Sunday, April 28, 2013

JUICE: Brown & Ulman Teaming Up, Gansler Opposes Gas Tax, Straw Poll for Gov Says Brown #1, Mizeur #2 & Frosh #1 for AG

Below Maryland Juice discusses a few interesting developments in the 2014 races for Governor and Attorney General:

JUICE #1: ANTHONY BROWN & KEN ULMAN DISCUSS JOINING FORCES TO FORM A 2014 TICKET - The Washington Post's John Wagner reported last night that Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is in discussions with Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to serve as his running-mate for the 2014 Governor's race. A Brown-Ulman ticket always seemed like a strong possibility for one main reason: by joining forces, the two rival candidates would immediately be able to minimize Attorney General Doug Gansler's current cash advantage. Though Brown's folks are saying this is not a done deal, there are clearly talks going on (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown ... is in discussions with Howard County Executive Ken Ulman about joining his ticket, according to several people familiar with the talks....

By adding Ulman as the lieutenant governor candidate, Brown could erase much of a huge early fundraising advantage that Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) enjoys over all other 2014 gubernatorial hopefuls in both parties. As of January, Ulman had $2.1 million sitting in his campaign account, more than the $1.6 million Brown reported having on hand.

Gansler, a former state’s attorney in Montgomery County, had $5.2 million, some of it stockpiled from a 2010 reelection campaign in which he did not have a Republican opponent.... An adviser to Brown stressed that a final decision has not been made....

AN OPENING FOR 2014 CHALLENGERS TO WOO WOMEN, MOCO & BALTIMORE? - The large fundraising gap and the easy ability to close it with one simple move might prove too irresistible for Brown and Ulman. But there are a few obvious downsides to an Ulman pick for Brown, especially since the other candidates can now make their own decisions knowing who they will be going up against.

First, this decision inevitably raises a giant red flag about the lack of gender balance on the ticket. This could have the effect of strengthening Heather Mizeur's hand or creating opportunities for a ticket that includes Doug Gansler with a woman as a running-mate. Additionally, adding Ken Ulman to the Brown ticket is something of a "safe" choice and doesn't bring the element of surprise or excitement that could come with a more risky or game-changing choice.

The next set of questions raised by Brown's choice concern geography. Montgomery County Democrats will undoubtedly make up a large share of the party's voters in 2014, and a Brown-Ulman ticket raises the possibility that in the absence of differentiating issues, MoCo voters could simply rally around a hometown candidate. The same could be true of voters in Baltimore, who currently have no candidate in the race. Indeed, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger could be more inclined to run with a Brown-Ulman ticket further consolidating a field of non-Baltimore candidates.

JUICE #2: DOUG GANSLER OPPOSES GAS TIKE HIKE APPROVED BY MARYLAND  DEMOCRATS - Though most who read John Wagner's article above were likely interested in the discussion of a possible Brown-Ulman ticket, Maryland Juice was equally intrigued by Wagner's inclusion of policy debates between Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler. We previously discovered, for example, that Brown and Gansler are diametrically opposed on the death penalty -- Brown supports repeal, while Gansler thinks executions are a "wonderful tool" for prosecutors. But it turns out that Gansler is also opposed to the transportation funding package that was approved by most elected Democrats in the last legislative session. Check out the commentary on the gas tax hike from Gansler and Brown revealed by The Washington Post (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: “Virginia is cleaning our clocks economically,” Gansler said.... He was also critical of the number of tax increases that have occurred under the O’Malley-Brown administration, including the recently passed increase in gas taxes to fund transportation projects. “To me, the solution to our transportation needs should not be to tax poor people and working families,” Gansler said....

[Anthony Brown] defended the need for the gas tax increase, saying that several projects, including the long-planned Purple Line rail link in the Washington suburbs, would probably have been “dead in the water” without it....
Maryland Juice eagerly awaits the details of Gansler's alternate transportation funding package, given that the gubernatorial candidate is purportedly concerned about competition from Virginia (where they are building a new Metro line AND where the legislature recently approved a massive transportation funding package).

JUICE #3: ANTHONY BROWN  TOPS STRAW POLL FOR 2014 GOVERNOR, BUT HEATHER MIZEUR STUNS WITH 2ND PLACE SHOWING IN WESTERN MARYLAND - A Maryland Juice source provided us with the results of the first Democratic straw polls for the 2014 campaign cycle. Last night Western Maryland Democrats took an early poll in the heated races for Maryland Governor and Attorney General. In the Governor's race, Maryland Juice is not surprised to see that Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown came in first place by a healthy margin -- even outside of the Democratic strongholds of Montgomery, Prince George's and Baltimore. But my source indicates that there was an audible gasp in the room when it was revealed that Delegate Heather Mizeur came in 2nd place among Western Maryland Democrats. Below you can see the vote totals, as well as the official tally sheet:
  1. Anthony Brown - 62 Votes
  2. Heather Mizeur - 37 Votes
  3. Doug Gansler - 25 Votes
  4. Ken Ulman - 17 Votes

JUICE #4: SEN. BRIAN FROSH WINS STRAW POLL FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEL. BILL FRICK COMES IN 2ND AMONG WESTERN MARYLAND DEMS - State Senator Brian Frosh came in first place in the Western Maryland Democratic straw poll for Attorney General, and Delegate Bill Frick came in second. Note that the poor showing by Delegates Jon Cardin & Aisha Braveboy could be attributed to the fact that unlike their competitors, neither candidate attended the Western Maryland Democratic Summit yesterday. See the result below:

  1. Brian Frosh - 70 votes
  2. Bill Frick - 54 votes
  3. Jon Cardin - 9 votes
  4. Aisha Braveboy - 4 votes
  5. Ken Ulman (Write-In) - 1 vote


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