Thursday, November 1, 2012

Progressive Maryland Issues 2012 Voter Guide // INTERESTING: No Endorsement for Democrat John Delaney in District 6

This morning Progressive Maryland issued its voter guide for the 2012 election cycle. In past years, the group has been strongly aligned with labor union and progressive groups, with an issue focus on "working families" priorities. Their website states:
PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND: Progressive Maryland is a grassroots, nonprofit organization of more than 20,000 members and supporters and over 50 affiliated religious, community, and labor organizations.  Through research, public education, and direct political action in Annapolis, Washington and communities statewide, we strive to improve the lives of working families in our state. 

BALLOT QUESTION ENDORSEMENTS: Progressive Maryland is urging its members to "Vote For" the Dream Act (Question 4) and marriage equality (Question 6). The group is also weighing in on Montgomery County's Question B, and is urging voters to "Vote Against" repealing "effects bargaining" rights for police union members.

CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENTS: The most interesting part of the Progressive Maryland voter guide (in my opinion) is the section on Congressional endorsements. The group has endorsed U.S. Senator Ben Cardin for re-election, and also urges members to support four out of eight Democratic candidates for Congress:
  • DISTRICT 2: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger
  • DISTRICT 3: Rep. John Sarbanes
  • DISTRICT 4: Rep. Donna Edwards
  • DISTRICT 7: Rep. Elijah Cummings

NO ENDORSEMENT FOR JOHN DELANEY: Notably, Progressive Maryland did not make endorsements in half of Maryland's Congressional contests. That list includes Rep. Chris Van Hollen (District 8) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (District 5). But according to Progressive Maryland's website, only candidates who completed endorsement surveys were eligible for support (see below):
PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND: Progressive Maryland has required that all candidates seeking our endorsement for the 2012 primary and general elections fill out our questionnaire, published with links below as a service to our members and all citizens of Maryland. Scroll down to find out how prospective candidates who would represent you would vote on important progressive issues and reforms.

After the primary, questionnaires will be solicited from the winners of the Republican primary, any Democratic primary winners that have not already submitted questionnaires, and from third party candidates in order to make endorsements for the General Election scheduled for November 6, 2012.

Progressive Maryland's list of completed candidate surveys does not include any response from Rep. Steny Hoyer or Rep. Chris Van Hollen. So we can surmise that both candidates may not have returned responses. It is also not too surprising that Progressive Maryland is not weighing in on the District 1 race against Tea Party Rep. Andy Harris, given that Democrat John LaFerla only recently entered the General Election contest as a write-in campaign.

But Progressive Maryland does have survey responses from Democrat John Delaney, and the 6th Congressional District candidate still did not receive an endorsement. Given the high-profile nature of that race, it is hard to imagine that this was not a thought-out decision. See the voter guide below:
Progressive Maryland 2012 Voter Guide

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