Thursday, December 22, 2011

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!" 

  • Annie Linskey nominates ______: "I'm going to have to pick a newcomer on the scene, a freshman with deep Maryland roots. He's somebody that we should keep a close eye on over the next couple of years, a man who is growing into his role, who fumbles sometimes but has shown he can handle pressure and deliver in a tight situation. Torrey Smith."

Editor's Notes:

Jamie Raskin represents District 20 in the Maryland State Senate, where he is often seen as an outspoken advocate for progressive issues (see ie: top-center). In spite of his strong personal views, Raskin's Marylander of the Year nominees (MADD & MBBWL) reflect compromise and patience. This should not be surprising, since the Senator is also a constitutional law professor at American University. Presumably he is accustomed to seeing policy battles unfold over years. But in Maryland this year, auto safety advocates and local wineries patiently scored victories in the larger policy battles against drunk driving and for beer and wine consumers. The timing couldn't be better, since Virginia's local wine industry appears to be growing rapidly.

Anthony Brown serves as Maryland's Lieutenant Governor. He previously served as a state legislator (representing parts of Prince George's County), and he is also an Iraq War vet and graduate of Harvard law and undergrad. Having spent so much time dealing with weighty matters, I suppose it should not be surprising that his nominee is a Baltimore Ravens football star. I'd probably look for ways to give my brain a vacation from politics, too, if I were in his shoes. All kidding aside, Mr. Brown's choice of running back Ray Rice dovetails nicely with Senator Raskin's focus on MADD's advocacy against drunk driving. Earlier this year, Mr. Rice raised the profile of drunk driving issues when he called out a fellow NFL player for a DUI over Twitter. H has also been quietly involved in numerous community service activities, especially with projects oriented toward youths.

Annie Linksey covers Maryland politics for the Baltimore Sun. Along with the Lt. Governor, her nominee for Marylander of the Year is a member of the Baltimore Ravens. But Torrey Smith is not just any player. He is a rookie this year and has faced some true underdog moments -- plus, he previously played for the University of Maryland. True to the role of a journalist, Ms. Linskey's choice reflects an interest in seeing a good story play out. Maryland Juice does love a good underdog story....

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