Friday, June 29, 2012

Montgomery College Board of Trustees Endorses Maryland Dream Act // READ RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF "VOTE FOR"

Casa de Maryland today announced that the Montgomery College Board of Trustees has passed a resolution supporting the Maryland Dream Act. Below you can read a full copy of the resolution and a letter explaining the Board's action. I've excerpted a few pertinent parts from the letter, which summarize the Dream Act provisions they endorse, as well as their rationale:
MONTGOMERY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES: The Dream Act provides to undocumented students local in-state rates for tuition in Maryland community colleges (and four-year colleges with additional requirements), provided that the students can show attendance in a Maryland high school for at least three years, that their parents filed tax returns in Maryland during periods between attendance in high school and attendance at community college and that the students commit to legalizing status as soon as they are eligible. It is a confirmation and a slightly modified extension of a long observed policy of Montgomery College that granted all graduates of Montgomery County high schools local instate tuition rates....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WATCH ONLINE: Labor Union Runs Television & Radio Ads Supporting Casino at Prince George's County's National Harbor

Today several news outlets reported that some labor unions are running ads to support a proposed casino at the National Harbor site in Prince George's County, Maryland (see eg: Washington Post & Baltimore Sun coverage). The group, called Building Trades for National Harbor, is running a television spot in the Baltimore market and a radio ad in the Baltimore and Annapolis markets. Maryland Juice has obtained copies of both ads, which you can watch & listen to below:

Television Ad for Prince George's Casino

Radio Ad for Prince George's Casino

CD6: Nuns to Protest at Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's Office // National Pundit Calls Sen. Rob Garagiola "The Most Arrogant" Candidate

UPDATE: A number of readers in the comments below, either defend Senator Garagiola or criticize John Delaney. Additionally, a few anonymous readers were baffled by Stu Rothenberg's comments. We print a few select responses below:
READER #1: That Rothenberg piece struck me as an amazing piece of Washington-elite disconnectedness.

Monday, June 25, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Maryland Redistricting Law // Fletcher v. Lamone Decision Counts Prisoners in Home Districts

Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld Maryland's “No Representation Without Population Act,” which instructs redistricting plans to count prisoners at their home addresses, rather than where they are incarcerated (See bill sponsors: Maryland House & Maryland Senate).

The high court upheld the law in a summary disposition, meaning the Justices based their ruling on existing briefs and did not engage in oral arguments.  A negative ruling could have impacted Maryland's new redistricting plan. The Supreme Court-focused Cert Pool blog briefly explains summary disposition:

Friday, June 22, 2012

JuiceBlender: Daily Kos Prefers O'Malley to Cuomo, Cuomo Hesitates on Dream Act, Bartlett Slams Obama on Immigration

Here's a random blend of political tidbits from recent news, starting with commentary from journalists and pundits comparing MD Governor Martin O'Malley with NY Governor Andrew Cuomo:

JUICE #1: DIFFERING RESPONSES FROM O'MALLEY & CUOMO TO OBAMA DREAM ACT ANNOUNCEMENT - Maryland Juice recently reported on President Barack Obama's major announcement that his administration would halt the deportation of young undocumented residents (aka Dreamers). This week, Politico's Maggie Haberman covered the differing responses to the new policy development from Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo -- two rivals in the 2016 Democratic White House race.

Initially, Haberman wrote about O'Malley's support for Obama's actions, compared to Cuomo's silence. But days later, Cuomo is now praising Obama's immigration position. Notably, Gov. O'Malley had backed a Maryland version of the Dream Act which provides for in-state college tuition for all high school graduates, regardless of their immigration status. Gov. Cuomo apparently did not support the New York version of this legislation. See excerpts from the pair of articles below:

MD Attorney General Doug Gansler Elected President of National Association of Attorneys General // Focus on Online Privacy

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has just released the following press statement announcing that he has been elected President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). Notably, Gansler has been serving as head of the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA), and his website notes that his position there ended upon taking the NAAG role.

Gansler's statement also announces that his focus at NAAG will be on protecting Internet users' privacy. Indeed, this is a growing area of concern for consumers, given the roughshod treatment of our digital privacy by corporations and law enforcement officials. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, for example, recently sought to grant immunity to online companies if they share information about our Internet use with government officials.

A QUICK NOTE ON GANSLER'S ONLINE PRIVACY INITIATIVES - Gansler's press announcement states that he will use the NAAG role to highlight privacy violations by the "Internet's major players," and in his role as Maryland AG, he has worked to fight privacy policies at Google and Facebook. This is pretty smart politics for the 2014 gubernatorial candidate, given the enthusiasm from the Netroots for greater online privacy protections. But Maryland Juice would also reiterate that government officials are some of the worst violators of online privacy, and we hope to see Mr. Gansler also address the increasing disregard of digital privacy by law enforcement agencies. Moreover, Mr. Gansler also mentions NAAG's role in addressing "internet crime." We hope that he doesn't mean more overblown attempts at anti-piracy enforcement at the behest of pro-censorship companies like Rosetta Stone, as well as the film and music industries (ie: SOPA/PIPA). If Mr. Gansler is able to disregard the lies and propaganda from entertainment industry and cable lobbyists, he may be able to develop a real following among Internet users. We will be watching!


Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler Elected 
President of National Association of Attorneys General

“Privacy in the Digital Age” will be presidential initiative

Anchorage, Alaska (June 22, 2012) – Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has been unanimously elected the 105th President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) by his peers during NAAG’s Annual Summer Meeting. The nonpartisan association of chief legal officers from each state, territory and the District of Columbia has used its vast and varied expertise, experience and legal authority to address many of the nation’s most serious legal, social and economic issues, such as the home foreclosure crisis, tobacco litigation, financial fraud, human trafficking and internet crime.

“As the chief legal officers of our states, Attorneys General are engaged in every aspect of state governance. We are uniquely positioned to make a real difference in the lives of the citizens in our states, and we do so every day,” said Attorney General Gansler. “It is an honor to serve as NAAG President. I look forward to working with my colleagues on some of our states’ and our nation’s most pressing issues.”

Upon accepting office, Attorney General Gansler announced his intent to examine “Privacy in the Digital Age” as his yearlong Presidential Initiative.

“The Digital Age has transformed everything we do, from buying groceries to boarding an airplane, from treating an illness to socializing with friends and family. These changes have raised some unique and significant challenges to privacy,” said Attorney General Gansler. “With this initiative, we will bring the energy and legal weight of this organization to investigate, educate and take necessary steps to ensure that the Internet’s major players protect the privacy of online consumers while balancing their legitimate business interests.”

Currently serving his second term in office, Attorney General Gansler has also served as Chairman of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. He has also chaired NAAG committees on Youth Access to Alcohol and Environment and Energy. Gansler is the second Attorney General from Maryland elected to NAAG’s top office. The first was Attorney General Francis Burch, elected in 1970.

For Attorney General Gansler’s bio:

For more information about the Maryland Office of Attorney General:

For more information about NAAG accomplishments and initiatives:

To visit the NAAG website:

# # #

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SOURCE: Tax Cut Plan for Maryland Casinos Caused Breakdown in Gambling Expansion Negotiations // A 2-Year Reprieve?

BREAKING: No Special Gambling Session // Workgroup Fails to Reach Deal on PG Casino, Table Games

A moment ago, The Real Prince George's blog reported that Maryland's special "gambling workgroup" failed to reach a deal to resolve several key issues (excerpt below):
REAL PG BLOG: ...After weeks of public and behind closed doors meetings, the commission has indeed failed to reach consensus on what plan could pass both houses....

A knowledgeable Maryland Juice source has verified this news and provides additional detail:
ANONYMOUS SOURCE: "Members of the workgroup from the House of Delegates weren't willing to decrease the taxes on casino owners...."

Ultimately, this raises the likelihood that further discussion on gaming expansion will be deferred for two years, as the issues (if agreed upon) will ultimately be put before voters in a referendum.

BACKGROUND: If you're just now tuning in to the gambling debate, here are a few details about what's going on. When the legislature ended its session this April, the Assembly punted a decision on how and whether to expand gambling in Maryland. They came back for a special session to deal with budget issues, but left undecided whether or not to hold a third special session to discuss expanding gambling.

Governor O'Malley subsequently created a special workgroup to debate gaming expansion in Maryland, and he indicated that he would not push for a third legislative session this year, unless the workgroup members were able to reach a deal. Some of the key points they were debating were:
  1. Whether to allow Las Vegas-style table games at our five planned slot machine barns
  2. Whether to add a sixth casino at Prince George's County's National Harbor site
  3. Whether to give casino operators a larger share of slot machine revenue/cut their taxes

Notably, Maryland Juice reported last week that a Virginia anti-tax group sent direct mail attacking the idea of tax cuts for casinos. The piece was mailed across the state, and several legislators have reported receiving numerous calls and emails on the topic. A few politicos have theorized that rival casino operators may have financed the mail-piece, but we have no way of knowing that yet. But if that turns out to be true: well-played.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

RAIDING MISSION: MoCo Wants Corcoran Art Gallery in Wheaton // Virginia Pays $6.4 Million to "Retain" Redskins HQ

MOCO SEEKS TO LURE CORCORAN GALLERY TO WHEATON: The Washington Post's Jonathan O'Connell reported this week that DC's Corcoran Art Gallery and school (where Sam Arora recently got married), may be moving to a new location. The facility is apparently operating at a loss right now and hopes to cut expenses by selling their building. Montgomery County is now trying to lure Corcoran to the redevloping area near Wheaton, Maryland's Red Line metro station. See this excerpt from the Washington Post report:
WASHINGTON POST: When Corcoran’s board of trustees voted unanimously last week to authorize the shopping of the building, they said they had to do so to address its chronic operating losses, including $7.2 million for the fiscal year that ended last June....
Officials from neighboring jurisdictions have begun setting up meetings with Corcoran management to propose locations they hope could lure the museum — and, importantly, its art school — outside of the District....

“We have been in communication with them and expect that we will be visiting with them in the short term,” said Steve Silverman, director of economic development for Montgomery County.

Should the Corcoran move to a neighborhood such as Wheaton, Silverman said, it might help kick off a resurgence akin to the one Silver Spring experienced after the American Film Institute reopened there in 2003 after leaving the Kennedy Center....

DC-based land-use blogger Richard Layman analyzed some of the potential new sites for the Corcoran. He seems to be pessimistic about the idea of Corcoran moving to the 'burbs, unless a local jurisdiction can round up money to poach the institution. We shall see where this goes!

VIRGINIA GIVES REDSKINS $6.4 MILLION FROM TAXPAYERS TO DO NOTHING:  Meanwhile, unlike the Corcoran's very real attempt to re-locate, the Washington Redskins apparently have no plans to move their headquarters and training facilities out of neighboring Virginia. That didn't stop Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell from giving $6.4 million to the NFL's 2nd most profitable franchise -- just in case they might one day think about moving. *collective eye roll*

I could really care less what Virginia chooses to do with its tax money, but I thought this was a noteworthy story. After all, it seems to be a new regional phenomenon to see elected officials trying to give money to companies so that they won't move -- even if they never had plans to move. Read an excerpt from Laura Vozella's report in The Washington Post yesterday:
WASHINGTON POST: Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s $6.4 million deal to keep the Washington Redskins’ corporate headquarters and August training camp in Virginia is not sitting well with House budget-writers....

Committee members also objected to McDonnell’s pursuit of the deal — without informing legislators, they contended — after House members had twice rejected similar plans during the General Assembly session.

“He’s making a decision that’s contrary to what the vast majority of House members thought was appropriate,” said Del. R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta)....

Said Landes: “There wasn’t a lot of support for using state tax dollars to help the company and keep them in the state. Not that folks don’t want them here . . . [but] because they’re the second most profitable NFL organization....”

Virginia Finance Secretary Richard D. Brown and Martin Kent, McDonnell’s chief of staff, appeared before the highly skeptical committee to answer questions about the deal....

Brown and Kent did not present the arrangement as one that would bring new jobs to Virginia, but one that would prevent them from leaving....

But committee members said they doubted the team would have left Virginia given the relatively high corporate and income tax rates in Maryland and the District....

LOCKHEED & BECHTEL DEJAVU: This new justification for crony capitalism and corporate welfare is very disturbing. Is the public really supposed to accept policymakers giving away tax dollars to profitable corporations, just in case they might one day think about leaving -- without any evidence of companies trying to leave? This seems absurd! And yet, MoCo tried this exact argument with Lockheed Martin when the County Executive tried to give away $1 million of the County's money. You may also recall that Maryland even gave defense contractor Bechtel a $9.5 million loan while it was packing up for Virginia!

One amusing aspect to this scenario is that Virginia lawmakers are even arguing that they don't need to use corporate welfare to retain companies, because their low corporate tax rates should take care of that problem. Amazingly, even that is not enough to stave off mindless corporate welfare in Virginia.

Lesson learned: Apparently, even if we lower tax rates, we can expect nonsense policymaking to continue. The Virginia example just proves that industry will simply make up arguments to try and squeeze resources from State and Local governments. Its obviously best to just treat these self-interested arguments as the rantings of craven political players.

PHOTO ALBUM: White House Hispanic Summit in MoCo Draws Officials From Across MD // Ken Ulman, Rushern Baker & More

This past weekend, Montgomery County played host to a White House Hispanic Community Action Summit. Notably, the event took place the day after President Obama announced a halt to the the deportation of Dream Act students. Numerous Democratic officials from across the State participated in the discussion, including candidates for statewide office in 2014. Below, Maryland Juice re-prints a few photos from the event, along with an excerpt from a WTOP article about the event:
WTOP: ...The meeting, held at Montgomery Blair High School in Montgomery County, focused on the achievement gap, small business owners and the DREAM Act....

More than two dozen Obama administration officials, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, state senators and delegates, Montgomery County officials and Montgomery County school board members also attended the meeting to hear the voice of the community.

Nancy Navarro, the first Latino woman ever elected to the Montgomery County City Council, was one of the officials there to hear what the community had to say....

"This Administration has made incredible progress on a range of issues important to the Latino community, and recognizes that there is still very important work left to complete," Navarro said to the crowd.

View the full photo gallery on MoCo Councilmember Nancy Navarro's Facebook page:

MoCo Councilmember Nancy Navarro, PG Exec Rushern Baker, HoCo Exec Ken Ulman

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown & MoCo Exec Ike Leggett

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Councilmember Nancy Navarro, MoCo BOE President Shirley Brandman, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown

Rep. Chris Van Hollen & MoCo Councilmember Nancy Navarro

Audience at the White House Hispanic Summit at Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD

MoCo Councilmember Nancy Navarro & HoCo Exec Ken Ulman, MoCo BOE Member Chris Barclay at right

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stickin' It to the Maryland Tea Party in November? PRICELESS

GOING ROGUE: Maryland Juice Prints Lawnsigns: 1. Obama, 2. Dream Act, 3. Marriage Equality // MOBILIZE YOUR BLOCK

BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice has come to a few obvious conclusions about this November's Presidential Election. First, in Maryland, Obama will clearly trounce Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Second, it appears as though none of the GOP congressional nominees (including Rep. Roscoe Bartlett) will be competitive against their Democratic opponents. Lastly, I fully expect U.S. Senator Ben Cardin to handily defeat Republican challenger Dan Bongino. What does this all mean?

The only real races in Maryland will be our statewide referenda: 
1) Dream Act   &   2) Marriage Equality.

HOW WE WIN IN NOVEMBER: Our best chances at defending the Dream Act & Marriage Equality are if we create an informal messaging "slate" or ticket with the most popular item on the ballot -- President Barack Obama. Overnight, his endorsement of marriage equality took the proposition from 50-50 toss-up to a clear 57% lead for civil rights advocates. This week Obama also single-handedly stood up for young immigrants by halting the deportation of Dream Act students.

Of course, we need to engage in all of the normal campaign activities (ie: phone banks, canvassing, social networking, media attention, etc). But most Democrats in November will be turning out for the President. So one more thing Democrats can do to further the cause, is to make sure Obama voters don't skip the bottom of the ballot. We need to make clear to the world that we are united in defense of: 1) Obama, 2) the Dream Act, and 3) Marriage Equality.

A LIMITED RUN OF $4 MARYLAND LAWNSIGNS: Maryland Juice (as an independent expenditure of David Moon) has produced a limited number of lawnsigns to kick-off this united social justice effort. Because I want to keep this project within the guidelines of the FEC's "independent expenditure" rules, I am asking folks to pitch in exactly what these signs cost me - four dollars (including the metal wires).

GO ROGUE: For $4 you can get one of these kick-ass Maryland-specific Obama lawnsigns!

SIGN-UP NOW: INTERESTED IN A SIGN? - Sign up on the form below, if you're interested in acquiring one or more of these Maryland-specific Obama signs. I'll be back in touch with interested folks after I devise a delivery system. Note: I encourage requests from clubs and individuals who are able to distribute larger numbers of signs, or who are able to deliver signs to key neighborhoods.

NOTE: YOU CAN GO ROGUE, TOO: If anyone wants to piggy-back on this project and print their own signs (or even a modified version of these signs), let me know: I can simply put you in touch with my lawnsign vendor and you can go rogue, too! You may even be able to get a better price than me if you're able to do larger quantities. I had to stay under the independent expenditure limits for an individual.

Because Maryland is not a swing-state, I do not expect the Obama campaign to be handing out free lawnsigns for the President in our area. In fact, at the store, purchasing a simple Obama-Biden lawnsign costs $20:


A BRIEF TANGENT: MD GOP CUTS OFF NOSE TO SPITE FACE: Maryland Juice has been urging the Republicans to at least try and put up a fight, but they don't seem interested in winning elections anymore. Instead of ending their use of hateful wedge issues, they've fully swallowed the Tea Party's Kool Aid. Under the direction of GOP party chair Alex Mooney and the House & Senate's Republican leaders, the so-called "opposition party" in Maryland has decided their best "strategy" is to demonize immigrants and gay & lesbian families.

Last year, Alex Mooney suggested this would fire up the (fringe) base of the party. But it seems clear to me that this will also make it near-impossible for the GOP to win statewide elections now and in the future. After all, who cares about the Republican fiscal message, when the GOP seems far more interested in obstructing civil rights and furthering America's long history of hating on immigrants during recessions. So how do we win against the haters? By sticking together.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Virginia Anti-Tax Group Mails Attacks on Proposed Casino Tax Cuts // MD Del. Brian Feldman's Voters Urged to Contact Him

TRIPLE-UPDATE: Okay, so the anti-tax group is apparently fairly random in its targeting. The D16 version targets all three Delegates (Frick, Lee, Kelly). Meanwhile, a D39 reader reports on more conflicting information about the mailing:
D39 READER: Just wanted to give you a quick update on District 39.  I received a mailer yesterday as well.  It only targeted Delegates Reznik and Barkley, and not Delegate Robinson.  Del. Barkley and Reznik both voted against the tax plan, and Del. Robinson voted for it.  So, it goes counter to your thinking on the D18 mailer, where Del. Gutierrez was not targeted. So, frankly, I have no idea what their logic is. Also, our mailer did not have the home phone numbers of the officials.

Friday, June 15, 2012

FULL VIDEO: Obama's Speech Announcing Halt to Deportation of Dream Act Youths // MD Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Responds

PLUS: Attend Tomorrow's White House Hispanic Summit in Silver Spring - w/ Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, MoCo Councilmember Nancy Navarro & More!

Earlier today, Maryland Juice flagged a groundbreaking announcement from President Obama that the Department of Homeland Security would halt deportation proceedings against many undocumented youths (aka Dreamers). Today, dozens of excited advocates participated in a celebratory rally outside of the White House. Educating Maryland Kids, the organization coordinating Dream Act ballot defense this November, posted the following photo on Twitter:

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign issued a press release noting that Mitt Romney says he would veto the Dream Act:

Obama Administration to Halt Deportation of Dream Act Youths // Marylanders Respond, Plan White House Rally at 2 pm TODAY

UPDATE: At 1:15 pm today, President Obama will host a press conference to discuss this groundbreaking policy shift. You can watch it online [HERE].

Maryland politicos are abuzz with news that the Obama Administration's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced new leniency measures for young undocumented residents (Hat tip: MoCo Council Vice President Nancy Navarro). DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a memo today (see text below) indicating that Dream Act eligible students would now be allowed to apply for lawful residency and would not be priorities for deportation. The move comes days after the President's visit to Baltimore, Maryland, where dozens of residents called on the President to endorse the Maryland Dream Act. While in Baltimore, Obama stated:
BARACK OBAMA: “It’s time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they are children of” undocumented immigrants, Obama said. “This country is at its best when it harnesses the God-given talents of every individual.”

CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY: Three days after his visit to Baltimore, Obama has doubled down on his words with real action. See the DHS memo below, along with response from Maryland politicos. The halt to deportations applies to individuals who meet the following criteria:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

UNMANNED DRONE in College Park Causes UFO Scare // Time for Maryland to RESTRICT Drones in the Free State (Seriously)

It is Maryland Juice's understanding that state and local governments may be able to restrict unmanned drones from flying in their air space. I think it is time for Free State policymakers to begin curtailing the intrusion of these insane inventions in Maryland. In the last month we reported that Queen Anne's County received authorization to fly drones from the FAA (lord knows why). We also reported this week that an unmanned drone (which cost $176 million!) crashed on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The latest drone madness in Maryland occurred last night. Maryland Juice happened to be checking his Tweet feed and caught the bizarre report below:

DCist today reported that the "UFO" was in fact a "U.S. Navy X-46B." Folks, that is code for unmanned aerial attack drone. See the excerpt below:
DCIST: Late Wednesday evening, some drivers on the Beltway near College Park peered out their windows and saw something odd: An oddly shaped flying machine being hauled down the highway on a flatbed truck.
A couple of tweets later, people started to freak the hell out and the hashtag "#beltwayufo" surged atop the trending topics. Seriously, just conduct the search yourself....

The aircraft, a U.S. Navy X-46B, was being transported from West Virginia to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in southern Maryland, WTOP reported last night.....

A Twitter user posted the following photo of the Predator Drone on the highway:

Predator Drone spotted in College Park, Maryland (source)

Come on people, are we really going to let spy DRONES become a normal feature of Maryland's airspace???

I know Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger loves Drones (he gets hundreds of thousands in contributions from Drone manufacturers), but let's get real.

Untangling the Casino Industry Spin Machine: The Shifting Arguments for Gambling in MD // ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

BACKGROUND: For several months now, Maryland Juice has been concerned with the increasingly obvious influence of the gambling industry on Free State policymakers. Its not that I am some Puritan about gambling; rather, I have a real problem when I see a single industry able to dictate how so many of our policymakers' hours are spent.

It seems that many years ago, the casino industry decided that they wanted to bring gambling to Maryland, and ever since then they've just made up reason after reason why we need slots and table games. The argument changes depending on the season. All along, our politicians just repeat the industry spin like a bunch of sock-puppets.

First, the slot machine industry claimed we needed to save the horseracing industry. After slots revenues fell short, they argued we needed more. Moreover, we needed more money for things like education. Later came arguments about residents spending money in Delaware and West Virginia. Now, the argument is simply money (ie: greed). For policymakers to so willingly engage in this race to the bottom is a bit disturbing.

Maryland Juice believes it is time to stop the madness, because if we let slots and tables games move across the state, it will be impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. Below, you can see a brief review of the insanity:

SPIN #1: SLOTS NEEDED TO SAVE THE PREAKNESS: When slots were first proposed in Maryland, proponents of gambling claimed they were needed to save our majestic history of horse-racing. Indeed, today The Daily Record's Alexander Pyles reminded readers of this phony-baloney argument to bring gambling to Maryland:
DAILY RECORD: There’s little doubt that legalizing slots gambling was first proposed as a method to prop up the state’s flagging race horse industry. Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich made it one of his legislative priorities each year he was in office....

In 2006, The Washington Post reported that then-Gov.-elect Martin O’Malley also called for slots to be placed at racetracks in the state. The reason? The money would help prevent the “collapse” of the the racing industry....

THE PREAKNESS? ISN'T THAT KINDA RANDOM? - Indeed, Maryland Juice has been to the Preakness, and its lovely! The annual event gives attendees a wonderful excuse to wear lavish hats to the racetracks, while sippin' on "black eyed susans."

Take, for example, the image to the right from the 2011 Preakness. Baltimore Sun photographer Monica Lopossay captured this dapper couple decked out in elegant Preakness fashion.

An interesting question, however, is out of all the booze-filled parties in Maryland, why does this one in particular warrant statewide referenda, subsidies, and gambling? Is any one-day party really worth pushing residents to mindlessly drop millions of dollars worth of quarters into Caesars' slot machines?

Moreover, using the Preakness as an argument to promote gambling was always fishy. Indeed, it is quite manipulative to conjure up state pride and fond memories of ye olden times. But have you been to the Preakness lately? If not, here are a few photos The Baltimore Sun didn't include. They are from the 2010 Preakness and were posted by Chiara Atik at the Guest of a Guest blog:

YAY! WE SAVED THE PREAKNESS! - I don't mean to bash on The Preakness or booze-filled partiers per se, but I DO mean to bash on the idea that we should pull millions of dollars out of Maryland consumers' pockets in order to save the party above. But it is sort of a moot point now, because the horsetracks now have slot revenues pouring in, with millions more coming online soon. Last month, Barry Rascovar noted in the Carroll County Times (excerpt below):

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

INDEPENDENT STUDY: Proposed Maryland Casinos Clearly Targeting In-State Residents // SEE FULL REPORT & MAP

Today Senator Rich Madaleno, an appointee to Maryland's gambling task force, Tweeted a link to a new "independent study" by PriceWaterhouseCoopers about the impact of adding a Prince George's casino to our growing number of slot machine halls:

While the "independent" researchers conclude that Anne Arundel and Baltimore casinos would lose between 16%-25% of their revenues to Prince George's, there are more interesting nuggets hidden in the report. Senator Mike Miller's plan smells fishy to Maryland Juice. See a few highlights below:

1. THE PLANNED CASINOS ARE CLEARLY TARGETING MARYLAND RESIDENTS - One alarming piece of the "independent" report, is that the existing and proposed casinos in Maryland are clearly planning on most visitors being in-state residents. This truly belies their claims that we need to expand casino revenues to bring Virginians, Pennsylvanians, and others to our facilities. The study notes that the radius for most gamblers at these facilities will live within a forty minute drive. The report states the obvious: "Those who must travel a longer time to reach the facility are expected to visit less often." The analysts then provide us a map to show the boundaries of a 40-minute driving radius around each casino:

FULL SPEECH: Remarks of Barack Obama in Baltimore // PLUS: The President Speaks Out on Marriage Equality & Dream Act

President Barack Obama made a fundraising visit to Baltimore, Maryland yesterday, and The Washington Post noted that his remarks included comments supporting marriage equality and protecting the children of undocumented residents (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: We’re moving forward to a country where we treat everybody fairly and everybody equally, with dignity and respect,” Obama told about 600 supporters near the end of a rally in Baltimore. “Here in Maryland … you have a chance to reaffirm that principle in the voting booth in November. It’s the right thing to do....”

“We’re not going back to the days when you could get kicked out of the United States military because of who you are and who you love,” he said.

And after the circumspect reference to Maryland’s ballot fight on gay marriage, Obama also made a passing reference to immigration policy and the state’s November referendum on the Dream Act....
“It’s time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they are children of” undocumented immigrants, Obama said. “This country is at its best when it harnesses the God-given talents of every individual.”

You can see President Obama's full remarks below
(portions pertaining to marriage equality & the Dream Act are highlighted in yellow)

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, hello, hello!  (Applause.)  How's it going, Maryland?  (Applause.)  How's it going, Baltimore?  (Applause.)  Well, it is good to be in Baltimore -- (applause) -- home of what may end up being rivals with the White Sox -- the Orioles.  (Laughter.)  I hear you guys are -- the Orioles are having a pretty good season, I got to admit.  (Applause.)  They're doing all right.
It is wonderful to see all of you.  A couple of people I just want to acknowledge -- first of all, one of the finest governors we have in this country, Martin O'Malley is in the house.  (Applause.)  Your Lieutenant Governor, Anthony Brown is here.  (Applause.)  Two of the outstanding leaders of the United States Senate -- the senior Senator, although young at heart, Barbara Mikulski is here.  (Applause.)  And the junior Senator, but wiser than his years -- (laughter) -- Ben Cardin is here.  (Applause.)
You've got an outstanding congressional delegation -- Donna Edwards, John Sarbanes, Elijah Cummings.  (Applause.)  You've got Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in the house.  (Applause.)  And I want to give a big round of applause -- because it's not easy to do -- I want to give Anna, who spoke before the Governor, give her a big round of applause -- (applause) -- because she did an outstanding job.

BREAKING: Maryland High Court Leaves Dream Act on November Ballot // Watch the Archived Oral Arguments Online

UPDATE: Read about the potential deportation of an Oxon Hill valedictorian below, and you can watch the Court of Appeals oral arguments online here at Maryland Juice:

The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland's highest court, the Court of Appeals, is rejecting a challenge to the Dream Act referendum this November. That means voters will indeed be faced with ballot measures on both marriage equality and the Dream Act. The Sun's Yvonne Wenger noted (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Maryland's highest court ruled Wednesday to allow voters to have the final say over whether illegal immigrants should get college tuition breaks.

In a two-page order, the Court of Appeals agreed to uphold the decision of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to allow the referendum to appear on the November ballots.

OXON HILL VALEDICTORIAN FORCED BACK TO PHILLIPINES: Meanwhile, a high school valedictorian from the Phillipines is being forced back after a glitch in her visa processing leaves her in the U.S. without status. The Oxon Hill 17-year-old will be imminently booted, barring drastic action to assist her visa application. REMINDER: the failure of our immigration rules and deportation systems (which didn't exist when Irish and Italian immigrants were coming to the United States) impact more than just Hispanic families. See the NBC news report below and sign a petition:

View more videos at:

The Maryland Court of Appeals order noted that we should expect to see their full reasoning laid out in a future opinion (see below).

Maryland Court of Appeals Leaves Dream Act on November 2012 Ballot

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

JuiceBlender: Tiffany Alston Found Guilty, Karl Rove Compares O'Malley to Dean, Canadians on Rollin Stanley, MD Drone Crash

Here's a random blend of political tidbits from recent news, starting with disturbing news that an unmanned predator drone has crashed on Maryland's Eastern shore:

JUICE #1: UNMANNED PREDATOR DRONE CRASHES ON MARYLAND'S EASTERN SHORE - Earlier this month, Maryland Juice reported on disturbing news that local governments and even college police forces were beginning to apply for permission to fly unmanned "predator drones" in U.S. airspace. Queen Anne's County, Maryland is one of the jurisdictions that had received authorization to fly drones. As we've seen through our (questionable) use of drones in other nations, they can be dangerous. Indeed, yesterday a $176 million "predator drone" crashed on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The Associated Press carried video footage of the flaming wreckage in Maryland:

REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER & VA GOV. BOB MCDONNELL SEEK EXPANDED DRONE USE: Notably, Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger wants to see more drones flying around and takes thousands of dollars ($190,000) from drone manufacturers. As a result of this mission creep, privacy advocates in the U.S. have become increasingly alarmed about the prospect of spy drones and now hummingbird-sized flying spy cameras being cleared for use by local law enforcement. The Examiner's Gene Healy recently raised red flags about drones invading Americans' reasonable expectations of  privacy (see excerpt below):
EXAMINER: Last week, in its report on the 2013 Defense Authorization bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee called for allowing drones to operate "freely and routinely" in U.S. airspace....

...they're increasingly "contributing to missions of agencies and departments within the United States. ... The pace of development must be accelerated," the report concluded.....

"It's great!" Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program last month....

Sam Arora's Wedding Photographer Complains of Infringement at // GAY WEDDING PHOTOS

UPDATE: Maryland Juice previously displayed a photo album of parody photos from Sam Arora's wedding. Unfortunately, they've "mysteriously" disappeared from my Picasaweb account. While I am researching what happened, I've replaced the slideshow with a "censored" replica. See below:

Maryland lawmaker Sam Arora's wedding photographer has accused Maryland Juice of copyright infringement for our new website  We posted photos from Mr. Arora's wedding with a message asking people to sign a "congratulatory" wedding card for the marriage equality backstabber. The site also included a "gift registry" and other mocking items. But Sam's photographer, Sarah at Ampersand Photography, didn't see the humor in our work and left the following message at the wedding card website:
SAM'S PHOTOGRAPHER: you do not have permission to use these images, and are infringing on copyright agreements by displaying them here.

Maryland Juice disagrees with Sarah, and we think that our use of the doctored photos was in a protected context. Nevertheless, we have decided to remove the photos and assist Sarah by using her work in a much more clear parody. So, we grabbed a few photos from the wedding and re-imagined Sam Arora in a Big Gay Wedding. See our results temporary replacement photo below:

Spoof Source: Sarah @ Ampersand Photography

This is the second time in a month that someone has contacted us to complain of supposed copyright infringement. Last week, AOL-Huffington Post sent big-time hack attorneys from DLA Piper after our blog for supposedly infringing on their "intellectual" property rights. Doh!

Monday, June 11, 2012

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Sen. Ben Cardin Talks Dream Act, Marriage Equality, DOMA & More // PLUS: Netroots Nation Photo Album

Maryland Juice had the opportunity to shadow U.S. Senator Ben Cardin this weekend, as he talked to various groups at the Netroots Nation conference. The annual gathering of progressive, Internet-based organizers brought together a few thousand people to share strategies and talk issues.

Sen. Cardin was there to speak on a panel titled the War on Voting Rights. MarylandReporter today carried coverage of the Senator's talk (excerpt below), which compared the Republican push to scrub voter rolls and make voting more difficult to the Jim Crow laws of the past:
MARYLAND REPORTER: “These laws are the new Jim Crow laws of our times,” said Maryland U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin on a panel about “The War on Voting” at Netroots Nation, a large conference of progressive activists. “This is really an effort to control the outcome of elections” and not protect “the integrity of our electoral system.”

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO & PHOTO COVERAGE: Below see exclusive content from Maryland Juice, including various videos of Sen. Cardin's remarks. We captured video of him talking to LGBT activists, organizers from various communities of color, and more. Senator Cardin gave surprisingly candid remarks about the political and electoral dynamics regarding DOMA, the Dream Act, marriage equality, immigration reform, racial profiling, judicial nominations and much more. See seven videos below.

Within his comments, Sen. Cardin noted that senior members of the Senate were impeding reforms that could help President Obama clear judicial nominees. He also promised to raise the Maryland marriage equality ballot effort at every campaign stop, but also stated that the chances of DOMA repeal this year looked very difficult.

See the videos of Cardin's comments below, along with a photo gallery of Maryland politicos at Netroots Nation. As always, feel free to use any of my content as you see fit, with or without attribution.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

WEDDING PHOTOS: Sam Arora Got Married // Sign a Card for the Marriage Equality Backstabber: SamAroraWeddingCard.Com

Maryland lawmaker Sam Arora got married (to a woman) this weekend. Ironically, the marriage equality backstabber's lavish affair took place during DC's annual Capital Pride Parade. Below, you can see a slideshow of photos from the wedding. His interracial union would've been illegal in 1967 -- fancy that. But he's still okay subjecting other families' marriages to a "popular vote" this November.

"Congratulate" Sam on his recent wedding. 
Sign a wedding card at:
(We'll deliver the card to him with the list of signers)

VIDEO: Maryland Juice Asks Huffington Post to Apologize for Hypocritical Legal Threats // PLUS: Read The Gazette's Take

Maryland Juice spent the last few days at the annual Netroots Nation conference. The gathering of progressive organizers, Netizens, and politicos drew a surprising number of Marylanders. But not surprisingly, in attendance were a number of staff and writers for Arianna Huffington's blogging platform, The Huffington Post.

I used the opportunity to find a Huffington Post writer and see if I could extract an apology on behalf of Arianna Huffington. After all, her company (AOL-Huffington Post) recently unleashed corporate attorneys from mega-law firm DLA Piper to threaten legal action against Maryland Juice. They claimed I was infringing on their "intellectual" property rights by excerpting an article and photo from The national blogs TechDirt and Above the Law cried foul, noting that The Huffington Post itself engaged in exactly the same type of blogging that they were complaining about.

The Gazette's Daniel Leaderman recently picked up on the controversy and noted (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: State politics blog Maryland Juice ( found itself under legal attack last week from no less of a media giant than AOL, owner of both and the Huffington Post....
....blogger David Moon posted a rebuttal explaining that not only did AOL rely on free writing from bloggers, but his actions were well within the scope of fair use provisions in U.S. copyright law....

Your move, AOL.

Maryland Juice is still awaiting that apology from Arianna Huffington....

Friday, June 8, 2012

JuiceBlender: Maryland Voter Roll Purge, Rep. Andy Harris Staff Raises, MoCo Accessory Apartments, Maryland Netroots & More

Here's a random blend of political tidbits from recent news, starting with a quick hello from the Netroots Nation conference in Providence, Rhode Island:

JUICE #1: MD POLITICOS AT NETROOTS NATION // SEN. CARDIN HIGHLIGHTS GOP WAR ON VOTING RIGHTS - This week, Maryland Juice is attending the annual Netroots Nation conference for work, but I've taken a few moments to try and gather some juice while I'm here. Though I was invited to speak on a panel about lessons for online organizers (watch video),  I've bumped into a surprising number of Maryland politicos. Indeed, from State Senator Jamie Raskin and MoCo Young Dems President Dave Kunes to a former aide to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, the Free State is decently represented at this progressive gathering (see a couple photos below).

State Sen. Jamie Raskin (center) & Vermont Progressive Party legislator Chris Pearson (right)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Fundraiser in MoCo to Feature VA Gov. Doug Wilder and MoCo & PG Execs Ike Leggett & Rushern Baker

A number of Maryland politicos I have spoken to recently have been surprised to see Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown allowing Attorney General Doug Gansler to build a sizeable cash advantage early in the race for 2014 Governor. After all, with roughly two years until the June 2014 Democratic Primary for Governor, Mr. Gansler has over $4.1 million banked to Mr. Brown's roughly $810,000 campaign war chest.

Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that Mr. Brown seemingly launched his gubernatorial effort (for real) two weeks ago. We reported that the Lt. Governor had setup a website independent of the O'Malley-Brown site. Mr. Brown is now following up his PR efforts with a push to start banking cash. An anonymous source emailed Maryland Juice a fundraising calendar compiled by Annapolis influence-peddler (aka lobbyist) Bruce Bereano.

Our source wanted to draw readers' attention to one particular event. On Monday, June 18th, Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown is holding a fundraiser in Potomac, Maryland, a wealthy suburb in Montgomery County. His three special guests are among the areas most prominent African American politicians (see event listing below). If the guests are actually endorsing Anthony Brown for Governor, it would appear the LG is walking into the race with the support of the MoCo and Prince George's County Executives:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Advances Marijuana Decriminalization for "Racial Justice" // Dems Losing Races Over "War on Drugs"

Cuomo Trailblazes Another Issue for 2016 White House Run

UPDATE: today published a long piece about racial disparities in the Free State's prison system. Like much of the United States, people of color in Maryland are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement. The article comes after a Maryland committee heard testimony about the problem of overincarceration in Maryland. Can the timing of Mr. Cuomo's effort be a coincidence? I think not! See this excerpt from Maryland Reporter:

Monday, June 4, 2012

National Tech Blog Calls AOL-Huffington Post Hypocrites for Threatening Maryland Juice // DLA Piper Idiocy EXPOSED

UPDATE: The national legal blog "Above the Law" picked up on the story of DLA Piper attorneys harassing Maryland Juice. Thanks for the lift!

Last week Maryland Juice reported on a disturbing threat we received from AOL-Huffington Post's law firm DLA Piper, on behalf of After excerpting portions of a Patch article in our commentary about accessory apartments in Montgomery County, we received a nastygram from AOL.  In spite of "fair use" principles, they claimed we were infringing on their intellectual property and demanded that we remove article excerpts and photos from Their threat letter stated, "we require that you immediately comply with our demands" and noted that they might "pursue any additional avenues."

Today, the technology bloggers at TechDirt picked up on DLA Piper's threats and called out AOL for complete and utter hypocrisy. Read this excerpt from TechDirt's article:
AOL Threatens Blogger With Copyright Infringement Charge... For Doing The Exact Same Thing AOL Has Done On A Large Scale

There have been plenty of accusations made against AOL's the Huffington Post concerning its habit of "over aggregating" content from other sites.... it would be pretty damn hypocritical for AOL to then threaten another blogger for doing exactly the same thing that HuffPo does, wouldn't it?....

Enter, Maryland Juice. A local Maryland blog, which recently had a post about some happenings in Montgomery County, which included relatively large excerpts of parts of an article from Patch, another property owned by AOL. It also included an image from the article. The Maryland Juice article included a significant amount of commentary about the article and, in particular, the photo, which was used to illustrate the point (that it was not a representative sample of county residents at the local meeting). And, yet... AOL lawyers sent a cease and desist letter....

... a few years ago, when HuffPo tried to do its own "hyper local site," it was accused of doing more or less the exact same thing (but with less commentary, and more copying)....

SHADY: Anti-LGBT Group Hides Contributors in Fight Against Maryland Marriage Equality // 7 of 10 Donors from Outside MD

Maryland Juice has received a copy of the campaign finance report from the Maryland Marriage Alliance (MMA). The anti-civil rights group is leading the effort to overturn the Free State's newly signed marriage equality law.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Harford Executive David Craig Wins MD Young Republicans Straw Poll for 2014 Governor // Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is #2

Maryland Juice will be very curious to see how Free State Republicans behave in their 2014 gubernatorial primary. After all, it seems like without a shake-up of some sort, the Maryland GOP is destined to remain a regional party for the forseeable future. I truly believe that the tone of the Republicans right now is waaaaay too screechy, racist and homophobic to compete in Maryland's suburbs (example: exactly one GOP legislator Senator supported marriage equality this year-- ONE -- and we're in the year 2012). I think these politicians are being half too cute by thinking they can get away with this or turning a blind eye to it. My hunch is that they are turning off a lot of independent, moderate, and suburban voters. It remains to be seen how long the taint will last, but it could be a long time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

SUBVERSIVE ART: "Modern Day Warrior" by the JaH-HaHa Collaborative // Annapolis Flashback to Jimmie's Chicken Shack


Maryland Juice recently picked up a piece of art at a fundraiser for a jazz project in my neighborhood. The print below is called "Modern Day Warrior" by the JaH-HaHa art collaborative, and it jumped out at me due to the subversive imagery of Guy Fawkes/Anonymous. What I didn't know when I picked up this piece, is that the JaH-HaHa collaborative is based in Annapolis and comprised of artists Jeff Huntington and Jimi Davies (aka Jimi HaHa). Jimi HaHa happens to also be the singer/guitarist from the band Jimmie's Chicken Shack, who I once booked to play a show at Tufts University (where I did my undergrad work).

In any case, check out the print below, along with a quick flash-back to the Chicken Shack:

JuiceBlender: Van Hollen for Minority Leader, Tea Party on MoCo Muslims, MD Redistricting, Anti-Immigrant Blaine Young

Maryland Juice is playing a bit of catch-up this week, after spending a few days on the Left Coast. Unfortunately, my return flight had "mechanical failures," and so I was forced onto a midnight "redeye" flight and didn't get to post yesterday. Below you can read a round-up of interesting political tidbits from the recent news cycle:

JUICE #1: REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN FOR MINORITY LEADER? - A few weeks ago, Maryland Juice noted that if U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi retired, Minority Whip Jim Clyburn was set to take on Maryland's Steny Hoyer for the top Democratic leadership position in the House. Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland, however, notes that if Pelosi leaves, Rep. Chris Van Hollen would be better positioned to vie for Pelosi's job (excerpt below):
CENTER MARYLAND: ...the emerging thinking on Capitol Hill goes, Pelosi, who is 72, will decide to leave — either retire outright, or take a plum ambassadorship if Obama is re-elected.

After that, House Democrats scramble to replace her — and all hell breaks loose.