Saturday, December 31, 2011

JuiceBlender // Meet Judge Kratovil, MD Redistricting Lawsuit Rejected, Roscoe Bartlett Awakens & Van Hollen on Drug Tests

Here's a random blend of political tidbits from the last week, starting with more fallout from Maryland's 2012 congressional redistricting. Several months ago, Senator Rich Madaleno told Maryland Juice readers & viewers that the first major decision facing Democrats was which Republican to attack: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in CD6 or Rep. Andy Harris in CD1. Over the course of the last few months, many of us watched the Dems quickly target Mr. Bartlett, leading to a parade of Republican and Democratic challengers in CD6. But whatever happened to former CD1 Congressman Frank Kratovil? Last week we learned that his story ends well, too.
Juice #1: Meet Judge Frank Kratovil: A few days ago, a Maryland Juice source forwarded us a press release with the following headline "Governor O'Malley Appoints Frank Kratovil to Queen Anne's County District Court." The statement noted: "Mr. Kratovil will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable John T. Clark, III.... Mr. Kratovil served as State’s Attorney in Queen Anne’s County from 2002 to 2009.  Mr. Kratovil left his post after he was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Kratovil served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in both Queen Anne’s and Prince George’s Counties and as Deputy State’s Attorney in Kent County.... More information about the nominating commissions can be found at (shortened)."
In comments to Easton's Star Democrat, Mr. Kratovil stated one of his reasons for wanting to be a judge: "When you're a judge every decision has to be impartial and I think a courtroom is one of the best places in the world to get to the truth."

Marylander of the Year Nominations from Terry Lierman and Councilmembers Valerie Ervin & Eric Olson

This is the 4th installation of our inaugural Marylander of the Year project. In the spirit of TIME Magazine's annual "Person of the Year" article, we are asking various Marylanders for their thoughts on who has been most influential or impactful in the amazing Free State/Old Line State. Contact Maryland Juice to share your own thoughts (either anonymously or publicly). Below, we print three more nominations. They come from Rep. Steny Hoyer's departing Chief of Staff Terry Lierman, Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, and Prince George's County Council Vice Chair Eric Olson 

  • Valerie Ervin nominates Maryland's servicemembers: "The Marylander's of the year are the returning military women and men who have served our country in conflicts around the world.  More than 22,000 Marylander's have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and many thousands more will be returning home. As they return home let us pledge our continued support.  Many will need assistance when they come home.  Some will reunite with their families and friends.  Others will need time to heal from injuries that were inflicted during their service, and still others will be looking for work.  Welcome home soldiers.  Thank you for your service."

Friday, December 30, 2011

CD4: Glenn Ivey Picks Up Support from State Senator Victor Ramirez & PG Councilmember Will Campos

Maryland Juice is back from an unannounced vacation from the blog, so I decided to check in on Glenn Ivey's campaign in the Fourth Congressional District. Judging by his Facebook page, it appears that he is still in the race. The following photo appears of Mr. Ivey with State Senator Victor Ramirez, along with an interesting caption. It seems that Prince George's Councilmember Will Campos and Mr. Ramirez hosted a fundraiser for Mr. Ivey's congressional campaign this week:

Friday, December 23, 2011

CD6: Robin Ficker Criticizes Roscoe Bartlett's Polling Results // Plus, a Reader Takes Issue with Alex Mooney's Fundraiser

Maryland Juice recently wrote about leaked polling results in the highly contested 6th Congressional District race. The survey results came from embattled GOP incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett campaign, and numerous readers have been sending in critiques of the methodology and findings. Read comments about Mr. Bartlett's poll. One reader who doesn't believe the results is rival GOP candidate Robin Ficker. The pollster, Bruce Donisthorpe, concluded the following:
Bottom Line: If the race was held today, Bartlett wins. The Independents and Democratic voters have large groups of Conservative and Moderate voters than will identify with his candidacy, and hold unfavorable job approval ratings of the President. Additionally, Mr. Bartlett has plenty of time to campaign in the new areas of the district and get better acquainted with the voters of Montgomery County, who are receptive to Bartlett’s candidacy. The race will take a lot of time, resources and campaigning, but this race can be won if he runs a good campaign and stays aggressive on the fundraising front to get the resources needed to win
Mr. Ficker emailed Maryland Juice the following response to Rep. Bartlett's poll:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can Robin Ficker Win Maryland's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary? // Roscoe Bartlett Retreating on Taxes

Maryland Juice early on predicted that GOP candidate Robin Ficker would win the 6th Congressional District Republican Primary. Though some people found the idea preposterous, others are at least addressing it in their own ways. I caught this cute repurposing of's "Ask" tool on the web today:

But Maryland Juice was only half-joking when predicting a Ficker victory. We were actually trying to make a point that the flood of new Montgomery County Republicans would need to be factored into the GOP's CD6 equation. Today I present two more pieces of evidence that the MoCo GOP may not be as Tea Party-friendly as the rest of the CD6 GOP. Check out this response on Facebook to Robin Ficker's participation in a protest against Islamophobia:

CD6: Businessman John Delaney Says He's "Still Exploring" But Advertises for Field Staff in MD's 6th Congressional Race

A Maryland Juice reader has forwarded us news that businessman John Delaney is hiring field staff for a possible 6th Congressional District campaign. See an excerpt of the job announcement below (and view the full ad on Maryland Juice's Job & Internship Listings):
From: Xan Fishman <>
Date: December 22, 2011 4:15:27 PM EST
To: JobsthatareLEFT <>
Subject: [jobsthatareLEFT] Hiring Canvass Directors in Maryland

Position:  Canvass Directors

Be a part of turning a congressional district from Red to Blue. Redistricting in MD-06 has created an excellent opportunity for a Democrat to unseat Roscoe Bartlett (R) and put us one seat closer to taking back the U.S. House of Representatives....
This is an interesting development, given that last week, Mr. Delaney tweeted the following message:

CD6: Sen. David Brinkley vs. GOP Chair Alex Mooney // Conservative Blogger Rates Candidates, Calls Out Mooney

UPDATE: A Maryland Juice reader has answered our call for more information about Alex Mooney's history as an elected official. See the comments section to find out why Maryland GOP Chair may have "worn out his welcome among the local GOP."

The conservative, Eastern Shore-based Monoblogue recently weighed in on Maryland's 6th Congressional District 2012 GOP Primary. The writer raises some interesting questions:
Since I live on the opposite end of the state, I really don’t have a dog in the Sixth District slugfest that now involves an incumbent Congressman in a revamped district taking on three members of the General Assembly and a cast seemingly of thousands....

History will eventually reveal what occurs in the Sixth District as the years pass, but there’s one piece of the puzzle I find quite interesting when it comes to two of the contestants. 

Marylander of the Year Nominations from Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Sen. Jamie Raskin & The Sun's Annie Linskey

This is the 3rd installation of our inaugural Marylander of the Year project. In the spirit of TIME Magazine's annual "Person of the Year" article, we are asking various Marylanders for their thoughts on who has been most influential or impactful in the amazing Free State/Old Line State. Contact Maryland Juice to share your own thoughts (either anonymously or publicly). Below, we print three more nominations. They come from Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, State Senator Jamie Raskin and Annie Linskey, the Baltimore Sun's Maryland politics reporter:

  • Jamie Raskin nominates Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws (MBBWL) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): "...two groups that worked, separately, to take on the awesome power of the liquor lobby in Maryland—and won!  This is why we now have direct wine shipment into Maryland from wineries in the rest of the United States and direct shipment out for our wonderful Maryland wineries and vineyards that are becoming a force in the national market.  And this is why we were able to win the compulsory ignition interlock device on the steering wheels of thousands of hard-core convicted drunk drivers.  I loved working with both of these groups, neither of which got everything they wanted but both of which made incredible progress against the odds.  Clearly Marylanders of the Year!" 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PHOTO: SEIU Endorses State Senator Rob Garagiola in MD 6th Congressional District

Real Prince George's Blog: State Sen. Anthony Muse to Challenge Sen. Cardin // On Redistricting: "White Officials Beware in P.G."

Maryland Juice flagged a breaking post on the anonymous Real Prince George's County blog. The masked writer of the website announced that State Senator Anthony Muse is done exploring and has decided to challenge U.S. Senator Ben Cardin in the 2012 Democratic Primary:

CD6 LEAK: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett Poll Results - December 14, 2011

The rightwing Blue Ridge Forum blog today has leaked the results of a December 14th poll commissioned by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. The 6th Congressional District's GOP incumbent clearly wants the public to believe he is still in the game, given that it appears the editor of the Blue Ridge blog is a former Bartlett staffer.  Their interpretation of the results was posted alongside the poll:
In a state with significant public employment and nearly 130,000 in Federal civilian employment (scroll down to Table 5 here), the poll nonetheless reveals  that jobs are the number one issue in the Sixth District not just for Republicans — but for Independents and Democrats.  (Eye on Washington lists 296,295 Federal employees and retirees, by county, for Maryland Congressional Districts as of November 2010.)
Maryland Juice thinks the conclusion that voters in the region care about jobs is a non-sequitor when considering the chances of Mr. Bartlett vs. his GOP and Democratic competitors. I will likely discuss Maryland partisan trending in the near future. In the meantime, here are the details of the poll itself for readers to consider.

See the summary results from the poll below, which was conducted by Bruce Donisthorpe, an Albequerque-based pollster:

Rep. Donna Edwards Slams GOP Rep. Allen West for Comparing Democrats to Goebbels // Congress Tables Resolution

The Hill yesterday reported that the U.S. House has tabled a resolution by Rep. Donna Edwards condemning GOP Rep. Allen West:
The House on Tuesday killed a Democratic resolution aimed at disapproving comments from Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) that Joseph Goebbels would be "proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine."

West's quote from this week prompted Democrats to put forward a resolution that outlines Goebbels's role as Reich minister of propaganda in Hitler's Germany for more than a decade, and says comparisons using Goebbels are inappropriate.
A press release on Rep. Edwards' website provided some information on the effort:

MD Redistricting: Sen. Rich Madaleno Describes Two Options for District 18 Redistricting // Public Hearing On Splitting D18

UPDATE: Maryland Juice incorrectly listed the hearing time. The event is tomorrow 12/22/11 @ 10 am. Also, I've included a link to the Redistricting Commission's proposed D18 map. The option preserves the three-member D18 district. You can see the map below, along with the alternate subdistrict proposal.

Maryland Juice received the following forwarded email from District 18 State Senator Rich Madaleno. He describes two options concerning Maryland's District 18 and notes that today tomorrow at 10:00 am in Annapolis, there is a public hearing to discuss the proposed changes. (Sorry for just posting this now, folks). One of the proposals is to split the current three-member Delegate district into two subdistricts, in order to create a majority Hispanic district. Sen. Madaleno's email is below, along with maps of the proposed D18 with and without subdistricts:
D18 w/o subdistricts (click to zoom)
As you may know, the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee has recommended a plan for new state legislative districts in advance of the 2014 state general election.  Due to substantial growth on the western side of the county, several legislative districts need to move westward to balance the county's eight state districts.  As a result, this proposed plan makes several changes to District 18, four precincts on the east side of the district (13-14, 13-19, 13-42, and 13-66) are moved to District 20.  We pick up two precincts on our west side, one each from Districts 16 and 17 (4-04 and 4-08).  These precincts include the town of Garrett Park and the neighborhoods around the Grosvenor Metro Station and White Flint.  A map of the proposed district is attached.

The committee also reported to the governor that they studied an alternative to District 18 that would divide our district into two subdistricts for the House of Delegates.  Under this plan, Subdistrict 18A would be the southern two-thirds of the district and contain most of Kensington, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Garrett Park and Randolph Hills.  18A would be represented by two delegates and be 68% white.  All three current delegates live in 18A.  Subdistrict 18B would be the remaining parts of the district around Wheaton north of University Blvd and include three new precincts around Aspen Hill currently in District 19.  These three precincts are not in the recommended proposal described above.  To balance the population of this plan, we would lose the same four precincts to District 20 plus most of 13-44 to District 19.  Subdistrict 18B would be represented by one delegate and would be a majority Hispanic district.  A map for this proposal is also attached.  The senator for our district would continue to be elected "at-large" across both subdistricts

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sen. Jim Rosapepe's Holiday Card: Possible Comptroller's Run and an Event with Former Senator Paul Sarbanes

Maryland Juice received the following interesting email Holiday Card from State Senator Jim Rosapepe. We previously mentioned that he was likely to run for Comptroller in 2014, and it appears he is advancing this plan. See the email below:

Wishing you joy during the holidays
and in the new year! 
 Merry Christmas and 
Happy New Year
from Jim and Sheilah

In the Senate, Jim now co-chairs the Joint Audit Committee, as well as the Technology Committee. With the terrific new president of the University of Maryland, Wallace Loh, Jim is leading efforts to launch rigorous public charter schools in Prince George’s. Despite the troubled world economy, Jim's investments have expanded, in Maryland, Europe and Brazil. And with his friend Peter Franchot expected to run for governor in 2014, Jim has been talking with people across Maryland about running for State Comptroller.

Marylander of the Year Nominations from CASA de Maryland, and Delegate Eric Luedtke

UPDATE: Kim Propeack of CASA nominates the DOJ's Tom Perez below. Her shout-out to Perez notes his investigation of controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio below. You can read more about Sheriff Joe in the latest Tea Party newsletter. He's launching an independent investigation into Obama's birth certificate! 

This is the 2nd installation of our inaugural Marylander of the Year project. In the spirit of TIME Magazine's annual "Person of the Year" article, we are asking various Marylanders for their thoughts on who has been most influential or impactful in the amazing Free State/Old Line State. Contact Maryland Juice to share your own thoughts (either anonymously or publicly). Below, we print three more nominations. They come from Maryland legislator Eric Luedkte, Casa de Maryland's political director Kim Propeack and Doug Tallman,'s regional editor for Maryland & Virginia:

Gov. O'Malley Signs "PlanMaryland" Executive Order // Play the Video Game & Watch the Video

UPDATE: Maryland Juice just noticed a few cool features to the PlanMaryland website: 1) PlanMaryland Video Game, 2) PlanMaryland Social Media Portal, and 3) PlanMaryland Citizen Input Map.

Numerous media outlets recently reported that Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed an Executive Order advancing his smart growth plan, dubbed PlanMaryland. If you've been listening to conservatives in the Free State lately, you would think that Mr. O'Malley was plotting to seize private land or carpetbomb rural parts of Maryland. The Washington Times noted GOP Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin called PlanMaryland a "War on Rural Maryland." The Potomac Tea Party Report blog yesterday announced: "O’Malley signs Executive Order on PlanMaryland; citizens lose/UN wins." I believe the opposition to PlanMaryland can be categorized into a few groups:
  • Global warming deniers/Tea Party
  • Sprawl developers and/or rural-exurban landowners
  • the GOP (either because it is now a regional/rural party or because it seeks wedge issues)

Granted, there are ordinary Maryland residents that are opposed to the policy for various reasons, but that is true for any policy change -- especially when it involves land use. The organized opposition -- and misinformation -- is emanating (in my opinion) from a partisan source. But Michael Dresser from The Baltimore Sun provided a decent snapshot of the rationale for PlanMaryland:
At a ceremony that included two of his Democratic predecessors, O'Malley formally accepted the plan, which had gone through two draft versions before being adopted. The plan has been decried by conservative county officials and Republican legislators as a usurpation of local power over land use, but O'Malley defended it Monday as a framework for making wise decisions about where the state should invest in capital projects....

O'Malley said the plan will not dictate local land-use policies but will guide state spending, steering money away from projects that promote sprawling development.

"The state's not going to be a part of those stupid decisions, and we're not going to be subsidizing stupid decisions — pardon me — unsustainable decisions," O'Malley said....

Guest Pundit: An Anonymous Legislator Highlights Fallout from MD Redistricting // Who is Leaving the Statehouse?

UPDATE: Yesterday, Maryland Reporter highlighted a few notable redistricting tidbits, including this comment about Mr. Busch's district: 
His new two-member district 30A moves Republican Del. Ron George out of the district where he got more votes than Busch, into another district where George may have to run against other Republicans.
The new district lines will also make it more difficult for Republican Del. Herb McMillan to win reelection since it moves GOP voters south into a heavily Republican single-member district now represented by Republican Del. Bob Costa, chair of the Anne Arundel County delegation now controlled by the GOP.... 
In Carroll County, the new District 5 includes almost all of the county, now represented by Republican Sen. Joe Getty, and packs four GOP incumbent delegates into a three-member district.
Yesterday, Maryland Juice wrote about how House Speaker Mike Busch's legislative district was becoming more Democratic in 2012. We also mentioned that Busch staying in office would reduce opportunities for politicians to move up the leadership ladder in Annapolis. An anonymous legislator has responded with a more nuanced view, highlighting that some politicians will benefit from Mr. Busch's extended stay:
Guest Pundit: Sure, Busch running again is bad for people at the top of the food chain (ie: those whose only real way up is if Busch doesn't stay speaker until 2018). That is why a lot of those people are looking elsewhere: think Kumar Barve, Maggie McIntosh, and Dereck Davis. Those were the three names in the wings for speaker, although Davis is definitely young enough that he'll still be in the running in 2018 if he sticks around.

But Busch running for office again is also good for people in the middle and lower ranks. As people higher up the chain begin leaving because they lack opportunities to move up, that opens up spots for the middle and lower ranks of the Democratic caucus. The Democratic members of the House of Delegates who are thinking of moving on or are rumored to be thinking about it are:

Monday, December 19, 2011

MD Redistricting: House Speaker Mike Busch Gets a New District // Anonymous Legislators on What It Means

On August 15th, Maryland Juice reported on rumors that House Speaker Mike Busch might seek a single-member-district. He is currently the sole Democrat, alongside two Republican Delegates, in a three-seat-district. With the release of Maryland's 2012 state legislative districts, it appears that the rumors were partially true. Mr. Busch will now serve in a more Democratic two-member district, while the Republicans appear to be concentrated in a new single member district 30B. Two Maryland legislators contacted us to highlight this new development. See Mr. Busch's new District 30A below, along with a view of his current D30:

Our two legislators also had the following anonymous comments:

MD Redistricting: Tougher Districts for Sen. Jim Brochin & Del. Don Dwyer // 2012 Changes in B'more & Anne Arundel Counties

Last Friday, Maryland Juice posted Maryland's new 2012 legislative districts. Over the weekend, I asked one legislator if any incumbents had been drawn into dramatically new districts. She mentioned two names: 1) GOP Delegate Don Dwyer of District 31 in Anne Arundel County and 2) Democratic Senator Jim Brochin of District 42 in Baltimore County. Del. Dwyer has been shifted from D31, his current three-seat district, to a newly-created single-member district: D31A. Notably, Maryland's redistricting website flags the following changes to legislative districts in Anne Arundel County:
Districts 30-33 remain wholly contained in the County, and District 21 retains a portion of the County. Sub-districts have been drawn to reflect the geographic regions and diversity of the County, and to ensure each of those regions has representation. African American voting strength is enhanced in Districts 31A and 32.
Maryland Juice highlighted Delegate Don Dwyer's street on the new 2012 map and also included an image of his current district:

Senator James Brochin's District 42 is also undergoing a major facelift. The District currently includes Towson and other areas immediately north of Baltimore City, but it is shifting dramatically under the 2012 redistricting plan. The new D42 will stretch much further north and touch the Carroll and Harford County borders on the West and East, respectively. Maryland Juice highlighted Senator Jim Brochin's street on the new 2012 map and also included an image of his current district:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Photos & Video: Protest Against Islamophobia with Saqib Ali, Ike Leggett, Kumar Barve & Robin Ficker // Lowes Gaithersburg MD

Maryland Juice readers Amit Mistry and Robin Ficker (CD6 GOP candidate) have sent in photos from Sunday's protest at Lowes Home Improvement in Gaithersburg, Maryland. As we noted previously, the event was organized by former Delegate Saqib Ali over complaints that Lowes had caved in to Islamophobia:
Last week Lowes Hardware store caved in to rank Islamophobia by withdrawing its commercials that were scheduled to run during the TLC TV show "All American Muslims." Lowes did this because a fringe right-wing hate-group called the "Florida Family Association"  complained that the depiction of American Muslims as normal people was actually “propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law." Lowes' shameful decision has sparked a huge national controversy.
The Montgomery Village Patch had video of the event, which they say was attended by approximately 60 protestors:

You can also see photos of the event at Maryland Juice's Facebook Page:

Friday, December 16, 2011

BREAKING: Maryland Reveals 2012 State Senate and House Districts // See the Maps and MoCo Before & After

UPDATE: You can look up your address to see your new district online. Also, an anonymous reader sends us the following before and after photo of Montgomery County's legislative districts (click the image to expand):

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's Redistricting Advisory Commission releases the State's 2012 Senate and House of Delegate Districts. Hat tip to the Real Prince George's County blog. Their news article alerted us to the release of the maps with the following headline: BREAKING NEWS: Governor’s Redistricting Committee Releases Legistive Redistricting Maps w/ More Majority Black Districts. See maps and accompanying press release below:

Maryland 2012 State Senate Districts

Police Endorse State Senator Rob Garagiola for MD 6th Congressional District


Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police (Lodge 35)
Endorses Rob Garagiola for United States Congress, District 6

Montgomery County, MD:  The Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police (Lodge 35) has endorsed the candidacy of Rob Garagiola, the Democratic Senator, District 15, for the Congressional seat in Maryland’s Sixth District.  The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) represents some 1180 law enforcement officers and officials in the County, the largest of its kind.

Maryland Juice's Government Employees of the Year: Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection

UPDATE: Maryland Juice received the following email from Eric Friedman, Director of MoCo's Office of Consumer Protection: "Thank you for the kind recognition! The cumulative effect of multi-year budget cuts takes a toll on staff morale.  We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of employees and volunteers.  In addition, Cathy Grubman is an energetic producer. Your blog’s spotlight was a great way in which to end the week."

Maryland Juice decided to spotlight the hard work of some of our local government employees today. I'm officially naming the worker bees at Montgomery County's Office of Consumer Protection our 2012 "Government Employees of the Year."

The Office of Consumer Protection "alerts the public to unsafe or dangerous products." But Maryland Juice is also awarding them this prestigious award because of their baller television show Consumer Compass. Check out the intro sequence to the show, where they introduce some of our dedicated government servants (who seem to be the on the receiving end of unfair budget anger right now). Best local government-produced video EVER:

Join Eric Friedman and the rest of the Consumer Protection agents as they work to protect the interests of Montgomery County citizens. A special shout out to our public servants:

Essex Patch: Do Voters Need Their Candidates To Look Like Suits? // 1st District Democrat Wendy Rosen's Photo

Maryland Juice caught an interesting debate in last week's Essex Patch. Wendy Rosen, a candidate for the 1st Congressional District Democratic Primary, submitted the following photo to the Patch for an article:

Apparently, the photo was intended to convey frustration with GOP Rep. Andy Harris, but Patch readers had a range of reaction. Their article notes:

Marylander of the Year Nominations from the Tea Party, Robin Ficker & Saqib Ali

Maryland Juice is launching our inaugural Marylander of the Year project. In the spirit of TIME Magazine's annual "Person of the Year" article, we will be asking various Marylanders for their thoughts on who has been most influential or impactful in the amazing Free State/Old Line State. Contact Maryland Juice to share your own thoughts (either anonymously or publicly).

Below, we print our first three nominations. They come from 6th District Congressional candidate Robin Ficker, former State Delegate Saqib Ali and Potomac Tea Party Report editor Ann Corcoran:

Maryland Juice Milestone: 100,000 Pageviews

Maryland Juice woke up today to discover that this blog has reached a new milestone: 100,000 pageviews since our kickoff in August:

Thanks to everyone for reading -- and most importantly, thanks to the numerous readers and sources who send in story leads, tips and political gossip. Amazingly, at Maryland Juice readers themselves provide almost as many leads as the more hardcore politico crew (ie: elected officials, political aides, and journalists).

In 2012, we'll be rolling out some seriously weird new initiatives. In the meantime:

Thanks again for reading folks!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Maryland Delegate Jill Carter: Put People Before Party

Maryland Juice occasionally highlights random interactions on Twitter. See a recent comment from Maryland lawmaker Jill Carter in response to a Democratic Party press release about House GOP Minority Leader Tony O'Donnell:

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #mdpolitics

PHOTO: Rep. Chris Van Hollen Stumps in the New 8th Congressional District // Frederick Plowman & Fisherman Event

Former Frederick Mayoral candidate Jason Judd emailed Maryland Juice the following photographic evidence of Rep. Chris Van Hollen stumping in his new district.

Mr. Judd included the following caption:
Cong. Van Hollen at the Frederick County Plowman and Fisherman fundraiser tonight. Big crowd--120+. Benefits Frederick Co. Democratic Party.

Juice Blender: MD House GOP Members Meeting to Discuss Leadership Future // Del. Tiffany Alston Faces More Charges

UPDATE: A Maryland Juice reader has written a rather feisty defense of Del. Tiffany Alston. Here is a short clip, but I urge you to read the full tirade: "Maybe House Seaker Busch could be a better mentor rather than attacking her though. When Sam Arora flipped on gay marriage, he got a stern talking to and a trip to India! Delegate Alston pissed off the speaker, she gots multiple indictments."

Here's a random blend of political tidbits starting with a development in Annapolis. Yesterday we wrote about MD House Minority Leader Tony O'Donnell's entry into the 5th Congressional District race. We also noted that Tea Party leader Del. Mike Smigiel called on Mr. O'Donnell to resign his GOP leadership position while campaigning for Congress. Today, a Maryland Juice reader who happens to work as a legislative aide in Annapolis sent us the following news:
Juice #1: The GOP House caucus is meeting right now. Potential leadership change. Smigiel is angling.... Also, Smigiel is running for a Judgeship, so I dont know what his deal is. Scroll down to "Circuit Court - Judicial Circuit 2."

Juice #2: Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports on another twist in the case against Del. Tiffany Alston:

MoCo Juice Blender: Leggett Joins Lowes Protest, #1 Influential Councilmember, Huge Police Overtime & Corporate Welfare

UPDATE: Maryland Juice just received the following email from a CD6 GOP candidate: "Robin Ficker for Congress and Jobs will join his friend Saqib in the protest on Sunday too!" Interesting that a GOP candidate from Montgomery should reject extremist fear-mongering and join a protest against Islamophobia. 

Also, earlier today, Maryland Juice reader Dave Kunes sent us a Klout influence ranking for Montgomery County's State Legislators. #1: Heather Mizeur.

Here's a random blend of political tidbits from recent Montgomery County news, starting with an update from former Delegate Saqib Ali on his protest against Lowes:
Juice #1: Saqib Ali's Email Message Announcing Ike Leggett Joins Lowes Protest: Last week Lowes Hardware store caved in to rank Islamophobia by withdrawing its commercials that were scheduled to run during the TLC TV show "All American Muslims." Lowes did this because a fringe right-wing hate-group called the "Florida Family Association"  complained that the depiction of American Muslims as normal people was actually “propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law." Lowes' shameful decision has sparked a huge national controversy. You can read about it here.

This decision has been condemned by prominent people from Rap Moghul Russel Simmons to Actress Mia Farrow to Newark Mayor Corey Booker. People from all walks of life are outraged that Lowe's kow-towed to such un-American demands. Imagine for a second if Lowes had pulled its commercials from a show just because it depicted Catholics or Jews as normal people. This is no different.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Maryland Juice Adds a Panel to the 2015 Aids Quilt

Tea Party Legislator to Delegate Tony O'Donnell: Resign as Minority Leader // Democrats Call O'Donnell "Out of Touch"

UPDATE: The Washington Times reports that the Tea Party leader in Maryland's House, Delegate Michael Smigiel, is calling on Delegate Tony O'Donnell to step down as Minority Leader:
Maryland House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell said Wednesday he plans to keep his state leadership role while running for Congress next year despite questions about whether his candidacy could be a distraction....

The House Republican Caucus would have to re-elect Mr. O'Donnell next year as minority leader, but he could receive a challenge from Delegate Michael D. Smigiel Sr., a Cecil Republican who has criticized him for taking “inconsistent positions” on such issues as the use of bond bills for local projects.

Mr. Smigiel, chairman of the House tea party caucus, said he is still mulling a run for minority leader and suggested Mr. O'Donnell step down - following the example of former Senate Minority Leader Nancy Jacobs, who quit her leadership role in October after deciding it “wouldn’t be fair” to continue as leader while mounting a campaign for higher office....

Meanwhile, Maryland Juice received the following press release from the Maryland Democrats responding to Del. O'Donnell's decision to challenge Rep. Steny Hoyer in 2012:


Maryland Republicans Promote Failed Leadership with Out of Touch O'Donnell

Annapolis, MD (December 14, 2011) - Maryland’s floundering Republican Party chose another out of touch, obstructionist tea party candidate to run for higher office today. With House of Delegates Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell announcing his candidacy for Congress, the GOP signaled they believe in promoting failed leadership.

Which Maryland Politicians Are Raising Money Right Now?

UPDATE: Maryland Reporter has their own article about which Maryland pols are fundraising. It is well worth reading! They also point out that two lobbying firms Bruce Bereano and Alexander & Cleaver maintain competing lists of fundraising events.

You can often tell when politicians are up to something based on their fundraising activity. Because Maryland law prohibits State lawmakers from fundraising when the legislature is in session (typically January through April), there is often a surge in fundraising activity at the end of each year. The prominent Annapolis lobbying firm Alexander & Cleaver publishes a monthly list of events on its website. Though I am sure the list is not complete, it gives you a snapshot of what's going on. That Guy With the Speak English Lawnsign is raising money, along with a few candidates for Comptroller (see below):

Who Is Maryland's Person of the Year? // FYI: TIME Magazine Names "The Protester" 2011 Person of the Year

Maryland Juice is thinking about naming a 2011 Maryland "Person of the Year" in the spirit of TIME Magazine's annual tradition. Details on this concept soon. But if you have any nominations please leave a comment below, email me at or contact me anonymously.

In the meantime, FYI on TIME Magazine's 2011 Person of the Year:

Here's an alternate image they could've used:

CD5: MD GOP House Minority Leader Tony O'Donnell Challenges Rep. Steny Hoyer // MD Legislators Weigh In (anonymously)

Numerous news outlets are reporting that Maryland's House GOP Leader Anthony "Tony" O'Donnell is challenging Rep. Steny Hoyer for Congress in the newly redrawn 5th Congressional District. This race would pit Maryland's Statehouse Republican Leader against Congress' Democratic House Minority Whip. Del. O'Donnell kicked off his campaign with a video announcement:

The Washington Post reported on this CD5 development:
Maryland House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert) plans to launch an uphill bid Wednesday for the 5th Congressional District in which he will argue that long-time incumbent Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) is part of what’s wrong with Washington....

O’Donnell, who is kicking off his campaign with the release of a video, argued that the environment has become better-suited to change and that he starts off better-known than recent Hoyer opponents. O’Donnell promised “a spirited, spirited campaign.”

In a preview of what’s to come, O’Donnell said Hoyer’s voting record is “nearly identical” to that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), but added: “Maryland’s 5th Congressional District is on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, not the western shore of the San Francisco Bay.”
Maryland Juice, in turn, would like to remind Mr. O'Donnell that CD5 is not Tea Party territory and it is nothing like Sarah Palin's Alaska. In fact, the WaPo article continued:
The new 5th remains comfortably Democratic. Roughly 65 percent voted for President Obama in 2008 and 63 percent for O’Malley last year.
Anonymous Sources Weigh In: I asked a few Democratic legislators to tell Maryland Juice readers what they know about Mr. O'Donnell. Here's what they had to say (note: we'll post new responses as we receive them):

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DCCC: "Representative Bartlett Votes For Higher Taxes and Higher Medicare Premiums, Protects Billionaires"


This evening, Representative Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06) voted to force a $1,000 payroll tax hike on 3.2 million middle income Maryland families and raise Medicare premiums for seniors instead of ending tax breaks for billionaires. While voting for higher Medicare premiums for seniors in retirement, Bartlett even voted against cutting his own Congressional retirement pension.

Bartlett had previously voted three times to let these payroll taxes go up by $1,000 while letting House Republicans leave Washington for their holiday vacation.

“Representative Roscoe Bartlett is forcing a $1,000 middle income tax increase on 3.2 million Maryland families and higher Medicare premiums for seniors in order to protect tax breaks for billionaires,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Bartlett even opposed savings from his own Congressional pension while voting to raise taxes on middle income Maryland families and raise Medicare premiums for seniors. Roscoe Bartlett’s priorities shined through today — higher taxes for the middle class and health care costs for seniors while the ultra wealthy get more tax breaks.”

This afternoon, the Associated Press reported that Bartlett’s vote would mean “Millions who don’t consider themselves wealthy would also end up paying more” in Medicare premiums.


Rep. John Sarbanes Announces Self-Imposed Campaign Finance Restrictions // New Project Highlights Public Financing Effort

UPDATE: I just finished participating in Rep. Sarbanes Facebook Town Hall meeting. Very interesting. It was sort of a telethon-style format where he explained his new fundraising concept, along with the policy reasons driving the experiment. But, he also started answering live questions from people online. Once I saw that, I couldn't resist tossing some legislative advocacy into the mix (see screencap of my question below). But kudos to Mr. Sarbanes for trying something different!

The HoCo Rising blog recently wrote about a interesting new effort from Rep. John Sarbanes to highlight legislation calling for publicly financed, clean elections:
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet with Congressman John Sarbanes.  After explaining how the constant treadmill of fund-raising is ruining politics and preventing legislators from doing much more than vote and chase additional funds, he presented the Grassroots Donor project.  In essence, Con. Sarbanes is imposing the public financing model on himself to show it works and focus more on grassroots campaigning....  Essentially, John is cutting himself off from his own funds, raised in the normal course of fund-raising, which will only be available once he has over 1,000 donors of $100 or less.
Rep. Sarbanes new fundraising website,, explains his new project and asks the following question:
What if we could find a better way to fund Congressional campaigns that puts the grassroots donor ahead of the special interests?

CD6 LEAK: Polling Results from Maryland's 6th Congressional District Democratic Primary // A Wide Open Race?

Maryland Juice received the following leaked polling memo regarding the 6th Congressional District Democratic Primary. The poll was conducted by GarinHartYang for John Delaney. The results generally indicate a wide-open race with most voters undecided. There are no real surprises in the summary results, especially since media spending has not yet begun. See the summary results below: