Saturday, November 26, 2011

CD6 Juice Blender: GOP Sen. Chris Shank Learns Facebook, Rep. Bartlett's Deviant Moustache, Trachtenberg Denies Push Poll

Here's a random blend of both political and apolitical tidbits from recent news, starting with a Capital News Service article foreshadowing looming cuts in federal government expenditures in Maryland. The writer notes that the biggest cuts to defense jobs are likely to be from defense-related contractors:
Juice #1: States such as Maryland, with its high concentrations of federal employees and contractors, could feel an even deeper sting when $600 billion in defense spending and $600 billion from other federal agencies is lopped from budgets over the next 10 years....

According to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, military bases accounted for 3.4 percent of the jobs in Maryland and employed about 118,000 workers - before the Base Realignment and Closing process, which increased these numbers.... 
The sequestration process protects war spending, but military contracts and civilian personnel could be on the chopping block.

Mike Hayes, a retired brigadier general and director of military and federal affairs for the state economic development department, said Maryland's military installations tend to have specialized missions. This makes them less likely to face cuts, Hayes said.

But cuts to contractors focused on weapons systems, already set in motion, may be deeper, he said.

Juice #2: Meanwhile, former Montgomery County Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg responded to Maryland Juice's article about an alleged push poll in the 6th Congressional District race. The Germantown Patch had this article:
Duchy Trachtenberg, a candidate in the 6th congressional district race, said neither she nor did anyone involved with her campaign authorize a "push poll" against opponents.

"I have never initiated a push poll," Trachtenberg told Patch. She was responding to allegations made in a post at Maryland Juice Sunday, Nov. 20. The blog covers state politics....

Trachtenberg, who lives in North Bethesda, said she hired a political strategist to conduct phone polls.

"We're running a congressional campaign," Trachtenberg told Patch. "We're using whatever tools available to create an effective campaign. Polls are one of those tools."

Juice #3: Maryland Juice caught a magazine article in a campaign trade publication mentioning GOP State Senator Chris Shank, who is weighing a run for the 6th Congressional District. Campaign & Elections magazine interviewed Mr. Shank at their technology conference earlier this month. He appears to have a sudden interest in harnessing social media networks:
The real challenge for elected officials, said Maryland state Sen. Chris Shank (R), is figuring out how to use Facebook and other social media channels to have a conversation with voters and constituents, rather than just utilizing it as another mouthpiece for a pet issue or a campaign.

“I am yet to be convinced that Facebook and other social media channels are being effectively utilized and utilized to the best of their potential,” said Shank. “We’re still trying to figure that out as elected officials.”   

One way to do it in real time, said Shank, is making use of Facebook as a forum during legislative debates or even during committee mark-ups in Annapolis.

Juice #4: Indeed, the GOP side of the CD6 race appears to be getting crowded and testy, as multiple candidates line up their strategies to take down Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. But WTOP has noted that any challengers to Mr. Bartlett will have to stand up to his moustache:
Roscoe Bartlett's "Deviant" Moustache v. World
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., has served 10 terms as the congressman from rural Western Maryland. He first grew out his whiskers in the mid-1950s while teaching at the Loma Linda School of Medicine in California as an affront to those who discriminate against moustachioed citizens. It was a time when any kind of facial hair was a "no-no," particularly for those who sought public office.

Moustaches indicated "something was wrong with you," Bartlett says. "You were a deviant and weren't going to be accepted for public office."

"For someone who was kind of a nonconformist, it was kind of a symbol of rebellion," he says. "I thought these discriminatory things were silly, so I thought, 'Grow a moustache' and show I can be a respected member of the community and still be a deviant."

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