Tuesday, October 16, 2012

JuiceBlender: Goodbye Roscoe Bartlett, Confusion About Redistricting Impact, Teachers Quiz 2014 Gubernatorial Field

Here's a random blend of political tidbits from recent news, starting with a very quick update on the 6th Congressional District battle:

JUICE #1: REP. ROSCOE BARTLETT IS A GONER - Roll Call's famed national political oddsmaker Stuart Rothenberg really seems to think the outcome of Maryland's heated CD6 race is a foregone conclusion. We've noted time and again that incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett keeps appearing on national lists of the most endangered Congressional incumbents. As we head into the homestretch, Rothenberg seems more certain that Bartlett is done for:
ROLL CALL: It is three weeks before Election Day and a handful of incumbents are already seeing the writing on the wall. They won’t be coming back to Congress. It’s time to look for other gainful employment or merely enjoy the quiet pleasures of forced retirement.... The same fate awaits Maryland Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who remains a heavy underdog against John Delaney (D) in a district that doesn’t resemble his old one.
I must admit that for a race like this, there are many variables that a candidate cannot control -- such as the partisanship of his/her district, and to a certain extent how much money they can raise. But for those factors that a candidate can control, Bartlett has not played his cards correctly.  Early on in the cycle, Maryland Juice warned that the longtime Republican incumbent's Tea Party profile would not play well with the new flood of Montgomery County voters in his District. But there have been few meaningful attempts from Bartlett to moderate the extremism in his voting record prior to this cycle. Furthermore, news reports are now questioning how hard Bartlett is campaigning for his seat. Yesterday, The Baltimore Sun's John Fritze called Bartlett "hard to find" in the state's top Congressional race (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: As she hurried to a Metro station after shaking hands with Democratic congressional candidate John Delaney, Lawrencia Atakora said she'd support him because of his positions on the issues. But she quickly added another factor influencing her decision: She hadn't heard a word from Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett.

"I don't really know who he is," the 23-year-old Gaithersburg resident said of the Republican incumbent, who has represented Maryland's 6th District since she was 3 years old. "That could have something to do with it as well...."

A half dozen Republicans, including some Bartlett allies, quietly expressed frustration at a perceived lack of urgency by the campaign.... At the Hagerstown debate last week, for instance, Bartlett said the nation's illegal immigrants "could just as well have been 12 to 20 million terrorists."

JUICE #2: REDISTRICTING REFERENDUM RAISES QUESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE - Today, Roll Call's Abby Livingston also put out a piece analyzing the potential fallout from Maryland's redistricting referendum (Question 5). If a majority of voters support a "vote against" Question 5, Maryland will have to draw new Congressional districts. But it is unclear what that means for the short-term future of representation in Maryland (excerpt below):
ROLL CALL: On Election Day, Maryland citizens could vote to throw out their state’s 2011 Congressional redistricting map, a possibility that could lead to legal and political chaos.... Who would Maryland House Members represent in the interim? Would the old district lines, which disappear with the 112th Congress, be used, or would they serve voters under the 2011 redraw until new boundaries could be agreed to?

The consensus among Maryland establishment Republicans and Democrats is that the 2011 map will determine representation until a new map is enacted for the 2014 cycle. But some of the state’s and nation’s smartest lawyers and political scientists are scratching their heads on the legal implications of such a move. One Maryland political insider called the matter “murky....”

JUICE #3: MARYLAND TEACHERS BEGIN VETTING ALL FIVE 2014 GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES  - A Maryland Juice reader forwarded us news that this week, the 2014 governor's race is heading into full swing. The state's teachers union is formally interviewing all five 2014 gubernatorial candidates.  See the note below from an anonymous reader, along with a press announcement.
ANONYMOUS READER: I thought you might be interested in the below media advisory. Five prospective 2014 gubernatorial candidates plan to attend the 2012 Maryland State Education Association Annual Convention next week: Anthony Brown, Peter Franchot, Doug Gansler, Heather Mizeur, and Ken Ulman. They will be interviewed live by MSEA’s president, Betty Weller, for 10 minutes each. I believe this is the first time they’ll be appearing at the same event in the context of 2014. As you’ll see in the below release, Gov. O’Malley also will be in attendance, holding an hour-long town hall on Maryland’s public schools on Friday afternoon.


WHO:    Maryland State Education Association

WHAT:    Annual Convention

WHEN:    October 19-20, 2012

WHERE:    Roland E. Powell Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD

MSEA President Betty Weller and over 600 delegates comprised of educators from across the state will gather for MSEA’s annual convention to set association policy, hear from prospective 2014 gubernatorial candidates,* and discuss major issues impacting Maryland’s students and educators with Governor Martin O’Malley and State Superintendent Lillian Lowery.
All events listed below will take place before the full convention in Hall A unless otherwise noted.

Highlights: Friday, October 19

9:30 a.m.: Interview with Howard County Executive Ken Ulman
9:45 a.m.: Keynote address by MSEA President Betty Weller
10:45 a.m.: Interview with Delegate Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery)
11:30 a.m.: Interview with Comptroller Peter Franchot
11:50 a.m.: Remarks by Governor Martin O’Malley
1:00-2:00 p.m.: Town Hall meeting on Maryland’s public schools with Gov. O’Malley (Ballroom C)
Highlights: Saturday, October 20
9:05 a.m.: Delegate Q&A with Maryland State Superintendent Lillian Lowery
9:40 a.m.: Remarks by MSEA Executive Director David Helfman
10:00 a.m.: Interview with Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown
10:30 a.m.: Remarks by 2012-2013 Maryland Teacher of the Year (tentative)
10:45 a.m.: Interview with Attorney General Doug Gansler
Members of the press are requested to obtain credentials at the Information Booth on the Convention Center’s first floor. For more information on the convention, visit marylandeducators.org/convention.

* Likely and frequently rumored candidates for governor from both parties were invited to participate in the 2012 MSEA Convention. Participants were scheduled per their availability.

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