Tuesday, May 1, 2012

JuiceBlender: 2014 Attorney General Candidates, Martin O'Malley On Tour, Marriage Equality Brings Big Bucks & More

Below Maryland Juice presents a random blend of tidbits from recent political news. We begin with an early peek at Maryland's 2014 Attorney General's race:

JUICE #1: EARLY PEEK AT 2014 ATTORNEY GENERAL PRIMARY - Last week, Maryland Juice previewed lists of potential 2014 candidate fields. We did not, however, discuss the 2014 Attorney General's race -- and now Center Maryland's Josh Kurtz has beaten us to the punch! Today, he published a worthwhile analysis of the early dynamics. We print an excerpt from Josh Kurtz's column below, followed by a current list of the potential candidates:
CENTER MARYLAND: ... it’s been widely assumed that state Sen. Jamie Raskin ... will try to replace [Doug Gansler] in the AG’s office when the time comes.

Raskin told me last week that he’s still thinking seriously about it and hopes to make up his mind sometime in the fall (his most immediate electoral priority, he said, is preserving the same-sex marriage law and the DREAM Act on the ballot in November)....
Raskin, a Harvard-educated constitutional scholar and law professor at American University, would have a serious claim on the job. He had $105,000 cash on hand in January....

Regardless of what Raskin does, another Montgomery County lawmaker is looking at the race: Del. Bill Frick. Frick has worked on consumer and financial reform legislation in Annapolis and counts Elizabeth Warren as a role model....

Expect Frick, who had just $13,000 in his campaign account in January, to test the waters this spring and fall. At 37 years old, he’s Hollywood handsome and a delightful conversationalist with a dead-on assessment of all that ails state government and politics. But as one shrewd elected official recently told me, “He’s a white boy from Bethesda” at a time when minorities are trying to flex their muscles in state politics like never before.

That’s a problem that another delegate who’s also 37 would not encounter: Aisha Braveboy of Prince George’s County. Braveboy has begun telling political associates that she probably doesn’t want to stay in Annapolis beyond 2014 and is seriously eyeing the AG’s race.

But Braveboy has sung that tune before: she came close to running for Prince George’s County executive in 2010, then pondered a bid for state Senate, before deciding to remain in the House. In 2014, she could probably waltz into the Senate, with Uly Currie’s career almost over. As the next election approaches, an easy promotion to the Senate may seem like a better bet than an uphill statewide race. She had just $2,200 on hand in January.

Another Prince Georgian will also be part of the conversation: former State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey. Some of his sheen may have worn off after abandoning his challenge to U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D) earlier this year, and it isn’t clear whether he’ll want to dive into a statewide race so soon after his congressional bid.... He had $44,000 in a state account in January and $75,000 in a congressional account — most of which can be transferred to the state account — as of March 31.

MORE POSSIBLE AG CANDIDATES: Notably, Maryland Juice has also received word from sources about a few more possible 2014 AG candidates. The first is Delegate Jon Cardin of Baltimore County. He was originally on our list of potential Comptroller's candidates, but two sources immediately indicated he has been talking about the AG's race recently. Additionally, one source indicated that State Sen. Bobby Zirkin of Baltimore County would likely be considering an AG's run. Lastly, Josh Kurtz's column also mentioned a number of State's Attorneys and dark horse candidates that might run for Attorney General. Kurtzs' list discusses State’s Attorneys Angela Alsobrooks, Gregg Bernstein, John McCarthy and Scott Shellenberger. He also includes the following dark horse candidates: Howard Exec Ken Ulman, MoCo Exec Ike Leggett, former AG candidate Tom Perez and First Lady Katie O'Malley. I'm not going to include those four in a list right now, as I suspect rumors about them are completely hypothetical.

Here is a combined list of possible 2014 Democrats for Attorney General:
  • Angela Alsobrooks, State's Attorney (Prince George's)
  • Gregg Bernstein, State's Attorney (Baltimore City)
  • Aisha Braveboy, Delegate (Prince George's)
  • Jon Cardin, Delegate (Baltimore)
  • Bill Frick, Delegate (Montgomery)
  • Glenn Ivey, former State's Attorney (Prince George's)
  • John McCarthy, State's Attorney (Montgomery) 
  • Jamie Raskin, State Senator (Montgomery)
  • Scott Shellenberger, State's Attorney (Baltimore)
  • Bobby Zirkin, State Senator (Baltimore)

JUICE #2: GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY ON TOUR - Maryland Juice has been watching Gov. Martin O'Malley raise his profile, as his career shifts to the next step. There has been growing chatter among national politicos that Gov. O'Malley will be a top tier White House candidate in 2016. That's why I was amused to see that Maryland's Governor is the headliner at the Arizona Democratic Party's Heritage Dinner next week. BlogforArizona noted the event:

Gov. Martin O'Malley with O'Malley's March
Meanwhile, Gov. O'Malley is continuing to raise his profile in other ways. The Washington Post recently reported that his rock band, O'Malley's March, will be performing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra:
WASHINGTON POST: O’Malley’s March has been booked on June 17 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as part of Maryland’s War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration.

The concert at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore is being held in conjunction with the Star-Spangled Sailabration, a maritime festival in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor....

O’Malley aides who once questioned whether his side career detracted from the governor’s gravitas have come to see it as a healthy outlet for him....

In March, the band played at the White House as part of an extended St. Patrick’s Day celeration in honor of Irish Prime Minister Edna Kenny.

JUICE #3: BALTIMORE PORT BUSINESS BOOM - It is fitting that Gov. O'Malley should be performing as part of a maritime festival. Despite Baltimore's numerous woes, there is still much to celebrate due to the strength of the city's port. Last November we noted that Baltimore's shipping business was surging, making the city one of the nation's busiest ports. Donald Fry at Center Maryland recently explained how this means more jobs for Marylanders and pushed lawmakers to get serious about transportation infrastructure funding. Maryland Juice wholeheartedly agrees. For example, our November column noted that the Panama Canal was widening to beef up shipping traffic, but Mr. Fry's column last Friday noted that it required a public-private partnership to prep Baltimore's port for the arrival of the new, larger ships. Read an excerpt from Mr. Fry's column below:
CENTER MARYLAND: While the Inner Harbor gets much of the glory when people think of Baltimore’s waterfront, our working port continues to be a major driver of our regional and statewide economies.

This was decisively underscored by Governor Martin O’Malley’s recent announcement that cargo business at the Port of Baltimore is surging in a big way – an economic outcome that, in order to continue nurturing, touches on a chronic fiscal challenge facing lawmakers in Annapolis.

The port saw a 15 percent increase in cargo handled in 2011 – the most growth of any port in the U.S....
What does all of this data mean to our region and state? In a word: jobs. The port directly generates about 14,630 jobs, and 108,000 jobs in Maryland are related to port activities, according to state data.

It’s important to recognize that the kind of success our port is experiencing does not just happen....

Frankly, without the public-private Seagirt partnership with Ports America, funding for the capital improvements to position our port for the post-Panamax super ships would not have been available.

Lawmakers in Annapolis, who for years have failed to adequately address our state’s growing crisis in funding transportation infrastructure, tend to relate transportation funding to roads and transit — resources for which they apparently struggle to recognize as having an economic impact.

Collectively, they have been unable to grasp what business instinctively knows: transportation infrastructure is directly related to competitiveness, job creation and economic growth.

JUICE #4: MARRIAGE EQUALITY = REVENUE FOR MARYLAND - It is well-known now that States that have enacted marriage equality receive a surge in revenues from businesses related to same-sex marriages. A new study indicates that Maryland stands to gain $90 million a year in spending thanks to marriage equality legislation. The Gazette reported last week:
GAZETTE: If same-sex marriage survives the challenge expected at the ballot box this fall, money spent on weddings and related costs such as catering could boost Maryland’s economy by more than $90 million per year, according to economic analysts....

Maryland became the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage in March, but opponents have vowed to put the issue before voters in the fall.

Not only would the state net about $3.6 million in sales and lodging tax revenue, but over three years wedding-related businesses could see as much as $21 million per year from same-sex couples living in Maryland and another $73 million from couples traveling from out-of-state to get married....

In the fiscal note that accompanied the Civil Marriage Protection Act this year, department analysts said the law could have a meaningful impact on wedding-related small businesses and tax revenues....

“You definitely hear about how local bakers and florists, wedding planners and hotels [were] all getting booked up very quickly,” said M.V. Lee Badgett, research director for the Williams Institute and professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, adding that there were reports in Iowa of busloads of out-of-state couples arriving to get married. “The anecdotes are very compelling,” she said.

In 2009, after same-sex marriage had been legal in Massachusetts for five years but before the state began granting marriage licenses to out-of-state couples, the institute reported that more than 12,000 same-sex couples in the state had married, about half the total number of same-sex couples in the state.

The state received an economic boost of about $111 million, according to Badgett.

“...The sky didn’t fall, as many people predicted,” said Kara Suffredini, executive director of MassEquality, a Boston-based activist group....

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