Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Congressional Juice // Updates on Challengers to Sen. Ben Cardin & Congressmen Ruppersberger and Bartlett (and more)

At the start of the year, a few news outlets have produced roundups of Maryland political candidate news (see ie: Germantown Patch, Maryland Reporter, etc). After all, we are in the midst of Congressional filing deadlines, and soon fundraising reports will be trickling in. The Gazette's Sarah Breitenbach today flagged pending Congressional campaign announcements from a few candidates:
As the Jan. 11 deadline to file for 2012 congressional races approaches, several state lawmakers plan to use this week to let constituents know whether they will run for federal office.

Sens. C. Anthony Muse, David R. Brinkley and Nancy Jacobs have scheduled announcement events....
Maryland Juice sources have been trickling information about some of these races. First, we're hearing that State Senator Anthony Muse's campaign kickoff for his Democratic Primary challenge to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin may be attended by some interesting past and present elected officials. We'll hopefully report back with juice after this Thursday's event.

Also, the Associated Press last night confirmed that State Senator Nancy Jacobs will be announcing her campaign against Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger today tomorrow. Meanwhile, over in the 6th Congressional District, a source is confirming rumors that State Senator David Brinkley is likely to file for a primary challenge to Rep. Roscoe Bartlett today. They also provide some clues about GOP Chair Alex Mooney's possible perspective:
The word is that Alex Mooney is planning to run and heavily raising money because the GOP is working to push Bartlett out… many people think it’s time for him to step aside. Anticipating that Bartlett could back out on January 10, Mooney is getting ready to run. But most Republican insiders believe that if Bartlett does run, Mooney won’t. Brinkley will run regardless.
A reader has also taken the opportunity to remind us of a scandal involving Senator Brinkley in 2008. The Baltimore Sun reported at the time:
Frederick County sheriff's deputies responded to the Mount Airy home of Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley last week to investigate a reported domestic dispute involving his wife, according to the police report released yesterday.

Brinkley, 48, accused his wife of slapping him in the neck and trying to grab his hands, and then using his hands to hit herself in the face, according to Deputy Orion G. Rustin....

Brinkley's wife, Sallie Brinkley, accused the two-term senator of hitting her in the face, grabbing her around the neck and biting her on the arm before she ran outside and locked herself in her vehicle, where she stayed until deputies arrived, according to the report....

Jacqui Nigh, an aide to Brinkley, said yesterday that she is taking a leave of absence from her job. She works in Brinkley's district office, which is in his home, she said.
The Maryland GOP's elected officials seem to have difficulty staying out of trouble. Speaking of trouble, whatever happened to Delegate Nic Kipke's leadership challenge to House GOP Leader Tony O'Donnell?  *cough* ... *cough*

CD6 Candidate Milad Pooran Deployed

Meanwhile, back on the Democratic side, a Maryland Juice source spotted a Facebook ad from CD6 candidate Milad Pooran (see image at right).

Earlier today, I also saw another Facebook ad for Mr. Pooran, except the ad said "Milad Pooran has been deployed" (I kid you not). Unfortunately, I didn't save a copy of the ad, but the Hagerstown Herald-Mail's Andrew Schotz had the story on Mr. Pooran's 30-day deployment:
Dr. Milad L. Pooran is temporarily stepping away from his campaign for Maryland's 6th Congressional District seat because, as an Air National Guardsman, he has been deployed to Germany.

During a telephone interview Wednesday, several hours before his overseas flight, Pooran said he will be part of a critical-care air-transport team treating service members with combat injuries, mainly those serving in Afghanistan.

 Democratic Congressional Campaign Hiring

A Maryland Juice reader has also forwarded news of another Maryland Congressional campaign seeking a campaign manager. The ad was posted by the Democratic consulting firm TruBlu Politics, a firm that I have worked with in the past. You can read the full listing on Maryland Juice's Job & Internship listings. The ad does not specify who the candidate is.

Tea Party Voter Harassment Effort Forming?

Lastly, Maryland conservatives are launching an effort to fight non-existent "voter fraud" (ie: find ways of making it more difficult for people to vote) in 2012:
Election Integrity Maryland’s goal is to ensure free and fair elections.  To that end, we have created a two-hour poll watcher's training program.  We hope you will attend and learn how to become a certified poll watcher for a polling station in your county.
The conservative group is training "poll watchers" on Tuesday, January 10th in Bethesda, Maryland. Their website hints at the type of "poll watching" they will be conducting:
Election fraud strikes at the heart of our political system and threatens our freedom. When fraudulent votes cancel out legal votes, our rights as citizens are diminished. Free and fair elections are our American birthright, and defend us against tyranny....

Election Integrity Maryland (EIM) is a non-partisan, non-profit citizen initiative dedicated to upholding free and fair elections. It is modeled after the True the Vote initiative begun in Houston, Texas, in 2010. Both of our organizations are dedicated to equipping citizen volunteers with training to recognize and report fraudulent activity that corrupts our electoral process.
TPM Muckraker states that "True the Vote" is (of course) a Tea Party effort: "True the Vote, which was started by a Texas Tea Party group called the King Street Patriots, made it clear they intended to help groups around the country monitor the polls and make anti-voter fraud efforts a major part of the political landscape going into 2012."

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