Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WTF: Montgomery County's Internet Firewall Censors Maryland Juice // Chairman MoCo Blocks Sam Arora Ad and More!

The all-time most popular article on Maryland Juice is our coverage of Montgomery County, Maryland's censorship of computers in their office buildings, schools and libraries. Our investigation led us to discover that Amtrak was also censoring its WiFi network, and that both MoCo and Amtrak had been censoring LGBT newspapers, seniors event calendars, and other ordinary speech. The County defended its system and claimed nothing was wrong with their vendor. Then later the vendor tweaked their system to supposedly fix the issue.

Today two Maryland Juice readers within Montgomery County's government buildings report that Chairman MoCo's Censorship Firewall is BACK. This time Montgomery County is censoring images on the Maryland Juice website. The censored images include our web ad calling Sam Arora a liar who should resign, and our image of Fox News Baltimore's misleading anti-LGBT website banner. See screencaps below:




This is really beginning to piss me off.  Do you know that they spend over $64,000 a year on this?

6th Congressional District Media Spending Revealed // Democrats John Delaney & Charles Bailey Purchase TV Time

The Smart Media Group -- a company that monitors political spending -- has reported on the size of television ad buys in the 6th Congressional District race. See the screencaps below:

CD6: The STACHE Act Becomes a Campaign Issue // Delaney, Afzali and Brinkley Weigh in on $250 Mustache Tax Credit

Maryland Juice has been covering the evolving debate surrounding the STACHE Act, a proposed law that would grant mustached Americans a $250 tax rebate on hair-care products. News outlets recently reported that 6th Congressional District Rep. Roscoe Bartlett would send the bill to the House Ways & Means Committee for further study. Various contenders for the CD6 race are now using the STACHE Act as a campaign issue. MSNBC today reported:
MSNBC: The American Mustache Institute claimed Tuesday that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett had lent his support to the 'Stache Act, which calls for a tax deduction of up to $250 a year for facial hair grooming.

MoCo's Battle Over Building Height Limits // Maryland Juice Makes Cameo Appearance at Rockville City Council Hearing

UPDATE: A reader provides more context to the development battles in Rockville, by way of a recent Gazette article. The City Council is currently weighing changes to their "Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance" -- which creates standards linking infrastructure with development.

A couple days ago, the Rockville City Council held a public hearing to discuss proposed mixed-use development at the Twinbrook Metro. As is becoming the norm, building heights were the topic of much of the discussion. Coincidentally, the February 27th hearing came only days after Maryland Juice published an article lamenting that activists too often fight density near Metro -- and that this could unintentionally thwart environmental and social justice goals.

The fact that Montgomery County is now more expensive to live in than New York City and San Francisco triggered this discussion on Maryland Juice, and we hope that the dialogue continues among policymakers throughout Maryland. But in the meantime, we are humbled to note that a reader reports that our article was invoked by a citizen activist at the hearing. A Rockville juicer testified in favor of the development project in question and for greater height limits near Metro stations.

We provide a short clip of the hearing below (Note: it begins with bits of testimony from an opponent of greater density at Twinbrook Metro):





Keep drinkin' the Juice!

Fair & Balanced Now? // Baltimore's Fox 45 Reverses Course & Adds Pro-LGBT Link to Website with Anti-Marriage Petition

BACKGROUND: Last week, Maryland Juice complained that Fox's Baltimore affiliate WBFF 45 was.breaching journalistic ethics by engaging in blatant political advocacy. The television station's website posted activist links directing readers to take action on two of the Maryland GOP's favorite issues: 1) a petition to overturn same-sex marriage in Maryland, and 2) a "Stop the Gas Tax" website from the rightwing group Americans for Prosperity. There was no context for the links, nor was there any explanation provided. Instead users who clicked on the Fox News links were immediately steered to political action sites. Not very fair and balanced, eh?

After complaining to a few of Fox Baltimore's advertisers, we followed up our article with a report from the Washington Blade. They noted that WBFF's rightwing owners, Sinclair Broadcast Group, appeared to have foisted the activism onto the local news station. In digging further, we also noticed that Fox Baltimore's employment non-discrimination notice had curiously omitted any discussion of sexual orientation -- even though that is a protected class in Maryland.

A Response from Fox 45: We asked representatives from Fox and Sinclair to shed some light on their motives -- and after a day or so, Maryland Juice received a perfectly polite email from WBFF's manager. He defended the links and suggested they were there to simply note the existence of the movements against the gas-tax and same-sex marriage. He also asked for a call to discuss the matter. But before I could even get around to it, a Maryland Juice reader sent word that Fox 45 had taken steps to address to controversy. First, they changed the website header to include more neutral language than previously used - (ie: "Stop the Gas Tax" is now "Maryland Gas Tax," while "Same-Sex Marriage Petition" is now simply "Same-Sex Marriage). More importantly, the Fox 45 website no longer directs readers to rightwing political action sites. Instead, readers are directed to landing pages that provide a little more context on the issues.

See screencaps of the "Before and After" below:

FOX 45 WEBSITE BEFORE:

FOX 45 WEBSITE AFTER:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CD6 OMG: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett Will Introduce STACHE Act // U.S. House Ways & Means Will Study $250 Mustache Tax Credit

UPDATE: The Washington Post has follow-up coverage on the STACHE Act and notes that Rep. Bartlett's staff assisted with the effort without his knowledge. The National Review seems to be a bit wound up about this -- come on, have you lost your sense of humor???

Screencap from a new video about the project.

A week ago, Maryland Juice reported that mustached Americans were lobbying Congress for a $250 tax credit to offset annual mustache-grooming expenses. They looked to Maryland's 6th Congressional District incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett to sponsor the legislation -- which they call the STACHE Act.

Today, Rep. Bartlett's office announces that he will introduce the legislation in the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. U.S. News reports:
The American Mustache Institute claims to have found an ally in Maryland Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. The 19-year congressman rocks a white stache of his own and has agreed to send down the legislative pipeline the so-called "Stache Act"—a law that would give folks with mustaches up to a $250 tax credit every year.

"He sent it over to Ways and Means [committee] without any recommendation of any kind at all," clarifies Bartlett spokeswoman Lisa Wright....

Sam Arora Crossword Puzzle: "Deception"

Two Maryland Juice readers forwarded us a Sam Arora-themed crossword puzzle that a blogger recently created. The Baltimore 21201 blog provides some background about the project, but we re-print the puzzle below (with a slight layout modification).

Quick Reminder: Sam Arora is a Democratic lawmaker in Maryland from a progressive legislative district. He campaigned and raised funds based on his support for same-sex marriage, but then he backstabbed constituents and supporters by voting no on marriage equality this month. Temporary Del. Sam Arora is now refusing to explain his betrayal. It is no wonder that the anger continues to build. One has to be pretty pissed off to spend this kind of effort on such project, no?

Sam Arora Crossword Puzzle

CD6 WOW: Gov. Howard Dean, Rep. Keith Ellison & Rep. Raul Grijalva Endorse Milad Pooran in 6th Congressional District

UPDATE: Check out Maryland Juice's archive of articles referencing CD6 Democratic candidate Milad Pooran. His website is MiladforCongress.com.


PRESS RELEASE
 
Gov. Howard Dean, Reps. Ellison, 
Grijalva Back Milad Pooran in MD-6 Primary

Dean: “He’s Only True Progressive and Only Candidate Who Can Win in November”

JEFFERSON, MD, February 28 – Democratic Congressional candidate Dr. Milad Pooran (MD-6) was endorsed today by three leading national progressive figures: former VT Governor and DNC chair Howard Dean, and the co-chairs of the Progressive Caucus in the U.S. House, Congressmen Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ).

“I am tremendously proud of the support of these three inspirational progressives,” Pooran said. “Governor Dean's endorsement reinforces what we have been saying since this race started: beating Roscoe Bartlett in November will take a better choice than either entrenched Annapolis political power or entrenched Wall Street money power. And I very much look forward to serving with Representatives Grijalva and Ellison in Congress and proudly joining them in the House Progressive Caucus.”

The endorsement statements of Governor Dean and Representatives Ellison and Grijalva:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Businessman John Delaney Releases New TV Spot for 6th Congressional District Race

Businessman John Delaney will be airing the following new television ad in the race for the 6th Congressional District Democratic Primary:




Things have been getting heated in CD6, but Maryland Juice will provide some context and updates on the GOP and Dem field this week. Stay tuned!

Owners of WBFF Fox 45 Force Rightwing Activism on Station // Plus, Their Non-Discrimination Policy Excludes LGBT Language

UPDATE: A Facebook user has provided Maryland Juice with a link to a petition that they have started to oppose WBFF's commingling of news and anti-LGBT activism.  
 
Last Friday, Maryland Juice highlighted how WBFF Fox 45 (Baltimore's local Fox affiliate) had turned from journalism to activism by advocating for rightwing policies on their website. Their site banner currently provides direct links to anti-gas tax propaganda and an anti-marriage equality petition. All signs are pointing to these decisions being foisted on the news producers by their corporate masters at Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG). SBG became famous in 2004 during the Bush-Kerry battle. A wiki entry on SBG notes:
For example, in April 2004, the company refused to broadcast a special "Nightline" broadcast, produced by the ABC television network, that was devoted to reading the names of soldiers who had died in Operation Iraqi Freedom....
Sinclair gained further notoriety by ordering its 62 local stations to preempt prime time programming to broadcast an anti-Kerry film just before the November 2, 2004 general election.
The Washington Blade also recently reported on who was responsible for the anti-marriage equality link:
Maryland’s marriage equality law hasn’t even been signed yet, but Baltimore Fox News affiliate WBFF-45 has endorsed a referendum effort to repeal the measure.

Anne Arundel GOP Pols Reveal More Stupidity In Effort To Keep All-White Council // Glen Burnie a "Ghetto" & "Gook" Not a Slur?

Last week, Maryland Juice highlighted the deplorable actions of three Republican Anne Arundel Councilmembers who are dead-set on maintaining a 100% white, male government. The three stooges forced over 100 rounds of balloting and resorted to racial slurs like calling Asians "gooks" in their shameful public meeting to fill a vacancy for the county's District 1 council seat. The council failed to come to a resolution on the matter and postponed further action until March.

Today, Maryland Reporter flagged follow-up coverage of this controversy, and it appears that the defiant GOP Councilmembers are just as tone-deaf and nasty as we had originally imagined. The Baltimore Sun reports that Councilmember Dick Ladd recently attended a community forum, where he was asked to explain his comments. His explanation was an utter failure -- since he said he doesn't find the word "gook" to be a slur -- and he ended up storming out of the meeting:
An Anne Arundel county councilman was peppered with questions Saturday about diversity on the all-white, all-male council — and criticized for his public use of a racial slur — before storming out of a community forum in Odenton...

Ladd was also asked to explain his use at a recent council meeting of a derogatory term for people of Asian descent....

Councilman John J. Grasso, a Glen Burnie Republican whose recent comments referring to Glen Burnie as "ghetto" were also questioned at the meeting, was invited to the forum but did not attend.

The New Normal // 15% of Marriages Now Interracial, 50% of New Mothers Unmarried & Internet Access Surging for All

 Enter the United States of Benetton

Maryland Juice loves using demographic trendlines to project policy changes and predict political shifts. Here are a few new hints of the new normal -- most being driven by people from my generation or younger. These new studies point to an increasingly connected, global citizenry and large shifts in the format of family-life and politics in America:
  • 15 % of New Marriages are from Interracial Couples
  • A Majority of Mothers Under 30 are Unmarried
  • 35-49-Year-Olds Are Biggest Blog & Social Networking Users


    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Montgomery County More Expensive Than NYC & San Francisco // Fighting All Development Not Always Progressive or Green

    INTRO: Montgomery County's population today is growing and changing in ways that make the once racially homogenous county one of the most diverse places in the region. This will have an impact on policy and politics for decades to come -- but in the meantime, policymakers will have to grapple with new priorities, new challenges, and new types of competition. Below we discuss a few aspects of this shift:
    1. MoCo's New Face: 46% Black/Asian/Hispanic
    2. MoCo Is More Expensive than NYC & San Francisco
    3. MoCo Needs to Attract Young People & Families

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Fox News Baltimore Promotes Anti-Marriage Equality Petition, Washington Times Promotes Anti-Immigrant Cause

    UPDATE: Given that Fox Baltimore has remedied the controversial website links, we have removed the links to contact their advertisers.

    Maryland Juice is amazed to see that mainstream media publications are now blatantly biased. A reader has forwarded us a shocking screencap of FoxBaltimore.com's website. Indeed, WBFF Fox 45 has placed a direct link to the anti-marriage equality referendum petition on their homepage. There is no link to the pro-marriage equality side, no news, no explanation -- simply a direct link to the haters' petition.

    A second Maryland Juice reader has forwarded us an email blast that the Washington Times recently sent to their email list, where they send subscribers a link to contact their legislators to oppose "illegal alien benefits."

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    More Marriage Equality Reactions: Perez Hilton Calls O'Malley "Wonderful Man" // GOP Sees Opportunity to Capitalize on Hate

    UPDATE: Delegate Anne Kaiser Tweets that Governor Martin O'Malley will sign the marriage equality bill into law on Thursday, March 1st at 5:00 pm.

    Maryland Juice highlights more interesting reactions to the Free State's movement toward marriage equality. First, celebrity-hounding blogger Perez Hilton gushes about Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and encourages tourists to visit our state. I should start an LGBT-friendly wedding company, STAT! See an excerpt from Perez Hilton's comments below:
    PEREZ HILTON: Way to go, "MARRY-LAND!!"

    The beautiful state just passed their marriage equality bill...

    Gov. Martin O’Malley has already said he plans on giving it his signature next week!! WooHoo!!

    The wonderful man says:
    Maryland will now be able to protect individual civil marriage rights and religious freedom equally. The common thread running through our efforts together in Maryland is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work, the dignity of faith, the dignity of family, the dignity of every individual.
    Welp!! We're definitely adding MD to the list of places to visit, LOL!!

    Their tourism site has us super innerested in sailing on the Chesapeake Bay!!

    Meanwhile, the crass Republicans' only response is to see an opportunity to jack up their base and try and drive up the hater-vote in November. The Gazette reports on the shameful GOP commentary:
    “We believe that not only will this drive Republican turnout..." said John Porter, communications director for the Maryland Republican Party.

    Round-Up of Marriage Equality Statements: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, AG Doug Gansler, Sen. Rob Garagiola & John Delaney

    As soon as the Free State's historic marriage equality vote was finished in the Senate yesterday, Maryland Juice received four press releases from politicos. See commentary on the passage of marriage equality from Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler, State Senator Rob Garagiola and businessman John Delaney. In case you weren't aware, Brown and Gansler are both in the running for Governor in 2014, while Garagiola and Delaney are competitors in the 2012 6th Congressional District race:

    The Return of Civil Liberties // Rep. Chris Van Hollen & Rep. Andy Harris Unite to Fight Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens

    Maryland Juice has been dismayed at the Democratic retreat on civil liberties in recent years. Remember when party leaders railed about the Patriot Act, overblown "anti-terror" policies, government surveillance and such during the Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft years?

    For several years now, it seems like the Dems have just been blowing smoke. We've watched on the sidelines as they repeatedly reauthorized the worst provisions of the Patriot Act and sat stunned as the party gutted Constitutional protections on habeas corpus. Forbes recently published an article summarizing how we slid this far down the slippery slope. They discuss the controversial "National Defense Authorization Act" (NDAA) that President Obama signed into law recently. The expansion of powers would allow the U.S. government to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely without trial:
    The National Defense Authorization Act greatly expands the power and scope of the federal government to fight the War on Terror, including codifying into law the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without trial. Under the new law the US military has the power to carry out domestic anti-terrorism operations on US soil.

    “The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it,” the president said in a statement. “I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”

    Worse, the NDAA authorizes the military to detain even US citizens under the broad new anti-terrorism provisions provided in the bill, once again without trial....

    “Obama’s signing statement seems to suggest he already believe he has the authority to indefinitely detain Americans—he just never intends to use it,” Adam Serwer writes at Mother Jones. “Left unsaid, perhaps deliberately, is the distinction that has dominated the debate over the defense bill: the difference between detaining an American captured domestically or abroad. This is why ACLU Director Anthony Romero released a statement shortly after Obama’s arguing the authority in the defense bill could “be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.”

    In December, Rep. Chris Van Hollen released the following statement regarding the NDAA's indefinite detention provisons:

    INVITATION: Frederick County Democrats Host 6th Congressional District Debate // FEB 29th 6-8 PM

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Rep. Donna Edwards Endorses former Delegate Saqib Ali for Montgomery County Board of Education

    A few readers forwarded Maryland Juice news that Maryland 4th Congressional District Representative Donna Edwards has endorsed former Delegate Saqib Ali for Montgomery County's school board:

    Dear Friend,

    As you may already know, I’m running for the Montgomery County Board of Education (District 2). The countywide election starts on March 24th.

    I'm writing to you today to let you know about a very important endorsement that I just received from Congresswoman Donna Edwards. Please take a look below.

    Marriage Equality Proponents Prepare to Defeat Rightwing Referendum

    PRESS RELEASE: As Legislative Process Ends, Referendum Begins in Maryland

    ANNAPOLIS – Following the successful vote in the House of Delegates last week, the Maryland Senate today approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which enables committed gay and lesbian couples to get a civil marriage license. While the Governor has stated his strong desire to sign the bill, the next step is likely to be the November ballot, where voters will support or oppose marriage equality.

    HISTORY: Maryland State Senate Approves Marriage Equality // Bill Headed to Governor Martin O'Malley's Desk for Signature


    UPDATE: Delegate Anne Kaiser Tweets that the final split was 25-22 for justice! Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports the roll call. GOP Senator Allan Kittleman was the only Republican vote for marriage equality. The Democratic Senators who voted against marriage equality are:

    Maryland Juice is proud to report that the State Senate has approved marriage equality legislation today. After last week's historic passage in the Maryland House, the bill will head to Governor Martin O'Malley's desk for a signature. Well done, Dems (+3 Republicans between the House & Senate).

    Get your party on today, but tomorrow start gearing up to win the hearts and minds of your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. We're not in the clear yet.

    RUH ROH: Biggest Maryland Counties Launch Grassroots Effort to Fight Shift of Teacher Pension Costs from State to County

    Maryland Juice woke up today to discover that many of the Free State's politically influential counties have banded together to fight a proposal to shift the cost of teachers' pensions from the State to Maryland's various counties. A new website and advocacy effort called "Stop the Shift" launched today:


    Last month, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett called the proposal a "non-starter." But Capital News Service reported that the Senate President was putting his muscle behind the proposal:
    Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. said Tuesday morning that he supports the shift, calling it “a fair and equitable way to assist the counties while balancing the budget.” 

    Notably, the Hagerstown Herald-Mail indicates that Democratic Senate President Mike Miller borrowed the pension shift idea from Republican Senate leaders:
    Two years ago, [6th Congressional District GOP candidate David Brinkley] and Sen.E.J. Pipkin, the current Senate minority leader, crafted an alternative plan to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed budget. Elements of the alternative plan were adopted, Brinkley said.

    Marriage Equality JuiceBlender // Maryland Senate Final Vote Today @ 4, More Sam Arora Fallout, O'Malley Weighs Platform

    Here's a random blend of political tidbits relating to marriage equality, starting with an update on the bill's status in the State Senate:

    JUICE #1: SENATE VOTE TODAY // WATCH IT HERE: Baltimore Sun reporter Annie Linskey tweets that the State Senate is likely to take up a final vote on marriage equality at 4:00 pm today:


    Maryland Juice is hosting a live, real-time Twitter feed of the historic State Senate vote below. You can also listen to the proceedings at the same time.



    JUICE #2: SAM ARORA'S SENATOR ROGER MANNO DETAILS BEHIND-THE-SCENES EFFORTS: Yes, people are still pissed about temporary Delegate Sam Arora's betrayal on marriage equality. For example, a column in today's UMD Diamondback notes that the Internet has created a new form of accountability for politicians:
    DIAMONDBACK: Years ago, before the netroots and social media were prominent in politics, Arora's betrayal would've been unknown to those who don't follow the minutiae of legislation and political leaders. However, in today's world of Change petitions, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, there's nowhere for cowardly politicians to hide. Every political issue has dedicated bloggers who closely follow political developments. In short, Arora isn't going to get away with his betrayal 
    The Washington Blade today also published an interview with District 19 State Senator Roger Manno, who shares a district with temporary Delegate Sam Arora (excerpt below):
    Sen. Manno (D-District 19), in a lengthy interview with the Blade, recalled his ultimately unsuccessful efforts to persuade Arora to support the bill, stretching back to last year.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Young Democrats are Changing the Conversation on Marriage Equality // OLD SCHOOL DEMS: Step Aside, Time's Up

    Something's in the water. Maryland Juice has been predicting that the churning of the demography in the Free State would start to crescendo. I think my generation is beginning to rise to the challenge of better governance than what the generation before us has been able to deliver (no offense, but we're still allowed to be idealistic):

    Rev. Joseph Lynn Kitchen
    Here in Maryland, a young baptist minister from Prince George's County -- who happens to be the Maryland Young Dems Vice President -- tells the story of his personal transformation on the issue of marriage equality. Maryland Juice had the privilege of ranting about Sam Arora on WBAL this week, and Rev. Kitchen was a guest on the show. Check out his brave testimony (excerpt below):
    REV. JOSEPH LYNN KITCHEN: In 2008 I voted for Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in my native state of California. In 2012, should it come before voters, I will vote against repealing the marriage equality legislation that just passed the House of Delegates. What led to my evolution on this issue? My own personal experience with my family.

    As a kid my brother who is just eleven months younger than I am became suicidal. For months he would go through long bouts of depression that resulted in attempts on his life with cutting and one night trying to hang himself in a closet. My family believed it was a phase he was going through and something to be kept internal, on the inside…family business. We were wrong. He was gay and the traditions of shame and dishonor had taken their toll on him. It wasn’t until we realized that he was a member of our family and we loved him unconditionally that he got better and the strength of our family improved.

    In 2008 I forgot that experience. I became distracted by the disagreements I had with the marriage equality advocates to overshadow my better judgment. As a voter I resented their failure to engage me on the issue. As an African-American I rejected their charges of bigotry. As a Christian I refused to accept their characterizing of my faith as hate. Once we get beyond all those names and look at this issue for what it is, love and strong relationships, everything else just seems so small.

    Meanwhile, the President of the National Young Democrats is calling on the Democratic Party to make marriage equality a part of the national platform. BOLD ACTION FROM YOUNG DEMOCRATS:
    Today, Young Democrats of America’s Executive Director Emily Tisch Sussman joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and more than 13,000 voters around the nation in endorsing language proposed by Freedom to Marry as part of its Democrats: Say I Do campaign calling on the national party to include a freedom to marry plank in the national Democratic party’s 2012 platform.

    “As the Executive Director of Young Democrats of America, I represent young people, and the way we connect young people back to Democratic politics is by speaking out for what is right and taking action,” Sussman said. “Polling shows that 70 percent of voters 18-34 support the freedom to marry, and for many of our members, it’s a cause that goes to the core of why they consider themselves Democrats. It is time to realize that marriage is no longer an effective wedge issue; it is a cause that we as Democrats should be leading on.”

    LET'S KEEP IT GOING YOUNG  PEOPLE -- TIME IS ON OUR SIDE.

    2014 Comptroller: Former MoCo Exec Doug Duncan Stumps for Gas Tax // Op Ed Appears on Governor O'Malley's Blog

    Last month, Maryland Juice reported on hints that former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan was weighing a 2014 run for Comptroller. Today, Governor Martin O'Malley's blog highlights a Washington Post op. ed. where Mr. Duncan stumps for the Governor's gas tax proposal (see excerpt below):
    Doug Duncan on investing in infrastructure
    February 22nd, 2012

    By Rick Abbruzzese, Director of Public Affairs

    As former Montgomery County Executive and now Chairman of the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance, Doug Duncan understands the importance of investing in infrastructure to rebuild our transportation networks and create jobs.

    Key Points: “Our failure to invest has cost us tens of thousands of jobs, and the price tag will only go up if we don’t reverse course.”

    “Almost $2,300 a year in wasted gas and extra wear and tear, according to the Road Information Project. Such congestion costs disproportionately fall on the backs of working families and the poor. Nothing is more regressive than severe congestion, lost opportunity and job losses.”

    Why higher gas taxes are the right medicine for Maryland

    By Douglas M. Duncan, February 17

    VIDEO: "Omar" from The Wire Endorses Maryland Marriage Equality // HBO Star: "Keep it Real - Join Us"

    HBO television star Michael Williams is the latest celebrity to endorse marriage equality in Maryland. He is best known as for his role as Omar in The Wire, and currently acts on Boardwalk Empire:


    CD6 RADIO AD: New John Delaney Ad Features Former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers



    Sam Arora Breaks His Silence, Moves On to Other Issues // State Senator Roger Manno "Disappointed," No Decisions on Slate

    WJLA/ABC7 might be the only news outlet that has managed to get a response from temporary Maryland lawmaker Sam Arora. He refused to respond to previous media requests from WTOP at the time of his "no" vote on marriage equality. Last night WJLA printed an email response from Montgomery County's backstabber:
    Montgomery County Democrat Sam Arora seems to be getting the brunt of the backlash. Arora, who campaigned in 2010 in support of same sex marriage and co-sponsored last years bill, voted No this year, even after repeatedly being lobbied by Gov. Martin O'Malley and former President Bill Clinton.
    Because of that vote, Arora's legislative director immediately resigned and the delegate's Facebook wall has been peppered with dozens of angry messages, calling Arora a coward and his vote a betrayal.

    There's even an online petition demanding Arora resign or refund campaign dollars....

    Despite repeated requests for an on-camera interview, Arora said he was too busy but he did respond via email:

    "This has been an emotional debate and I understand that there re those who disagree with my vote. Now that the bill has passed, I've turned my focus to my efforts [on other issues] in Maryland."

    WOW: Anne Arundel Councilmember Dick Ladd Talks About "Gooks" While Trying to Create 100% White Male Government


    While Maryland was making history with marriage equality last week, Anne Arundel County was shaming itself with ridiculous racial shenanigans. The Baltimore Sun has a recap of the latest evidence of a disconnect in The Free State:
    The council met Thursday night to fill the position vacated by former Councilman Daryl D. Jones, who began serving a five-month federal prison term last month. The 4 1/2-hour meeting was marked by shouting, a racial slur, accusations of bullying and a 3-3 deadlocked vote over two candidates.

    Former state Sen. Michael J. Wagner of Ferndale and Marine reservist Peter I. Smith of Severn were selected as finalists among 10 Democratic applicants in a process that included 101 rounds of voting. The council ultimately voted to resume the process next week....

    On Thursday, the fireworks started within the first 10 minutes of the meeting in downtown Annapolis.

    Lewis A. Bracy, a retired federal worker who was one of 10 applicants for the seat, said he thought he should get the appointment, in part because "people in the county need to see a diverse person on the podium...."

    Fink, who presides over the all-male and all-white body, was incredulous. "I can't believe that today I'm being asked to vote for someone … solely on diversity. It just blows my mind...."

    While questioning a candidate with a military background, Councilman Richard B. "Dick" Ladd, a Broadneck Republican, used an ethnic slur to describe his service during the Vietnam War, saying, "I was there chasing down the gooks."

    The comment elicited gasps from the audience assembled to watch the process play out.....

    WOW: Frederick County Makes English Official Language // Montgomery & Baltimore Join Federal Deportation Program

    WTOP is reporting that last night, Frederick County voted to make English their official language:
    Frederick County has become the first in Maryland to make English the official language of the government.

    The vote was 4-1 on Tuesday, with the lone dissent coming from Commissioner David Gray....

    A public hearing regarding the issue took nearly three hours, during which most of the 19 people who spoke were against the measure.

    Among those speaking against the ordinance was Meredith Kelly, who says the first settlers of Frederick County were German.

    "By various reports, English was not the area language until the Irish immigrants came in in the late 1840s. The original newspapers were published in both German and English. So, I have to look at the history of the county and wonder, what the hell is the point of this legislation? What does it benefit, because it looks like pure anti-immigrant posturing," Kelly says.

    Meanwhile, CASA de Maryland reports that today is doomsday for many Latino families in Maryland. Montgomery County and Baltimore City are set to implement the so-called "Secure Communities" program that was rejected by Democratic Governors in New York, Massachusetts and Illinois. The federal program demands that local governments check and transfer information about the citizenship status of residents, even if they are not convicted of a crime. The District of Columbia also rejected the program on the day that researchers released disturbing findings about the program. A number of actual U.S. citizens were arrested under Secure Communities (oops!), and the program disproportionately targets Latinos, sometimes breaking up families over trivial issues:
    The study is the first to analyze government data on the program. Among its findings:
    • 1.6 percent of those arrested were actually U.S. citizens
    • 39 percent of people arrested through Secure Communities have at least one child or spouse who is a U.S. citizen
    • 93 percent of those arrested are Latinos, even though they account for 77 percent of the entire undocumented population
    See the press release from CASA below:

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    LEAKED DOC: Resignation Letter from Arora Staffer Who Quit // Huffington Post: "Sam Arora's Political Career May Be Over"

    The Washington Blade has managed to get its hands on a leaked copy of the resignation letter from Josh Lapidus, temporary Maryland Delegate Sam Arora's legislative director.
    WASHINGTON BLADE: A senior adviser to Maryland Del. Sam Arora has abruptly resigned in protest over Arora’s vote against the state’s same-sex marriage bill.

    Joshua Lapidus, Arora’s legislative director, quit Friday night just after the marriage vote in a scathing resignation letter obtained by the Blade:

    CD6: AFL-CIO Endorses Rob Garagiola for Congress in Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District

    PRESS RELEASE

    AFL-CIO Endorses Rob Garagiola for Congress in
    Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District

    Rallying behind the grassroots support and citing his proven track record of fighting for Maryland’s middle class and working families, the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor organization, endorsed State Senator Rob Garagiola for Congress in Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District. The endorsement comes amidst a flurry of support from labor unions and community leaders.

    Mike Miller's Greatest "HITS" - Part 1

    "The Real Democrat" - August 17, 2006 // The Washington Post
    State Sen. Ida G. Ruben, who's facing a tough challenge in the Democratic primary from Jamie Raskin in Montgomery County's District 20, changed the tone of the race late last week, when she sent out campaign mailer declaring that her opponent is not a "real Democrat."

    Ruben picked apart Raskin's positions in several legal cases to suggest that he helped elect President George W. Bush "through his support of third party candidates" and is aligned with "radical pro-life groups that intimidate women and doctors."

    Raskin's campaign immediately condemned the mailer as "lies, fabrications and distortions" and demanded an apology for the "vicious Karl Rove-like attacks...."
    The controversy gave Raskin a boost from Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D). He denounced Ruben's mailer, saying, "This kind of Karl Rove politics has no place in the Democratic Party. The voters should demand a clean and honest campaign."

    Marriage Equality Passes Through Senator Brian Frosh's Judiciary Committee // Mike Miller = Still Suspect

    UPDATE: Senator Rich Madaleno Tweets the roll call and notes that the floor vote will be tomorrow: "Senate JPR Committee just voted in favor of the marriage equality bill 7 to 4. No amendments were adopted. Bill on floor tomorrow."

    DOUBLE-UPDATE: Some readers are quick to point out that Senate President Mike Miller made some committee changes and has been facilitating getting this bill through the Senate. Fair enough, but parochial as he is, Miller is not dumb. He knows his caucus well, and it is my belief that he followed the caucus, not the other way around. On progressive causes and social justice issues, is Mike Miller a shepherd or a gatekeeper of change? Think about it, can this guy be the Party Leader at a time when we need to convince people from around Maryland to change their opinions on issues of diversity?

    Marylanders for Marriage Equality announces that historic social justice legislation has passed through Senator Brian Frosh's Judiciary Committee. See their press release below. Meanwhile, Maryland Juice would like to point out that acting-Senate President Mike Miller continues to think marriage equality is an "attack on the family." Still waiting for that apology to the Governor and the LGBT community.




    PRESS RELEASE

    Senate Committee Endorses Civil Marriage Bill

    BALTIMORE – Following the momentous victory in the House of Delegates last week, a senate committee today approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act paving the way for a full senate vote this week.

    “We’re grateful to the members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee – particularly chairman Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery) - who today approved Civil Marriage Protection Act,” said Ezekiel Jackson, political organizer of 1199 SEIU, a member of the Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition. “Members who support the bill understand that this is about making all Maryland families stronger – that it’s about protecting them equally under the law while preserving cherished religious freedoms.”

    A January Washington Post poll showed a majority of Marylanders support committed gay and lesbian couples getting a marriage license.

    ###

    Maryland Senate President Straw Poll: Ballots Have Been Mailed // VIDEO: Instructions for Senators & Proof of Anonymity

    SENATORS: STRAW POLL BALLOTS WERE MAILED TODAY
    CHECK YOUR ANNAPOLIS MAILBOX THIS WEEK

    Maryland Juice recently announced a new experiment in guerilla journalism -- we are sending State Senators an anonymous ballot asking them whether or not they would like to see Senate President Mike Miller replaced in a leadership election. You can view our sample ballots online, but I have also produced a new video below. State Senators: Please watch the video below, as it provides loose confirmation that the ballots are anonymous, as well as further clarification on the polling process:




    If you have any further questions, you can contact me anonymously.

    CD6: American Mustache Institute Asks Rep. Roscoe Bartlett to Sponsor $250 Mustache Tax Cut // STACHE Act Needs Sponsor

    Will Roscoe Bartlett's Mustache Create a Conflict of Interest?
    FoxNews.com is reporting that mustached activists are calling for a $250 tax credit on hair care products, due to the over $1000 annual cost incurred for mustache maintenance. The advocates at the American Mustache Institute are calling on none other than Maryland's Rep. Roscoe Bartlett to sponsor the legislation, which they call the STACHE Act:
    As Congress pays lip service to Americans seeking tax reforms, an underrepresented constituency has a hairy proposition -- getting lawmakers to approve a $250 tax refund for mustached Americans....

    But demonstrating that the organization is not biased, AMI Chairman Aaron Perlut, who claims to personally spend "somewhere between $1,000 to $1,500" annually on grooming products, said anyone with hair care costs would be eligible for the $250 annual tax refund....

    The Stimulus to Allow Critical Hair Expense Act, or 'STACHE Act, is the brainchild of John Yeutter, an associate professor of accounting and tax policy at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. Yeutter issued a 2010 white paper noting the link "between the growing and maintenance of mustaches and incremental income."

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Defiant Sam Arora Meets With Catholic Conference, Receives Massive Applause // SOURCE: "He's Walking Around All Cocky"

    UPDATE: A Maryland Juice reader provides a contrast with how another MoCo lawmaker's office handled the lobbying from marriage equality opponents: "Saw your post about Sam Arora -- my Delegate met with the catholics tonight as well (25 of them in a small, confined office!). When marriage equality came up and the group said it was wrong, my Delegate came back with another reason why it was a big accomplishment to vote in favor of it on Friday. And kept advocating for marriage equality for 10 minutes."

    Boy this makes my blood boil. An anonymous source in Annapolis tells Maryland Juice that temporary Delegate Sam Arora appears to be defiant about lying his way into office. Last Friday, the dishonest lawmaker broke a campaign promise to support marriage equality -- and he never found the courage to tell his constituents why. But apparently he has time to meet with the Catholic Conference -- one of the groups leading the charge against marriage equality in Maryland. Their newly promoted archbishop has been trying to stoke anti-equality feelings in Maryland. Check out the online chat dialogue below:
    Aide: Sam Arora. Jeez. The Catholic Conference was in his office and he was giving some speech to them.

    Juice: Did you hear any of it?

    Aide:  No. Just the multiple rounds of loud applause. He's walking around all cocky. He doesn't care.

    SAM ARORA GOES VIRAL: Unfortunately for Sam Arora, his donors and colleagues care. In fact, in just two days, Maryland Juice's round-up of attempts to defeat Sam Arora has become our second most popular series of all-time. The story of Montgomery County's notorious backstabber has gone viral, making it a more popular story than Delegate Nic Kipke's hypocritical affair and even more popular than the release of Maryland's new Congressional districts. In fact, based on readership rates, only the issue of censorship pisses off Maryland Juice readers more than Sam Arora's backstabbing.

    WTOP radio recently covered the story, and included the following comments from some of Sam Arora's Montgomery county colleagues:

    Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio Testifies in Annapolis // Bravo TV Star Seeks Funding for Nutritious School Breakfasts

    Bryan Voltaggio of Bravo TV's Top Chef testifies in Annapolis, Maryland - February 20, 2012

    Today Bryan Voltaggio of the Bravo TV show Top Chef made the rounds in Annapolis. According to the Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland, the Frederick-based celebrity chef was on hand to advocate for funding for nutritious school breakfasts. Believe it or not, many children in the Free State do not have access to hot or nutritious meals every day. Voltaggio is part of growing number of chefs around the nation who are using their fame to promote healthier eating and better nutrition.

    Maryland Juice has had the opportunity to dine at his restaurant, Volt, a couple times. Besides simply serving up tasty food, Voltaggio is also helping to transform and revitalize the city of Frederick, where he grew up. See his testimony below:


    Harold & Kumar Go to Annapolis // Kal Penn Lobbies Sam Arora & His Leg. Director: "Do the Right Thing" on Marriage Equality


    More stories about the historic passage of marriage equality in the Maryland House continue to emerge. Below, we publish a series of Tweets from Kal Penn, the star of Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. The comments include a conversation between Mr. Penn and Delegate Sam Arora's legislative director, Josh Lapidus, who apparently quit his job minutes before Arora voted "no" on equality.

    See a reconstruction of the fascinating Twitter timeline below:

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    PLEASE HELP: You Could Make a Difference in the Life of This Mother // SUNDAY 3/4 Bone Marrow Drive in Silver Spring

    A simple Q-tip swab of your cheek could 
    make all the difference to this family. Please help.

    Diana Kingsley Lucio & daughter Kate

    Maryland Juice has a special plea for readers: Diana Kingsley Lucio, the daughter of a Silver Spring Democratic Precinct Captain, is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Please help to ensure that this 31-year-old mother has a chance to watch her 3-month-old daughter grow up. Her family is issuing an appeal for Marylanders of all stripes to come and submit a simple cheek swab to see if you're a potential match.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012  //  9:30 AM to 1:30 PM
    St. John the Baptist Catholic Community // Lyon Center (in back of the church)
    12319 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20904  
    Sponsored by Lisa, Roger and Melissa Kingsley (Mom, Dad and sister)

    Coincidentally, I learned a whole lot about bone marrow transplants recently. On July 25, 2007, I was at a music festival where DKMS (a group that manages a bone marrow donor registry) was taking cheek-swab samples from concert-goers. According to their website, many patients on the bone marrow waiting list never find a match:
    Q: Why is there a need for people to sign-up as bone marrow donors?

    Dear Sam Arora: If You Have Any Honor Left, Please Resign Immediately

    An Open Letter to Maryland Delegate Sam Arora

    Dear Sam Arora:

    If you have any honor left, please resign from the Maryland House immediately.

    In 2010, you tricked voters and donors into thinking you were a Democrat who stood for social justice and that you would support marriage equality. Instead, you turned out to be just another bullsh#t politician. You broke your campaign promises and sided with hate, and worst of all you did it at precisely the moment when victims of hate needed you the most. You couldn't even face your constituents and explain yourself. For that reason alone, you are unfit to serve in public office.

    The only honorable thing left to do is to resign -- immediately. Already, disappointed advocates have started a petition calling on you to resign. Meanwhile, some of your Montgomery County colleagues are already endorsing your former opponent. To ensure your defeat, we are also now publicly asking your District 19 colleagues (Senator Roger Manno and Delegates Ben Kramer *ahem* & Bonnie Cullison) to promise not to slate with you in 2014.

    You see Sam, The Democratic Party still means something to some of us, and your contamination of the brand must not be met with silence. Say goodbye to Democratic politics: You are hereby ex-communicated!

    Signed,

    We the People

    P.S. We welcome your public response on this serious matter. You still haven't explained yourself.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    JUICEBLENDER: Sam Arora Becomes National Lightning-Rod & Internet Meme // MD Lawmaker Backstabbed Progressives

    INTRO: Maryland Juice had a feeling that a vote against marriage equality from freshman Delegate Sam Arora would not go over well with his constituents, friends, colleagues, former classmates, etc. I was right.

    Sources report that right around 4:20 pm yesterday, Sam Arora's legislative aide quit. 10 minutes later, the historic House vote on marriage equality began. When the dust had settled, Arora had voted against the legislation.

    Within minutes of the passage of marriage equality in the Maryland House, the Internet exploded with activity to defeat Sam Arora in 2014. The outburst of anger is attributable to the fact that Arora was a former ally on the issue and many of his supporters, donors and volunteers feel betrayed. The anti-Arora activities sprouting up range from hilarious to sad to downright aggressive. Instinct Magazine summarized the explosion well:

    Maryland House of Delegates // Marriage Equality Roll Call Vote

    UPDATE: A lawmaker familiar with details of the marriage equality House floor vote tells Maryland Juice that the two abstentions/absences noted below are both due to hospitalization of the Delegates.

    Maryland House Speaker Mike Busch and Governor Martin O'Malley Hug It Out - February 17, 2012. Source: FACEBOOK.

    The Associated Press provides a roll call vote on the Maryland marriage equality measure. Below, we highlight the atypical votes: 1) Democratic "no" votes, 2) Republican "yes" votes, and 3) abstentions/absences. You can see the full roster at The Washington Post.

    Democrats against:

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    HISTORY: MARYLAND HOUSE APPROVES MARRIAGE EQUALITY // ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR PASSAGE

    UPDATE: Delegate Heather Mizeur reports the final tally was 71-67. The Washington Post reports that the House leadership has updated the vote tally to include an additional late vote. The official reported tally will be 72-67.

    Maryland Juice is pleased to report that the MARYLAND HOUSE HAS APPROVED MARRIAGE EQUALITY. This is history, folks. The legislation passed the State Senate last year, so this looks like it'll finally head to Governor O'Malley's desk for a long overdue signature.


    GOP Del. Wade Kach Explains Turnaround on Marriage Equality // Ellen Saurbrey Shocked: "He'll Be Held Accountable"

    #COURAGE

    Below, Maryland Juice pieces together a few statements from Republican Delegate Kach. These tidbits provide insight into why he decided to support marriage equality. We begin with a Tweet from Governor Martin O'Malley:


    The Baltimore Sun reported in greater detail about Delegate Kach's rationale:

    BREAKING: Del. Tiffany Alston Will Support Marriage Equality // GOP Minority Leader: Proponents Have Secured Final Vote

    A knowledgeable source tells Maryland Juice that Delegate Tiffany Alston (Prince George's Democrat) will support marriage equality in Maryland. The Towson Patch has details:

    ANONYMOUS: Maryland Juice Sample Ballots // Senate President 2012 Straw Poll

    Below, Maryland Juice has posted the sample ballots for our upcoming straw poll of State Senators. We have created a separate ballot for Democrats and Republicans to see who they would choose for Senate President if an election were allowed to occur. You can watch our kickoff video for the project, as it explains the basic concept. We'll also post a second video with further explanation soon!
    Maryland Juice Straw Poll // Senate President - DEMOCRATIC SAMPLE BALLOT

    GOP PUSHBACK GROWS // Grassroots Effort Launches: Maryland Republicans for Marriage Equality

    Maryland Republicans are beginning to push back against the anti-LGBT sentiment within their own party. This week, three Republican lawmakers also announced support for the effort: State Senator Allan Kittleman and Delegates Bob Costa & Wade Kach. A reader also forwards us news of a Facebook group of Maryland Republicans for Marriage Equality:
    About: Maryland Republicans who support same sex marriage - a human issue, not a partisan one.

    EVIDENCE: Katie O'Malley Is Going to Make an AWESOME FLOTUS // REMEMBER: Speaking Out Is a GOOD Thing

    A Maryland Juice reader has sent us an awesome capture of a Facebook thread about marriage equality (see below). Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley might just be the right FLOTUS to match a fightin' POTUS: ENTER CAMELOT 3.0? Seriously, KOM's participation during this debate has been pretty heartening for many of us watching it all go down. FIST BUMP!



    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    BREAKING: Two New Votes for Marriage Equality: // THANK YOU: Delegates Pam Beidle & Johnny Olszewski

    The Baltimore Sun reports that marriage equality supporters have two new allies in the Maryland House of Delegates:
    Two religious Democrats, Pam Beidle and Johnny Olszewski, both said this afternoon that they would support Gov. Martin O'Malley's same-sex marriage bill. Both had expressed concerns about the legalization for religious reasons.

    Beidle, a Catholic, said she made up her mind this morning when a gay constituent explained that her son could not attend a charter school in the county because she does not have a marriage certificate. "I'm very disappointed in the school," Beidle said. "It has just pushed me over."

    Beidle rarely speaks on the floor, but said she told her colleagues about the letter and her decision during a Democratic caucus meeting this morning.

    Olszewski, a United Methodist, also was uncertain about this bill and pressed O'Malley to make religious protections stronger this year.
    ONWARD!

    Q: Who Is Senate President Mike Miller? // A: Another Defender of Misogny, Racism & Anti-Semitism

    In the course of our attempted disruption of the Maryland political psyche, readers are beginning to forward interesting tidbits about Senate President Mike Miller's quarter-century reign over the Free State.

    A Maryland Juice reader with a long memory forwarded us an interesting Baltimore Sun article from 1993. Darth Miller was still refining his power-consolidation techniques, and he used them to try and salvage the highly controversial judicial appointment for a former legislator accused of racism and misogny:
    Arnick used racist, sexist language, panel is told
    February 09, 1993

    John S. Arnick, a new District Court judge in Baltimore County, told racist jokes and used derogatory and vulgar language to refer to women during a meeting when he was chairman of a state legislative committee, a woman lawyer testified last night.

    Judy A. Wolfer, 34, of Takoma Park said the former state delegate is unfit to be a judge and urged the Senate Executive Nominations Committee to reject his recent appointment to the bench.

    Ms. Wolfer said a "loud and angry" Mr. Arnick referred to her and a female colleague as "you bitches" and "you bimbos" during a February 1992 dinner meeting at an Annapolis restaurant. The women scheduled the meeting to lobby Mr. Arnick on a domestic violence bill that would be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee, which he chaired.

    TONIGHT: MoCo Planning Board Chair Rollin Stanley on "Changing Demographics & Delivery of County Services"

    Montgomery County Taxpayers League Meeting

    February 16, 2012  -  7:30 - 9:30 pm
    5th Floor Conference Room,  Council Office Building
    100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20854

    Topic: "Changing Demographics and Delivery of County Services"     

    Speaker: Rollin Stanley, Director, Montgomery County Planning Department

    Here are some facts about Montgomery County (I've picked these at random; come and hear the entire presentation on February 16):
    • there has been a 2% drop in foreign immigration among new residents
    • unemployment for age group16-19 was 14% in 2000 and 24% in 2010; for 55-64 year-olds it was 2% in 2000 and 6% in 2010
    • between 2000 - 2010, persons in poverty increased by 59%
    • of those who pay more than 30% of their income in housing costs, 44% are renters and 37% are owners
    • of foreign-born residents 24% have an advanced degree and 19% have not graduated from high school
    • 63% of seniors own homes

    COURAGE: Republican Delegate Wade Kach Announces Support for Marriage Equality

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Republican Delegate Wade Kach 
    Announces His Support for Civil Marriage Bill

    Annapolis – Maryland House Delegate Wade Kach (R-Baltimore County) declared his support this morning for the Civil Marriage Protection Act. Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the coalition working to bring civil marriage equality to Maryland, issued this statement by Carrie Evans of Equality Maryland, a coalition partner.

    "Delegate Kach wants make all MD families stronger - and to ensure all children are protected equally under the law. His support, like Delegate Costa's earlier this week, underscores how marriage equality is not a partisan issue. Thousands of families in his district and all over the state thank Del. Kach.”

    Allan Kittleman, a Republican senator supported marriage equality last year and reaffirmed his unwavering support at a rally in Lawyer's Mall on Monday evening.

    ###

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    CD6 NUKES: Sen. Rob Garagiola Releases Video Accusing John Delaney of Maxing Out to Tea Party Rep. Andy Harris

    State Senator Rob Garagiola has gone nuclear in the CD6 Democratic race. Today he unleashed harsh new attacks on John Delaney's past political contributions. In a video, press release and email blast, the Garagiola campaign condemns Delaney's max-out 2010 contribution to Tea Party Rep. Andy Harris. Below Maryland Juice publishes the video, press release, and donation record provided by the Garagiola campaign. We also print a response from the Delaney campaign (scroll to bottom).




    CD6: AFSCME Endorses Rob Garagiola for Congress in Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    AFSCME Endorses Rob Garagiola for Congress in Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District


    Today, AFSCME – the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, rallied behind and endorsed Rob Garagiola for Congress in Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District. AFSCME Maryland, the state affiliate, represents thousands of middle class and working families.

    CD6 VIDEO: Businessman John Delaney Airs District-wide Television Spot

    UPDATE: After a little prodding, the Delaney campaign provides Maryland Juice the following details on their TV buy: "It is a mix of broadcast and cable. Up across the district, Hagerstown and the suburban markets."

    6th Congressional District candidate John Delaney has released a new television spot for the April Democratic Primary. His aides say this ad is running district-wide right now:


    ROLL CALL: Maryland House Committee Votes on Marriage Equality // SEE HOW THEY VOTED

    WBAL has the information we've all been looking for. See the roll call votes for the marriage equality legislation.
    Roll Call of House Judiciary Committee on Same Sex Marriage

    Voting Yes (10 Delegates All Democrats): Kathleen Dumais; Susan Lee; Jeff Waldstreicher; Luke Clippinger; Jill Carter; Keiffer Mitchell; Kris Valderamma; Frank Conaway; Curt Anderson; Luiz Simmons

    Voting No (11 Delegates): Joe Vallario (D); Kevin Kelly (D); Tiffany Alston (D); Geraldine Valentino-Smith (D); Don Dwyer (R); Susan McComas (R); Neil Parrott (R); Michael Smigel (R); Michael Hough (R); Joe Cluster R); Mike McDermott (R)

    Abstained (1 Delegate): Sam Arora (D)

    Roll Call of House Health and Government Operations on Same Sex Marriage

    Voting Yes (15 Delegates): Peter Hammen (D); Shane Pendergrass (D); Eric Bromwell (D); Robert Costa (R); Bonnie Cullison (D); James Hubbard (D); Ariana Kelly (D); Dan Morhaim (D); Peter Murphy (D); Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D); Nathaniel Oakes(D); Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D); Kirill Reznik (D); Shawn Tarrant (D); Veronica Truner (D)

    Voting No (7 Delegates): John Donoghue (D); Donald Elliott (R); Bill Frank (R); Wade Kach (R); Nick Kipke (R); Susan Krebs (R); Justin Ready (R)

    Absent (1 Delegate): Pat McDonough (R)

    Talk amongst yourselves.

    CD6 Media Advisory // NOON TODAY: AFSCME & State Senator Rob Garagiola to Meet the Press

    * * * Media Advisory – Press Availability * * *

    AFSCME & Rob Garagiola to Hold Media Availability After Endorsement Meeting

    Toolbox1674 // Delegate Don Dwyer's Family Values

    UPDATE: Maryland Juice sources seem to be confirming that Annapolis legislators have been aware of Delegate Dwyer's Match.com profile and have been calling him Toolbox. How appropriate for someone who throws stones while living in a glass house.

    A Maryland Juice reader has forwarded us a very unusual online dating profile for a Match.com user named "Toolbox1674." The photo in the profile appears to be the same Glamourshot that appears on Delegate Don Dwyer's Facebook page. Mr. Dwyer happens to be a self-proclaimed defender of traditional marriage. He is also the leader of the anti-gay movement in Maryland and the lead sponsor of a Constitutional Amendment to ban marriage equality in the Free State.

    Three options: 1) Someone is playing a hilarious joke on Maryland Juice, 2) Someone on Match.com stole Delegate Don Dwyer's Facebook profile photo, or 3) [Insert Third Guess Here]. Hmm.


    Match.com Profile for User Toolbox1674


    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    BREAKING: Maryland House Committees Approve Marriage Equality Bill 25-18 // NEXT STOP: House Floor Vote

    UPDATE:  WBAL Radio reports that the marriage bill passed 25-18.

    #HappyValentinesDay

    PRESS RELEASE - Momentum: 
    Maryland House Committees Approve Civil Marriage Bill

    ANNAPOLIS – Today, two legislative committees in the Maryland House of Delegates voted to approve Governor Martin O’Malley’s Civil Marriage Protection Act, which allows committed gay and lesbian couples to marry while protecting religious liberty.  A statement by Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the coalition leading the effort to help pass the Governor’s civil marriage bill, is below.

    “The coalition applauds the Judiciary and Health and Government Operations Committees in the House of Delegates for voting ‘yes’ on allowing committed gay and lesbian couples to get a civil marriage license.  Members of the committee today voted to strengthen all Maryland families - and to protect religious liberty. We just took another step toward civil marriage equality becoming a reality in Maryland; the momentum is with us. We thank all supportive Delegates for their leadership on this very important issue that will improve the lives of thousands of Maryland families and help put the state on the right side of history.”

    Marylanders for Marriage Equality is the coalition—including SEIU 1199, Equality Maryland, Progressive Maryland, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU of Maryland, and others-- working to bring civil marriage equality to Maryland.

    ###