Monday, October 31, 2011

MD Governor 2014: Lt. Governor Anthony Brown Rolls Out Birthday Supporters

Earlier this month, Maryland Juice wrote about Attorney General Doug Gansler's upcoming birthday fundraiser. From his invitation, it appeared that Mr. Gansler had started rounding up support from a range of Frederick politicians.

Now it looks like Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown is making a statement with his own birthday fundraiser. We re-print the invitation below and note that Mr. Brown appears to be racking up support from high-level statewide Democratic leaders and a number of prominent Prince George's officials. Notable mentions include:
  • Rep. Steny Hoyer
  • Rep. Donna Edwards
  • Senate President Mike Miller
  • Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker
  • Former Prince George's Executive Wayne Curry
  • Prince George's Council Chair Ingrid Turner
  • State Senator Douglas J.J. Peters
  • Delegate Melanie Griffith
  • John McDonough, Maryland Secretary of State
  • Gloria Gary Lawlah, Maryland Secretary of Aging
  • Jos Williams, President AFL-CIO Metro Wash. Council
Below is the full invitation:

Why the Maryland Republican Party is Dying a Quick Death .... and they don't seem to get it ....

Look at the most recent crop of Democrats who won their first full terms to public office in Montgomery County. The photo collage below shows the most recent State legislative and County Council victors from Montgomery County -- the growth engine for Maryland's economy and the recent Democratic surges of late. Something looks different about these politicians than the ones we're used to. What is it?


Did you catch the Washington Post article from this weekend headlined Census: The new U.S. neighborhood defined by diversity as all-white enclaves vanish? In Montgomery County, I would posit that the change is not just racial; it is also generational. And this generational transfer of political power (which is happening quicker than you think -- just look at the photo above) is coming with rapid changes in people's views of the world. We are remaking suburbia, and it is not a Beaver Cleaver white picket fence agenda (sorry, Ike). Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post:
...[the] Silver Spring community of Hillandale is home to people of every race and ethnicity — the epitome of what one sociologist calls “global neighborhoods” that are upending long-standing patterns of residential segregation. 
Around the region and across the country, the archetypal all-white neighborhood is vanishing with remarkable speed. In many places, the phenomenon is not being driven by African Americans moving to the suburbs. Instead, it is primarily the result of the nation’s soaring number of Hispanics and Asians, many of whom are immigrants....
In the Maryland suburbs, one in five neighborhoods is dominated by one race or ethnicity, down from almost a third in 2000. 
There are more minorities than whites in Montgomery and Prince William counties, and minorities are on track to surpass whites by the next census in Fairfax and Loudoun counties.
And so once again, how is the GOP supposed to survive with this attitude?


Demography is destiny in politics. Sorry, Pat.

Vote for Maryland Juice in Baltimore Sun's "Best New Blog" & "Best News Blog" Awards!

Friends & readers, Maryland Juice is up for two Baltimore Sun blogger awards this year: Best New Blog and Best News Blog. We are totally psyched and hope you'll vote early and often for Maryland Juice!


Maryland Juice is a true labor of love and a pro-bono advocacy project for progressives, civil libertarians and open information advocates around Maryland and the nation. If you could take a few moments out of your day to vote for us and ask your friends to do the same, it would be a tremendous validation of our volunteer muckraking hours. After all, we've only been causing trouble for three months! Stand with the underdog: VOTE 4 JUICE!

Polls are open from Monday, October 31 through Thursday, November 10 at 5 pm.



P.S. Thanks for reading my nonsense!

Look below, there are easy links to share this post on your Facebook, Twitter, etc! Please share this article.

11/14 Dream Act Debate: former Sen. P.J. Hogan vs. That Guy with the "Speak English" Lawnsign // You're Invited!

Maryland Juice invites you to attend a Republican vs. Democrat debate on the Dream Act (a law that provides the opportunity for affordable college for all of MD's students). The showdown is scheduled for Monday, November 14th in Poolesville, Maryland (details below).

The Tea Party, Republicans and nativist groups are out in full force with a repeal effort next year, and we noted yesterday that GOP Delegate Pat McDonough is claiming repeal would be a slap in the face to Governor Martin O'Malley's 2016 Presidential ambitions:
"Nationally, this has tremendous implications," McDonough said. "It is a slap in the face to Obama's favorite governor in the United States (Gov. Martin O'Malley) and the (would-be) next president of the United States...." (source: Capital Gazette)
Delegate Pat McDonough will face off against former Maryland Senator P.J. Hogan on the Dream Act at a November 14th debate:
Maryland DREAM Act Forum | Monday, November 14, 2011 7-9 pm
Poolesville Town Hall
19721 Beall Street
Poolesville, MD 20837
Host: Rural Women`s Republican Club | Note: The event is open to the public.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Government Reformers to "Trick or Treat" at Rep. Chris Van Hollen's Office // Group Seeks Deficit Supercommittee Fundraising Disclosures

This Halloween, open government reformers are planning a "Trick or Treat" visit to "Deficit Supercommittee" members around the country. Since one of them happens to live in MoCo, Maryland Juice thought it would be fun to highlight this issue. No offense intended toward Mr. Van Hollen, who supporters tell me is pushing for Federal employees on the 12-member body (we hope he's also working to keep the rumored Medicare cuts off the table).

At 9:00 am today, costumed advocates from the Sunlight Foundation and area residents will visit Rep. Van Hollen's Rockville district office. We print their announcement below and also include their web ad announcing this project:



MD Conservative Says Prince George's, Montgomery, Baltimore are "Axis of Evil" // Plus, GOP Uses O'Malley 2016 to Plug Dream Act Repeal

UPDATE: The Potomac Tea Party blog had this comment on Maryland Juice's coverage: "The “progressive” Maryland Juice gives us a look at the protesters outside in the rain.... Note that the Muslims (maybe all two of them) were supported by Quakers.... Also, remember that it was the Quakers (in the Sanctuary Movement) primarily behind the creation of CASA de Maryland (Bette Rainbow Hoover)!" Guess you can add Quakers to the Tea Party's list of enemies.

Earlier this month, Maryland Juice published a letter from a number of anti-discrimination groups condemning yesterday's Maryland Conservative Action Network conference. Several of Maryland's GOP elected officials were scheduled to attend and speak at the event, so the letter's signers called on them to pull out and planned to protest the event. Our earlier coverage noted great controversy due to the event's speaking lineup, which included a number of well-known extremist speakers. Several national progressive blogs and organizations criticized the event in the days leading up: Huffington Post, Think Progress, Southern Poverty Law Center, etc.

Quakers, Muslims and concerned residents protest the Maryland Conservative Action Network (MDCAN) Conference

The Capital Gazette covered the event and highlighted a number of statements from speakers. We reprint a few choice selections below, but first note this introductory comment:
Event organizer Tonya Tiffany of Howard County said the gathering was not meant to stir anti-Muslim sentiment.... She said the real purpose of the conference was to prod the Republican Party into becoming more conservative. "The Maryland Republican Party is too liberal," Tiffany said.
Former Del. Saqib Ali called into question this "reasonable" facade and provided the paper this quote:
"This stuff is unhinged. The things these people are saying is not unlike what the Ku Klux Klan says, and the KKK can't show its face in polite society."
Maryland Juice will let readers judge the MDCAN speakers comments for themselves. Here are the excerpts from the Gazette coverage:

Herman Cain's "Smoking" Web Ad: Political Trick or Treat?


Maryland Juice recently heard someone on television suggest that the bizarre Herman Cain web ad circulating on the Internet was designed to signal to GOP primary voters that he didn't actually want to serve as President. The implication was that he only intended to boost his profile and never imagined being a frontrunner. Others think this was a low-budget way to signal the unconventional nature of the campaign to ticked off voters.

Ironically, in 2007 The Washington Post published the following poll results:
According to voters, being over the age of 72, a Mormon, twice divorced or a smoker all are bigger drags on a candidate's support than is gender or race.
The strange GOP race is breaking all these rules so far. If you haven't seen the video yet, I urge you check it out below. What do you think? It is certainly hard to see at first glance what the strategy is. Trick or treat?


Saturday, October 29, 2011

PSA Triple-Header from Compassion & Choices // Dr. Oz's "Right to Die" and New Emergency Information

Rosalind Kipping, Vice President of the area's Compassion & Choices chapter has forwarded Maryland Juice three tidbits of information that I'm smashing together into a triple-header PSA. Ms. Kipping is also a Leisure World resident (who I met through the community's Democratic Club). Her announcements are as follows:
  1. A  quick announcement that Emergency Contact Information can now be added to Maryland Drivers' Licenses (details below).
  2. A request for Maryland to fund the "Advance Directive Registry" program that would allow injured or sick residents to convey their wishes to doctors if they are unable to communicate. 
  3. An alert on an upcoming television appearance by the national President of Compassion and Choice on the Dr. Oz show November 1st.

DC Raids Drug Paraphrenalia Shops, Begins Marijuana Crackdown // Marriott Tax Break Opponent, Former Council Candidate Targeted

More news of the policy weird: The District of Columbia appears to be cracking down on "head shops" (ie: stores that sell marijuana "tobacco" pipes and accessories). DC bloggers are abuzz about the sudden and unexplained policy move (see ie: Prince of Petworth and DCist), which started with the arrest of Adam Eidinger, owner of the Capitol Hemp head shop and former candidate for City Council. Notably, Eidinger had recently called on #occupydc protesters to come to Adams Morgan as part of his campaign to oppose a $46 million tax abatement Marriott is receiving for an Adams Morgan boutique hotel. Fox News DC reported:
Adam Eidinger says his store is being targeted because of his opposition to a proposed luxury hotel development. Six employees and one customer were arrested and hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise was confiscated. Everyone arrested was eventually released and the charges of possession with intent to distribute, lowered. Capitol Hemp says sells clothing and food made from hemp, as well as tobacco and accessories. 
Eidinger says his business in Adam's Morgan has been open for 4 years. The Chinatown location has been open for two years. He says there have never been any problems or violations. He says, "I've been told if I speak out against this hotel I might lose my business. I guess yesterday was an attempt top shut me down." 
D.C. police haven't said why they raided Capitol Hemp. 
Eidinger is one of a growing number of people in Adam's Morgan who are opposed to a proposed 10-story luxury hotel that will be located behind a historic church at Euclid and Champlain Streets. The developer is set to get $46 million tax abatement.... 
Eidinger says, "Our business paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes last year to local government. We're not getting tax breaks. Why is Marriott getting a break? We're sick of this."
The Huffington Post elaborated on the city's possible motives:

Friday, October 28, 2011

VIDEO: Best Way to Quit a Job ... EVER

Is subversive behavior on the rise? Maryland Juice thinks so -- and it appears to be that way on the right, the left, and maybe even the middle. Maryland Juice will have more discussion on what's going on in the world of activism soon. In the meantime, a friend in Rhode Island just emailed me a video of a young man quitting his job at the Providence Renaissance Hotel. Maryland Juice has stayed at this hotel, and it is actually a very cool hotel, built out of a converted masonic temple. That being said, the hotel has been the subject of numerous complaints by staff, who have sought to unionize. That may be part of the reason why the employee below chose to videotape himself quitting his job:

Without further ado: Best way to quit a job ... ever:




Time Magazine (which I actually love reading) followed up with a really lame article titled "Why the ‘Joey Quits’ Video Is A Seriously Bad Career Move." They proceed to discuss cliche points about how everything you put on the Internet/Facebook/etc is archived forever and could hurt you in a future job search. Hasn't that article been written already (hundreds of times)?

Blah, blah, blah. People tell me that about my blog every day. In fact, I got an immediate email unsubscription after I published the #occupyeverything post below. Who cares. Plus, who knows, maybe Joey is looking for employment in a sector that appreciates creative ways of spreading a message (to over 2.6 million people)? If Moon Strategies ever starts expanding, we may have room for one more. :)

#OCCUPYEVERYTHING: Police Shoot Tear Gas, Iraq War Vet's Skull Fractured // Baltimore Foreshadowing?

UPDATE: Some readers of blogs following this story are calling into question the source of the skull fracture and think #occupyoakland is framing the footage in the worst possible light. Others are pointing out that this doesn't explain the police shooting tear gas at the people trying to help the injured vet, why they fired at close range, or other negligence, etc. Duh, bad things can happen if you cause a stampede at a packed but peaceful protest. I was just watching Real Time: With Bill Maher though, and he says the injured war vet is thankfully now conscious. Mr. Maher also reiterates that the injury was from a tear gas canister hitting the vet in the face.

Over the weekend, Maryland Juice hopes to explore some of the recent back and forth between people supporting #occupy and those who are bothered by the protests. In the meantime, a MoCo native who now lives in Oakland shared the following photo they took at an impromptu public assembly immediately following the shocking police abuse:

Oakland's New Mayor Is Gonna Have a Tough Re-Elect

Shocking. Oakland police's bungled handling of #occupy protesters have left a 24-year-old Iraq War veteran critically injured. After shooting tear gas canisters into a crowd, Scott Olsen's skull was fractured, and he is now in a medically-induced coma. The police then shot tear gas canisters at the people who came to the war veteran's aid. According to the fishbowlLA site:
Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old Iraqi war veteran, suffered a fractured skull after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister. Olsen was injured Tuesday night in a police crackdown on Occupy Oakland protesters.


Footage of Scott Olsen being shot by Police at Occupy Oakland from Raleigh Latham on Vimeo:



The City of Baltimore is currently forcing a confrontation with #occupybaltimore protestors. Does this foreshadow what will come? Does anyone remember Stanley Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment from Psychology 101? Is anyone surprised that Maryland Juice does not fully trust the common sense or ethics of the police, including in Montgomery County? I still haven't told readers about my experience with MoCo cops in Bethesda when I was in college. One day....

World be warned, there is only so much of this B.S. that people will take. Now the Marines are PISSED. Read the excerpt below from the fishbowlLA website:


"The picture above, submitted by Reddit user aburger, has generated well over 1,000 comments on the site–many from fellow Marines who are absolutely livid at the injury to one of their own by police."

Here’s one from Reddit user 0311kilo33:
As God is my witness. I will fight tooth and nail to restore the decency this country was founded upon. The politicians, banks and large corporations have ruined this country. I find it difficult to notice any sense of politeness on the streets anymore. But it goes farther. As a Marine and a citizen I am outraged. I am sick to death of the world my children are being raised in.

So I ask all of you, can you too sense the tipping point? When will enough be enough? If not now, when? I feel the problem is that the average Joe citizen is ignorant and comfortable. These, in addition to selfishness have become the standard for the majority of the population. As long as people are comfortable they remain silent. Well, I’m really fucking uncomfortable and I’m sick of seeing this sort of shit happening. The Occupy protests that are going on are our first glimmer of hope. If we can take this and move it further, get every lazy ass off their rocker and open their eyes; then maybe, just maybe we have a chance.

Semper Fi brothers, and remember who you are. Protectors of a great nation, not politicians or wealthy money grubbing bankers and the like. When it comes time, I know we’ll stand strong.

Semper Fi, indeed. And to the Oakland police, Maryland Juice has the world's shortest editorial: FUCK YOU.

UPDATE: Senator Rob Garagiola's Official Kickoff Announcement for Congress (CD6)

UPDATE: Here's the Facebook page for the event.

Yesterday, Maryland Juice broke news that Maryland Senator Rob Garagiola was ending his exploration of a bid for Maryland's 6th Congressional District and was going full steam ahead with the campaign. We also noted that he planned four campaign events but only listed three in his email alert. This appears to be because the version leaked to this blog was for volunteers. The version below contains all four events and is the official media release from the campaign:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2011

Rob Garagiola To Officially Kick Off Campaign for Congress In Germantown on Tuesday

Germantown, MD -- With a vow to push an aggressive jobs agenda, and to protect seniors living on Medicare and Social Security, Rob Garagiola will kick off his campaign for Congress in Maryland’s newly-drawn 6th Congressional District this coming Tuesday. 

DOCUMENTS: Former Senator Mike Lenett's Lawsuit Against Former Employee // Holy Mackerel, Blackmail Involved?

Earlier this month, an observant Maryland Juice reader flagged an astonishing lawsuit by former Maryland Senator Mike Lenett against his former Annapolis aide Virginia Ramsey and five unnamed "John Doe" defendants. We speculated, based on the shenanigans from last year's District 19 Democratic Primary, that Mr. Lenett was filing some sort of libel/defamation/slander lawsuit:
On September 6th, Mr. Lenett filed a civil lawsuit in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. In it he alleges that an intentional tort has been committed against him by Ms. Ramsey and five additional unnamed "John Doe" defendants. This could be a suit for fraud, battery, or any number of intentional torts, but Maryland Juice has a pretty good hunch that this is a libel/slander/defamation lawsuit...

More importantly, during the course of Mr. Lenett's unsuccessful re-election attempt last year, Ms. Ramsey published a website and email blasts about her former boss. Her writings did not present a flattering picture of Mr. Lenett. But Ms. Ramsey eventually outed herself to her email list, noting that Sen. Manno was getting blamed for the content on her website.
Now we have the court filings in this case, and they are wild! Mr. Lenett is alleging defamation and false light invasion of privacy. He is also requesting a jury trial and appears to allege that Ms. Ramsey was attempting to blackmail him (Page 3, Point 9). Read the full document below.

Press Conference: PG & MoCo Purple Line Backers to Call on MD to Fund Light Rail Project

Prince George's and Montgomery Purple Line backers appear to be rallying the troops to ensure the Maryland Assembly prioritizes funding for the two-county project. The press announcement below notes that several elected officials and transit advocates will push for the Purple Line during Maryland's transportation funding debate.

As transportation funds become increasingly scarce, transit supporters appear to be once again pushing for light rail over more traffic-inducing highways. According to Southern Maryland News, light rail appears to be the wave of the future -- even Carroll County now wants a light rail line:
A light rail line to Washington, D.C., is now Charles County government’s chief transportation-related desire, but the state transportation secretary told the county commissioners Oct. 19 not to expect much of anything to happen soon. 
A rail system linking White Plains and Waldorf to the Branch Avenue Metro station, with stops in Prince George’s County, was the county’s primary request in a letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation in the spring.
After all, the DC suburbs have among the "least bad" employment markets in the nation -- why wouldn't outlying counties want more ways to connect their residents to the primary source of the area's jobs (and do so without increasing traffic)?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Montgomery County Parents Reject County Executive Ike Leggett's Curfew Proposal // Council of PTA's Votes NO on Curfew

The Examiner today reports that Montgomery County's Council of PTA's has passed a resolution opposing County Executive Ike Leggett's youth curfew proposal:
Montgomery parents called County Executive Ike Leggett's controversial youth curfew proposal "unjustifiable," passing a resolution against the legislation. 
The Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations said that the 50 percent decline in gang-related crime since 2008 showed existing strategies were already effective, and pointed to laws already on the books to check suspicious behavior. 
"Imposing a law on the entire population of Montgomery County youth when the culprit exists in a small segment of the county is unjustifiable," the resolution reads." As an organization representative of 50,000, these positions are a clear sign that our community is very much engaged in critical school and youth-related issues," President Kristin Trible said.
The resolution comes after other negative developments for the Leggett plan. Maryland Juice earlier this week reported that two Councilmembers introduced an alternative bill, while two County-appointed advisory boards representing areas targeted for curfew enforcement refused to rubber-stamp the curfew plan.

MD Sen. Rob Garagiola Announces FOUR Kickoff Events for 6th Congressional District Race

Maryland Juice readers are forwarding the following email announcement from Sen. Rob Garagiola's campaign for Maryland's 6th Congressional District. It appears Mr. Garagiola is no longer exploring a run, and is moving forward with his campaign. See the note below:
I hope by now you’ve heard that State Senator Rob Garagiola is running for Congress in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.  On Tuesday he will be formally kicking off the campaign at 4 events across the district.  Rob will be starting the day in Frederick and ending it in Hagerstown - in between, he will join his neighbors in his hometown of Germantown for a rally. 
You know the damage that has been done to the country by the radical right that has taken over the Republican party and the US House of Representatives.  The Tea Party has rebuilt the House in its own image, making it into a place where Maryland values like common sense and compassion have become vices to be scorned   The results have been disastrous – let’s do something about it! 
Please join us… Rob Garagiola - Running for Congress to Represent the People! 
Please join Rob as he kicks-off his campaign for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.
I publish the event schedule below, but note that the Hagerstown event appears to be missing details:

VIDEO: "Precious" Star Mo'Nique Films Ad Supporting Marriage Equality // Baltimore Native Defends Maryland LGBT Rights

Television and film star Mo'Nique, most recently hailed for her role as an abusive mother in Precious, released a web video endorsing marriage equality in Maryland. In the video, the Baltimore County native states:
They say you can take the lady out of Baltimore, but you can't take the Baltimore out of the lady... that statement rings true for me, because I still care about my home state.... 
The video (below), follows spots from Gov. Martin O'Malley and Baltimore Ravens football star Brendon Ayanbadejo.



One Year Out: Maryland Democrats Rally The Troops // Exclusive Video & Photo Gallery!

About a month ago, Maryland Juice caught word of plans for a Democratic "One Year Out" Mega-Rally to fire up troops before the 2012 elections. Of course, the GOP mocked Maryland Juice's effort and called it "desperate" on Twitter (see below):


For months I've been telling my friends concerned about Obama's re-election that it was silly to look at the early polling, because in a Presidential year (especially one like this), partisanship will eventually drive most of the votes back into a predictable place before November 2012. But still, I must admit, I was very curious to see whether the average Democrat would be fired up for next year. Judging by the hundreds of fed up voters that showed up at yesterday's rally, I'd say we're on the right track. See our video and photo coverage below, starting with this rally cry from Rep. Elijah Cummings:





When Democrats Roar: A Preview of Maryland Juice's Rally Coverage

Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis Assembles the Masses (this was not your typical crowd of politicos)

Stay tuned for our Democratic Rally Post-Mortem! 
 But isn't the photo above the best response to the idiot below? 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rally Reminder: Speakers to Include Gov. O'Malley, Sen. Cardin & Representatives Edwards, Van Hollen & Cummings

See the Maryland Democrats' reminder below about tonight's rally, plus a list of their speakers:
ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Democratic Party and OFA will be holding a campaign rally TODAY with special keynote speaker, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in support of the reelection of President Obama and Maryland Democrats in 2012. The rally will energize volunteers from across the state and showcase Maryland's support for the President and Democrats' efforts to get Americans working again and grow the economy.

Expected to give remarks at the rally are DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Ben Cardin, Representative Chris Van Hollen, Representative Elijah Cummings, Representative Donna Edwards and MDP Chair Yvette Lewis.

With DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Wednesday, October 26 · 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Location: Montgomery Blair High School
51 University Blvd East, Silver Spring, MD

Maryland Juice will check in with photos and more after the rally. See you there!

NOTED: Montgomery Delegate Heather Mizeur Co-Authors Pitch for Baltimore School Funding

The following op-ed in today's (firewalled) Baltimore Sun, will be of interest to some Maryland Juice readers. Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur, who represents parts of Montgomery County, co-wrote the following pitch for a Baltimore school funding proposal with Thomas Wilcox, the president of the Baltimore Community Foundation. We highlight excerpts below:
A big build for city schools

Creative bond financing proposal could infuse billions into Baltimore for school construction and renovation

By Heather R. Mizeur and Thomas E. Wilcox

THURSDAY: Maryland Juice Goes Public, See You in Silver Spring // Plus, the Baltimore Sun's Paid Firewall Begins

The Society of Professional Journalists (DC Chapter) invites you to an event this Thursday. Please join Maryland Juice and a range of area journalists for an animated discussion about media ethics and the future of journalism. We're going to talk about topics ranging from the role of citizen journalists to the tricky challenge of how to fund news coverage in the future. See you tomorrow in Silver Spring!

The Press & the Public: 
An exchange of ideas between the public and working journalists

TOMORROW: THU 10/27 | 6:30 - 8:00PM
Fenton Room at the Silver Spring Civic Building

The event -- funded by a national SDX grant -- will bring journalists, news consumers and newsmakers together for a meaningful discussion of ethical, credible news and why it matters.

We will have remarks from a panel of speakers followed by audience participation. Panelists include:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Former Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn Ivey Launching Exploratory Effort for Congress // Rep. Donna Edwards With 2 Primary Challengers

Last night a Maryland Juice reader indicated that a new candidate was emerging for the Democratic Congressional Primary in Maryland's 4th District. Earlier today, Anne Arundel Councilmember Jamie Benoit announced his intentions to explore a challenge to Rep. Donna Edwards.

But the rumor, it turns out, was really about former Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn Ivey. A few moments ago, a Maryland Juice Twitter follower made mention of the rumored candidacy, so I decided to ask Mr. Ivey himself. Mr. Ivey directed me to his newly hired media specialist, Ramon Korionof, who provided Maryland Juice with the breaking news:

HELP: Silver Spring's Blair High School Students Turn to GLEE for Music Funds // Plus, Flashback to Raskin's '06 Campaign

A Maryland Juice reader contacted us on Facebook today with a plea to help out Silver Spring's Montgomery Blair High School. It turns out the popular television show Glee (yes, I do watch it) is giving away $1,000,000 to at-risk music programs, with up to $50,000 per school. They are asking students to submit videos, and those with the most votes will get a slice of the money. Montgomery Blair has the following submission. Please watch their video, vote for it (every day), and forward the link to your friends.

Vote for this video and forward it to your friends!

So why am I helping out students at a high school that I did not attend? You see, I have a strange relationship with Montgomery Blair High School, and I feel I owe it to them to help. If you've worked on a campaign in downcounty MoCo, chances are Blair Young Dems knocked doors, made calls, stuffed envelopes and helped you cross the finish line. Before they could even vote, they had our backs -- and I think loyalty demands that we stand up for them.

Here's my story, and a flashback to Senator Jamie Raskin's 2006 Democratic Primary campaign:

Anne Arundel Councilman Jamie Benoit Explores Challenge to Rep. Donna Edwards // Army Vet to Seek Democratic Nod

Rep. Donna Edwards' new district appears to already be drawing the interest of challengers. See the press release below. Maryland Juice does not know much about Mr. Benoit, but on a side note, we noticed that his website does not appear to carry the "Democrat" label. This may have to do with his district demography:


In any case, see the press release below:


Anne Arundel County Councilman, Army Veteran Jamie Benoit Announces 
Congressional Exploratory Committee for Maryland’s 4th District

Benoit: “The Country Needs Serious people to address this once-in-a-generation fiscal crisis.”

Monday, October 24, 2011

MD Teachers Endorse Marriage Equality & Sen. Ben Cardin // VIDEO: A Baltimore Raven Speaks Out

The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) held their annual convention this weekend in Ocean City. Delegates from every county in the state came together to debate and discuss various policies. According to a press release emailed to Maryland Juice, the public school employees reiterated their opposition to voucher-funding in the BOAST bill, and they also voted to endorse Senator Ben Cardin for re-election. But interestingly, they took a break from education issues and came out in favor of marriage equality in Maryland:
Continuing the association’s long history for worker and civil rights, educators voted to support marriage equality in Maryland. In most counties, educators with long-term live-in partners cannot get the health care benefits available to married couples. The association adopted a resolution in support of marriage equality and an action item to support legislation backing marriage equality in the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session.
Teachers aren't the only professionals to join the marriage equality conga line. Marylanders for Marriage Equality recently posted the following web spot from Baltimore Ravens NFL star Brendon Ayanbadejo:

Montgomery Executive Ike Leggett's Youth Curfew Proposal Sinking // Anti-Loitering Alternative Emerges

Down with Curfew, Up with Big Boy

UPDATE: Just Up the Pike blogger Dan Reed discusses the anti-loitering alternative and notes the following: "County Executive Leggett worries that the loitering bill was 'overly broad' and could encourage racial profiling. Ironically, Leggett's concerns are the same raised by curfew opponents." It isn't so fun when it applies to all of us, is it?  

Besides, if Mr. Leggett is concerned about his police force racially profiling adults, I don't understand how he wants us to trust them with defenseless minors. Look at this preview of curfew enforcement from the Washington Post:
A group of about 15 young men exited the Silver Spring Metro station on a recent Friday night, heading toward the area’s bustling open-air restaurant district. 
Just before 10 p.m. they passed a police lieutenant. No hellos or smiles, but plenty of tattoos and stares. 
“My hunch is that’s not a good crowd,” Montgomery County police Lt. Robert Carter said, calling into his radio to alert fellow officers to keep track of them. 
For 38 minutes they watched. The group made its way to Dixon Avenue, a darkened street just off the main strip. Officers confronted them and started asking questions.... 
When officers approached the group on Dixon Avenue, the teenagers answered questions and had their pockets searched and their tattoos photographed. Police found no weapons or drugs and didn’t charge anyone. 
They just automatically assumed we were thugs, or we were about to cause some trouble or go fight,” said Mike Brown, 18, a James Hubert Blake High School student who ended his junior year with a 3.1 GPA and thinks the youths were targeted because they are black.
The key fixation of County Executive Ike Leggett's PR machine, a youth curfew proposal, appears to be sinking under the weight of its own controversy. The Washington Post today reported that Councilmembers Phil Andrews and George Leventhal are offering up their own alternative to singling out youths: a broad anti-loitering proposal that applies to everyone. Interesting move. I'll leave it to Maryland Juice readers to decide which proposal they like or dislike more, and I'll keep my own opinions to myself this time. You can read the full anti-loitering proposal at the bottom of this post.

This is certainly not the fatal or final blow to Mr. Leggett's attack on innocent county youths (and their parents' rights to raise their own kids) -- but it certainly makes his case much more difficult. For those that weren't paying attention to the legislative process, let me give you a refresher that will help you understand procedurally why the votes appear to be slipping away from the curfew....

Gays, Muslims, Immigrants Unite to Oppose Extremist Conference // CD6 GOP Candidate Sen. Shank a Featured Speaker

"A gay man, a muslim, and an illegal undocumented immigrant walk into a bar..."

...and write a letter telling GOP legislators "to strongly reconsider their decisions" 
to attend an upcoming extremist conference in Annapolis, Maryland.

This week, Equality Maryland, CASA de Maryland, the Islamic Society of Annapolis, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) denounced an October 29th conference hosted by the Maryland Conservative Action Network (MDCAN).

Together, the groups stated, "We unquestionably uphold the right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. However, we cannot remain silent when bigots and hate-mongers come to our communities to spread their lies and intolerance." They called on the following elected officials to reconsider their plans to speak: Senator Christopher Shank, Delegates Kathy Afzali, Patrick McDonough, and Neil Parrot. We reprint their full letter below, but already it has drawn the ire of our Tea Party counterparts in the blogosphere (see ie: Potomac Tea Party Reports).

REMINDER: Democratic Rally THIS WED // One Year Out from CD6 Battle, Plus Marriage Equality & Dream Act Defense

I haven't been to a good pep rally lately (though I did stop in and check out #occupydc this week -- interesting setup down there). That's why I wanted to remind Democrats and progressives about a big rally this Wednesday. Indeed, it is time to sound the battle-cry, because next year Maryland Democrats may have a lot to be fighting for:

  • We can help take a new Congressional seat out of the Tea Party's hands (CD6)
  • We can defend marriage equality from a well-financed repeal effort already underway (the bill hasn't even passed yet!)
  • We can defend affordable college tuition for all (the Dream Act) from a Tea Party repeal effort
  • We can do our part in Maryland (and Virginia) to keep the 1% as far away from the White House and government agencies as possible

Furthermore, in my native Montgomery County, Robin Ficker Realty has filed as a GOP primary challenger to Roscoe Bartlett. The Gazette reported, "Five Republicans, including Bartlett and former state delegate Robin Ficker, who has run for U.S. Senate, Montgomery County Council and county executive — sometimes as an Independent — have filed for the race." Who knows whether Bartlett will be able to defeat Robin Ficker -- either way, we could be dealing with a nutty GOP candidate next year!


With DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Wednesday, October 26 · 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Location: Montgomery Blair High School
51 University Blvd East, Silver Spring, MD

MD Senator Rob Garagiola Announces State Legislative Endorsements for Congress (CD6)

UPDATE:  The Baltimore Sun followed-up with one incorrect endorsement: "Del. Kevin Kelly, an Allegany County Democrat, said in an e-mail that he is not endorsing any candidate in the race. The mix up appears to have been a case of miscommunication." 

Maryland Juice also thought it was worth mentioning that the press release below was emailed by Morton Brilliant at the Strategy Group: "The Strategy Group was the only mail firm that worked for the Obama campaign in the primary, and the only mail firm responsible for mail in 9 of the final 16 targeted states in the general." Remember that Duchy Trachtenberg appears to have retained Howard Dean manager Joe Trippi for consulting services. The big boys & girls are coming to MoCo! *cough* *cough* Don't get too cozy here!
 
 # PRESS RELEASE #
                  
Ahead of Formal Campaign Kickoff, State Senators & 
Delegates line up behind Garagiola

Annapolis, MD – Senator Rob Garagiola, who is seriously considering a run for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, received encouragement today from a group of seventeen Democratic legislators representing parts of the district.

“As Majority Leader, Rob Garagiola has shown that he has the know-how to move our economy forward and the ability to bring people together to create desperately needed new jobs,” said Montgomery County State Senator Nancy King (D-39).

The following state legislators have endorsed Rob Garagiola for Congress:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

MD Anti-Marriage Equality Leader Reveals Motives: Homosexuals are Freaks, Perverts?

A reader has forwarded Maryland Juice a disappointing article regarding marriage equality in the Free State. It used to be that you could openly make bigoted statements against LGBT individuals and nobody would blink. But as public opinion (especially among younger generations) shifts toward acceptance of homosexuality and LGBT rights, marriage equality opponents are increasingly pretending to be nice. That's why Maryland Juice decided to highlight new evidence indicating that Maryland leaders of the fight against marriage equality are still driven primarily by the hatred of homosexuality, and not the so-called protection of marriage.

Earlier this year, Maryland Senator Jim Brochin even noted that he switched from being a civil union proponent to a supporter of full equality after hearing some of the things opponents were saying. The Timonium Patch reported at the time:

Frederick County GOP Leader Blaine Young Seeks to Push "Illegal" Immigrants Into Montgomery County

Maryland Juice does not feel the need to give airtime to every moronic statement by a GOP politician -- but a recent comment by Frederick County politician Blaine Young is too ridiculous to ignore. While our neighbors in D.C. are fighting anti-immigrant sentiment, our other neighbors in Frederick are promoting it. In an article describing Mr. Young's new immigration strategy for Frederick County, The Gazette reported:
Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) said commissioners will explore avenues to try to curb the county’s spending on illegal immigrants. 
We are going to make Frederick County as unfriendly to illegal residents as possible,” he said. “Let them go to Montgomery County.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Maryland Juice Benchmark: 50,000 Pageviews // The Fun Is Just Beginning....

This is no longer a test. Maryland Juice published a preview post on August 11, 2011. About seven weeks later (9/27) we hailed our first benchmark: 25,000 pageviews. Now, less than a month later, we are already celebrating our next big benchmark: 50,000 pageviews. That means we doubled our readership with only half the time. Thanks to our sources and readers for sending in story leads. Keep 'em coming!


Stay tuned and keep reading, folks. It looks like we've got scandal stories brewing and a whole lot more coming down the pipeline. Also, in case you can't yet tell, an underlying theme of Maryland Juice is that even in peachy MoCo & Maryland, our local issues reflect the inter-generational, class and anti-discrimination conflicts occurring around the world. Sure there are enough well-off folks in the County & State to sometimes disguise that truth, but it seems pretty obvious when you think about it for two seconds. As for the blog itself, Maryland Juice has a few ideas cookin' for where to take this thing. The fun is just beginning....

Wire Yourself to the Maryland Juice Information Grid:

Amtrak & Montgomery County Censorship News Takes Off // Plus, Howard & Anne Arundel Censor Based on Politics?

Concerns About Internet Censorship Spread from Montgomery County to Amtrak and then to Howard, Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties 

UPDATE: The technology and information crusaders at Techdirt have picked up on the Amtrak/MoCo censorship doubleheader!

This month, Maryland Juice readers blew the whistle on Internet censorship in Montgomery County government buildings. The story started with reports of the County (aka Chairman MoCo) blocking employees from visiting an environmental site (FUH2.com). That snowballed into reports of numerous pro-LGBT websites (ie: Victory Fund, Metro Weekly, Seattle Gay News, etc) and even a seniors community calendar being blocked.

The story took a turn for the strange, when I was riding an Amtrak train and tried to use their Wifi connection to verify that Montgomery County's blocked LGBT sites were not pornography. Amazingly, Amtrak apparently also decided to censor their (brand new) Internet connections from sites like Seattle Gay News and the UK newspaper, The Guardian. The doubleheader MoCo/Amtrak censorship post has quickly become the most-read post since we started Maryland Juice, drawing hundreds and hundreds of new readers this week.

We now hear that the ACLU is poking around at Chairman MoCo's practices, and the media is spreading the word about the defective web filters used by Montgomery County and Amtrak. Additionally, numerous young LGBT voices in Montgomery are suddenly contacting Maryland Juice about the need for more local organizing to defend the community. Details soon!

In the meantime, here is a quick round-up of the news coverage, starting with a TV clip from WJLA (ABC 7):


Friday, October 21, 2011

CORRECTION: Sen. Nancy Jacobs Weighing Challenge to Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger

Earlier today, Maryland Juice incorrectly attributed GOP Sen. Nancy Jacobs' departure from the Senate Minority Leader spot as evidence of a potential carpetbagger bid against Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. Maryland Reporter pointed out the error (hat tip) -- Sen. Jacobs is in reality weighing a challenge to CD2 Democratic incumbent Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, not Rep. Bartlett.

Apologies for dragging Ms. Jacobs into Bartlett's new nightmare! That bumps GOP Sen. Chris Shank into the sole category of "elected guy who is thinking out loud about running against Rep. Bartlett" ... so far!

Former Frederick Del. Sue Hecht Joins Garagiola for Congress // Plus, Campaign Forms 527 AND Candidate Committee?

UPDATE: Maryland Juice just realized the document below is for an IRS 527, not an FEC candidate committee. But upon further exploring, it turns out that Garagiola for Congress is also an FEC candidate committee (filed on 10/13/11). Does that mean the Garagiola effort has two entities, a 527 and an FEC committee?

Also, we hear rumors that anti-tax activist and frequent candidate for office ROBIN FICKER REALTY may be weighing a primary challenge against Rep. Roscoe Bartlett! Given the new flood of Montgomery voters in CD6, I think he could stand a good chance of winning the GOP nod.

A source points out that according to State Senator Rob Garagiola's federal election IRS paperwork, former Maryland Delegate Sue Hecht has already joined his campaign. Ms. Hecht has signed on as Treasurer of Mr. Garagiola's federal committee, and her own former treasurer Kathy Rossen has signed on as Assistant Treasurer:


CD6 Candidates Float Trial Balloons: Doug Duncan, Mark Shriver, Chris Shank, A Tea Party Activist & More!

UPDATE:  OOPS! Maryland Juice completely misread Maryland Reporter's follow-up to our article below. They correctly noted that Sen. Nancy Jacobs is running against Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger in CD2, not against Bartlett in CD6. In the excitement of the morning roundup, I incorrectly dragged her into Rep. Bartlett's nightmare. Also, Steve Silverman says he is definitely not running for CD6 -- especially as he has just been re-drawn into CD3.

Earlier, another reader noted that, "Doug Duncan attended the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League meeting with the Montgomery County Council last night, and he stayed the whole time of a very long meeting." Interesting. More on a possible Duncan candidacy soon.

Lastly, Maryland Reporter also noted that Sen. Brinkley lives in CD8 and therefore may not go through with a challenge to Rep. Bartlett. Be that as it may, its not stopping some politicians from starting rumors. But let me clarify the post below -- these are potential candidates who are being discussed in MD politico circles right now. I expect many will not ultimately run, but I do believe that it is not unlikely that we will get at least one non-CD6 candidate in the race (note: you don't really have to live in the District before you run for Congress). I also believe there is a 0% chance that Rep. Bartlett gets an easy GOP Primary Election.

Yesterday, Maryland Juice began crafting a list of candidates for Maryland's new 6th Congressional District. We mentioned a few obvious names like Sen. Rob Garagiola and GOP Chair Alex Mooney, but within hours former Montgomery Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg surprised observers with an announced CD6 bid. Now, the floodgates are open and numerous politicos are floating trial balloons.

Former County Executive Doug Duncan's name is now being whispered by insiders, along with former Delegate Mark Shriver. On the GOP side, things are about to get crazy, as it looks like multiple officials are "supporting" Bartlett while weighing whether to try and take him down. We summarize the chaos below and end with a simple list of the potential candidates.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

State Senator Rob Garagiola Announces Exploratory Effort for MD 6th Congressional District

Press Release:
State Senator Rob Garagiola will explore Sixth Congressional District Run

Germantown, MD (October 20, 2011) -- Now that Governor O'Malley has signed the new Congressional districts into law, I have begun the process of reaching out to supporters and other leaders to seriously consider a run for Congress in the newly drawn Sixth Congressional District.

DC Rejects Anti-Latino "Secure Communities" Deportation Program // Plus, Restaurant Eve Top Chef Weighs In?

Yesterday, the District of Columbia announced that it was refusing to participate in the Department of Justice's controversial "Secure Communities" deportation program. According to the Washington Post, Mayor Vince Gray signed an Executive Order "that prohibits public safety agencies from asking about a person’s immigrant status or contacting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."  The announcement came on the same day that researchers released a new report calling into question the record number of deportations occurring under the Obama administration. According to PBS, Secure Communities really does break up families (lots of them) and racially profiles Latinos:
...a new report, released today, raises major questions about a program that has lead to many of those deportations. 
Secure Communities, a high-tech way of tracking immigration violators via fingerprint data, has led to the disproportionate arrest of Latinos, the wrongful detention of U.S. citizens and families being split apart when a spouse or parent is deported, according to a new study, [PDF] released today by the Warren Institute at the University of California, Berkeley Law School, in conjunction with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. 
The study is the first to analyze government data on the program. Among its findings:

BREAKING: Former Montgomery Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg Running for MD Congressional District 6

OMG: See the announcement below, and note that former Howard Dean manager Joe Trippi appears to be consulting for the campaign.


Duchy Trachtenberg, who served as Montgomery County Councilmember At-Large from 2006-2010, announced today her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

"The New 6th District Needs a New Kind of Representative"


Redistricting Fallout: Rep. Bartlett Running in New CD6 // 1 or 2 Lawsuits // A New Senate Majority Leader

UPDATE: Breaking news from Twitter - "MARYLAND - CD-6: State Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola (D) files FEC paperwork to challenge Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R)." @Politics1com

Yesterday, the Maryland Assembly finally brought the deliberations over 2012 Congressional boundaries to a close. Though there are still some procedural votes left (ie: the Sun noted 24 typos in the redistricting bill that need to be corrected in the Senate), the State is likely to plow forward in implementing Governor O'Malley's new map. This will kick off a wave of fresh stories for Maryland Juice, but below we highlight a preview of the fallout from the new redistricting plan:

Enter the CD6 Republican Candidates

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reader Submission: Redistricting Divides Apartment Community & White Oak FDA

Maryland Juice today posted a photo of some houses and a building being split between two Congressional Districts, according to Maryland's online redistricting tool. A reader has sent the following amusing follow-ups:
"Here's an entire apartment complex in the White Oak area of Silver Spring that's split between MD-8 and MD-3 -- numerous apt. bldgs. are split in bizarre ways!"


Baltimore & Montgomery United? Red & Purple Line Backers Say Full Public Funding Needed

Seemingly in response to yesterday's Maryland Juice story about the ICC and Purple Line funding, Baltimore's Red Line Now PAC and Montgomery's Action Committee for Transit have issued a joint press release. Today they call for full public funding of their light rail projects. We reprint the release below, as well as excerpts from the Washington Examiner article leading to all this commotion.
Press Release: Red & Purple Line Backers Say Full Funding Needed 
The Action Committee for Transit of Montgomery County and the Red Line Now PAC of Baltimore today called on the legislature to guarantee that new transportation funding will fully fund the non-federal share of the Purple Line and Red Line. 
The highway lobby, in recent days, has begun trying to endanger vitally needed mass transit expansion by demanding private funding for public transit. 

Prince George's Voters Replace Leslie Johnson With Derrick Leon Davis for Council

Yesterday, Prince George's County voters (a handful of them, at least), elected Democrat Derrick Leon Davis to the County Council's District 6 seat. The result shouldn't be surprising, as Maryland Juice previously noted that Mr. Davis was sweeping the local political endorsements. We also noted the circumstances leading to the Council vacancy:
The Prince George's Democrats are also likely to rally behind a single candidate to help them move past the incidents that gave rise to the special election. In 2010, Davis was bested by Leslie Johnson, wife of then County Executive Jack Johnson. As the Washington Post wrote, Johnson stepped down from the District 6 Council seat after facing criminal charges...
With the backing of County Executive Rushern Baker and area politicos, The Gazette reports that Mr. Davis won yesterday's Special General Election in a landslide:

Governor O'Malley's Redistricting Map Passes 91-46 in Maryland House // Plus, What Happens If Your House is Split?

UPDATE: Below the fold, we ask a question and provide a link to Maryland's online Redistricting tool. One reader responded with the following comment about the (cracked) ICC: "I followed your link to the Gov's redistricting page, but when I searched my house, I found there was no ICC on the map.  (I live a few feet away from the ICC)  Interesting..."

Governor Martin O'Malley's redistricting plan (below) has passed the Maryland House with 91 yes votes and 46 no votes. According to the Washington Times, "Five Democrats also voted against the plan: Delegates Tiffany Alston and Aisha Braveboy from Prince George’s County, and Delegates Alfred C. Carr Jr., Ana Sol Gutierrez and Luiz Simmons from Montgomery County." Following on the heels of Senate approval earlier this week, the Governor's map appears to have prevailed. There still appear to be procedural votes, and the House will reconvene tomorrow at 10:30 am. But this appears to be a formality.


Rep. Donna Edwards Launches Online Petition for Alternative Redistricting Plan // BREAKING: Alternative Map Voted Down

UPDATE: The Fannie Lou Hamer map amendment was just shot down with 0 Democratic votes. Note, this is different than the Rep. Edwards plan.  Now, the Edwards Alternative map just failed as an amendment with 26 Yea's and 107 Nay's. In the meantime, one source just flagged that there may be a remaining technical amendment: "Technical amendment? Jeez, that means we have to go back to the Senate." Details soon....

Ahead of the Maryland House of Delegates' looming debate on Governor O'Malley's redistricting plan, Rep. Donna Edwards has launched an online petition to support her alternative map. See her alert below, and note that her map is likely to be debated today in the Maryland House:
Dear Friends,

The Maryland Senate passed the redistricting plan Monday night, and the House of Delegates is expected to vote today.  It is important to make your voice heard.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hairline Cracks! Maryland to Rebuild Parts of ICC? // Plus, Leggett Calls for Private Purple Line Funding, ACT Responds

Oh boy. Just when you thought the Inter-County Connector (ICC) was finally winding down as an issue, the Washington Post drops this bomb:
Inspectors have found hairline cracks in three newly built overpasses on the Intercounty Connector, requiring that parts of their concrete piers be reinforced immediately and perhaps rebuilt, ICC officials said Tuesday.

Maryland Senate Approves Gov. O'Malley's Redistricting Plan // House Status Still Unclear

UPDATE: The AP is reporting that the Maryland Senate approved Governor O'Malley's redistricting plan on a 33-13 vote. All GOP members voted against the plan, and one Democrat joined them: Prince George's Sen. Anthony Muse, an African American minister. Notably, Mr. Muse is weighing a Primary Election challenge to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. Meanwhile, according to an anonymous Delegate, this will now send the plan to the House. Our source earlier in the day gave Maryland Juice the following insights into the timing and process in the House: 
The amendment for Donna Edwards' alternative is drafted. No decisions yet. The time to offer amendments and debate will be on the house floor tomorrow. Its all on the Senate side today. Supposedly the Senate had to pull it back one step to 2nd reader to make a technical correction. The plan will come to the house at 5pm. We will "special order" it until tomorrow as a courtesy to anyone who wants to offer amendments. 
Here's the latest in the ongoing saga concerning Congressional redistricting in Maryland. After talking to a random assortment of area politicos, the State Senate appears ready to approve Governor O'Malley's proposed redistricting plan, but the status in the Maryland House of Delegates is murky. Indeed, Maryland Reporter today had this coverage of yesterday's redistricting deliberations in the State Assembly:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Montgomery County Spends $67,408 a Year to Censor Internet // Plus, Amtrak Blocks LGBT Newspapers on WiFi Soft-Launch

UPDATE: A Montgomery County employee has sent word of Chairman MoCo's Iron Firewall blocking more LGBT websites. Our source sends notice of the following blocked sites: Seattle Gay News (sgn.org), GayCityNews.com, LesbianNews.com, etc. Once again, all have been listed as porn.

Amazingly, Maryland Juice is on an Amtrak train right now and was trying to verify that Seattle Gay News was not a porn site (it is not), and I stumbled across the following amazing development. Amtrak also appears to be blocking LGBT news sites from its WiFi connections! WTF. The sgn.org site contains offensive articles, like this recent headline: "Youth suicide prevention funds on WA state's chopping block". 

But apparently an equally big story is that Maryland Juice stumbled upon the soft-launch of Wifi service on its Northeast Regional Line. I just spoke to a subcontractor of Amtrak who wanted to know how my connection was acting. I am running on a fairly stable connection from NYC to Washington. 

Even still, my excitement is now dampened.  A Maryland Juice Facebook reader also noted, "I repeatedly got the same msg when I tried to access Guardian UK last month." The Guardian is a mainstream liberal British newspaper. Amtrak, shame on you:


Free Event WED: Mike McCurry (Clinton Press Secretary) on Clinton & Obama @ Politics & Prose

Free event supported by the Montgomery County Bar Association:

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama--a timely discussion of their presidencies by those that worked with them. Mike McCurry, Pres. Clinton's former press secretary, Lissa Muscatine, served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, reporter for the Washington Post and new co owner of Politics and Prose,  and Michael Takiff , author of   A Complicated Man – the Life of Bill Clinton as Told by those Who Know Him,(Yale University Press). And, there is a good chance that C-Span will cover this event! 

Wednesday, October 19th beginning at 4:30 p.m., to 6 pm.    this meeting will take place at the Politics and Prose Bookstore, located at 5015 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008. 

202-364-1919 •  800-722-0790
202-966-7532 (fax)
books@politics-prose.com

Occupy Sesame Street: Subversive Messages from Slovenia to DC

Maryland Juice decided to take a break from politics and check out some subversive art this week. I caught populist musical Les Misérables in DC, as well as the psychedelic dance-cirque Fuerza Bruta in NYC. Les Mis is running at the Kennedy Center through the end of the month, and for those who are unfamiliar with the plot, it kicks off with a man serving years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. Not a bad time for this story to roll through Washington....

Fuerza Bruta, on the other hand, has no words but still manages to condemn worker-exploitation in NYC's fashion industry (check out their Youtube trailer at the bottom of this post). It is hard for me to avoid noticing these subversive themes in current pop culture, given the waves of protest seemingly sweeping the globe. Indeed, Les Mis itself is a tale of class oppression in France, by way of a British musical that spread around the globe. Fuerza Bruta was developed by Argentinians, before making its way to New York.

Today, protestors are gravitating toward a new icon of subversion: Sesame Street. I caught the photo below on a certain former Maryland blogger's Facebook page:

Image Source: http://imgur.com/e2CgR?tags

Ruh Roh: Congresswoman Donna Edwards Unveils Alternative Redistricting Map

From a breaking press release:

Congresswoman Edwards Unveils Alternative Redistricting Map 
that Achieves Minority Representation Goals

Rep. Donna Edwards' Alternate 2012 Congressional District Map



Sunday, October 16, 2011

See Your New Congressional District // Maryland 2012 District-by-District (8 Maps)

Maryland Juice below posts the district-by-district maps of Governor O'Malley's redistricting final draft. You can now see the proposed new boundaries for your member of Congress. The Maryland Assembly meets on Monday to vote on the maps, but the Baltimore Sun indicates the door may still be open to more changes:
In the House of Delegates, a "no" vote from more than 13 Democrats out of 98 could scuttle the plan if all Republicans oppose it. 
Joseph C. Bryce, O'Malley's top legislative aide, left the door open to possible changes.
See all 8 Maryland Congressional Districts Below:

Maryland 2012 Congressional District 8: Chris Van Hollen