Monday, April 30, 2012

GOP JuiceBlender: Roscoe Bartlett Flails, Andy Harris Inaction on Job Cuts, 2014 GOP Primary, New RNC Committee Member

UPDATE: It appears that the Tea Party now has a platform agenda to appeal to women: tax cuts for women's shoes!

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Apologies for the pause from Maryland Juice over the weekend. I had to stop and #occupylife.  In any case, here's a random blend of political tidbits about Maryland Republicans from recent political news. We begin the roundup with a Baltimore Magazine profile of embattled CD6 Rep. Roscoe Bartlett:

JUICE #1: REP. ROSCOE BARTLETT ADMITS THIS IS HIS FIRST REAL CAMPAIGN - In order to gauge the chances of a particular candidate's success, many national pundits will look at past party performance, registration data, polls, fundraising, endorsements and many other factors to guide their ratings. However, Maryland Juice believes that utilizing existing campaign infrastructure can also be critical for an incumbent heading into a hotly contested head-to-head race. To be clear, I'm not talking about political infrastructure, which many incumbents do have gobs of. Political infrastructure is about knowing insiders; campaign infrastructure is about being able to interact with non-insiders. The two are not synonymous, as State Sen. Garagiola learned in his failed CD6 Democratic Primary bid earlier this month. The same fate may soon befall GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. If you're wondering why many voters still don't know who Rep. Bartlett is, consider his recent comments in a Baltimore Magazine profile (excerpt below):

Friday, April 27, 2012

OMG: 3rd Term for MoCo Executive Ike Leggett? // Plus, County Analyst Calls Lockheed Martin Welfare Plan "Inappropriate"

UPDATE: The rumors about Mr. Leggett weighing a third term must be true. Maryland Juice just received an email indicating a new blog has emerged called "Leggett Watch." The only substantive post so far complains about Mr. Leggett trying to pass an ambulance fee after it was rejected at the ballot. But the introductory post provides some clues:
Welcome to www.LeggettWatch.com. This blog will serve as a collection and reference point for all of the shady things that Montgomery County exec, Isiah Leggett, does. Good old Ike is constantly doing shady things and yet always seems to get a pass from the media and the citizens of Montgomery County. Hopefully having a record of his shenanigans will help voters make a better decision come election time. Don’t forget folks, the county executive in Montgomery County has no term limits!

Amazingly, rumors are swirling that Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is currently floating trial balloons to see if he is viable to run for re-election as County Executive. Yesterday, Maryland Juice celebrated 300,000 pageviews on our blog, but we also took the opportunity to preview a few 2014 primary match-ups -- including the Montgomery County Executive's race. Two readers quickly mentioned that in spite of past statements indicating he would not seek a third term, Mr. Leggett is now considering just that. Wow.

Below Maryland Juice discusses the horrifying possibility of a third term from Mr. Leggett (or Doug Duncan for that matter), and we also update readers on Mr. Leggett's current obsession with corporate welfare for Lockheed Martin.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Obama Threatens to Veto Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger's Internet Snooping Bill // Advocates Condemn CISPA During Floor Debate

UPDATE: The House Republican majority rammed through CISPA tonight on a mostly party-line vote. Here's how Maryland's House delegation voted - YES: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Rep. Andy Harris, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger // NO: Rep. Elijah Cummings, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. John Sarbanes. The technology bloggers at TechDirt wrote:
TECHDIRT: Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that's not even the worst part....
The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.... The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a "cybersecurity crime". Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is engaging in a heated floor debate on Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger's Internet snooping legislation CISPA (aka HR 3523). You can watch the proceedings online. A floor vote is expected TONIGHT.

STOP #CISPA // TWEET AT BILL SPONSORS: @CALL_ME_DUTCH and @ROSCOE_BARTLETT

OPPOSITION ON THE LEFT: CISPA has been criticized by key House Democrats, and a recent veto threat by President Obama was a gamechanger in the policy dialogue. Obama cited CISPA's weak efforts to protect our online privacy. The Hill today reported on Rep. Ruppersberger's response:
THE HILL: Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.) voiced frustration Thursday with the White House's threat to veto his cybersecurity bill.

"It was like a kick in the solar plexus," Ruppersberger said, referring to an area of the abdomen....


Maryland Juice Milestone: 300,000 Pageviews // Plus, A Preview of Coming Articles: 2014 Comptroller, Governor & MoCo Exec

UPDATE: Already, a couple sources are telling me I should take Jon Cardin's name off of the Comptroller's candidate list. We'll provide details soon!

Maryland Juice is celebrating another milestone today. In just nine months of blogging, we reached over 300,000 pageviews last night!



SPRING BLOG PREVIEW

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for a new focus on emerging races this spring. 
Below is a preview of some storylines we'll soon be cultivating in greater detail.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CD6: Does Bill Clinton's John Delaney Endorsement Signal a 2016 White House Bid from Hillary Clinton? // ONE TAKE

Today, Howard Fineman at The Huffington Post had a worthwhile piece speculating that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is keeping the door open for a possible 2016 run for the White House. He analyzed Bill Clinton's recent endorsements in contested primaries and concluded that his choices are very deliberate.

The Huffington Post article also discusses Bill Clinton's critical endorsement of John Delaney in Maryland's 6th Congressional District Democratic Primary. Fineman even includes comments from John Delaney's wife April. Notably, he places the Delaney endorsement in the context of a future run for President from Hillary Clinton (see excerpt below):

Washington Post: Maryland Missed An Opportunity to Abolish the Death Penalty // Connecticut Set to End State Killings

RETWEET

The Washington Post yesterday issued an editorial lamenting that lawmakers once again failed to abolish the death penalty in "The Free State." Maryland Juice seconds their motion for action to end the practice. Their commentary flags many of the major policy problems that arise when allowing the state to execute people (see excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Connecticut is set to become what Maryland should have been: the most recent state to abolish capital punishment.

With the expected signature of Gov. Dan Malloy (D) within the next few days, Connecticut would become the 17th state to repeal the death penalty and the fifth in the past five years....

AUDIO: Gov. Martin O'Malley Seeks Budget Deal By 5/23, But Without Gambling // Casino Plans May Be Punted to August

Numerous outlets yesterday reported that Gov. Martin O'Malley met with Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch to try and work out a budget deal. After the breakfast meeting, Governor O'Malley met with reporters and gave hints as to what Marylanders could expect to see unfolding in the coming weeks. We provide an audio clip of Gov. O'Malley's remarks below. The Baltimore Sun also reported on his comments:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

RUMOR: Former Montgomery Exec Doug Duncan Polling Voters About A Comeback? // Executive & Comptroller Runs Considered

former MoCo Exec. Doug Duncan
UPDATE: The Rockville Patch published further comments from Doug Duncan regarding his future:
ROCKVILLE PATCH: “I’m looking at all my options,” Duncan said in a telephone interview....

“I’m not running for governor, not running for Congress,” Duncan, the county executive from 1995 through 2007, told Rockville Patch.

Duncan said he’s not particularly focused on the crowded field of potential candidates for comptroller, but is “exploring things” to see “where I’d be the best fit.”

He said he has not conducted any polling, nor does he have any immediate plans to do so.

WARNING: Montgomery County to Double Revenues from Red Light & Speed Cameras // ODD: More Cameras, Less Revenue?

UPDATE: A Maryland Juice reader notes that along with the increase in photo tickets residents can expect in the future, Montgomery County also wants to collect data about where we drive: "I think the County either already does or is planning to equip the red-light cameras with 'tag readers' so that the license plate number of every passing car is logged. There has been some interesting press coverage of tag reader policy in Moco. Apparently the MC police want to keep the data collected for a long time." 

After hearing this alarming news, Maryland Juice found news coverage about photo surveillance in MoCo, and it turns out that the slippery slope is happening faster then I thought. For example, residents of Chevy Chase now want to put surveillance cameras at the gates of their community! See a brief clip about additional photo surveillance controversy from The Gazette at the bottom of this post.

Last night, The Examiner's Rachel Baye published a story indicating that Montgomery County wants to double its revenues from speed cameras next year. Check out an excerpt from the article and an accompanying chart below. The Examiner's graph flags some peculiar math in the MoCo budget:


Fiscal 2011
Fiscal 2012 (estimated)
Fiscal 2013 (estimated)
Speed citations issued
487,820
Not available
Not available
Speed camera revenues
$13,359,202
$11,999,870
$15,502,800
Speed camera expenses
$5,246,844
$8,282,034
$8,451,572
Speed camera net revenues
$8,112,358
$3,717,836
$7,051,228
Source: Montgomery County fiscal 2013 proposed operating budget


READ: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett's Constituent Letter to Opponents of Corporate Welfare for Lockheed Martin

BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice is not quite sure why Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is obsessed with giving away nearly $1 million of tax cuts to profitable defense contractor Lockheed Martin -- in exchange for nothing. The County Council previously rejected this idea, but Mr. Leggett tried to push the pork barrel line item through the back door by calling it an "economic development" grant. Notably, the expenditure of tax dollars is not expected to generate any new jobs or economic activity. In a letter that appeared in The Washington Post, Council President Roger Berliner noted that this defect would make Mr. Leggett's proposed welfare plan an inappropriate use of economic development dollars.

But the Leggett administration doesn't want to let this issue go. Maryland Juice just received the following copy of a letter that County Executive Ike Leggett is sending to residents who wrote letters of complaint about the Lockheed welfare plan. Note that many of the arguments in Mr. Leggett's letter have been roundly addressed in Council President Berliner's response. In a new argument, Mr. Leggett suggests that those who oppose his corporate welfare plan are somehow being "unfair" and taking out their anti-war feelings on Lockheed Martin. Well, I never....

In any case, Leggett's letter is being circulated by the County's Economic Development Director Steve Silverman (see email and letter below).

CD6: DCCC Adds John Delaney to List of Top Tier Democratic Candidates // Race Makes Top 35 for U.S. House Democrats

The U.S. House campaign arm of the Democratic Party has added 6th Congressional District nominee John Delaney to their list of top-tier candidates this cycle. Politico today reported:
DCCC ANNOUNCES 14 NEW “RED TO BLUE” RACES: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is announcing 14 more races that have qualified for the Red to Blue program as part of the ‘Drive for 25’ campaign to win the House. They now have 35. The designation is meant to recognize strong fundraising performance and meeting other organizational targets. Chairman Steve Israel is also announcing four new Majority Maker candidates (which highlights Democrats in strong Democratic districts) and 13 Emerging Races:

New Red to Blue (14): Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Joe Miklosi (CO-06), Patrick Murphy (FL-18), David Crooks (IN-08), Gary McDowell (MI-01), John Delaney (MD-06), Shelley Adler (NJ-03), Julian Schreibman (NY-19), Manan Trivedi (PA-06), Pat Kreitlow (WI-07), Arizona’s 9th District* and New York’s 18th District*.

More on the CD6 race soon!

Why the Youth Vote is Important to Democrats // Plus, Join Maryland Juice & Media Figures in Rockville TONIGHT

UPDATE: Board of Education At-Large candidate Morris Panner has published an op-ed in the Chevy Chase Patch supporting Sen. Brian Frosh in his decision to squash youth voting rights on the school board. *cough*

Today, The Washington Post's political bloggers at The Fix provide a worthwhile dissection of America's youth vote. Political reporters Chris Cilizza and Aaron Blake today have an instructive article showing why young voters are central to President Barack Obama's re-election strategy. The POTUS is currently touring colleges around the nation, in an attempt to highlight his record on trying to make higher education affordable. But why would the President spend so much effort wooing a small and unreliable voting population? See one explanation below, along with a quick comment from Maryland Juice tying this issue to local races.

SIZE VS. COHESION: The old saying goes that strength comes in numbers. But in politics, it may be equally true that strength comes with cohesion. Indeed, parties often gain not just by large numbers of their voters turning out, but also by racking up huge vote gaps among defined populations. Maryland Juice recently noted, for example, that polling indicates women in swing Congressional districts are breaking disproportionately for Democrats, and this could severely hamper Republican candidates around the nation. But it is much easier to understand why women would be central to the Democratic Party strategy than smaller groups, given that women consistently comprise a majority of voter turnout.

The Fix explains (excerpt below):
...As the president travels to Colorado today to kick off a tour of college campuses to promote the extension of lower interest rates for student loans ... it’s worth re-examining what happened among young people in the 2008 election and whether he can re-create that magic in 2012.

The most common misconception about 2008 is that Obama grew the youth vote — defined for our purposes as those between 18 and 29 years old — by any significant measure as compared to past elections. He didn’t....

Young voters comprised 18 percent of the electorate in 2008, a one-point improvement from their share of the electorate in 2004, 2000 and 1996, but nowhere near the heights they reached in the 1980s.

What Obama did do — good grammar! — is win young voters by a far greater margin than any Democratic presidential nominee in modern times.

Again, we turn to a chart looking at the percentages the Democratic and Republican nominees won among 18-29-year-old voters:

Source: Washington Post, The Fix 4/24/12
Obama’s 34-point margin among young people was almost double the next best showing by a Democratic nominee; Bill Clinton won 18-29-year-old voters by 19 points in his sweeping 1996 reelection victory. 
The youth turnout then was far less consequential to Obama’s victory than the consolidation of the 18-29-year-old vote behind his candidacy....
Polling provides a muddled picture of whether Obama can hope to recreate that sort of margin. 
Obama’s favorable ratings among young people have fallen since 2009, but they have fallen less quickly and less precipitously than with other age groups.

DOWN-TICKET IMPACT: Notably, around the nation Congressional candidates of both parties are being held hostage to the dynamics of the Presidential race. After all, most voters this November will turnout to make a statement about the Obama-Romney battle, and downticket races will be afterthoughts to a large portion of voters. How Obama and Romney treat different groups (ie: women, youths, etc) can in some ways overshadow many elements of individual candidate messaging in the Congressional races. Last week Maryland Juice noted, for example, that in the key Congressional races where Democrats hope to pick-up GOP-held seats, Republicans are doing better among youth voters. See the poll snapshot below from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a firm launched by Bill Clinton's former pollster:



UNFORCED ERRORS: The youth vote, for example, is often taken for granted because it is assumed that not enough young people vote to make it worth pursuing their votes. Unlike women, youths comprise a much smaller portion of the electorate. But stopping your analysis there is a surefire way to miss electoral opportunities and longterm investments in future voters. Indeed, Maryland Juice believes that area Democrats often shoot themselves in the foot (for no reason) with key constituencies like young voters.

Recent unforced errors from Montgomery County Dems include proposing a youth curfew in the midst of a crime decline, along with squashing a bill to expand voting rights for MoCo's student school board member. Today, Maryland Reporter also notes that University of Maryland students are panicking over possible tuition hikes resulting from Senate President Mike Miller's hijacking of the state budget process.

Maryland Juice hopes that Democrats are beginning to get the picture here. You cannot take young people for granted, and I think it is a shame that I even have to write a post showing that this in our Party's electoral interest. In reality, the merits of youth-driven policymaking should be obvious for Democrats who care about policy. After all, young people are not wedded to the institutions and practices of the older generation. They are part of what keeps the Democratic policy circuit forward-thinking, and I truly believe this is a value for the nation (and progressives).


P.S. JOIN MARYLAND JUICE TONIGHT - Speaking of the youth vote, please come to the Montgomery County Young Democrats meeting in Rockville, Maryland tonight at 7:30 pm. All are welcome to attend a special panel discussion featuring Maryland Juice, Center Maryland's Josh Kurtz, and WTOP's Kate Ryan. Former CNN producer Evan Glass will moderate.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Montgomery Council President Roger Berliner Rejects County Exec. Ike Leggett's Corporate Welfare Plan for Lockheed Martin

BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice recently condemned Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett's recent proposal to grant almost $1 million in tax cuts to defense contractor Lockheed Martin. We noted that the County Council had previously rejected this idea, and the expenditure of tax dollars was not projected to create any net new jobs or economic activity. Numerous outraged residents contacted MoCo policymakers to express their disapproval.

But last week, The Washington Post editorial board made an inexplicable pitch for the County Council to approve the taxpayer giveaway to Lockheed. Interestingly, The Washington Post has been singularly focused on fiscal accountability and government waste issues lately. That's why it is very strange to see them weigh in on a budget item that seems to clearly be a wasteful use of tax dollars.

Today, Montgomery County's Council President Roger Berliner penned a response to the Post's editorial. Mr. Berliner once again rejected Mr. Leggett's proposed corporate welfare project and outlined the spurious policy arguments used to justify this wasteful proposal. Notably, Mr. Berliner complains that the Leggett administration is trying to pay for the Lockheed welfare plan out of a fund designated for economic development. Indeed, these finite resources should only be spent where they will actually help grow Montgomery County's economy or spur new economic activity. Many small business owners, taxpayers, and government employees ought to be upset to see a profitable multi-national corporation receive a unique tax break when every other party to the budget process seems to be making a sacrifice. See an excerpt from his letter to the ed below:
ROGER BERLINER: ...While our council has yet to vote on the issue, the proposed grant, which would cover two years of county lodging taxes at the firm’s conference and training center, including a retroactive rebate, raises legitimate concerns.

First, council attorneys have concluded that there is no legal basis for exempting the center from the lodging tax. In 2010, when Mr. Leggett proposed legislation to do so, the proposal had so little support that it was never even considered. The council’s rejection was guided by a number of concerns: Lockheed Martin built its conference center well aware of the tax; the center competed with other hotels that paid the tax; and our scarce resources were needed in other areas.

Two years later, the county executive has proposed a different approach — an economic development grant — that raises other, equally challenging issues. The purpose of such grants is to provide incentives for a company to locate or expand in the county prospectively, not retroactively. Moreover, the council has received public testimony that Lockheed Martin charges hundreds of dollars a night to non-employees who stay at the center, which, if accurate, undermines the core argument that the facility is for its staff only.
CONCLUSION: It is unfortunate indeed to see cliche pork barrel line-items for special interests in good government Montgomery County. It is especially unfortunate to see this sort of lame policymaking happening when we really don't have enough money in our economic development fund for legitimate projects. We can't afford to waste precious taxpayer resources on corporate welfare -- especially if it doesn't actually create any new economic activity.

Ironically, Mr. Berliner (wearing his Council President's hat) recently brought in experts from the high tech and startup worlds to help brainstorm ways that Montgomery County could position itself for jobs in the "new economy." The County Council and MoCo's economic development director Steve Silverman heard testimony on what local governments can do to foster startup culture and attract high-tech jobs. Speakers included rep's from Google, Twitter's venture firm, and more.  A number of their suggestions would clearly cost money -- as noted by some Councilmembers. You can watch the fascinating conversation below, but it really does raise questions about why we are wasting money on taxpayer giveaways when we there appear to be an infinite number of better ways to spend such money. The description of the panel and speaker bios are available online.


Get Microsoft Silverlight


Tell the County Council & Economic Development Director Steve Silverman to reject Ike Leggett's proposed waste of tax dollars: The email address below will forward your message to all of them at one time.

Email All 9 Councilmembers & Steve Silverman using the address below:

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler's New Fundraising Letter Previews Issues for 2014 Governor's Race

A Maryland Juice reader has forwarded us a scanned copy of the following fundraising letter from Attorney General Doug Gansler. Two things are worth noting:
  1. Gansler's fundraising is not slowing down, and 
  2. Gansler is previewing a set of issues and accomplishments as Attorney General that he will likely highlight in a 2014 gubernatorial bid. 
We noted in January that Gansler was developing a large cash lead in the race for the 2014 Democratic Primary, with over $4 million in his war chest already. In the letter below, he highlights a body work around four issue areas:

  1. Environmental Enforcement & Alternative Energy
  2. Alcohol-Related Public Safety Issues & Senior Abuse
  3. Consumer Protections for Home Loans & Refinancing
  4. Internet Privacy
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger & Rep. Roscoe Bartlett would do well to take note of number 4, given their recent decision to sponsor legislation encouraging government snooping of Internet social networks.

Obama Fundraising Mail Highlights Job Growth & Change // Plus, Bumpersticker Indicates Joe Biden Still on Ticket as VP

Maryland Juice just received the following fundraising package from President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. This is one of the first clear "re-election" pieces I have received, and it seems a bit more relevant now that we know how the GOP nominee will be. The three pieces in Obama's solicitation included:
  1. A new bumper sticker that is one more sign Obama will be keeping Joe Biden on as Vice President,
  2. A graph of job growth before and after Obama took office, and
  3. A list of "changes" promised in 2008 that Obama has advanced.
We provide copies of the three pieces below (click to enlarge):




Now, if we could just put some of Obama's other campaign promises back on the radar: ie: stopping U.S. torture/closing Guantanamo, repealing the Patriot Act, aggressive environmental enforcement and ending the failed federal War on Drugs....

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger Under Fire for Bill Allowing Government Snooping of Internet Activity // STOP #CISPA

UPDATE: Today Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and seventeen other Democratic House members sent a letter to Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger stating "CISPA Needs Privacy Safeguards." It is unfortunate that Rep. Ruppersberger and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett are supporting government  snooping on the Internet in Congress, because this year the State Legislature made Maryland the first state in the nation to protect your social networking data from employers.

Tell Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger & Rep. Roscoe Bartlett to STOP Government Internet Snooping:


RUPPERSBERGER SLAMMED ON TWITTER: Internet users are once again triggering backlash to proposed Congressional regulation of the world's most important communications platform. This time their target is Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger's anti-privacy legislation CISPA (aka HR 3523) -- a bill which does not have the support of the White House. Constituents are condemning Rep. Ruppersberger's legislation on Twitter (see below), but he still has a chance to prove he supports Internet privacy.



CONTEXT: Last January, millions of Internet users took to Facebook, Twitter, email, phones and even the streets to protest Internet censorship legislation called SOPA & PIPA. Notably, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) was a sponsor of PIPA, but he became the first Democratic Senator to withdraw support. He smartly announced he would not support PIPA on Friday, January 13th, only days before the forces of the Internet staged a massive blackout on January 18, 2012.




REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER'S ATTACK ON INTERNET PRIVACY = CISPA: This week Internet users are now rallying to protect their online privacy, with a new legislative threat scheduled for a U.S. House vote later this week. The new culprit is called CISPA and it is being sponsored by none other than Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI).

Under the guise of "cybersecurity" (whatever that means), Rep. Ruppersberger drafted legislation that would grant immunity to social networking operators and website services like Facebook and Google for sharing volumes of data about ordinary user activity with law enforcement officials. At one point, the bill even included provisions to allow the government to monitor web activity just to help police intellectual property violations. As is so often the case, what is being sold as anti-terror legislation for our safety, also happens to include a vast expansion of government surveillance powers and vague language that could only aid in future expansive interpretations by the government and even corporations. TIME Magazine recently panned the legislation in an article titled 5 Reasons the CISPA Cybersecurity Bill Should Be Tossed. They flagged the following considerations:
  1. CISPA does away with important information-sharing barriers between the government, military and private sector.
  2. The restrictions on what can be snooped or how that information can be used are vague.
  3. If a company violates your privacy, you have to go to the moon to hold them liable.
  4. The bill’s definition of “cybersecurity purpose” is too broad and vague.
  5. There may be a better, wiser, narrower bill in the offing.
The TIME article highlights a few points of major criticism against CISPA:
TIME MAGAZINE: Next up: CISPA, a bill that would essentially nullify current privacy laws and set companies up to share data about users with the government without the need for court orders....

What’s more, the bill would require the Director of National Intelligence to both design procedures to facilitate information sharing between private and government sectors, as well as “encourage the sharing of such intelligence.”

Before I get into CISPA’s overt problems, it’s worth stating that I think we’re all — proponents and opponents of CISPA — in favor of intelligent, reasonable and appropriate measures when it comes to grappling with cybersecurity....

CISPA does away with important information-sharing barriers between the government, military and private sector. According to the Center for Democracy & Technology, CISPA threatens privacy because it “has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies and it supersedes all other privacy laws,” “is likely to lead to expansion of the government’s role in the monitoring of private communications” and “is likely to shift control of government cybersecurity efforts from civilian agencies to the military....”

CISPA’s vaguely defined usage restrictions mean your information could be used for purposes other than or only indirectly related to cybersecurity. The Electronic Frontier Foundation says “a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your emails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and modify those communications or prevent them from reaching their destination if it fits into their plan to stop ‘cybersecurity’ threats.”

REP. ROSCOE BARTLETT SUPPOPTS CISPA SNOOPING: Notably, none of Rep. Ruppersberger's Democratic colleagues in the Maryland U.S. House delegation have signed on to CISPA (ie: Rep. Van Hollen, Edwards, Sarbanes, Cummings, etc) -- but the bill has the support of GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD). Notably, Mr. Bartlett currently has had problems consolidating Tea Party and GOP party base support. As CISPA's privacy violations become more high-profile, they could become a problem for Mr. Bartlett. Rep. Ron Paul, who is popular among GOP activists, for example, recently spoke out against CISPA in an op-ed. The Ron Paul oriented blog Daily Paul even issued an alert stating:
DAILY PAUL: This bill already has over 100 Congressional co-sponsors, and is bolting through Congress! This is very upsetting! I just called my PA Congressman (Rep. Thomas Marino) and asked if he was a co-sponsor. They said, yes. I said, "Well you tell him I said not to support this bill, and if he does the next time his name comes around, HE IS OUT!"

THIS BILL WILL GIVE THEM CONTROL OF THE INTERNET!!!!! I am told it is worse than SOPA, the last bill they tried to control the internet with. Everyone yelled and SOPA was taken off the floor.

WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!!!!! PLEASE STOP RIGHT NOW AND CALL!!!!!!

INVENTOR OF THE WEB CALLS CISPA THREAT TO RIGHTS: Tim Berners-Lee, the man widely credited for creating the World Wide Web recently spoke out against CISPA. Talking Points Memo noted his comments:
TIM BERNERS-LEE: "[It] is threatening the rights of people in America, and effectively rights everywhere, because what happens in America tends to affect people all over the world. Even though the Sopa and Pipa acts were stopped by huge public outcry, it’s staggering how quickly the US government has come back with a new, different, threat to the rights of its citizens."
Tim Berners-Lee joins a large coalition of open information, civil liberties, and good government advocates in opposing CISPA. The bill faces opposition from groups like my employer Demand Progress and the ACLU.

STOP CISPA // PLEASE CONTACT CONGRESS BEFORE WED

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: "Nothing Says Jobs Like Transvaginal Probes" // O'Malley Meme

As we mentioned earlier today, during a recent media event with national political reporters, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley jabbed at Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. The Baltimore Sun reported:
BALTIMORE SUN: "[Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley] also took some jabs at the Republican party, which he believes has strayed from the economy. "Nothing says jobs like transvaginal probes," O'Malley said, referring to the controversial legislation backed by VA Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, that would have required some women to undergo the invasive procedure before having an abortion."
Maryland Juice took the opportunity on a lazy Saturday to cut and paste a few images of Gov. O'Malley into our first O'Malley photo meme (see Maryland Juice's Facebook Meme Gallery). Enjoy!



JuiceBlender: Reporters on Gov. Martin O'Malley for President // Plus, O'Malley on Delaney v. Garagiola & Our First Meme!

UPDATE: An O'Malley 2016 draft effort has emerged on Facebook.

For the past few months, Maryland Juice has been tracking the careful positioning of Gov. Martin O'Malley in the 2016 White House lineup. On Tuesday we noted that CNN contributor Bill Schneider had booked Gov. O'Malley for a media talk that billed him as a "hot prospect" for 2016. The event was hosted by a centrist Democratic think tank called "The Third Way." Now it seems that media speculation about the future of Maryland's Governor is sprouting up all over the place. Below we flag a few interesting press hits about the 2016 White House race. Among the bits of juice below are recent comments from Governor O'Malley about the recent CD6 Democratic Primary, comments about transvaginal probes, and remarks about Maryland's budget battle:


Friday, April 20, 2012

SHAME ON YOU: Gov. Martin O'Malley & President Barack Obama Continue Failed War on Drugs // 4:20 PM on 4/20

BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice is reprinting a recent article we published last month condemning attacks on drug policy reform that are (disappointingly) coming from Gov. Martin O'Malley and President Barack Obama. Mr. O'Malley has pledged to veto medical marijuana legislation, while Mr. Obama is breaking a 2008 campaign promise by using federal law enforcement resources to harass state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries. Public sentiment is not with these gentleman on this issue, and it has in fact been trending away from them for years. No longer just a youth issue, the zeal for the so-called "War on Drugs" is also wearing thin among older voters. This effect will likely continue as the Baby Boomers begin to age and churn the population.

THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRISON POPULATION: But more important than simple opinion shifts is the large problem of over-incarceration in America. This problem is a clear result from a "War on Drugs" plotted out based on "conventional wisdom" instead of science and evidence. It should be obvious to all by now that over-incarceration of people of color is tied to our fanatical pursuit of non-violent drug charges. These strong-arm law enforcement pursuits used to be grounded in anti-crime policies related to past drug epidemics and sometimes as political cover for our foreign adventures in Central and South America.

Decades later, the result is the world's largest prison population and a completely apathetic response from the vast majority of policymakers. Medical marijuana is obviously the vanilla proxy battle for the bigger problem, but we can't even get that passed in Maryland. See a re-hash below:

ROLLING MY EYES: Gov. Martin O'Malley Plans to Veto Medical Marijuana Bill // AG Doug Gansler, Others Scared Of Feds



Sen. Brian Frosh Responds to Critics After Unilaterally Killing Youth Voting Rights on Montgomery County School Board

PLUS: Commentary on Travyon Martin & MoCo's Failed Youth Curfew Plan

Today, Maryland Juice presents Sen. Brian Frosh's response to the recent condemnation of his unilateral killing of a youth empowerment bill  (see below). As Maryland Juice previously reported, Frosh's unusual efforts concern a bill that would grant full voting privileges to Montgomery County's elected student member of the Board of Education. The bill MC 9-12 passed unanimously in the Montgomery County House Delegation and 5-2 in the Senate. Students have fought for these rights for years, but Mr. Frosh decided to replace the judgment of the rest of the colleagues with his own by effectively placing a hold on the youth representation bill. You can read more about the history of the effort in past articles.

Frosh's letter explaining his actions was written in response to an email he received from Montgomery County Young Democrats (MYCD) President Dave Kunes. Kunes, who had been working with MYCD to fight back against Frosh's assault, provided the following note to accompany the email thread he provided:
DAVE KUNES: I am disappointed Senator Frosh did not respond to our request in the letters sent by over 80 Young Dems and supporters. We were not trying to convince Senator Frosh on the merits of the legislation. We asked him to stop holding up the democratic process by simply allowing his colleagues in the House and Senate to vote this bill to passage. I look forward to working with our members and youth rights activists in supporting this bill again next year.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

EVENT JuiceBlender: Rally with Cardin, Delaney & Van Hollen // Plus, Biz Markie, ACS Lawyers, Affordable Housing & More

Here's a random blend of invitations to upcoming events that may be of interest to Maryland Juice readers:

JUICE #1: HOWARD EXEC KEN ULMAN PARTY WITH BIZ MARKIE: Tom Coale (@hocorising) at the HoCo Rising blog has a pretty AWESOME event invitation from Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, a candidate for Governor in 2014. On Thursday, May 10th from 7-9 PM Ken Ulman is inviting us to join him at a party with BIZ MARKIE and former Def Jam music executive Kevin Liles. As the HoCo Rising blog reminds us, Biz Markie is best known for his off-key singing in the hit song "Just a Friend" (music video below):





Democrats Reserve Ad Time In Key U.S. House Races // No Soup for John Delaney in Maryland's 6th Congressional District

Yesterday, Politico reported that the Democratic Party reserved television advertising space in 26 key U.S. House districts around the nation. Maryland Juice noted that Democrat John Delaney's race against GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the 6th Congressional District did not make the Democrats' list for television expenditures:



BREAKING: Montgomery County Planning Board Director Rollin Stanley Resigns // Major City Poaches Smart Growth Evangelist

UPDATE: Washington Post coverage of Rollin Stanley's departure today mentions Maryland Juice's coverage and notes that Stanley will be leaving mid-May. Meanwhile, MoCo blogger Dan Reed from Just up the Pike has a piece up at Greater Greater Washington that summarizes Stanley's work plotting out the future of land use in Montgomery County.

MoCo Planning Director Rollin Stanley
"THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE"

ROLLIN STANLEY DITCHES MOCO: Maryland Juice has learned from two knowledgeable sources that Montgomery County's Park and Planning Director Rollin Stanley has resigned today. When asked about the matter, Democratic Planning Board member Casey Anderson stated simply: "He got a fantastic offer. A much bigger job."

This would indicate that Rollin Stanley was poached by another jurisdiction. When asked to provide details about where Mr. Stanley was headed, Casey Anderson stated: "It is a major city that has grown rapidly and is expected to continue growing fast. They want to announce his hiring themselves next week."

That Rollin Stanley should be poached is not surprising, considering that the public tide among planners and residents these days, strongly favors smart growth principles for land use. Stanley's vision for Montgomery County and his work for other cities has won national accolades. Even still, the timing of the poaching is very interesting, given recent controversy surrounding Mr. Stanley. He recently engaged in a war of words with anti-growth activists, and his job upgrade now leaves him with the last laugh. But the consolation prize for his critics is that he is now gone. Maryland Juice's hope is that the next Planning Board chief will bring the same broadview and gaming out of Montgomery County's future that Rollin Stanley did.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

POLLING SNAPSHOT: Democrats Gaining in Battleground House Races // Obama Tying Romney with Independents

Maryland Juice just received the following polling memo from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, the polling firm started by President Bill Clinton's data guru Stan Greenberg. The respected pollsters surveyed the closest U.S. House races in the nation to get a snapshot of the current playing field.

Notably, this survey appears to include Maryland's 6th Congressional District -- given that the pollsters rate Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's CD6 seat as a "Tier 1" race (ie; one of the top 28 pick-up opportunities). They note that President Obama carried the new CD6 by 14 points. Things are looking good for Democrat John Delaney's chances of picking up this seat.

A few highlights that Maryland Juice noted:
  1. Independents: Obama is slightly leading Romney among swing district Independent voters; this is a marked shift from a few months ago. But hopefully this is not related to the two points below....
  2. Minorities: Democrats are beginning to lose footing with a chunk of minority voters to Republicans in U.S. House swing districts. WTF, Democrats.
  3. Youths: Republicans have a slight lead among young voters (ie: under-30) in the GOP-held battleground seats. WTF, Democrats.
  4. Women: Democrats doing well among women -- phrased differently: Republicans are burning their own house down with their attacks on women.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

JUICEBLENDER - Pundits Pick Political Winners: O'Malley, Mizeur, Raskin, Hucker // Plus, Harford Exec for 2014 Gov?

Here's a random blend of political tidbits from the current news cycle, starting with an analysis of potential fallout from Maryland's current budget standoff:

JUICE #1: SENATE PREZ MIKE MILLER HARMS DEMOCRATIC BRAND - The Baltimore Sun's Annie Linskey recently published a lengthy write-up of the finger-pointing in the aftermath of Maryland's stalled budget negotiations. She printed speculation about the potential harm that a protracted budget battle could have on the reputations of political leaders, but most of the blame still seems to be hovering over Senate President Mike Miller. It seems clear that he is a poor brand-manager for the modern Democratic Party, and his ward boss political tactics are sullying the efforts of others. See an excerpt from The Sun's piece below:

CD6: Poll Shows John Delaney with Big Lead Over GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett // Dem Wins Independents By Double-Digits

Maryland Juice just received a press release from 6th Congressional District Democratic nominee John Delaney showing a 9-point lead over Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. Indeed, Mr. Bartlett's twenty years of service as a Republican incumbent do not appear to be aiding him in his efforts to hold his seat.

Notably, yesterday The Washington Post took a look at the 1st Quarter Congressional fundraising reports from around the nation and compiled a list of winners and losers. 6th Congressional District incumbent, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett made the top losers list (see below). Today's polling numbers further confirm his endangered status.
WASHINGTON POST: Rep. Roscoe Barlett (R-Md.): Not only did the incumbent win his primary this month with just 44 percent of the vote; he also got outraised $800,000 to $255,000 by his new Democratic opponent, John Delaney. And that’s not counting the $1.7 million Delaney has self-funded. Given that Bartlett now has a Democratic-leaning seat (thanks to redistricting), it’s hard to call him anything short of an underdog.

Monday, April 16, 2012

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin Reports $2.1 Million Cash On Hand for General Election // GOP Challenger Has Dustballs in Wallet

The Republicans have nominated former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino to take on incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin for the U.S. Senate this November. Mr. Bongino may have a near-impossible challenge unless he can demonstrate a sudden ability to raise tons of cash. His latest FEC reports show roughly $16,000 cash on hand through mid-March. Senator Cardin, on the other hand, has issued a press release announcing $2.1 million in his war chest, so far:


Friday, April 13, 2012

VIDEOS: Gov. Martin O'Malley & Senator Rich Madaleno Explain the Maryland Budget Debate to WAMU Radio Host Kojo Nnamdi

Maryland Juice just caught two interviews on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi show regarding Maryland's budget debacle this week. The first, taped today, was with Senator Rich Madaleno - a Montgomery County member of the Senate's Budget & Tax Committee. The second segment features Gov. Martin O'Malley and was taped yesterday. Notably, our prior coverage indicated that gambling issues appeared to be a sticking point between House and Senate negotiators. In the videos below, Sen. Madaleno and Gov. O'Malley present their takes on the budget meltdown:


SEN. RICH MADALENO EXPLAINS THE BUDGET
 


 
GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY EXPLAINS THE BUDGET

UPDATE: No Change to Frederick Board of Education Results // 12 Vote Photo Finish for Primary Election

Maryland Juice recently noted that the Frederick County Board of Education primary this month might face a changed outcome with absentee ballots. Last week, the first round of absentee counting resulted in a 17-vote margin separating two candidates in the school board primary.

The election was to select six candidates to advance to the November General Election, but Tony Chmelik only held an 11 vote lead over seventh place candidate Emily Ann Meyer. After today's final round of absentee ballot counting, Mr. Chmelik is still in the lead -- by 12 votes! See the current unofficial results below:

Last Updated 04/13/2012 03:46:47 PM

Board of Education

Non-Partisan (Vote for No More Than Three)
NamePartyEarly VotingElection DayAbsentee / ProvisionalTotal VotesPercentage
Zakir BengaliNon-Partisan8726,41820574959.5%
Tony ChmelikNon-Partisan4416,07416266778.5%
Donna J. CrookNon-Partisan5705,53622363298.0%
Colleen CusimanoNon-Partisan5316,07517067768.6%
Kiesha La Kay EdmondsNon-Partisan1751,3825016072.0%
Kathryn B. "Katie" GrothNon-Partisan1,2489,8953201146314.5%
James E. HooverNon-Partisan3174,14914746135.9%
Emily Ann MeyerNon-Partisan6125,90614766658.5%
Cindy Ann RoseNon-Partisan3424,77011952316.6%
Joy SchaeferNon-Partisan8386,48017074889.5%
Tom ShadeNon-Partisan7397,179261817910.4%
Pam WardNon-Partisan4395,68517262968.0%

UPDATE: MoCo Board of Education Candidate Rebecca Smondrowski Holds 365 Vote Lead Over Jeanne Ellinport

Ten days ago, Montgomery County's Board of Education District 2 Primary ended with somewhat of a murky result. The top two candidates in the race will proceed to the November General Election, but last week there were only 452 votes separating the second and third place finishers:

After 1,652 absentee ballots were counted last week, Fred Evans maintained his first place finish, and Rebecca Smondrowski held a 371 vote lead over Jeanne Ellinport. Today, 2,259 absentee ballots have now been counted, and Ms. Smondrowski is still maintaining a 365 vote lead over Ms. Ellinport. This may be the end of this race, as Ellinport has only netted a handful of votes through the absentee count. See the current unofficial results below:

Board of Education District 002 | Non-Partisan (Vote for One)


NamePartyEarly VotingElection DayAbsentee / ProvisionalTotal VotesPercentage
Saqib AliNon-Partisan8606,021230711110.3%
Susan ByrneNon-Partisan1,46312,3816271447121.0%
Jeanne EllinportNon-Partisan2,03112,4774581496621.7%
Fred EvansNon-Partisan2,09814,4295711709824.8%
Rebecca SmondrowskiNon-Partisan1,74513,2133731533122.2%



Congratulations to Fred Evans & Rebecca Smondrowski!