeal and transgender non-discrimination. In any case, we will likely not know how this story plays out until after the General Election is concluded.


JUICE #5: LOW PROFILE BALLOT QUESTIONS FACING VOTERS IN NOVEMBER // TRANSPORTATION LOCK BOX, COUNTY EXEC SPECIAL ELECTIONS & MORE - In addition to the state and county races on the ballot this year, there are some fairly interesting (albeit low-profile) ballot questions facing voters. We discuss the two statewide ballot questions and a Montgomery County-specific ballot question below:
QUESTION 1: SHOULD MARYLAND LOCK-BOX ITS TRANSPORTATION FUNDS? - This ballot question asks voters whether state lawmakers should be prohibited from spending transportation dollars on non-transportation budget items. The measure was placed on the ballot by the General Assembly as part of the gas tax negotiations during the last legislative session. The lockbox on the transportation trust fund dollars could be overturned through at 60% vote of the legislature during a fiscal emergency. A vote "for" Question 1, is a vote for the lockbox and is recommended by a diverse range of groups including the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, Progressive Neighbors, The Baltimore Sun, The Gazette, various Chambers of Commerce, the carpenters union and supporters of the Red Line, Purple Line and CCT.
QUESTION 2: SHOULD MARYLAND ALLOW COUNTIES TO FILL COUNTY EXEC VACANCIES THROUGH SPECIAL ELECTIONS? - This ballot question asks voters whether Maryland should authorize counties to fill vacancies in the office of County Executive through special elections instead of appointments. In Montgomery County, for example, a County Exec vacancy would currently be filled through a vote of five members of the County Council. A vote "for" Question 2 is a vote to allow counties to use special elections and is recommended by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and Progressive Neighbors.
MOCO QUESTION A: SHOULD MOCO REQUIRE COUNCILMEMBERS TO LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT AT THE TIME OF A PRIMARY, GENERAL & VACANCY? - This ballot question asks voters in Montgomery County whether candidates for District-based County Council seats must reside in their district at the time of a Primary Election and General Election or at the time a vacancy occurs. A vote "for" Question A is a vote to require residency and is recommended by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and Progressive Neighbors.

JUICE #6: MONTGOMERY COUNTY APPROVES PUBLIC FINANCING FOR COUNTY RACES STARTING IN THE 2018 CYCLE - One major game-changer to local politics is that Montgomery County Councilmembers recently voted unanimously to adopt a "clean elections" public financing system for county races. The County Council sent the following press release discussing how the new system works (excerpt below):
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL: The Montgomery County Council today unanimously enacted Bill 16-14, which will allow candidates for County Council and County Executive to qualify for partial public financing for their campaigns. This is the first measure of its type for County elective offices in the Washington Region and in the State of Maryland.... The bill would establish a Public Election Fund. To qualify for public financing, a candidate would have to:
  • File a Notice of Intent prior to collecting qualifying contributions
  • Establish a publicly funded campaign account
  • Only accept contributions from an individual of between $5 and $150
  • Refuse to accept a contribution from any group or organization, including a political action committee, a corporation, a labor organization or a State or local central action committee of a political party
  • Collect a qualifying number of contributions from County residents: 500 for County Executive candidates, 250 for at-large Council candidates and 125 for district Council candidates
  • Meet qualifying dollar thresholds of $40,000 for County Executive, $20,000 for at-large Councilmember and $10,000 for district CouncilmemberLimits are indexed to inflation
  • Only contributions from County residents are eligible for matching funds
The plan provides strong incentives for candidates to seek out many small individual contributors. Matching public dollars for County Executive candidates would be $6 for each dollar of the first $50 of a qualifying contribution received from a County resident, $4 for each dollar for the second $50 and $2 for each remaining dollar received up to the maximum contribution. Matching dollars for County Council candidates would be $4 for each dollar of the first $50 received from a County resident, $3 for each dollar for the second $50 and $2 for each remaining dollar received up to the maximum contribution.

The maximum limit on public funds per candidate for either the primary election or the general election will be $750,000 for a County Executive candidate, $250,000 for a Council at-large candidate and $125,000 for a district Council candidate. Matching dollars would not be distributed for self/spouse contributions or to candidates running unopposed.
Advocates are hopeful that the "clean elections" push will soon spread to other states and hopefully be adopted for state elections in coming years.

That's it until next time!