Tuesday, September 3, 2013

JuiceBlender: Del. Minnick to Retire, Impact of Prince George's Runningmate for Gansler, Activists Press Van Hollen on Syria

Below Maryland Juice provides a quick round-up of recent tidbits of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: DEMOCRATIC DELEGATE SONNY MINNICK TO RETIRE // TWO OPEN SEATS IN DISTRICT 6 - The Dundalk Eagle reported last week that Delegate Joseph "Sonny" Minnick will be retiring in 2014. Minnick is a Baltimore County Democrat who has represented District 6 in the State House for over two decades. He's now planning on spending time with his grandchildren and family (excerpt below):
DUNDALK EAGLE: There has been a Minnick representing the Dundalk area in Annapolis for all but nine years since 1966. That era will come to an end in 2014 after Del. Joseph "Sonny" Minnick announced his intention to not seek re-election on Monday.

"After 23 years, I think it’s time for me to step down, let someone else do the job," Minnick said. "Maybe someone younger, with different ideas.... Six grandchildren I don’t see enough of," he said. "Hopefully, I’ll get to see them more often now. I also have golf to keep me busy...."

With Del. John Olszewski Jr. having announced he will be running for the state Senate, Del. Michael Weir Jr. is the only incumbent seeking re-election in the 6th District in 2014. Only one challenger, Eric Washington, has announced his intent to run in the Democratic House primary. Six Republicans have declared their candidacies.... "Who will take my place? I have no idea," [Minnick] said.
Maryland's House of Delegates District 6 is currently represented by one Democratic Senator and three Democratic Delegates. But with Sen. Norm Stone's retirement from the body, Dundalk's Patch.com reported last July that D6 Delegate John Olszewski Jr. is leaving his House seat to run for Senate (excerpt below):
PATCH.COM: State Sen. Norman Stone said Monday that he will not seek re-election after more than 50 years in the Maryland General Assembly.... "I've decided that 52 years is enough," said Stone in an interview. "I think it's time." Stone will attend a campaign fundraiser event for Del. John Olszewski Jr. Tuesday where the two-term delegate is expected to announce his intent to run for Stone's seat....
With this continued reshuffling of the deck in the Maryland legislature, there will now be two open Delegate seats in District 6. It appears that Democrats are needed to run for these seats!

JUICE #2: A PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY RUNNING-MATE FOR DOUG GANSLER?  //  PLUS: WHAT WILL HEATHER MIZEUR DO? - It is now September, and Attorney General Doug Gansler has been promising to formally announce his obvious campaign for Governor this month. Word on the street has been that Gansler intends to pick an African American running-mate from the Baltimore area. But yesterday Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz published a piece speculating on a possible Prince George's running-mate for Gansler, and the impact that may have on down-ballot races. Kurtz's piece indicates that former Democratic Congressman Al Wynn is supporting Gansler (excerpt below):
JOSH KURTZ VIA CENTER MARYLAND: If Doug Gansler picks a running mate from Prince George’s County, expect serious downballot ramifications.... It could determine who County Executive Rushern Baker endorses for governor, and it could also determine if a ticket of Democratic dissidents is cobbled together throughout the county – a place where incumbents tend to slate together and state senators have an inordinate amount of power.

For now it’s widely assumed that the two leading contenders from Prince George’s to be Gansler’s No. 2 are Dels. Jolene Ivey and Melony Griffith. Ivey is openly campaigning for the job. Griffith, who has seen lawmakers from her district – like Brown and Dereck Davis – move on to bigger and better things, is getting antsy. She may get help with Gansler from former Congressman Al Wynn, a Griffith ally who supports the attorney general’s gubernatorial bid.

If Ivey gets the nod, the implications may be broader – because if Griffith is passed over she will surely take a look at challenging state Sen. Ulysses Currie (D) in the 25th district, which is right in the heart of the county. Currie is vastly better funded and will have the strong support of Senate President Mike Miller. But Currie will be 77 next year, and could be vulnerable given his federal corruption trial a few years ago – acquittal notwithstanding....
Hopefully we will soon know who Doug Gansler's running-mate will be. But in the meantime, an equally interesting question is who Del. Heather Mizeur may run with in the gubernatorial primary.

JUICE #3:  PEACE ACTIVISTS PUSH REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN AND MD'S DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMEN TO OPPOSE SYRIA ACTION - As you may have noticed, the White House and Congress are currently debating whether the United States should take military action in Syria. Maryland Juice received a press release yesterday from anti-war activists indicating that they are ramping up efforts to encourage Rep. Chris Van Hollen and other members of Maryland's Congressional delegation not to intervene:
Syria Letter from Maryland Voters to be Delivered to Rep. Chris Van Hollen at Rally

Letter Urges No U.S. Attack, Increased Diplomacy for a Political Solution
WHAT: Community advocates will hold a street demonstration and then deliver a letter to Rep. Chris Van Hollen urging him to vote against any authorization for the use of military force in Syria.

WHEN:  Wed., Sept. 4, 12 noon.

WHERE: 51 Monroe St., Suite 507, Rockville, MD 20850. 

BACKGROUND: Marylanders from across the state are mobilizing to encourage their Congressional representatives to oppose U.S. military intervention into the civil war in Syria. Rallies similar to the one in Rockville will be held in other Congressional offices in the state this week: 
  • Wed., Sept. 4, noon: Ellicott City office of Rep. Elijah Cummings, 8267 Main St., Ellicott City, MD. 
  • Fri., Sept. 6, noon: Annapolis office of Rep. John Sarbanes, Arundel Center, Suite 349, 44 Calvert St., Annapolis MD 21401. 
  • Fri., Sept. 6, noon: Gaithersburg office of Rep. John Delaney, 9801 Washingtonian Blvd., Ste 330, Gaithersburg, MD 20878.
“We agree with the statement made today by the Carter Center and former President Jimmy Carter,” said Jean Athey, coordinator of Peace Action Montgomery. The statement reads:

“The use of chemical weapons on August 21 near Damascus is a grave breach of international law that has rightfully outraged the world community.... A punitive military response without a U.N. Security Council mandate or broad support from NATO and the Arab League would be illegal under international law and unlikely to alter the course of the war. It will only harden existing positions and postpone a sorely needed political process to put an end to the catastrophic violence. Instead, all should seek to leverage the consensus among the entire international community, including Russia and Iran, condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and bringing under U.N. oversight the country's stockpile of such weapons.”

President Carter continued, "Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must bear personal responsibility. The chemical attack should be a catalyst for redoubling efforts to convene a peace conference, to end hostilities, and urgently to find a political solution."  http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/syria-083013.html

Speakers at the rally will include Mike Hersh, Progressive Democrats of America; Gene Bruskin, US Labor Against the War; and Susan Kerin, Pax Christi.

Rally Sponsor:  Peace Action Montgomery (http://peaceactionmc.org/) is a grassroots organization with over 2,600 members dedicated to promoting a new US foreign policy that is based on peaceful support for human rights and democracy, eliminating the threat of weapons of mass destruction, and cooperation with the world community.


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