Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sen. Roger Manno's Aide Maricé Morales Wants to Replace Sam Arora // PLUS ANOTHER MYSTERY: Is Sam Pro or Anti-Choice?

UPDATE: Maryland Juice received the following letter from folks at NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland taking issue with our anonymous sourcing on that story. Though I cannot divulge my sources, the article was not at all meant to imply anything about how Arora and NARAL might interact in the future. In fact, a few politicos who contacted me after publication suggested that the jury was still out on the freshman lawmaker's views on abortion and related issues. Blog articles notwithstanding, NARAL itself obviously plans an open and transparent survey process. We will be following this story (and the role of reproductive rights in 2014) in the future, but next time we'll be sure to check in directly with the NARAL staff!
Dear Maryland Juice: In your June 29, 2013 post about Delegate Sam Arora's position on women's reproductive rights, you incorrectly attributed your source as an insider at NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland. No NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland staff or officers, nor NARAL Pro-Choice PAC board members were interviewed for your article. NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland and its PAC takes pride in our transparent and fair representation of our positions on all matters concerning the advancement of women's rights in Maryland. We would appreciate it if in the future you would check your sources with our organization before issuing anonymous statements. We encourage you, as well as you readers to contact us directly to answer questions about reproductive rights and where elected officials or candidates may stand on this critical issue.


Wendy Royalty, NARAL Pro-Choice MD PAC Chair
Jodi Finkelstein, NARAL Pro-Choice MD Executive Director

Sen. Roger Manno & Maricé Morales
Rumors are aswirl that an aide to District 19 State Senator Roger Manno is plotting a run against Sam Arora in 2014. Arora famously voted against marriage equality during an extremely close vote -- and after promising to support LGBT rights. But the 2010 runner-up to Arora (Jay Hutchins) recently announced he had decided not to run, leaving many wondering if Arora was still going to face a challenge.

But Maryland Juice recently met Manno's Special Assistant Maricé Morales at a political event in Montgomery County, where she confirmed she was plotting a 2014 bid for the House of Delegates.

In addition, at the urging of an anonymous source, I poked around on Sen. Manno's website and was intrigued to see hints that he may indeed be backing Morales, given that his press releases seem to be highlighting her work in the District (excerpt below):
SEN. ROGER MANNO PRESS RELEASE: This evening Senator Roger Manno and Delegate Ben Kramer each received the prestigeous “Shofar Award” for their advocacy on behalf of the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy (MJBHA) in Aspen Hill.... 
Joining Senator Manno was his Senate Special Assistant, Ms. Marice' Morales, who worked tirelessly with lawmakers and the community throughout the 2013 legislative session to secure passage of the $100,000 capital bond.
Notably, District 19 Democrats are represented by one State Senator (Roger Manno) and three Delegates: Sam Arora, Bonnie Cullison and Ben Kramer.  But a visit to Del. Bonnie Cullison's Facebook page also revealed a photo of Maricé Morales at a recent Cullison fundraiser. Now obviously a photo does not necessarily equal an endorsement, but this is still pretty interesting to see:

And to round it all out, here's Maricé Morales with Sen. Victor Ramirez of Prince George's County:

IS DEL. SAM ARORA PRO-CHOICE OR ANTI-CHOICE? - Strangely, one anonymous source also noted that it is apparently unclear where Sam Arora stands on the issue of reproductive rights. Maryland and Montgomery County politics are weighted toward the pro-choice position, but notwithstanding potential exceptions for rape or incest, a few Maryland Juice sources struggled to figure out where Arora stands on the issue.

A national organization voter education organization called Project Vote Smart attempted to survey Arora on abortion and other issues, but their website only had the following information about Sam Arora's views:
PROJECT VOTE SMART: Sam Arora refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.
Nevertheless, Maryland Juice tracked down a 2010 NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland legislative analysis, and Sam Arora is the lone Delegate from Montgomery County who is not listed as a pro-choice lawmaker. Arora is instead listed as "Untested" alongside conservative/moderate Democrats (eg: Steve DeBoy & John Olszewski, Jr.) and Republicans like Kathy Afzali.

At first I thought this could be because no votes on the issue had been taken during Arora's freshman term, but then I realized six additional freshmen from MoCo were rated as pro-choice: Delegates Craig Zucker, Eric Luedtke, Aruna Miller, Ariana Kelly, Bonnie Cullison and Shane Robinson.

AN ANSWER TO THE MYSTERY? - Maryland Juice contacted a knowledgeable source to figure out if there was a story behind Sam Arora being tagged as "Untested" in their analysis. Their response was that in 2010 (ie: his first election for office in liberal MoCo), Sam Arora never returned his candidate survey to NARAL. Hmm.

So does anyone know whether Sam Arora is pro-choice or pro-life? I'm honestly baffled that nobody seems to know the answer to this question. Perhaps one of you knows? If so, please drop a note in the comments section below.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

UPDATE: Race to Fill Rob Garagiola's Senate Seat Heats Up // MCDCC, Politicos and Delegates Miller & Dumais Weigh In

UPDATE: The article below has generated a lot of heated debate; enough so that Maryland Juice thought it would be worth clarifying a few points. First, though I sprinkle some light commentary throughout the post below, the views printed are almost all those of other politicos in the State. Second, some have suggested that the writings about this topic from me and others is not productive, but it is hard to argue for ignoring this emerging dialogue when I receive multiple emails representing different perspectives about it. 

As for my own views on the matter, I put social and economic justice issues ahead of demography (meaning, no, I would not vote for a conservative minority over a progressive white candidate). But that being said, I think there are many examples where demographic representation is important. During the marriage equality battle, for example, the LGBT caucus was a powerful voice for change. Similarly, Latino lawmakers were instrumental in getting some of the major immigration-related bills through Annapolis in recent sessions. Sometimes its a win-win, because the LGBT and Latino lawmakers in question are also progressives!

Maryland Juice recently reported on the jockeying to replace State Senator Rob Garagiola when he resigns from his District 15 seat later this year. Garagiola's D15 colleague Delegate Brian Feldman is the likely frontrunner for the seat, but the State Senate vacancy has created an opening for minority activists to highlight the lack of diversity in Montgomery County's all-white Senate delegation. Below we provide a few updates to the story, starting with an interesting take on the situation from Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz:

JUICE #1: A NEW GLASS CEILING FOR WHITE, MALE DEMOCRATS? - It is unlikely that the domination of white men in state and national politics will end anytime soon, but Center Maryland's Josh Kurtz today published a very interesting take on the D15 Senate vacancy (full article). The column below places the race in a national context (excerpt below):
CENTER MARYLAND: It’s tough to be a white male in Democratic politics these days. Just ask Brian Feldman, the state delegate from Montgomery County. And Attorney General Doug Gansler. And maybe even Gov. Martin O’Malley....

Feldman instantly became the odds-on favorite to succeed Garagiola, whose replacement will be chosen by O’Malley based on a recommendation from the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. But a loose coalition of minority community and political activists who have been agitating and organizing to get more minority candidates elected to public office in Montgomery County have different ideas.... Montgomery County has never, ever, sent anyone to the Senate who isn’t white. This is, undoubtedly, an embarrassment and a disgrace.
A similar conversation is taking place in Howard County, where more than half the legislative seats will be open in 2014, and in Prince George’s County, where voters in a jurisdiction that’s two-thirds African-American must surely be wondering why only three of their eight state senators are black.... [The] fact is that if black voters turn out in huge numbers for [Lt. Gov. Anthony] Brown, the primary’s over — that’s too big a structural advantage for his opponents to overcome....

JUICE #2: DELEGATES ARUNA MILLER & KATHLEEN DUMAIS ENDORSE BRIAN FELDMAN FOR STATE SENATE - Two of Delegate Brian Feldman's District 15 colleagues endorsed him for the State Senate seat in the letter below. Delegates Aruna Miller and Kathleen Dumais issued the following statement of support to the Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) Gabe Albernoz. Notably, the members of the MCDCC will soon be voting to appoint a replacement for Garagiola. The letter below highlights Feldman's long record of service to the Democratic Party, though I continue to nitpick on one point that keeps getting raised during this debate.

Feldman backers keep insisting that D15 could be taken over by Republicans without him being appointed to the seat. But the truth is Feldman will be well-positioned to win a Democratic Primary for the seat in 2014 -- whether or not he is appointed to fill the remainder of Garagiola's term in 2013. Moreover, it is absolutely false that any Montgomery County District is susceptible to a Republican takeover. In 2010, Sen. Rob Garagiola beat his Republican challenger 64% to 36%, and in 2012 Democrats held a massive registration advantage in D15 -- 43,939 Dems vs. 23,323 GOP voters. I'm just calling it like I see it! With that clarification, check out the letter below:

The Honorable Gabriel Albornoz
Chair, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee
3720 Farragut Ave. Kensington, MD 20895

Re: Unanimous Support for Appointment of Delegate Brian J. Feldman to Maryland Senate Seat Being Vacated by Hon. Rob Garagiola

Dear Chairman Albornoz:

Please accept this letter as evidence of our unqualified support and endorsement of our colleague Delegate Brian Feldman to succeed Senator Rob Garagiola.

District 15 and the State of Maryland certainly benefitted from Senator Garagiola’s years of public service. His recent resignation announcement, needless to say, is one we were both saddened to learn about as we will miss his leadership and friendship. With Senator Garagiola’s resignation on September 1, 2013, the MCDCC faces the tremendous responsibility of submitting a name to Governor O’Malley to replace a person who upheld the duties and responsibilities of the office of State Senator with great integrity, compassion, intelligence and commitment.

We believe Delegate Brian Feldman is the right person to fill the position. He has maintained a remarkable career in public service, both in and outside of the government. As you know, Brian was first elected in 2002 when three of the four legislative seats in District 15 were occupied by Republicans. Brian was re-elected in 2006 and 2010 and has distinguished himself over the past 11 years in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Brian has a proven track record as a progressive voice in the Maryland House of Delegates and has an extensive and impressive portfolio of legislative accomplishments. He served for five years as Chair of Montgomery County Delegation representing the interests, needs and concerns of the citizens of Montgomery County in the Maryland General Assembly (MGA). As Chair, he worked tirelessly to work in partnership with his colleagues, bring consensus amongst the 24 delegates and overcame MGA partisan politics. As Montgomery County represents the largest voting block at the MGA, Brian’s leadership allowed Montgomery County to have a greater influence on policies, the budget and the strengthening our presence in the state of Maryland.

In 2011, the Speaker of the House appointed Brian as the House Parliamentarian and in 2006, as Chair of the prestigious Banking, Economic, Development, Science and Technology Subcommittee on the Economic Matters Committee. Throughout his tenure in the Maryland General Assembly, Brian has demonstrated the knowledge and proven capacity to effectively resolve some of Maryland’s toughest challenges and has been a pioneer in the development of legislative initiatives in the area of bio-tech, directly affecting Montgomery County’s business economy.

Having had the opportunity to work closely with Brian in Annapolis, we can attest to the fact that he is well respected, considered a team builder, influential, and most importantly, deeply committed and dedicated to serving the people of District 15, Montgomery County and the state of Maryland. Brian has consistently demonstrated his ability to coordinate with his constituents, democratic activists and elected officials, special interest groups, and the two of us in producing as well as executing important pieces of legislation that benefit the state of Maryland. He is a political intellect, humble and well liked and well respected.

We also believe Brian is particularly well suited to fill the seat to be vacated by Rob because he will be ready to hit the ground running, based on his legislative experience. This is critical since Montgomery County will be losing two leadership positions in the Senate with the departure of Rob, who serves as the Majority Leader and Senator Brian Frosh, current chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, who is running for Attorney General and will not be returning to the Senate.

In conclusion, District 15 which had a Republican delegate as recently as 2006, remains competitive beyond the Democratic primary. Thus, it cannot be assumed that any Democrat winning the primary is guaranteed to win the General Election in District 15
. Brian’s successful record in Annapolis, his years of commitment to our constituents, and as a candidate in District 15 will ensure the Senate seat remains Democratic in 2014.

Delegate Feldman has sustained a lifetime of successful public service and because of his work ethic and long list of achievements we enthusiastically endorse Brian for the District 15 State Senate position. We believe he is the best candidate and we humbly request that you give full
consideration for Delegate Brian J. Feldman for the soon to be vacated Senate seat.

Thank you for allowing us to share our thoughts. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you any questions.


Delegate Kathleen Dumais   Delegate Aruna Miller

cc: Members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee

JUICE #3: DISTRICT 15 MINORITIES CONTEST DECLARATION OF UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FOR FELDMAN FROM D15 CAUCUS - Maryland Juice previously published an endorsement from the District 15 Caucus announcing unanimous support for Delegate Brian Feldman for the upcoming State Senate vacancy. The D15 Caucus is a political party club that operates externally from the MCDCC. But strangely enough, I received a letter from members of the D15 club indicating that they were not provided an opportunity to weigh in on the vacancy:
DISTRICT 15 CAUCUS MEMBERS: Dear Members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC):

Recent press reports indicate that the Board of the District 15 Democratic Caucus has sent a letter to the members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.  The letter recommends a candidate for the District 15 State Senate vacancy.

We are members in good standing of the District 15 Democratic Caucus; however, we were never given the opportunity to comment on the Senate vacancy and we were not made aware of the letter before it was sent.

The purpose of this correspondence is to implore the members of the MCDCC to implement a fair and open process.  The process should enable all interested candidates to be interviewed (by the MCDCC) and to be considered over the next three months.  Moreover, District 15 residents should be permitted to share our views on all of the candidates.

We recognize that efforts are being undertaken to wrap-up the process quickly in order to dissuade competition; however, that stance is contrary to what the Democratic Party stands for.  The Democratic Party stands for inclusive participation and the Democratic Party stands for expanding opportunities for all.  So, we urge you to resist efforts to curtail the deliberation process. 

As very loyal members of the Democratic Party, we appreciate the opportunity to be part of this process and respectfully submit this letter.


Tufail Ahmad
Khalid Chaudhry
Vernon Ricks
JUICE #4: ANONYMOUS MCDCC MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS HISTORY OF VACANCY APPOINTMENTS - In previous commentary about the MCDCC's history of filling vacancies, Maryland Juice suggested that the organization had a mixed record at using the appointment process to diversity MoCo's Democratic delegation. An anonymous MCDCC member provided us with the following timeline of appointments to help clarify the record:
ANONYMOUS MCDCC MEMBER: Now that your blog post made it into the Gazette, I thought I would send a quick recap of MCDCC's "record at filling vacant seats with women and people of color" for your own background as you continue coverage of the appointment process.

2001 - Kopp becomes Treasurer, Susan Lee appointed.
2005 - Hurson resigns, Jane Lawton appointed.
2007 - PJ Hogan resigns, Nancy King appointed.
2007 - King elevated, Kirill appointed.
2007 - Goldwater resigns, Frick appointed.
2007 - Lawton passes, Al Carr appointed.
2010 - Bronrott retires, Karen Britto appointed (as she ran as a seat warmer I could see not counting this).

There might be others I am forgetting.  I can't tell you the record before 2001, although I think only one or two current members were even on the committee then.

CONCLUSION: So there you have it folks! Montgomery County Democrats continue to face growing pains relating to the significant churning and demographic shifting in the county's electorate. I know a lot of folks are getting testy about having this conversation, but come on, there's something wrong if the Democratic Party is uncomfortable confronting issues of race, gender, and diversity. It is healthy and will help us evolve in a way that the Republicans are incapable of competing with. But more importantly, Delegate Feldman shouldn't feel threatened by this conversation. I consider it due diligence, as the D15 Senate appointment will likely lead to perpetual re-election of whomever they choose. A State Senate seat should not just be given away lightly. Lastly, the most important factor in this discussion is that there is currently no woman or person of color seeking the D15 Senate vacancy! So what's all this fuss about?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

JUICE: Valerie Ervin Exploring MoCo Exec Race, HoCo Blogger Tom Coale for Delegate, Many New Candidates for MoCo Council

Below Maryland Juice highlights a few tidbits of interest to politicos, especially those in MoCo & HoCo:

JUICE #1: MOCO COUNCILMEMBER VALERIE ERVIN FORMS EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE FOR COUNTY EXECUTIVE, OTHER CANDIDATES EXIT RACE - Last week Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett made a long awaited announcement about his future plans, and not surprisingly, he has decided to seek a third term in office. With the biggest variable in the race now decided, we finally have a real picture of what the 2014 race will look like. The Gazette's Kate Alexander provided some very interesting follow-up, noting which candidates are now entering and exiting the race (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: [Councilmember George] Leventhal (D) of Takoma Park said it is “highly likely” he will now run for re-election.... [Delegate Ben] Kramer said he is out and most likely will seek re-election.... [Councilmember Marc] Elrich said he will seek re-election.... [Councilwoman Nancy Floreen] said Thursday she will seek re-election....

Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring has formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for executive. On Tuesday, Ervin would not yet detail her plans, saying that she would disclose “in about a week....”
The Gazette's editorial board followed up on the coverage above with their own thoughts about incumbent Executive Ike Leggett's two terms in office, and they noted a couple issues that they thought could emerge on the campaign trail:
GAZETTE: Looking back on Leggett’s two terms, he deserves credit for navigating the county through extremely difficult economic period, but voters still will have questions. The first would be the Silver Spring Transit Center.... Then there’s Leggett’s labor record, which will be difficult for voters to judge....
Interestingly enough, today The Washington Post's Bill Turque reported that Leggett was trying to get ahead of the Silver Spring Transit Center controversy by accepting responsibility for the project (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett realizes that the road to his re-election in 2014 will have to pass through the Silver Spring Transit Center. While the troubled $120 million project has a lifespan that stretches back into the administration of one of his opponents, former County Executive Doug Duncan, he has apparently decided to deal with it by taking full ownership.... “I accept full responsibility because it happened on my watch,” he said Wednesday on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt....
It's early yet, but it will be very interesting to see which issues come to dominate the coming battle for Montgomery County Executive!

JUICE #2: HOCO BLOGGER TOM COALE RUNNING FOR DELEGATE IN DISTRICT 9B - Over the last two years, Maryland Juice has had the opportunity to interact with a few other bloggers around the state, and Tom Coale happens to be one of them. Tom writes the HoCo Rising blog, which as you can imagine, is about life in Howard County. But now the Ellicott City Democrat is on to bigger and better things, as he announced this week that he's running for Delegate in District 9B. The Baltimore Sun's Luke Lavoie reported on his kickoff (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Columbia Association Board of Directors member Tom Coale ... to seek a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014, representing the newly formed District 9B. Coale, a popular blogger in Howard County, announced his decision at a fundraiser in Ellicott City. Coale ... will run on the Democratic ticket in the district, which encompasses Ellicott City and portions of Elkridge and Columbia.... County Council member Courtney Watson, who represents Ellicott City and Elkridge, applauded Coale's diligence on community issues....

Maryland Juice wishes Tom Coale good luck in his quest to represent HoCo!

JUICE #3: MULTIPLE CANDIDATES PLOTTING RUNS FOR COUNTY COUNCILMEMBER PHIL ANDREWS' SEAT - Bethesda Magazine's Louis Peck recently published a round-up of candidates to replace County Councilmember Phil Andrews. Indeed, the District 3 Council seat is going to be vacant soon with the incumbent Councilmember Andrews off and running against Ike Leggett for County Executive (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: In interviews, former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow, former Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce President Richard Parsons and Gaithersburg City Councilmember Ryan Spiegel all said they are considering a run in next year’s Democratic primary for the District 3 County Council seat.  Also eyeing the contest is Guled Kassim, a local Democratic activist who previously has run for state delegate.

...the current CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Gigi Godwin, quashed speculation about a run.... Two others mentioned as contenders for the District 3 seat, Rockville Councilmember Tom Moore and Gaithersburg Councilmember Michael Sesma, are facing re-election to their current jobs this fall....


Monday, June 17, 2013

RUMOR: Del. Emmett Burns Retiring? // Baltimore County Dem Fought w/ Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadeo Over Marriage Equality

Del. Emmett Burns
A Maryland Juice source reports that Delegate Emmett Burns of Baltimore County recently announced his retirement from the House of Delegates. Burns, a District 10 Democrat, reportedly gave notice of his plans at a fundraising event for Rainier Harvey -- a candidate for Delegate in District 44B. Note that we haven't yet confirmed this rumor!

Emmett Burns caused an uproar last year when he used the power of his office to chastise Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadeo after the NFL player endorsed marriage equality in Maryland. Yahoo! Sports previously published a copy of Del. Burns' letter to the Baltimore Ravens (excerpt below):
DELEGATE EMMETT BURNS JR: As a Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly and a Baltimore Raven Football fan, I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadeo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically, as a Raven Football player....

Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is stricly for pride, entertainment and excitement. I believe Mr. Ayanbadeo should concentrate on football....

I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employee.... Please give me your immediate response....
Several Maryland Juice readers are breathing a sigh of relief and proclaiming good riddance to Delegate Burns.  Onward with 2014!

JuiceBlender: Minorities Organize for Garagiola Vacancy, 5 HoCo Delegate Vacancies, Jon Cardin Slams Lawless Sheriffs

Below Maryland Juice highlights a few items of interest to politicos around the state, starting with more organizing around pending legislative vacancies:

JUICE #1: MOCO PEOPLE OF COLOR ORGANIZING AROUND SELECTION OF SEN. ROB GARAGIOLA'S REPLACEMENT - Maryland Juice previously noted that Del. Brian Feldman was seeking the District 15 State Senate vacancy caused by the surprise resignation of Sen. Rob Garagiola. Feldman has received early support for a promotion from some of his elected colleagues and a District 15 Democratic political club, but already some Democratic Party members are agitating for a different direction.

PEOPLE OF COLOR ORGANIZING IN DISTRICT 15: Several Maryland Juice sources indicate that this past weekend, a group of Democratic activists met in Potomac to try and organize a push to ask the MCDCC to take diversity seriously in selecting a replacement for State Senator Rob Garagiola. I received the following statement and photo from a coalition of leaders representing communities of color following a meeting in Potomac:
A group of leaders representing the African American, Asian, Muslim, and Latino communities met today to challenge the efforts of elected officials and democratic party activists to shut-out qualified members of ethnic groups, People of Color, Young Democrats and others from the opportunity to fill the State Senate seat that will be vacated by State Senator Rob Garagiola from District 15. 

The group also maintains that although Montgomery County is a majority people of color County, the County has never elected a Person of Color to the Maryland State Senate.  Based on recent demographic data, we maintain that the Montgomery County Senate Delegation is not representative of the residents of the County.  The retirement of Senator Garagiola is an opportunity for the voters and leaders of Montgomery County to remedy this inequity. 

The people of color leadership group called for an open and transparent process over the next three months and were critical of efforts to anoint a successor by elected officials, party activists and others.  They also cautioned that efforts to intimidate central committee members, elected officials, and potential candidates will not be tolerated.  We believe that qualified candidates who live in District 15 should have a fair chance of interviewing for the vacancy.

Redistricting has had a significant impact on people of color in District 15 and in other communities in Montgomery County.  Many qualified candidates of color were redistricted out of their districts by design.  Communities with growing numbers of ethnic democratic voters as well as voters of color had their voting power diluted,  and the results of those decisions have been the disenfranchisement of voters of color. These and other issues were discussed today and we believe that we have no other alternative but to begin the process of interviewing candidates that we will forward to the Central Committee to be vetted for the District 15 Senate vacancy.  We will also to reach out to young voters, labor unions and other grassroots activists throughout Montgomery County.

DEMOGRAPHIC & ELECTORAL BACKSTORY: Montgomery County is now a majority-minority jurisdiction and barring a national shift in politics, District 15 is highly unlikely to be won by a Republican in the near future. That means that (within reason) almost any Democrat with the juice to win the 2014 primary for this seat ought to be able to easily defend the office in a General Election. But the D15 State Senate vacancy will be filled by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, and the MCDCC has a less than encouraging record at filling vacant seats with women and people of color.

Maryland Juice does not think the reasons for this usually have to do with race or gender per se; rather the MCDCC (like many Party entities) favors political insiders and connected individuals, by virtue of existing social networks. Thus, yielding to the inertia of "who you already know" replicates the national glass ceiling effect in MoCo politics. The argument from folks opposed to looking at a range of candidates for the D15 seat is that in order to defeat Robin Ficker (or someone else) in 2014, we will need to anoint a strong insider to keep the D15 Senate seat blue. Hmm. But no matter your view on Del. Feldman or whether the MCDCC should diversify the Senate delegation, that is clearly a spurious argument. You would really have to believe that there are no qualified women or people of color in highly educated MoCo who could win a State Senate seat in a jurisdiction that Barack Obama carried easily in two consecutive elections!

In any case, this is a very interesting development in District 15. I guess we will soon know whether the rebel forces will be heard. Notably, Maryland Juice is hearing about similar dynamics brewing among Democrats in Howard County. More soon!

JUICE #2: DEL. GUZZONE TO RUN FOR SEN. ROBEY'S SEAT & DEL. BATES TO RUN FOR SEN. KITTLEMAN'S SEAT  // 5 OPEN HOCO DELEGATE SEATS! - The Baltimore Sun reported that Delegate Guz Guzzone would be seeking retiring State Senator Jim Robey's seat in 2014 (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Guy Guzzone, a Columbia Democrat, announced Thursday evening that he would run for State Sen. Jim Robey's seat in 2014. County Executive Ken Ulman and Councilmember Mary Kay Sigaty were among his supporters.
Amazingly, Howard County voters will be electing five new Delegates in 2014, as Del Guy Guzzone is just the latest in a string of Maryand House members vacating their seats next year. Several of Guzzone's Democratic HoCo colleagues previously announced retirement from the House, including Democratic Delegates Liz Bobo, Steve DeBoy and Jim Malone.

Meanwhile, in District 9A Republican Delegate Gail Bates is vacating the House to seek the State Senate vacancy caused by D9 Sen. Allan Kittleman's run for Howard County Executive. Bates told The Baltimore Sun she'd be announcing her campaign for State Senate after July 4th (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Del. Gail Bates, a West Friendship Republican, said Kittleman is the right choice for Howard County because of his experience on the council and in the Senate. "He sees both sides, and I think he can be very effective as county executive," she said. Bates said she will announce her candidacy for Kittleman's former Senate seat after July 4....

JUICE #3: DEL. JON CARDIN SLAMS MARYLAND SHERIFFS WHO REFUSE TO ENFORCE THE STATE'S NEW GUN CONTROL LAWS - Maryland Juice just caught an interesting op. ed. from Del. Jon Cardin in today's Baltimore Sun. Notably, Cardin is running for Attorney General in 2014, and his commentary below suggests that gun control will have strong support among voters in the upcoming Democratic Primary. In the column below, Cardin condemns Garrett County Sheriff Robert Corley for proclaiming he would not enforce Maryland's newly passed gun regulations (excerpt below):
JON CARDIN (VIA BALTIMORE SUN): While the vast majority of sheriffs nationwide serve honorably, enforcing the laws and putting their lives on the line for our safety, a small number of sheriffs have begun to claim that, in their opinion, validly enacted state and federal laws are unconstitutional. These sheriffs have ordered their subordinate law enforcement officers to ignore the law of the land and enforce only the provisions the sheriff personally feels are constitutional. By stating he will selectively enforce the Maryland Firearms Safety Act of 2013, [Garrett County Sheriff Robert] Corley ignores the oath he took to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the Maryland Constitution and the laws of the state of Maryland — while putting us all in danger of proliferation of violent crime....


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Official Announcement: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett to Seek 3rd Term in 2014 // FULL STATEMENT BELOW

Late last night Maryland Juice reported on news that Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett would seek a third term in 2014. This morning he emailed an official statement announcing his pursuit of another four years in office:
IKE LEGGETT: Dear Montgomery Friends & Neighbors,

Eight years ago I asked for your trust, confidence, and support for my candidacy for Montgomery County Executive. Thanks to you and thousands of other friends and neighbors throughout the County, it has been my honor and privilege to serve you.

I am exceedingly proud of all we have done together during the most challenging of economic conditions; I also am well aware that much still remains to be accomplished.

During the past eighteen months, many of you have asked me to seek another term as County Executive. I have come to the conclusion that, in fact, I do want to continue to provide my voice and leadership as we move forward together. Therefore, I will be a candidate in the 2014 election for Montgomery County Executive.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

JUICE: MoCo Exec Ike Leggett Wants 3rd Term, Sen. Zirkin Wants GOP HoCo Exec & Is Del. Feldman Next Sen. Garagiola?

Below Maryland Juice provides a few updates to percolating stories of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE IKE LEGGETT TO SEEK THIRD TERM - Several insiders began telling Maryland Juice yesterday that MoCo Exec Ike Leggett was preparing to make an announcement about his future. No surprise here - he's running for re-election to seek a third term as County Executive. Check out the following Tweet from MoCo Councilmember Hans Riemer and a report from WTOP's Kate Ryan:
WTOP: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is expected to announce he's running for re-election, WTOP has learned. The official announcement is expected online Tuesday night....

JUICE #2: DEMOCRATIC SEN. BOBBY ZIRKIN ENDORSES GOP SEN. ALLAN KITTLEMAN FOR HOWARD COUNTY EXECUTIVE // IS SEN. LISA GLADDEN NEXT? - The Owings Mill's Bryan Sears reported today that State Senator Bobby Zirkin (a Democrat) is endorsing Republican State Senator Allan Kittleman for Howard County Executive -- before HoCo Democrats have even had a chance to choose their nominee:
PATCH.COM: Howard County Republican State Sen. Allan Kittleman is getting an unusual endorsement at his campaign event Tuesday afternoon for a run for Howard County executive. Baltimore County Democratic State Sen. Bobby Zirkin said he is supporting Kittleman's run for his new role at an event at Lake Kittamaqundi. "Yeah, I'm supporting him," Zirkin said by phone on his way to the afternoon announcement....

A Twitter user responded that Democratic State Senator Lisa Gladden was apparently also endorsing GOP State Senator Allan Kittleman for Howard County Executive. Maryland Juice has not confirmed the report below:

What's going on here? As I understand it, should Kittleman win the 2014 GOP primary, he's likely to face off against Democratic HoCo Councilmember Courtney Watson for County Executive. I know some folks will say there's nothing wrong with breaking ranks on party, but even they must admit this is a very unusual circumstance. The cynic in me thinks that someone might be a bit paranoid about losing a General Election next year. On the other hand, maybe these State Senators are all best pals or something. Then again, Maryland Juice did name State Senator Allan Kittleman our 2012 Marylander of the Year for breaking ranks with his own party to support marriage equality. I don't feel too bad about it either since he even took the spirit of the award to heart by supporting death penalty repeal the following session. Win or lose, perhaps some of Kittleman's GOP colleagues could steal a page from his playbook.... But I'm still rooting for the Dems, of course. My party is (in my opinion) still the better vehicle for attempting to advance progressive politics & civil liberties (*cough*) and challenge corporate power (*cough cough*)  -- notwithstanding the betrayal of many, many elected Democrats on these issues.

JUICE #3: DEL. BRIAN FELDMAN EARNS ENDORSEMENT OF D15 CAUCUS IN QUEST TO BE APPOINTED TO REPLACE STATE SEN. ROB GARAGIOLA - Maryland Juice previously wrote about the District 15 State Senate vacancy being caused by the resignation of Rob Garagiola. We also noted that Del. Brian Feldman wanted to be chosen by the MoCo Democratic Central Committee to replace Garagiola. I guess that makes sense since they both sponsored and voted for legislation forcing Montgomery County taxpayers to give weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin $4.5 million every decade. Oh, but I kid the good Democrats of Montgomery County; nobody remembers the great lobbyist-driven Lockheed giveaway of 2013, right?....

In any case, today we received the following announcement from the District 15 Democratic Caucus (a political club in D15), noting that they endorsed Del. Feldman to replace Garagiola. The news was sent via a copied message from the D15 caucus leaders addressed to MCDCC Chair Gabe Albornoz:
June 10, 2013

The Honorable Gabriel Albornoz
Chair, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee
3720 Farragut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895

Re: Unanimous Support for Appointment of Delegate Brian J. Feldman to Maryland Senate Seat Being Vacated by Hon. Rob Garagiola

Dear Chairman Albornoz and Members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee:

Please receive this letter from the District 15 Democratic Caucus announcing our unanimous support and unconditional recommendation for Delegate Brian Feldman to be appointed by the Central Committee to succeed Sen. Rob Garagiola in the Maryland Senate. While we are saddened by Sen. Garagiola’s resignation after his many years of outstanding service to District 15, the board of directors of the District 15 Democratic Caucus unanimously voted for and recommends Brian to the Central Committee. We proudly urge the Committee to submit his name at the appropriate time to Governor O’Malley in accordance with the Maryland Constitution.

Delegate Feldman, an attorney, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2002 and was reelected by substantial margins in 2006 and 2010. Prior to his election, Brian served as President of the District 15 Democratic Club. Before 2002, Republicans occupied three of the four legislative seats in District 15. With the assistance of a strong Democratic precinct organization, Brian worked with his District colleagues over the next decade to transform a legislative district that had leaned Republican into what is now a district represented entirely by Democrats. The nature of District 15’s demographics does not allow us to assume a Democratic victory in every election. As a result, Brian’s reputation and his broad voter support will enhance the likelihood that the Senate seat will remain Democratic. Brian has been a member of the MCDCC Democratic Forum for many years and he was an Obama Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Brian has risen to leadership positions in the House of Delegates and received the respect of the House leadership and from his peers. After being re-elected in 2006, he was selected by the Speaker of the House to serve as Chair of the House Subcommittee on Banking, Economic Development, Science and Technology. In 2007, he was elected unanimously by his colleagues in the 24-member Montgomery County House Delegation to serve as its Chair and served in that capacity for 5 consecutive years. After the 2010 election, the Speaker appointed Brian to the leadership position of House Parliamentarian where he is responsible for making parliamentary rulings on the House Floor, often during contentious debates involving the General Assembly’s most controversial proposals, including involving special legislative sessions called by the Governor. In each position he held, Brian distinguished himself and received the admiration of his colleagues for his performance.

In the House of Delegates, Brian has been a remarkably effective legislator having sponsored and gained passage of numerous key bills that have enhanced the quality of life in Montgomery County and benefited Maryland’s economy in many ways. Brian is well known for being a pioneering legislator for the state’s emerging biotechnology sector, an industry which has become a leading economic engine in Montgomery County and which is critical to the county’s future. In 2005, the Biotechnology Industry Organization named Brian as its “State Legislator of the Year” for the entire nation. Brian has also sponsored legislation and navigated it through the General Assembly process including the landmark law which required for the first time that reliability standards be established for Maryland electric companies, including PEPCO; providing service disabled veteran owned small businesses enhanced opportunities; and supporting economic development programs which create new jobs.

Brian is part of House Speaker Mike Busch’s senior leadership team. Working collaboratively with other Democratic leaders of the General Assembly and with Governor O’Malley, he most recently helped pass an agenda that received national attention. It included the Marriage Equality Act, Death Penalty Repeal, Gun Control, and Off-Shore Wind projects. We believe Brian’s success as a senior House of Delegate’s leader, his proven ability to collaborate with colleagues from across the state, his knowledge of the nuances of the legislative process, and his dedicated work ethic would make him an outstanding Senator.

Brian’s background and extensive experience, both in the General Assembly and as an experienced attorney, are valuable assets for our County and District 15 in the State Senate. His proven electoral success in District 15 is also critically important as we seek to successfully defend the Senate seat in this legislative district that was the most recent District in the county to elect a Republican. Finally, we understand that the other three current District 15 state legislators - Delegates Kathleen Dumais and Aruna Miller and Senator Garagiola - support Brian’s appointment to the Senate. Their voices should be seriously considered as they are committed to continuing to achieve success for District 15 and Montgomery County in the General Assembly.

For all of these reasons, the District 15 Democratic Caucus unanimously recommends and respectfully requests that the Central Committee support Delegate Brian J. Feldman for the soon to be vacated Senate seat. If you have any questions, please contact Chairman Jeff Williams at or at (301) XXX-XXXX.

Very truly yours,

Jeffrey Ross Williams Tim Whitehouse
Chairman Vice Chairman 

Monday, June 10, 2013

VIDEOS: MD Attorney General Candidates on Campaign Trail // WATCH: Aisha Braveboy, Jon Cardin, Bill Frick & Brian Frosh

Maryland Juice decided to provide readers with a quick check-in on the state of the 2014 battle for Attorney General. As far as we know, there are still four candidates in the race: State Senator Brian Frosh and Delegates Aisha Braveboy, Jon Cardin & Bill Frick. Below we provide video footage of all four candidates speaking at various political events over the last month or so. One dynamic to keep an eye on is whether the statewide candidates for Governor, Attorney General and Comptroller begin teaming up and forming tickets. In any case, check out the campaign speeches below:

JUICE #1: SEN. BRIAN FROSH SPEAKS AT FUNDRAISER FOR SEN. JAMIE RASKIN  //  TEA LEAVES ABOUT SENATE JUDICIARY CHAIR? - Maryland Juice videotaped remarks by State Senator Brian Frosh at a recent fundraiser for his colleague Jamie Raskin. Notably, the event also featured former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Governor Martin O'Malley. In the clip below, Frosh touches on some of his legislative accomplishments from the past session, and also notes that he has high hopes that Raskin may replace him as Chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee:

JUICE #2: DEL. AISHA BRAVEBOY DISCUSSES MINIMUM WAGE AT PROGRESSIVE NEIGHBORS TOWN HALL - Last month Maryland Juice also caught remarks from Del. Aisha Braveboy on a proposed hike to the minimum wage. Braveboy's comments were made at a Town Hall meeting hosted by the Montgomery County-based group Progressive Neighbors:

JUICE #3: DEL. BILL FRICK TELLS MARYLAND YOUNG DEMOCRATS TO EMBRACE UNDERDOG CANDIDATES - Last February Del. Bill Frick spoke to Maryland Young Democrats and asked them to embrace underdog candidates. He notes that Barack Obama was considered an underdog before winning the presidency, but Frick also zings rival candidate Del. Jon Cardin noting that he lacks Cardin's famous uncle:

JUICE #4: DEL. JON CARDIN HIGHLIGHTS CYBERBULLYING & CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM AT REISTERSTOWN EVENT - Delegate Jon Cardin recently spoke at a Reisterstown Town Hall meeting and previewed some of his legislative efforts in advance of his Attorney General campaign. In the video below Cardin highlights anti-cyberbullying efforts and campaign finance reform:


Friday, June 7, 2013

LEAKED EMAIL TO MCDCC: Del. Anne Kaiser Endorses Del. Brian Feldman for Sen. Rob Garagiola's Vacant District 15 Seat

UPDATE: District 15 Delegate Aruna Miller told Gaithersburg that she wouldn't seek Rob Garagiola's State Senate seat (excerpt below): 
PATCH: [Del. Aruna] Miller said she’s not interested. “I've gotta tell you, I love being in the House of Delegates and have no plans to change that,” she said.

Maryland Juice just received a copy of the following email from Del. Anne Kaiser to the members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) who she represents in District 14. In the message below, Kaiser suggests the MCDCC members select Delegate Brian Feldman to fill the vacancy created by Rob Garagiola's recent decision to resign from his District 15 State Senate seat. Notably, Garagiola's replacement will be selected by MCDCC members, subject to approval by Governor Martin O'Malley.

Many have expected Feldman to seek the D15 Senate seat, though Maryland Juice has heard a few murmurs from folks interested in bringing a woman, racial or ethnic minority into Montgomery County's all-white State Senate delegation. Nevertheless, there appears to be early buzz from some corners in support of Feldman. In any case, check out Del. Anne Kaiser's email below:
From: Anne Kaiser <XXXXXX>
To: Arthur Edmunds <XXXXXX>; Vivian Malloy <XXXXXX>; Pam Queen <XXXXXX>
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2013 3:55 PM
Subject: Senate vacancy

Arthur, Vivian and Pam-

Good afternoon.  While it is indeed early in this process, I wanted to share with you my views on the upcoming State Senate vacancy in District 15.  I understand that the entire D15 delegation met yesterday, and they have agreed together that Brian Feldman will run for the Senate vacancy.

Brian has distinguished himself in 11 years in the House of Delegates.  Whether as our House parliamentarian this past term or as chair of the county delegation for 5 years or as chair of an influential subcommittee on the Economic Matters Committee, Brian is known for being smart, quick on his feet, fair and liked by his colleagues.  Vitally, he is a thoughtful progressive who gets things done.  He will be able to make an immediate impact as the most junior member of the State Senate.

On the political side, you all know that districts 14 and 15 have the lowest democratic registrations.  That means that candidates must be stronger and must be able to demonstrate their ability to win general elections.  Brian is one of the best fundraisers in the Montgomery County delegation and he is an avid campaigner.  We can't risk losing this democratic seat in the State Senate in 2014.  Brian won't let that happen.

I also happen to think that Brian is a good guy, has a sense of humor and is in politics for the right reasons.  If you have any questions, feel free to call.  I won't call you -- I know that you all get barraged from calls during these heated races.

Thanks for listening....



NEW WEB VIDEO: Lt. Governor Anthony Brown Chooses Howard County Exec Ken Ulman for 2014 Gubernatorial Ticket

Maryland Juice just received an email blast from Lt. Governor Anthony Brown's gubernatorial campaign highlighting a new web video announcing the selection of his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (watch below):

Thursday, June 6, 2013

PRESS RELEASE: Rob Garagiola Explains Reasons for Retiring from Senate // PLUS: Robin Ficker & Son Running in D15

This morning Maryland Juice received the following press release from State Senator Rob Garagiola's office discussing his looming resignation from public office:


Statement from Senate Majority Leader Garagiola on his
Resignation from the Maryland Senate

"I have expressed to Governor O'Malley and Senate President Miller that after careful consideration I am resigning from the state Senate on September I, 2013," said Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola (D-Montgomery).

"It has been an honor and privilege to serve in the state Senate, and represent District 15 and Montgomery County," stated Garagiola. "What I have enjoyed most about my many years of public service is the difference I was able to make through the people I was able to help, the policies I affected that helped make Maryland the best place to live, and the friends I have made."

"For nearly 20 years, most of my life has been dedicated to public service of varying forms, and I'm ready to start the next chapter" said Garagiola.

"I want to spend more quality time with my children," Garagiola said. Senator Garagiola has three children, a boy and two girls, ages 15, 13, and 12. "It is time for me to be a father first for them and I realize as I watch them grow and become young adults that I won't be able to get this time back. I look forward to being extremely involved in their lives, which I have not been able to do while in public service."

This year, Senator Garagiola helped spearhead passage of a major transportation revenue bill which was lauded as crucial toward alleviating congestion; he previously served on a Blue Ribbon Commission to address transportation revenue shortfalls. He also helped lead the effort to pass off-shore wind legislation; finish enactment in Maryland of the Affordable Care Act as Chairman of the Health Subcommittee on the Senate Finance Committee; and enact legislation establishing a new scholarship program for career and volunteer firefighters.

In past years, Senator Garagiola authored numerous bills concerning the promotion of solar energy - many in the industry credit Garagiola with putting Maryland on the map as a leading solar energy state. He also founded and served as Co-Chair of the Legislative Veterans Caucus where he authored Maryland's version of the GI bill for Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans, which covers 50% of the their higher education costs.

Senator Garagiola was elected to the Maryland Senate in 2002. He became the Chair ofthe Senate Democratic Caucus in 2007 where he helped develop Senate legislative priorities for four years and re-elect all incumbent Senate Democrats in 2010 along a with a pick-up of two Democratic Senate seats. In 2011, Garagiola was tapped to be the Senate Majority Leader. Prior to being elected to the Senate, Garagiola served as a senior Congressional staffer to U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) from 1994-98. He also served as an airborne soldier in the u.s. Army Reserve from 1995-2003.

He looks to remain active in Democratic politics.


Meanwhile, anti-tax activist Robin Ficker is planning on running for Garagiola's Senate seat, and his son Flynn is apparently running for District 15 House of Delegates! The following mailer was sent to District 15 voters this week:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WHOA: Sen. Rob Garagiola to Resign from Office // PLUS: The Coming Battle for Majority Leader & An Open D15 Delegate Seat

Maryland Juice's Internet terminal started buzzing this evening with news that State Senator Rob Garagiola is resigning from his District 15 Seat and job as Majority Leader! The Washington Post's John Wagner has the scoop (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Senate Majority Leader Robert A. Garagiola (D-Montgomery), once among the state’s brightest young political stars, said Wednesday he plans to resign his seat this fall and has no plans to seek elected office....

Garagiola said he planned to leave the Senate when his term expires in January 2015 and more recently began thinking about stepping down sooner. His resignation will take effect Sept. 1.

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee will be tasked with recommending a replacement for Garagiola to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). Several lawmakers and legislative aides suggested Del. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery) would be the leading contender....

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? //  A SENATE BATTLE AND OPEN DELEGATE SEAT IN 2014 - The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) will nominate a replacement for the District 15 State Senate seat, subject to approval by Gov. O'Malley. Note that there is still one legislation session remaining in Garagiola's term, so his successor will need to be able to hit the ground running. The question then raised is whether the MCDCC will appoint a caretaker who promises not to run in 2014, or whether they appoint a sitting elected who then has a leg up on competition in 2014.

Another interesting dynamic here is that people of color, women and immigrant-based communities have been clamoring for greater representation in Democratic politics, and so that may be a factor in the appointment process. At some points in the past, the MCDCC has faced scrutiny for not recommending the appointment of women and racial/ethnic minorities for past high-profile vacancies. Either way, it is near certain that one of the sitting Delegates will either be appointed to the D15 Senate seat or will seek the office in 2014. That means we will not only have a Senate battle on our hands, but we can likely look forward to an open Delegate seat in District 15.

A NEW SENATE MAJORITY LEADER IS COMING SOON - The resignation of State Senator Garagiola also means that his post as Majority Leader will now be vacant. This too could lead to a showdown, as a large amount of pent up ambition in the Senate now has a rung on the ladder to fight for. Maryland Juice will be keeping his eyes on the coming showdown!

MEANWHILE IN BALTIMORE COUNTY //  SEN. BOBBY ZIRKIN RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION - This is old news by now, but since the make-up of the Senate Democratic Caucus will be changing, I thought it was worth printing that State Senator Bobby Zirkin is running for re-election. We previously printed rumors that he was thinking of retiring at the end of his term, but Catonsville reported that he decided to stay put (excerpt below):
PATCH: Democratic State Sen. Bobby Zirkin is running for re-election in 2014 after all. Zirkin, in a text message to a reporter late Friday, write that he "officially filed for Senate today." The decision to run for a third term in the Maryland Senate comes a month after an interview in which he said he was considering leaving public office....


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

INTERESTING: Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton Silent on Possible Alliance w/ Doug Gansler for Governor // Ulman-Brown Videos

Last night Maryland Juice published rumors that Attorney General Doug Gansler might be looking to team up with Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton for his 2014 gubernatorial campaign. A couple sources scoffed at the idea, noting that Ireton introduced the newly minted ticket of Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman at their Cambridge, Maryland kickoff this weekend. See the photo below from Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's Facebook page (Ireton is at far left):

But the Delmarva Now website today published a follow-up story with commentary from Mayor Ireton indicating he may in fact be weighing joining Attorney General Doug Gansler's ticket (excerpt below):
DELMARVA NOW: The same day Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton gave a rousing introduction for Maryland gubernatorial running mates Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, speculation came up as a possible running mate for a potential competitor in the state Democratic primary.

On Monday, a blog floated the idea Ireton would join Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler on the gubernatorial campaign trail with Gansler running for governor and Ireton for lieutenant governor. Ireton, who spoke at campaign rally for Brown and Ulman on Monday, said his phone has been ringing ever since with curious callers....

“The end game is a win in the fall of 2014 for progressive values and I’m willing to get out there and do that in any way I can,” Ireton said. “I think everybody knows that I am a strong member of the team and a strong member of the ticket and I’m going to go wherever the nominees need me to go....”

Meanwhile, NBC 4 carried video footage and interviews from this weekend's series of campaign events announcing the new Brown-Ulman ticket. The news footage includes commentary from Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin:

View more videos at:


Monday, June 3, 2013

RUMOR: A Doug Gansler Ticket w/ Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton or Del. Mary Washington? // PLUS: Cummings Picks Brown


UPDATE: A Maryland Juice reader points out on Facebook that Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton was at one of the Brown-Ulman campaign events today. We heard this might be happening, so it raises the question whether the possible LG picks listed below are a wish-list or a vetting list??

Maryland Juice sources recently began buzzing about possible 2014 running mates for Attorney General Doug Gansler's gubernatorial campaign. A few names were being mentioned around the political watercooler including Delegates Jolene Ivey, Kieffer Mitchell, & Joseline Pena-Melnyk, along with Wes Moore of Baltimore. But while Maryland politicos started tuning into Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's selection of HoCo Exec Ken Ulman, I began hearing more murmurs about Gansler's 2014 selection process. Details on that and much more below!

JUICE #1: RUMORS SUGGEST DOUG GANSLER LOOKING AT SALISBURY MAYOR JIM IRETON & DEL. MARY WASHINGTON FOR LG - Recent rumors suggest that Attorney General Doug Gansler may be looking for a running mate from the LGBT community. As soon as I posted a JuiceBlender speculating on possible Lt. Governor picks for Doug Gansler's campaign, I received some interesting anonymous commentary in Maryland Juice's anonymous drop box:
ANONYMOUS READER: I am an anonymous source who has a position on the Gansler campaign. He is definitely running for governor, so any speculation otherwise is false. He is starting to consider running mates and one of the ones he talks about most is Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton. I can confirm that Ireton is a top contender. Ireton, the Eastern Shores first openly LGBT mayor was recently reelected with almost 70% of the vote....

At first I parked this information to one side of my brain, as I had no way of verifying whether this anonymous comment actually came from a true Gansler source (note: my anonymous drop box does not require sources to leave contact details).  But a couple days after this message was left, a knowledgeable source told Maryland Juice that she thought it seemed like Doug Gansler was looking at Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton, and she also added Delegate Mary Washington's name to the mix.  Notably, both Ireton and Washington are openly gay/lesbian elected Democrats. Here is a little bit of information on the two officials:

JIM IRETON: Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton's website bio is pretty sparse but provides the following information:
Jim Ireton has been Salisbury’s mayor since 2009. A native of Salisbury, he’s been a teacher in Wicomico County for nearly two decades. He’s served as a City Council member and on various volunteer and non-profit boards and committees. Under his leadership, Salisbury has not raised its property taxes, lowered its capacity fees and lowered its violent crime rate.
WAMU reported on Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton's April re-election victory over a rightwing blogger (excerpt below):
WAMU: Voters in Salisbury have re-elected the city's first openly gay mayor to another term by a convincing 2 to 1 margin. The results of yesterday's election may spark other major changes in the Eastern Shore's largest city....

Ireton was jubilant in victory but seemed focused on the future in his speech to hundreds of supporters. "Salisbury spoke loud and clear today that they want progress over pontification and backbone over blogging," Ireton says....  Ireton's opponent, conservative blogger Joe Albero, was humble in defeat, and says he is considering shutting down his blog and moving his family to the Carolinas.

MARY WASHINGTON: Delegate Mary Washington represents Baltimore's House District 43. Her website bio states:
Mary Washington resides in the Ednor Gardens-Lakeside neighborhood of Baltimore City. Mary first fell in love with Baltimore when she moved here in 1989 as a graduate student in sociology at The Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1997. A native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls (Girls’ High), Mary is the eldest of six children and the daughter of two health care professionals.

Mary took her 25 years of public service to the Maryland House of Delegates, and uses her skills in linking communities to resources, her deep commitments to the health, education, and economic welfare of our city residents, and her highly informed approach to community organizing and progressive politics to make the 43rd District and Baltimore City a healthier, stronger, and more vibrant home for us all.

Currently, Mary is on the Board of Directors of The Parks & People Foundation, where she has been involved since 2008. She is also a member of the Baltimore Green Jobs Coalition (2008-Present), Commissioner of the Baltimore Sustainability Commission (2008-Present), and Chair of the Baltimore Sustainability Commission’s Water Working Group (2008-Present). Mary is also a member of the Ednor Gardens-Lakeside Community Association, the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)-Baltimore City.
One thought on Maryland Juice's mind is whether Attorney General Doug Gansler may be trying to defuse the historical elements of both the Anthony Brown & Heather Mizeur campaigns through his LG pick. Hmm.

JUICE #2: CONGRESSMAN ELIJAH CUMMINGS ENDORSES BROWN-ULMAN TICKET - Maryland Juice recently reported on rumors that Baltimore-area Congressman Elijah Cummings would likely be endorsing Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. It turns out our sources were correct! This morning Rep. Cummings blessed the newly minted 2014 team of Anthony Brown & Ken Ulman, and The Baltimore Sun published commentary from Cummings late last night (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: The veteran Baltimore congressman, who also represents parts of Baltimore and Howard counties, is widely regarded as the most influential African-American office holder in Maryland. His endorsement continues the momentum Brown has built up since he became the first Democratic contender to announce his candidacy on May 10....

Cummings was the co-chairman of the 2008 Maryland campaign for Barack Obama along with Brown's chief rival for the 2014 nomination, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.... In a statement released to The Sun, Cummings said Brown will be an "exceptional governor" and Ulman will be an "incredibly strong partner."

"Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman offer Maryland the competent and caring leadership team that we need to build upon the successes of the last 6 years. I am deeply gratified that Anthony and Ken have agreed to join forces, and I offer my strongest support and endorsement to this exceptional team," Cummings said....'s Bryan Sears posted Tweeted following photo from this morning's rally with Brown, Ulman & Cummings:

JUICE #3: FORMER LT. GOV. MICHAEL STEELE SAYS HE MAY RUN FOR GOVERNOR, ON SAME DAY HARFORD EXEC DAVID CRAIG ANNOUNCES FOR GOP NOMINATION - The Washington Post today published word from former RNC Chair and Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele indicating he might seek the GOP nomination for Governor in 2014. But Steele made the announcement on the same day that Harford County  Executive David Craig scheduled his own campaign kickoff - ouch! (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman and former lieutenant governor of Maryland, is weighing a 2014 gubernatorial bid, he said Monday.

“We’re looking at it,” Steele, who is now an MSNBC contributor, told host Chuck Todd on his program “The Daily Rundown” on the network. Steele said he doesn’t feel that he needs to make a decision until the end of the year.... His comments came on the same day that Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R) became the first major Republican candidate to announce his bid to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D)....