Friday, April 26, 2013

JuiceBlender: Maryland Lawmakers Weigh Retirement, Mizeur Decries Exclusion from 2014 Coverage, Frick vs. Frosh for AG


Below Maryland Juice highlights several news tidbits that may of interest to politicos tracking campaign developments in 2014 (and 2016):

JUICE #1: NUMEROUS STATE SENATORS & DELEGATES MAY RETIRE IN 2014 - Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz recently published a thorough round-up of possible retirement and open seat possibilities in 2014. In his lengthy column, he audits almost every State Senate and House of Delegates district and comes to the conclusion that the next election cycle could result in massive turnover in the General Assembly (excerpt below):
JOSH KURTZ (VIA CENTER MARYLAND): Jimmy Malone and Steven DeBoy are just the tip of the iceberg. When the House of Delegates convenes in 2015, there could be as many as 50 new members. That’s right, more than a third of the chamber could — could — turn over....

The Malone and DeBoy departures say something about the unique challenges facing conservative and moderate Democrats in Annapolis.... Indeed, redistricting will contribute heavily to the looming reconfiguration in the House, along with all the usual reasons: electoral defeats, delegates running for higher office, and pure retirements.

In the Senate, turnover has helped contribute to the long tenure of President Mike Miller (D).... No one has the seniority, gravitas or political cojones to challenge Miller’s supremacy....
But the House is a much less manageable place under the best of circumstances. As more and more newcomers arrive, with fewer connections and loyalty to Busch than the members who were there when he became speaker in 2003, it becomes harder for Busch and his lieutenants to maintain day-to-day control. That’s just the nature of the beast....

JUICE #2: DEL. HEATHER MIZEUR DECRIES EXCLUSION FROM BALTIMORE SUN COLUMNIST'S GUBERNATORIAL COVERAGE - Maryland Juice received an email blast today from the campaign manager for Del. Heather Mizeur's gubernatorial campaign decrying her omission from Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks' recent discussion of the 2014 race. Mizeur's campaign also took offense with Rodricks calling the Governor's office the "big-daddy chair." Below we provide an excerpt from Dan Rodricks' April 10, 2014 column (titled "Ruppersberger considering run for governor"), followed by an excerpt from Heather Mizeur's email blast:
DAN RODRICKS (VIA BALTIMORE SUN): Among the likely Democratic candidates for Maryland governor in 2014 — Howard County executive Ken Ulman, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler — Ulman comes closest to being the "Baltimore-area candidate."

But a genuine Baltimore-area candidate — someone who could pull votes from Baltimore County and the city, and enough in other key sectors of the state — would be a serious contender for the big-daddy chair in Annapolis....
The column above triggered the following response in the form of an email blast from Heather Mizeur's campaign manager Joanna Belanger. The blast below calls on supporters to sign a petition to send a message that "Maryland isn't a boys' club" (excerpt below):
JOANNA BELANGER (VIA FRIENDS OF HEATHER MIZEUR): The Baltimore Sun recently published a guest column about all the potential Democratic candidates for Governor in 2014. Well, all except for one:

Heather Mizeur.
Right now, there are no announced candidates for Governor. But Heather, just like several others, has made it clear that she's seriously considering a bid.

But the Sun only talked about the men who are thinking about running. Even worse, they actually called the office of Governor "the big-daddy chair.”

Sometimes you really have to wonder if these folks realize that it's 2013 now, and that women won't be ignored and dismissed. We deserve and demand better – will you add your name to our petition and let your voice be heard?

The race for Governor is going to be about the issues we all care about and who can best move Maryland forward – not his or her gender. Heather has spent her entire career working on behalf of all Marylanders, making sure we continue to improve our infrastructure and schools, protect our natural resources, promote job growth, and fight for equality.
That’s why her supporters are urging her to run.

Your support is vital. That's why I'm asking you to stand with me and add your name to our petition now. We need to send a message that Maryland isn't a boys' club -- and there's no such thing as the "big-daddy chair."

All my best,
Joanna Belanger
Campaign Manager
Friends of Heather Mizeur
Meanwhile, for those still questioning whether Del. Mizeur is actually running for Governor, it is worth noting that The Chestertown Spy recently published a series of video clips showing Mizeur campaigning in Kent County.

JUICE #3: 2014 ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE HIGHLIGHTS HOMETOWN RIVALRY BETWEEN SEN. BRIAN FROSH AND DEL. BILL FRICK - Yesterday Bethesda Magazine published an article profiling the dueling Attorney General campaigns from two District 16 Democrats: Sen. Brian Frosh & Del. Bill Frick. The worthwhile article presents some interesting backstory about Frosh's run for Attorney General, noting specifically that State Senator Jamie Raskin had been previously preparing for a run. Additionally, Bethesda Magazine also focuses on the awkwardness caused by the unusual circumstance of having two lawmakers from the same district seeking the same statewide office (excerpt below):
LOUIS PECK (VIA BETHESDA MAGAZINE): Although separated in age by almost three decades, state Sen. Brian Frosh and state Delegate Bill Frick have a lot in common.... Today, they reside barely a mile from each other along Bethesda’s River Road corridor, and share representation of District 16 in the Maryland General Assembly. In Annapolis, both can claim a record of legislative accomplishment as well as a passion for some of the same issues, particularly in the realm of consumer protection.

Perhaps it is as much because of these connections as in spite of them that Frick and Frosh now find themselves on a collision course.

While some in local political circles wait to see if one of them blinks, both men say they are committed to seeking the 2014 Democratic nomination to succeed Attorney General Douglas Gansler.... How did this statewide political head-on between two candidates from the same legislative district come about?...

When Frick approached Frosh about the contest, Frick says that Frosh told him that he was already committed to another attorney general aspirant from Montgomery County: state Sen. Jamie Raskin of Takoma Park, a law professor at American University....

JUICE #4: COMPTROLLER PETER FRANCHOT PRINTS NEWSPAPER DECLARING HIMSELF "THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN MARYLAND" - A Maryland Juice reader recently reported that residents in her neighborhood received hand-delivered copies of a bizarre multi-page newspaper from Comptroller Peter Franchot. The elected statewide Democrat often describes himself as Maryland's "fiscal watchdog," but now he has adopted the title of "the most interesting man in Maryland." See the scanned front page of the newspaper below:

The Baltimore Sun provided some context on this strange government communication in an article earlier this month (excerpt below):
ERIN COX (VIA BALTIMORE SUN): Would you like to meet the most interesting man in Maryland?  Apparently, it's Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Franchot this week released a spoof of the popular Dos Equis' beer commercials as promotion for Maryland's unclaimed property website. More than $980 million is waiting to be claimed by Marylanders, and newspaper inserts will soon start advertising $80 million of them. ...

JUICE #5: MARYLAND HOUSE GOP MEMBERS ATTEMPT LEADERSHIP COUP - Maryland Reporter this week highlighted an emerging attempt by State House GOP members to replace GOP Minority Leader Tony O'Donnell (excerpt below):
GLYNIS KAZANJIAN (VIA MARYLAND REPORTER): A movement led by junior Republican delegates is underway to replace Maryland GOP House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell and Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. The move comes only days after the Maryland Republican Party voted in a new state party chairman, Diana Waterman, following a highly contentious election for the position.

Second term Del. Nicholaus Kipke, 34, Anne Arundel, and freshman Del. Kathy Szeliga, 51,  Baltimore and Harford counties, have been named by party insiders as the team running to replace O’Donnell, 52, and House Whip, Eastern Shore Del. Haddaway-Riccio, 35.
A vote is scheduled to take place in a special election next Tuesday, April 30, but such meetings are generally closed to the media and the public. This is the third reported attempt to unseat O’Donnell, with Kipke leading a similar effort in 2011 that fizzled....

JUICE #6: O'MALLEY ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL AMBITIONS DURING TRIP TO ISRAEL -  It is no surprise to Maryland politicos that our Gov. Martin O'Malley has been gearing up for a 2016 White House run for quite some time now. But O'Malley stated the obvious during a recent trip to Israel (which now sits next to New Hampshire and Iowa on the list of places a prospective Presidential candidate must visit). The New York Times covered some of O'Malley's remarks during his trip this week (excerpt below):
NEW YORK TIMES: Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland said Wednesday that he would spend the second half of this year mulling whether to run for president in 2016. He seems already to have a campaign theme: jobs and innovation.

At least that’s what he insisted was the sole focus of his eight-day trip to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories....

Governor O’Malley, 50, said it was his third visit to Israel.... Mr. O’Malley was also set to meet with President Shimon Peres of Israel; two rising stars in Israeli politics, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, both of whom head economic ministries; and Salaam Fayyad, who resigned earlier this month as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.....

“I plan for the latter half of this year to dedicate some more thought time, reflection time, to the question of whether or not I would run,” he said Tuesday. “The key question in running for any office is having a clear and refined understanding of the shared reality we face and the better set of choices we need to make as a people to meet those challenges and to create a better future for our kids....”


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