Tuesday, October 30, 2012

VIDEOS: Marriage Equality Advocates Air Two New TV Ads // Del. Todd Schuler & Teacher Explain "Vote For" Question 6

Marylanders for Marriage Equality is up with two new ads urging voters to "vote for" Question 6. The first ad features former Del. Todd Schuler (D8 Dem), while the 2nd ad focuses on a teacher's rebuttal to the misleading school-focused ads from civil rights opponents. Watch both ads below:

POLL RESULTS: New Goucher Survey Shows Majority Support Marriage Equality, Dream Act & Gambling // READ FINDINGS

BACKGROUND: A Maryland Juice source has forwarded us the inaugural poll results from Goucher College's inaugural "Goucher Poll." The Baltimore-based school will now be polling Marylanders on a variety of topics and periodically releasing results. Their first surveys, not surprisingly, capture opinion on several items on Maryland's Presidential Election ballot.

OBAMA-ROMNEY APPROVAL RATINGS: Goucher surveyed Marylanders on Obama-Romney approval ratings, and not surprisingly, the President remains popular in the Free State:
  • 60% of Marylanders view Obama favorably
  • 64% of Marylanders view Romney unfavorably

O'MALLEY APPROVAL RATINGS: As for Governor Martin O'Malley:
  • 45% view the Governor favorably
  • 36% view the Governor unfavorably

BALLOT QUESTION RESULTS: But the the survey results on a few key issues in Maryland are a bit interesting. First, Goucher's poll confirms a sizeable lead in support for both marriage equality (Question 6) and the Dream Act (Question 4). But surprisingly, they are showing that a majority of respondents favor gambling expansion (Question 7). Other polls had been showing a more even divide on this question. Notably, 87% of Marylanders have reported seeing the endless array of gambing ads on television. See a summary of the results below:
  • Gambling Expansion (Question 7): 50% For vs. 44% Against
  • Marriage Equality (Question 6): 55% For vs. 39% Against
  • Dream Act (Question 4): 57% For vs. 39% Against

PIT-BULL RULING: Goucher also asked respondents to weigh in on whether they agreed or disagreed with the Maryland court ruling that pit bulls are "inherently dangerous."
  • Ruling Pit Bulls "Inherently Dangerous": 42% Agree vs. 52% disagree

See the Goucher poll results below:
Goucher Ballot Question & Pit Bull Poll Results

Goucher Obama-Romney-O'Malley Approval Ratings

Monday, October 29, 2012

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Early Voting Canceled Tuesday, But Open WED-FRI: 8 AM - 9 PM // After Sandy, Get Back In Gear

UPDATE: On the remaining days of early voting (WED-FRI), polling hours have been extended to 8 AM - 9 PM.

In case you haven't heard, early voting is not going to be open on Tuesday. Governor Martin O'Malley issued an Executive Order to make the call. But polls are expected to be open again on Wednesday -- and an extra day has been added to the early voting period, which will now run through Friday, November 2nd. Polls are open from 8 AM TO 9 PM 10 am to 8 pm. Let's get ourselves back into gear, folks!

To win our ballot questions, we need to see more of this:

If you need to find your early voting location, look below:

All Maryland voters can vote early:
Wednesday October 31 through Friday, November 2.

Early Voting Hours:
10 am to 8 pm
NOTE: You must vote at one of the early vote centers in the County where you live and are registered to vote. Find your County's early voting locations:

Allegany CountyAnne Arundel CountyBaltimore City
Baltimore CountyCalvert CountyCaroline County
Carroll CountyCecil CountyCharles County
Dorchester CountyFrederick CountyGarrett County
Harford CountyHoward CountyKent County
Montgomery CountyPrince George's CountyQueen Anne's County
St. Mary's CountySomerset CountyTalbot County
Washington CountyWicomico CountyWorcester County

CONFLICT: Prince George's Democratic Chair Terry Speigner Campaigning to be Del. Tiffany Alston's Replacement

UPDATE: OBVIOUS CONFLICT OF INTEREST - Am I the only one that finds it strange that candidates for the D24 vacancy, have to send their materials to one of their competitors (aka PGDCC Chair Terry Speigner)? Look closely at the email below, which indicates that candidates to replace Del. Tiffany Alston need to send their applications to another candidate for the seat. Speigner tries to pre-empt this issue in the letter below, where he states:
TERRY SPEIGNER: In closing, I know some people are wondering if I can serve as the simultaneously as the Chairman of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee and in the House of Delegates. The simple answer is yes I can do both.
Well, I'm glad HE decided he can be objective! The optics of this are just terrible, considering that the reason why there is a vacancy has to do with the appearance of impropriety.

BACKGROUND: We recently discussed how there was a looming vacancy for Delegate Tiffany Alston's District 24 House seat. We noted that Alston had copped a plea after facing criminal charges for misuse of taxpayer funds and that prosecutors insisted the agreement would trigger Alston's suspension from office. Now Delegate Alston's Prince George's-based seat is going to filled through a vacancy appointment process in the Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee (PGDCC). It also turns out that the recently re-elected Chair of the PGDCC himself, Terry Speigner, is interested in the position. This is a bit "ironic" since The Gazette just noted that Speigner would be guiding the recommendations of the PGDCC as it worked to fill the vacancies created by Alston and Delegate Justin Ross (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: As chairman, Speigner will guide the committee as it makes recommendations to fill two House vacancies in the next few weeks: one in District 22, for the seat held by Del. Justin D. Ross (D) of Hyattsville until he retires from the House on Nov. 9; and one in District 24, for the seat held by Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D) of Mitchellville until two weeks ago, when she was suspended from office after pleading no contest to a charge that she misused campaign money. Hearings to fill the two seats are scheduled for Nov. 15 and Nov. 2, respectively.
Below you can see that Terry Speigner is now actively seeking the appointment for the District 24 House vacancy. An anonymous Maryland Juice reader forwarded us a copy of the email Speigner is sending to activate his supporters. Check out his action campaign below -- it also happens to include instructions on how District 24 residents can apply for the vacancy themselves:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Terry Speigner 
Date: Monday, October 29, 2012
Subject: URGENT REQUEST: I personally need your help this week
To: Terry Speigner <speigner@ngen.com>
Hello neighbors,

As you may recall, Delegate Tiffany Alston was suspended from the Legislative District 24 Maryland House of Delegates on October 9, 2012. The Maryland Constitution requires that the Central Committee submit a name to the Governor within 30 days to fill a vacancy. This could be a temporary appointment or an appointment to complete her unexpired term through December 2014.

I am writing to let you know that I am seeking the appointment of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee to fill the vacancy in the Legislative District 24 Maryland House of Delegates.

For many years, together we have worked to make District 24 and our County a place where our children, our seniors, schools, safety, economic prosperity and high community standards are priorities. I am running because I want to continue the great work we have done and with your support I will continue our work in Annapolis, where I along with Senator Joanne Benson and Delegates Carolyn J.B. Howard and Michael Vaughn can bring back money and resources to our communities.

The vacancy public hearing for this process will take place on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Glenarden City Hall – Goldroom. I am asking you to attend and to show your support for my candidacy.

How can you help? You can send a letter of support via email to me as soon as possible before Friday, November 2, 2012. Please address the letter to: PGCDCC| 4725 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746 (Please remember to email your letter of support to me).

Ways You Can Help District 24 and Terry Speigner:

1.       Write a letter of support for me. What do you put in a letter of support?
·         I know Terry through his involvement with….
·         Terry will serve us well because….
·         He is committed to his community…..
2.       Please attend the hearing on Friday, November 2nd @ 7pm to testify for me or to just show your support.

In closing, I know some people are wondering if I can serve as the simultaneously as the Chairman of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee and in the House of Delegates. The simple answer is yes I can do both.

Please see the information below on the public hearing for the vacancy appointment hearing.

Please call me should you have any questions at 202.550.2782. I thank you in advance for your support.

Best Regards,   Terry L. Speigner 9907 Rosa Vista Court | Mitchellville, MD 20721
202.550.2782 – Cell

Contact: Terry Speigner, Chairman
Phone: (202) 550-2782

24th District House of Delegates Vacancy appointment PUBLIC hearing

Suitland, MD, October 21, 2012:  The Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee (PGCDCC) will hold a hearing on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of filling a vacancy in the Maryland House of Delegates for Legislative District 24. The hearing will be held at the City of Glenarden Municipal Center – Goldroom, 8600 Glenarden Parkway, Glenarden, MD 20706.

Legislative District 24 residents interested in being considered for appointment to this vacancy must follow the instructions below:

  1. Submit a letter of interest and resume to the PGCDCC no later than Wednesday, October 31, 2012 by 11:59 p.m. (letters received after this date and time will not be accepted)
  2. Include a copy of your voter registration card. Only registered Democrats will be considered for the vacancy.
  3. Include evidence that you currently live in Legislative District 24 (copy of utility bill and one of the following; copy of apartment lease or copy of property tax bill or record)
  4. Bring 24 copies of your complete package to the hearing on November 2, 2012 (one copy for each PGCDCC member)
Please email, fax or mail your complete package as follows:


Best Regards,   Terry L. Speigner Chairman | Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee 4725 Silver Hill Road Suitland, Maryland 20746 202-550-2782 - Cell http://www.pgdems.com terry@ngen.com

JuiceBlender: Dem Women Dominate, Marriage Equality Boosters Work Polls, Senate Race for 2nd, No Monday Early Vote

Below Maryland Juice provides a blend of news tidbits about the current election battles, starting with early vote news:

JUICE #1: NO EARLY VOTING TODAY (MONDAY) - In case you haven't already heard, Gov. Martin O'Malley has shut down early voting today, due to the Hurricane. He made the announcement in a recent storm update (excerpt below):
GOVERNOR O'MALLEY: Since Thursday October 25, the entire state of Maryland has been under a state of emergency. Hurricane Sandy is fast approaching and forecasters predict that it will be a large, violent storm that could knock out power for a few days and cause significant damage. This is a serious, killer storm. It's important that everyone is vigilant.... Due to the storm, we are canceling early voting on Monday October 29, 2012.

Question 6 supporters at Baltimore City poll
JUICE #2: BALTIMORE CITY VIDEO // MARRIAGE EQUALITY VOLUNTEERS DOMINATE POLL COVERAGE - A Maryland Juice reader (Hat tip: Lisa Polyak) sent us the following video footage of the last-minute campaigning at a Baltimore City early voting location.

The clip below was shot yesterday, the second day of Early Voting in Maryland, and it includes Maryland Juice's "Obama + Dream Act + Marriage Equality" lawnsign. (Note: video edited by Juice):
LISA POLYAK: I shot short video walking the line of folks waiting to get into the polling sign-in at the League for People With Disabilities polling station on Cold Spring Lane.  Wait time estimated at 1.5-2 hours.  Note the only folks staffing the voter line were YES on 6; NO on 7 and YES on 7.  Fun shot at the end is someone who was walking the line (yesterday & today) with one of your Obama/Dream Act/Marriage Equality signs.

JUICE #3: DEMS MAINTAIN EARLY VOTE ADVANTAGE ON DAY 2 // DEM WOMEN 45-65 DOMINATING TURNOUT - Yesterday, we reported that the first day of early voting demonstrated greater enthusiasm from Democratic voters in Maryland. They turned out at nearly twice the rate as Republicans, and the latest report from the Board of Elections proves it wasn't a fluke. Dems turned out at nearly twice the rate of Republicans on the second day of early voting. Also of note is that Democratic women age 45-65 are turning out in far larger numbers than any other group (see page 5 of the full BOE report below). In fact, twice as many women fitting that profile turned out than the next highest group -- Democratic men age 45-65, who are in 2nd place. But first, here's the current total D & R turnout from the first two days of balloting:
  • Democrats 91,185 (4.43%) vs. Republicans 26,809 (2.79%)
Maryland Early Vote Turnout: Days 1 & 2

JUICE #4: U.S. SENATE RACE BECOMES BATTLE FOR 2ND PLACE FOR MARYLAND GOP - The Capital Gazette today quotes a politico who highlights the shabby state of the Maryland GOP. The article notes that Maryland's U.S. Senate battle between Ben Cardin, Rob Sobhani, and Dan Bongino has become a race for 2nd place (Hat tip: Maryland Reporter). Indeed, with Cardin so far ahead in the race, the Maryland GOP stands to lose a lot of face. Even still, Maryland Juice doubts that a trouncing this year will lead to much soul-searching by the Free State Republicans. See an excerpt from The Capital Gazette below:
CAPITAL GAZETTE: “...anybody who observes Maryland politics and isn’t partisan has to agree: Maryland’s Republican Party is a mess.” [Todd] Eberly, a political independent, said the GOP is simply too conservative for the bulk of Maryland voters, who do not consider “progressive” a dirty word. “You don’t run a candidate who would win in Texas, in Maryland,” Eberly said.... The real challenge for the GOP may be staying out of third place.

JUICE #5: CRAZY FULL PAGE ANTI-MARRIAGE EQUALITY AD IN BALTIMORE SUN - A reader sent us the following photos of a full-page ad in yesterday's Baltimore Sun urging Christians to oppose marriage equality. They also provide us with choice quotes from the screed. See below. Notably, a majority of Christians support LGBT rights.
BALTIMORE SUN ANTI-MARRIAGE EQUALITY AD: "Gay marriage is Satan's unfinished business - a repeat scene, similar to the one recorded in the garden of Eden, where Satan tempted Eve, 'in the day you eat from the tree your eyes will be open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5).' In the leaglization of gay marriage, man is now like God, determining good and evil."
The closing tag line states:
This Treatise is Encouraged by the People of God at the Upper Cross Roads Baptist Church, Baldwin, MD (Dr. Robert A. Condict, Pastor)


JUICE #6: LAST CHANCE TO ADVERTISE ON MARYLAND JUICE BEFORE THE ELECTION // BID BEFORE 4 PM TODAY - Maryland Juice is offering a rare opportunity to advertise on our blog (we rarely do this). We are hosting an eBay auction for ad space that will appear on every page and article at MarylandJuice.com for the week of the November 6 election. But note that the auction ends today around 4 pm, and the current high bid right now is a measly $10! Bid now to snatch up a bargain.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

BOE TURNOUT REPORT: First Day of Early Vote More Than Doubled 2010 Turnout // MORE DEMOCRATS USE OPTION

Below Maryland Juice provides turnout figures from the first day of early voting in the Free State. Yesterday, the ground reports indicated a surge in turnout, and those reports are now confirmed by hard data. Turnout was higher in every jurisdiction, but Democrats appear to be more enthusiastic about voting early. Below you can see the full early vote turnout reports, but first Maryland Juice highlights some key figures:

DEMOCRATIC ADVANTAGE ON DAY 1 OF EARLY VOTING: Democratic turnout on the first day of early vote surged to 2.5 times the turnout on the first day of early voting in 2010. Meanwhile, GOP turnout also surged, but by a much smaller factor of 1.5 times the 2010 figures.
  • 2012 Turnout (Day 1): Democrats 52,819 (2.56%) vs. Republicans 16,129 (1.68%)
  • 2010 Turnout (Day 1): Democrats 20,289 (1.04%) vs. Republicans 9,221 (1.00%)

WOMEN TURNOUT IN HIGHER NUMBERS FOR EARLY VOTING: Meanwhile, I am not surprised to see that women are also turning out at significantly higher levels than men. Note that Democrats have an edge among women, so that would make sense:
  • 2012 Turnout (Day 1): 46,436 women vs. 31,935 men

TOP FIVE COUNTIES FOR RAW TURNOUT ON DAY 1: Here are the top six counties for raw early vote turnout on Day 1:
  1. Montgomery County 13,061 (2.12%)
  2. Prince George's 11,151 (1.96%)
  3. Baltimore County 9,418 (1.83%)
  4. Baltimore City 8,995 (2.29%)
  5. Anne Arundel 6,521 (1.87%)
  6. Howard 5,976 (3.17%)
Note that Day 1 early vote turnout in Montgomery was over 3 times higher than in 2010, where a paltry 3,786 voters participated in Day 1 early voting. (.66%) Lastly, the County with the highest percentage of voters using early vote on Day 1 was Talbot County with 1,214 voters on day 1 (4.80%).

Below you can see the full 2012 and 2010 turnout reports from the Maryland Board of Elections:

2012 Early Vote Day One

Maryland 2010 Early Vote Turnout

RUH ROH: CD6 Rep. Roscoe Bartlett Complains About Mothers Entering the Workforce: "That Was Not a Good Thing"

The Washington Post caught a ridiculous comment from embattled 6th Congressional District Rep. Roscoe Bartlett yesterday. After comparing student loans to the Holocaust, he's now seemingly saying that the modern-day trend of mothers entering the workforce was a bad thing. The Tea Party lawmaker keeps giving this kind of ammo to supporters of his Democratic challenger John Delaney. See this quote from the Washington Post article:
ROSCOE BARTLETT: “This isn’t the politically correct thing to say, but when we drove the mother out of the home into the workplace and replaced her with the television set, that was not a good thing.”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

FIELD REPORTS: Maryland Voters Show Massive Interest in Voting Early // Photos & Reports From Polling Locations

Maryland Juice is hearing reports of massive interest in early voting today -- the first day that voters can cast ballots for the 2012 federal elections and Maryland ballot questions. It is possible voters are trying to cast their ballots before Hurricane Sandy hits Maryland, but it is equally plausible that folks are fired up to weigh in on the ballot questions and Presidential race.

In fact Maryland Juice is very excited to vote early this year, and we encourage everyone to stay in line and make their voices heard. After all, as I recall, the early vote totals will be the first ballots counted on election night! Below you can see a few random reports from the field:

HUGE INTEREST IN DOWNTOWN SILVER SPRING: First, Capitol News Service has been on the ground today at the early voting polls at the Silver Spring Civic Center. Check out their Tweet below:

MASSIVE INTEREST IN GERMANTOWN: The report of high early vote turnout was also confirmed by Senator Ben Cardin on Twitter. The photo below was taken at the Germantown early vote location, and you can see that Democratic officials are out working the polls today. Comptroller Peter Franchot, CD6 candidate John Delaney and Senator Ben Cardin can be seen greeting voters. We hear Governor Martin O'Malley was also out at Germantown today and met hundreds of voters heading into the polls:

HIGH TURNOUT IN PRINCE GEORGE'S AND RANDALLSTOWN: A Maryland Juice source also emailed us while in line at the Rockville early vote center to report that turnout is looking strong as she gets ready to vote. But its not just Montgomery County locations that are witnessing high turnout. A knowledgeable source who has been in touch with officials around the state reports that in Frederick, voters were lined up two hours before the opening of polls. Yet another source reports the same early voting surge in Anne Arundel County. Meanwhile, one anonymous Prince George's politico reports high turnout in that County and therefore expects 2012 early vote turnout to blow the 2010 numbers out of the water. Lastly, a source reports that there was an extremely long queue of cars at the Randallstown polling location in Baltimore County.
ANONYMOUS SOURCE: At the Randallstown early voting center this morning, there was an enormous line of cars stretching all the way through to the Home Depot. One person thought it was a funeral procession!
Below you can find information on how to vote early. Don't sit this election out!

All Maryland voters can vote early:
Saturday, October 27 through Thursday, November 1.

Early Voting Hours:
10 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday &
12 to 6 pm on Sunday, October 28.

NOTE: You must vote at one of the early vote centers in the County where you live and are registered to vote. Find your County's early voting locations:

Allegany CountyAnne Arundel CountyBaltimore City
Baltimore CountyCalvert CountyCaroline County
Carroll CountyCecil CountyCharles County
Dorchester CountyFrederick CountyGarrett County
Harford CountyHoward CountyKent County
Montgomery CountyPrince George's CountyQueen Anne's County
St. Mary's CountySomerset CountyTalbot County
Washington CountyWicomico CountyWorcester County

Prosecutor Ends Investigation of MoCo's Referendum Advocacy But Activities Might Not Be Kosher // AG's Opinion Requested

BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice has been reporting on the heated battle between Montgomery County's government and its police union (FOP Lodge 35). The fight concerns MoCo's advocacy (using taxpayer resources) for Question B, which would eliminate "effects bargaining" rights for police union members. The FOP recently asked the State of Maryland to investigate these activities, alleging that MoCo was in criminal violation of the law. The police union claimed MoCo was engaging in campaign activities without registering a committee and that their use of tax dollars was not kosher.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION CLOSED, BUT ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OPINION REQUESTED: A State Prosecutor thought the circumstances warranted an investigation and started looking into the matter earlier this week. But yesterday, they released a letter closing their criminal investigation. In their letter, they noted that MoCo government officials and employees had relied upon their County Attorney's legal advice in engaging in Question B advocacy (excerpt below):
STATE PROSECUTOR: ...any actions of County officials and employees in this case were clearly undertaken without criminal intent in good-faith reliance upon reasonable and competent (even if erroneous) legal advice. For that reason we have closed our criminal investigation into this matter....

Even though the prosecutor did not think criminal charges were in order, he still seems to believe that MoCo is not operating within the bounds of the law and has now asked Attorney General Doug Gansler's office to weigh in with an advisory opinion. See the pertinent excerpts from the Prosecutor's letter below:
STATE PROSECUTOR: The State Prosecutor initially concluded that the plain language of the statutes here at issue is clear, unequivocal and unambiguous. There are no express exceptions for the types of activity at issue here....

The Montgomery County Attorney finds the language of the statute and the applicable rules of interpretation sufficiently ambiguous....

This issue will, undoubtedly, arise again. The Montgomery County Attorney has suggested that a formal opinion of the Attorney General be sought to address these issues. The State Prosecutor agrees and requests that the Attorney General render an opinion....

The Prosecutor proceeded to ask Attorney General Doug Gansler's office to issue an advisory opinion on:
  1. whether a county government and its employees can use taxpayer resources for referenda without registering a campaign committee
  2. whether a county government and its employees are exempt from campaign finance rules
  3. whether a county government and its employees can use taxpayer resources for referenda

Below you can read the full letter from Maryland Prosecutor Emmet Davitt:
Maryland Prosecutor Letter

Friday, October 26, 2012

Advertise on Maryland Juice // I'm Auctioning Ad Space for the Week of the Presidential Election on eBay: Bid Now!

Maryland Juice rarely allows advertising on our website. But today, we are selling exactly ONE ad, that will appear on the box at the top right of the website (see sample below). We are auctioning this ad space on eBay, and you can bid now to have the exclusive ad running from 10/31 to 11/6:

NOTE: We reserve the right to say whatever we want on our site, including discussing the ad in question (but that would probably draw attention to it anyway). That being said, bid away!

Marriage Equality Opponents on Air with False Scare Tactics About School Curriculum // WATCH THE AD & THE RESPONSE

Maryland Juice has received word from Marylanders for Marriage Equality that opponents are on the tv airwaves with tired false claims that expand civil rights will have an impact on school curriculum. Below you can watch the false advertising, followed by a response from backers of a "vote for" Question 6:

Press Release

Marriage Opponents on Air with Old Ad

BALTIMORE - Yesterday, opponents of Question 6 began airing an ad with charges that have been debunked by independent analysts and by a leading opponent of same-sex marriage. The ad in question tries to scare the parents of public school children.

“Children learn values from their parents at home, and Question 6 doesn’t change that,” said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “Parents, teachers, and local school districts determine the public school curriculum in Maryland. That, too will, never change. The ad is false and meant to scare voters."

Opponents of marriage equality have tried these scare tactics before. In 2009, the independent fact check site, PolitiFact, deemed the charge of “gay marriage” being taught in Massachusetts schools "false." The new ad up today by Question 6 opponents recycles this false claim.

Marc Mutty, the campaign manager for the effort to stop marriage equality in Maine in 2009, has admitted:

“One of the problems I have, I know we need to do what we need to do – not only slam people over the head with a two-by-four, but a two-by-four with nails sticking out of it. Unfortunately, I think it’s a lousy approach. But it’s the only thing we’ve got – it's the only way. That's the way campaigns work. And we use a lot of hyperbole. I think that’s always dangerous. We say things like, ‘Teachers will be forced to.’ Well, that’s not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn’t.” 
The clip is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADqimp6QU2o

CLAIM: “Schools could teach that boys can marry boys.”

Question 6 provides gay and lesbian couples the opportunity to get a marriage license while protecting religious freedom. It is about fairness and equality under the law. It does not – nor could it - change education policy or impact school curricula.

CLAIM: “If Question 6 passes, same-sex marriage could be taught in local Maryland schools…”

In Maryland, a school’s curriculum is decided by local school districts. MD Edu. Code Ann. § 4-111 states that the "bylaws, basic policies, and guidelines established by the State Board, each county board, on the written recommendation of the county superintendent, shall: (1) Establish curriculum guides and courses of study for the schools under its jurisdiction.” Local school districts, parents, and teachers decide what is taught in the classroom, and no state law – including Question 6 – changes that.

The Baltimore Sun has repeatedly written about the scare tactics of Question 6 opponents.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality is the diverse coalition made up of 1199 SEIU of Maryland, NAACP Baltimore, ACLU of Maryland, Equality Maryland, the Human Rights Campaign working to protect marriage on the November ballot.


Actress Eva Longoria Launches Robocall Urging MD Gambling Expansion // Desperate Housewife Urges "Vote For" Question 7

Maryland Juice reader Howard Gorrell sends us word that "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria is robocalling Free State voters asking them to support gambling expansion (Question 7). He sends us the following message from an anonymous Facebook user:
ANONYMOUS FACEBOOK USER: Want another great reason to vote AGANIST question 7?? My daughter that lives in Manchester, MD received a ro-bo call from EVA LONGORIA.....advising her to vote FOR question 7. Someone please tell me why this person that has no ties to Maryland (or none that I am aware of) would be making a call in favor or a bill that will have no impact on her?? Sounds like BIG money trying to strong arm us again!!! VOTE AGAINST QUESTION 7....even if Eva tells you not to!!!!

The robocall generated a puzzled response from Karen O'Keefe at the Montgomery County Media website (mymcmedia.org). See an excerpt from her column below:
MONTGOMERY COUNTY MEDIA: Why Does Eva Longoria Want Me to Vote “Yes” on Question 7? Just when I thought I’d heard it all, read it all and scrutinized it all about Question 7 – Maryland’s Expanded Gaming Referendum – and I had just about decided to vote “No” because I can’t see expanding the state’s economic reliance on gambling…

The unexpected happened. Eva Longoria called to ask for my “Yes” vote on 7.

Eva Longoria! Eva Longoria who was nominated for a Golden Globe – Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2006  – for Desperate Housewives.... She’s from Texas, she probably lives in L.A. – when was the last time she even came to Maryland?

They paid her, right?.... Sorry Eva, I say “no” to 7.

Eva Longoria isn't the only celebrity launching pro-gambling robocalls into Maryland. Voters have reported receiving messages from boxer Oscar De La Hoya and magician David Copperfield.

EMAIL BLAST: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett Makes Personal Appeal for Question B: "I Need Your Help"

Today Maryland Juice received the email blast below from Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. Yesterday, the MoCo police union (FOP Lodge 30) called for the resignation of Leggett's spokesperson, Patrick Lacefield, over the county's Question B referendum. Today, Leggett is striking back with a personal appeal to voters to "vote for" Question B and eliminate "effects bargaining" for county police:

Vote FOR Question B
requests Ike Leggett

Ike leggett good one 
Please Vote For Question B 
Last year, all nine Montgomery County Councilmembers voted to support a critical reform at the Montgomery County Police Department. 
As County Executive, I signed it into law.

Police Union leaders have petitioned that reform to the November ballot. That's Question B.

Democrats and Republicans may not agree on much - but both parties in the County are urging a vote FOR Question B.

Currently, Police Union leaders can demand to bargain any and all management decisions made by the Police Chief.  This makes no sense.

It diminishes accountability, inhibits innovation, and costs County taxpayers lots of money. It prevents the Chief from effectively carrying out his job of managing the Police Department in the most productive way possible -- protecting both his officers and the lives and property of County residents.

No  other Police Union in the State and no other County employee union have this power. The change would preserve the union's right to bargain on wages, hours, working conditions, and safety but fix their sweeping ability to make the Police Chief bargain every management decision with them.   
There's more info at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/questionB 

What can you do?
  • Vote FOR Question B. Early voting begins October 27.
  • Take this email, share on your community listserve, and forward to your friends and neighbors.
  • Contact "Neighbors FOR Question B" to help at Agordontax@aol.com

Thanks for your help.


I need your help to win a "FOR Question B" vote.

Dream Act Lawnsigns Now Available // Pick-Up "Vote for" Question 4 Signs at CASA de Maryland Juice (Takoma Park)

Educating Maryland Kids is now distributing lawnsigns urging a "vote for" Question 4 (aka the Dream Act). Maryland Juice has a few dozen of these signs available for pick-up at my house (on the border of Takoma Park and Silver Spring). The signs below are free of charge if you are able to come get them. Email david@marylandjuice.com for the address.

Jewish Community Relations Council Urges "Vote For" Dream Act, Marriage Equality & Expanded Hiring for Disabled Workers

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) is urging Maryland voters to "vote for" the Dream Act (Question 4) and marriage equality (Question 6). Additionally, they are urging Montgomery County voters to "vote for" Question A, which would expand hiring opportunities for disabled individuals. The piece below, by JCRC leaders Ron Halber and Harvey Reiter, appeared yesterday in Washington Jewish Week (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON JEWISH WEEK: The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington is urging our community to vote for the Dream Act, Marriage Equality and the proposed charter amendment to Expand County Hiring for People with Physical, Cognitive Disabilities.... As Jews we are called on to act - for ourselves, our fellow Jews, our neighbors and the whole world....
Our own history is a reminder of how education has benefited not only the Jewish immigrant community, but all of society. The Maryland Dream Act extends eligibility for in-state tuition rates at communitycolleges to young people who grew up in Maryland..... To support this law, vote "yes" on Question 4.

It is with great respect for all religious traditional perspectives that the JCRC urges the community to vote in support of marriage equality.... No rabbi whose denomination bars sanctifying same-sex marriage would be required to officiate at such a marriage.... The JCRC encourages you to vote for Question 6.

Way down the ballot, past the statewide questions, under "Montgomery County," the proposed charter amendment to expand county "Hiring Individuals with Disabilities" would allow the county government to give qualified individuals with disabilities the same hiring preference for county government jobs that is now accorded to veterans.... Vote for "Question A, Charter amendment by act of County Council Merit System-Hiring Individuals with Disabilities".
Read the full JCRC endorsement at Washington  Jewish Week.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

BREAKING: Former Congressman Frank Kratovil Weighing 2014 Maryland Attorney General Race

Anne Arundel County Councilmember Jamie Benoit reports that former Congressman Frank Kratovil is weighing a run for Maryland Attorney General in 2014. Kratovil is a Democrat who previously represented Maryland's 1st Congressional District. Last December Kratovil was appointed as a judge in Queen Anne's County, but it appears that the bench may not be where he wants to spend the rest of his life. See the breaking report below:
JAMIE BENOIT: Others and I are very aggressively recruiting Frank Kratovil into the 2014 Attorney General's race, and he's now considering it.

This report is also confirmed by Eastern Shore politico Arthur Hock. A Maryland Juice reader forwarded us the following message that was seen on Hock's Facebook page today:
ARTHUR HOCK: LATEST NEWS: FRANK KRATOVIL may consider running for Attorney's General of Maryland. Jamie Benoit and I have been talking to Frank about running and he says he will not rule the idea out. He has made no commitment but is willing to consider running.

More on the 2014 Attorney General's race soon!

MoCo Police Union Calls for Resignation of County Exec Ike Leggett's Spokesperson // Question B Fight Gets Personal

The Gazette is reporting that Montgomery County's police union (FOP Lodge 35) is calling for the resignation of County Executive Ike Leggett's spokesperson Patrick Lacefield. The two sides are at odds over MoCo's Question B referendum, which calls for an elimination of "effects bargaining" rights for police union members. See an excerpt from The Gazette article, followed by information from the FOP's "vote against" Question B website:
GAZETTE: Lanny Davis, who is representing Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, asked Leggett (D) to ask for Patrick Lacefield’s resignation. Lacefield is the county director of the Office of Public Information....

In defending the county’s actions, Lacefield said the county was following a similar plan from 2010, when a proposed fee for ambulance services was being debated. The county, with an OK from the Attorney General’s Office, advocated for the ambulance fee, spending about $12,000 in county funds. Lacefield said former FOP president Mark Zifcak supported the county’s actions in 2010.
That Zifcak supported spending public money, Davis said, is a lie. That the county truly advocated support of the question is a lie, he said.... When asked his reaction to Davis’ call for his resignation, Lacefield said, “Just doing my job” — a job he called an “honor.

FOP ALLEGES COUNTY IS LYING ABOUT QUESTION B: The FOP, for what its worth, has released a website countering the Montgomery County "vote for" Question B site, that alleges MoCo is lying about the impact of "effects bargaining." Maryland Juice pulled out the first two items on their rebuttal below, but you can see their full roster of rebuttals online.

Ike Leggit's Claims
"Under "effects bargaining," Police Chief Tom Manger has to bargain everything about running his department with Police Union leaders. "This is a bald-face lie. In fact, 95% of all police department operations are not subject to AN Y bargaining. Under existing law, the County must bargain over ONLY the effect on employees of an exercise of a management right. Most management decisions do not have an effect. Without triggering effects bargaining FOP members in Montgomery County have been able to effectively perform their jobs, including:
  • Responding to the Beltway sniper
  • Responding to Discovery Channel bomber Relocating MCP
  • Headquarters and Rockville District Station.
  • The investigation of 62,944 crimes reported in 2011
  • The investigation of 58,081 crimes reported in 20II realizing a 7.7% reduction in crime from the previous year
"That includes the distribution of critical
police equipment, ... "
The law as it is provides that when there is a significant effect on the safety of the public, the employer may implement before resolving effects bargaining. The police depaltment has never had to do so. Agreement has always been reached.

Rep. Elijah Cummings Reverses Course & Endorses Marriage Equality // Baltimore Congressman Will "Vote For" Question 6

This week Maryland Juice complained about Rep. Elijah  Cummings' failure to weigh in on one of the biggest civil rights struggles facing my generation. Cummings had announced he was sitting out the marriage equality debate (Question 6), but today The Washington Blade reports that he has evolved and will now "vote for" Question 6 (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: A Baltimore congressman who has yet to publicly back nuptials for gays and lesbians told the Washington Blade late on Wednesday he plans to vote for his state’s same-sex marriage law on Nov. 6.

“I respect and support the decision of the Maryland legislature and will vote in support of Question 6,” said U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Cummings spoke to the Blade two days after Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger announced his support of same-sex marriage during a debate against his opponent, state Sen. Nancy Jacobs (R-Baltimore County,) in Cockeysville. Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin and the rest of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation all support the same-sex marriage law....
Thank you, Elijah Cummings!

EMAIL BLAST: Senator Brian Frosh Announces Exploratory Committee & Three Fundraisers for 2014 Attorney General

Maryland Juice just received the following email blast from State Senator Brian Frosh announcing an exploratory committee for 2014 Attorney General. Frosh also highlights a long list of endorsers, announces three upcoming fundraisers, and invites members of the public to sign up as supporters. See below:

October 25, 2012
Senator Brian Frosh Announces Exploratory Committee 
for Maryland Attorney General
Former governors, present and former members of Congress, county executives and state legislators (including more than half the Maryland Senate) have come together on behalf of Maryland Senator Brian Frosh as he explores a run for Attorney General in 2014. 

The statewide exploratory committee includes U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Senate President Thomas Mike Miller, Maryland State Senators Joan Carter Conway and Lisa Gladden, Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former Governors Parris Glendening and Harry Hughes, and former Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs.

Brian is inviting members of the public to join the committee as well. 

Read a partial list of the expanding committee here, or sign up to join the committee here.

To read more, visit us at www.brianfrosh.com
By Authority: Citizens for Frosh, James Blumenthal, Treasurer