Tuesday, May 21, 2013

JUICE: A Telling Poll in Maryland Governor's Race, Donna Edwards Endorses Brown, Gansler's Runningmate & More!

PLUS: Videos of Del. Heather Mizeur & Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger on the Campaign Trail

Maryland's 2014 gubernatorial contest is already moving into full swing, and we have a few new tidbits to provide readers on the current state of the race. The Baltimore Sun recently published an editorial highlighting the early start of the statewide campaign season and noting some of the reasons for the rapid escalation of the governor's race:
BALTIMORE SUN: Maryland's primary may be 13 months away, but ready or not, the 2014 election campaign cycle is about to hit full stride. If it seems early, it is. With the primary now in June instead of September, new legislative districts, and an existing law that prohibits state incumbents from raising campaign funds during the 90-day legislative session that starts in January.... But the time to start paying attention has arrived.
Below Maryland Juice highlights a few noteworthy developments in the coming epic battle, including discussion of a recent poll, video footage of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's kickoff rally, Doug Gansler's campaign announcement, and much, much more!

JUICE #1: MARYLAND JUICE ANALYZES 2014 GOVERNOR'S RACE ON NEWS CHANNEL 8 - Last week Maryland Juice appeared on News Channel 8 with host Bruce DePuyt to discuss the 2014 gubernatorial battle. At this early stage, I noted that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown appears to be occupying the frontrunner position, but the race is still developing. Attorney General Doug Gansler, for example, appears to be feeling his way through some hot button issues facing Maryland, and I noted he was tacking to the center-right on some issues. Host Bruce DePuyt, however, countered Gansler was an early supporter of same-sex marriage. Make no mistake, issues will matter in 2014, and it will be very interesting to see how the candidates differentiate themselves on the key policy debates of our time:

JUICE #2: GANSLER SAYS HE MIGHT RUN FOR RE-ELECTION TO ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, BUT BUMPERSTICKERS SAY OTHERWISE - Recent news reports about the Maryland Governor's race have shown Attorney General Doug Gansler to be playing coy about his campaign. In comments that appeared in a (lamely) pay-walled article in The Daily Record, Gansler stated he might still run for re-election to the Attorney General's office (excerpt below):
DAILY RECORD:  Gansler, however, declined to declare outright that he will run for governor, saying that announcement — if it comes — will likely not be made before fall. Nor did he foreclose the possibility of seeking a third term as attorney general.

“I haven’t ruled out anything,” Gansler said during a recent interview with Daily Record editors and reporters.... “What’s not to like about being attorney general?” he added, noting the job includes fighting crime and polluters and protecting consumers. “I love what I do....”
But Attorney General Doug Gansler has already announced for Governor in 2014, at least according to the bumperstickers that he was handing out at the recent Charles County Truman-Kennedy dinner:

JUICE #3: ANONYMOUS READER PROVIDES DETAILS OF A RECENT GUBERNATORIAL POLL // GANSLER IS TESTING GAS TAX & DEATH PENALTY - An anonymous Maryland Juice reader provided us with details about a recent telephone poll they participated in regarding the 2014 Governor's race:
ANONYMOUS READER: The first part of the poll asked how I felt about certain public figures, such as Martin O Malley, President Obama, Doug Gansler, and Anthony Brown. I had to respond either they've done an EXCELLENT job, GOOD, FAIR or POOR. Heather Mizeur was an option as well, but to be fair I don't know much about her, so she was 'skipped.' FYI, the guy conducting the poll couldn't even say her last name correctly! He even hinted that she "wasn't doing much advertising..no one knows her!"

The next portion regarded Gansler. The conductor gave me different facts about him, and if each fact would help me vote for him. Such as helping Facebook and social media track down predators; being one of the first MD politicians to endorse President Obama during his first presidential bid; being for gay marriage before it was "popular", etc. He then moved on to Anthony Brown, with facts for him.

Another portion asked if I thought Maryland was on the right track (yes or no). Another question regarded if I thought the state was putting social issues before tax/economic issues, or there was a 'good mix.'

One of the last questions regarded the gas tax and the death penalty repeal. It was a simple "for" or "oppose" for each measure. I said I was"neutral" for the gas tax because I can see both pros AND cons to the tax. He was sort of shocked, he stated "You're the first neutral I've received; most people are vehemently against it!" Another question he asked that I just remembered: Should audits be done on all state and city agencies? I'm paraphrasing for the most part, but I hope this helps!

GANSLER'S POLL FORESHADOWS CAMPAIGN MESSAGING ON THE GAS TAX, DEATH PENALTY AND MORE - There are many interesting details and foreshadowing in what was obviously Doug Gansler's poll. First, they're gauging the impact of having Heather Mizeur in the race, which previous gubernatorial polls have not all done. Second, we can now see a few resume items that Gansler will seek to highlight, such as early support for Obama and marriage equality.

But on the issues, Gansler is making some interesting moves. It is worth noting that his calls for an audit of state agencies may foreshadow criticism of the O'Malley administration, and by implication Anthony Brown. It also appears Gansler may think Maryland has worked on too many social issues in recent years. Perhaps most interesting is that Gansler is testing his message on the gas tax and death penalty.

Only days later, Gansler clearly used the results of the poll above in media interviews. In the previously discussed Daily Record article, Gansler also made the following telling comments about the gas tax and death penalty:
DAILY RECORD: Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, sounding for all the world like a gubernatorial candidate, voiced deep concern about what he called the state’s failure to keep and attract large companies, and said he opposes the coming gas-tax increase proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley.... He called the coming 4-cents-per-gallon increase in the gasoline excise tax “extremely unfortunate,” saying it will be “hitting working families and poor people.”

...the usually loquacious attorney general and supporter of capital punishment was oddly silent this past General Assembly session as legislators debated legislation to abolish Maryland’s death penalty....  “The death penalty is an issue I don’t feel very passionate about,” Gansler said in explaining his silence. “I happen to agree philosophically with it....”
Not surprisingly, WYPR's take on all of this was captured in the headline to a recent blog post titled, "Gansler Biding His Time, Reshaping Image" (excerpt below):
WYPR: Nothing wrong with ambition, mind you. But you can’t be constantly looking to the next job. People might think you’re a careerist and driven by self more than by a desire to serve people. So, as Attorney General Gansler, you more or less lay low. You try to re-brand yourself. It’s not surprising to find Gansler demurring even more sincerely than most ambitious candidates when asked about running. He loves the job he has, he says. He might consider another term as AG. So many compelling cases. Such importance for the state he loves.

JUICE #4: ATTORNEY GENERAL DOUG GANSLER SEEKS A RUNNINGMATE - Maryland Juice has been hearing buzz about potential runningmates for Attorney General Doug Gansler, and right now most discussion hovers around a few names:
  • Delegate Jolene Ivey (Prince George's County)
  • Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk (Prince George's County)
  • Delegate Kieffer Mitchell (Baltimore)
  • Wes Moore, Baltimore author, TV host & veteran
All four names above are African American Democrats (one is also a Latina), and two of four are women. Not terribly surprising, given the demographics of Maryland's Democratic electorate.

JUICE #5: VIDEO INTERVIEW OF CONGRESSMAN DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER SHOWS CONTINUED INTEREST IN 2014 GOVERNOR'S RACE - Center Maryland recently published a video interview with Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger. In the remarks below, he continues to express interest in the 2014 Governor's race and explains why he thinks he'd make a good executive:


JUICE #6: DEL. HEATHER MIZEUR STUMPS FOR GRASSROOTS SUPPORT - While Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown was announcing his campaign kickoff last week, Maryland Juice caught Del. Heather Mizeur stumping for Governor at a couple Montgomery County events. First we caught her at the Montgomery County African American Democratic Club's kickoff event, and then we saw her speak at a town hall meeting with the MoCo-based group Progressive Neighbors. Below we provide photos and video footage from both events (Note: apologies in advance for the inconsistent video and photo quality, but Juice has to make do with the equipment he's got):


Del. Heather Mizeur & Del. Aisha Braveboy @ MoCo African American Democratic Club
Del. Heather Mizeur & MoCo Councilmember George Leventhal @ MoCo African American Democratic Club

JUICE #7: LT. GOV. ANTHONY BROWN LAUNCHES GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN WITH ENDORSEMENT FROM REP. DONNA EDWARDS & MULTIPLE RALLIES - Last week Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown launched his 2014 gubernatorial campaign with multiple campaign rallies, and the endorsements of Gov. Martin O'Malley and Congresswoman Donna Edwards.

It is worth noting that numerous union members appeared to be out in force at several of Brown's rallies, including members of the Laborers, AFSCME and the teachers union. The teachers had even arrived with the "Thank You Lt. Governor Brown" signs at right. In any case, Maryland Juice attended Brown's kickoff rally in Prince George's County and captured the following video footage. My quick two second read on his Largo, Maryland kickoff was that I saw a lot of enthusiastic African American Democrats in attendance, and I imagine this foreshadows potential interest in electing Maryland's first black Governor:




The Washington Post also reported that Gov. Martin O'Malley endorsed Brown to replace him last weekend (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Saturday touted Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) as his preferred successor, calling the newly announced gubernatorial candidate an “outstandingly effective” leader. The event in Baltimore, at which the two shared the stage, was billed as O’Malley’s “official endorsement” of Brown’s 2014 candidacy for governor.... “I’m telling you, friends, I’ve seen this guy work,” O’Malley said of Brown, whom he called “one of the most effective and substantive lieutenant governors in the United States of America....”
Meanwhile, Bethesda Magazine published a worthwhile piece discussing Anthony Brown's Silver Spring rally and speculating on his campaign's Montgomery County strategy:
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: The sun came out in Silver Spring late last Saturday morning... It was Brown’s second appearance in Montgomery County in less than 24 hours, and robo-calls from the Brown campaign had sought to gin up attendance at the Silver Spring rally. Meanwhile, County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, who represents the district in which Brown was appearing, sent out an email declaring of the two-term lieutenant governor, “I believe in his vision for a better Maryland for all Marylanders, and I hope that you will take this opportunity to speak with Anthony about Maryland’s future....”

“We are going to get that Purple Line, aren’t we?” [Brown] shouted, to cheers. It could be viewed as a dig at Gansler, who recently has been critical of the gas tax increase pushed through the General Assembly by Brown’s current boss, Gov. Martin O’Malley. But that increase has been welcomed by Montgomery County officials as integral to building the Purple Line and other transit projects....
Most of the handful of elected officials in attendance – state Delegate Tom Hucker, County Councilmember George Leventhal, and Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams – indicated they were there as a courtesy, and that their presence did not signal an endorsement. (The one local elected official present who said he is endorsing Brown, Kensington Mayor Peter Fosselman, is also a deputy secretary of state in the O’Malley/Brown administration.).... 


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