Wednesday, January 30, 2013

JuiceBlender: Valerie Ervin Builds MoCo Exec Team, Anne Arundel Exec John Leopold Suspended & Transgender Rights

The late Del. Hattie Harrison

Below Maryland Juice highlights a few items of interest to politicos....

But before we begin the JuiceBlender, we note the recent passing of Delegate Hattie Harrison, a Democrat representing District 45 in the Maryland House. Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis commented, "From her appointment 40 years ago until today, Delegate Harrison served the people of Maryland with grace, honor, and distinction.

Delegate Harrison's legacy will live on in the lives of the many people she inspired. As the longest serving member of the House of Delegates, she broke though barriers time and again, including becoming the first African American woman to chair a major committee."

JUICE #1:  MOCO COUNCILMEMBER VALERIE ERVIN BEGINS ASSEMBLING 2014 COUNTY EXECUTIVE CAMPAIGN TEAM  - The Washington Post's Bill Turque yesterday reported that Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin has begun assembling a team for a County Executive run in 2014. Among the revelations in the article are rumors that Ervin is working with O'Malley-Brown pollster Fred Yang and political consultant Martha McKenna (formerly of the DSSC and EMILY's List). Morever, Ervin stated she would run regardless of incumbent Executive Ike Leggett's decision on his future (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin, long mentioned as a possible candidate for county executive in 2014 , is moving closer to running. Ervin (D-Silver Spring) said she is in "serious discussions" with two national Democratic operatives, pollster Fred Yang and media consultant Martha McKenna, about roles in the campaign. Incumbent Isiah Leggett (D) has yet to announce whether he will seek a third term. But Ervin said if she runs, it will be regardless of whether Leggett is in or out....

MARC ELRICH WEIGHING POTENTIAL COUNTY EXECUTIVE CAMPAIGN - Though Valerie Ervin is not making a run for County Executive contingent on the actions of Ike Leggett, At Large Councilmember Marc Elrich is suggesting he may be a candidate if Leggett retires. After hearing rumors yesterday that Elrich had publicly discussed his possible bid, Maryland Juice asked Elrich about the race. Here's what he had to say:
MARC ELRICH: If Ike does not run, it is likely that I will, but I expect that he will decide to run again, in which case I'll support him.

PHIL ANDREWS BEGINS CANVASSING - Notably, The Washington Post article also took note of where MoCo Councilmember Phil Andrews was in his County Exec campaign: "Andrews said Monday that he doesn’t expect to hire either a pollster or media consultant. 'I’m out knocking on doors right now. That’s the best kind of poll to have,' he said." Coincidentally, two days ago a Maryland Juice reader contacted us on Twitter to report being door-knocked by Phil Andrews:

WHERE IS DOUG DUNCAN?: Perhaps driven by all of this chatter from County Executive candidates, The Baltimore Sun's John Fritze Tweeted an interesting question yesterday:

Indeed, former Exec Doug Duncan has been awfully quiet lately, after previously announcing he was running for MoCo Executive in 2014. Maryland Juice asked a source close to Duncan about this, and our contact stated that he was indeed still in the race. But that's not stopping reporters from wondering about Duncan's whereabouts. The Gazette's Kate Alexander today noted this abensence in an amusing article headlined, "Doug Duncan spent $33,000 to find out people remember him" (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: January campaign finance reports showed Duncan’s campaign paid $33,000 last May to Hickman Analytics of Chevy Chase for “cell and landline sample polling.”

When Duncan announced his race to supporters at a November breakfast, sources said he referenced a poll that showed him with favorable ratings....

Duncan, who has not responded to requests for comment since announcing his campaign, did not return calls seeking comment.

Hat tip: Maryland Reporter. Lastly, At Large Councilmember George Leventhal is also actively pursuing the County Exec office right now. Still no word from Ike Leggett!

JUICE #2:  ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY EXEC JOHN LEOPOLD FOUND GUILTY OF MISCONDUCT & SUSPENDED FROM OFFICE  - Maryland Juice previously discussed the bizarre saga surrounding Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. The Republican politician has been under siege for months, due to accusations he misused the powers of his office in numerous ways -- including using police officers and government employees to: conduct political activities, enable affairs and sexual encounters, and even to dispose of his urine. But The Baltimore Sun reported yesterday that Leopold was found guilty of two counts of misconduct and was suspended from office (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold has been suspended from office after being found guilty of two counts of misconduct Tuesday.

Circuit Court Judge Dennis M. Sweeney convicted the county executive for using his taxpayer-funded police protection detail to perform political duties and for requiring officers and an aide to empty the urinary catheter bag he used after back surgery.

County Attorney Jonathan A. Hodgson said Chief Administrative Officer John Hammond is now the acting county executive....

JUICE #3:  OVER TWENTY MARYLAND SENATORS CO-SPONSOR TRANSGENDER ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW // BILL POISED FOR PASSAGE  - After previously stalling in the Maryland State Senate, The Washington Blade yesterday reported that legislation to prohibit discrimination against transgender residents was introduced and already has over twenty co-sponsors (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: Maryland lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a bill that would ban anti-transgender discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations.
The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013 that gay state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) and state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) introduced has more than 20 co-sponsors. These include state Sen. Allan Kittleman (R-Howard County.)....
Metro Weekly followed up with coverage indicating that the bill may now be on track for passage (excerpt below):
METRO WEEKLY: This new bill will first receive a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee sometime in the next month, after which the committee is expected to approve it and send it to the floor for a vote, if Miller consents. Advocates are confident they have the requisite number of votes needed to pass it in the upper chamber. It would then go to the House, where it is expected to pass easily....

JUICE #4:  ACTIVISTS PETITION LEGISLATURE FOR EQUAL FUNDING FOR MARYLAND'S HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES  - A few activists and organizations have contacted Maryland Juice regarding a renewed effort to seek equal funding for HBCU's in the Free State. The coalition of groups involved in the effort circulated the following action alert via BEST Democratic Club (excerpt below):
MARYLAND BLACK CAUCUS: On February 4, 2013 more than 2,000  students and supporters of Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities – including Morgan State University, Bowie State University, Coppin State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore - will converge on the Maryland State House to lobby legislators for increased funding to support these historically underfunded universities....

Click Here to sign the petition to urge Governor O'Malley to stand with Maryland's HBCUs then share it with your friends

As part of the Caucus’ push, they are calling on Governor O’Malley to find a just end to the six-year legal battle between the Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education in Maryland, which represents the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the State of Maryland.

Additionally, given that both parties have indicated that they would seek an appeal should they not prevail in the lawsuit, which could result in an additional six years of litigation, the Caucus is asking that Governor O’Malley provide for a special appropriation of $14 million per year in funding over the next five years, beginning in 2014....

A diverse coalition of groups supports this call to action. The initiative is backed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), CASA de Maryland, B.E.S.T. Democratic Club, Maryland Young Democrats, and the Sierra Club.

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