Tuesday, October 29, 2013

JUICE: AFL-CIO Endorses Frosh for Attorney General, B'more AG Debate, Delaney Funds Minimum Wage Hike & Day of Dead

Below Maryland Juice provides a round-up of news items that may be of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: AFL-CIO ENDORSES SEN. BRIAN FROSH FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL // DEL. BILL FRICK BLAMES SENATE PRESIDENT MIKE MIILLER - The Baltimore Sun's Michael Dresser reports that the AFL-CIO is endorsing State Senator Brian Frosh for Maryland Attorney General. Dresser's article also includes commentary from the rival campaign of Delegate Bill Frick accusing Senate President Mike Miller of orchestrating the labor union endorsement (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: The Maryland and District of Columbia AFL-CIO has thrown its support behind Sen. Brian E. Frosh for the Democratic nomination attorney general, giving the Montgomery County lawmaker a potentially important boost in his primary contest....

"This is really Mike Miller's endorsement," [a spokesman for Delegate Bill Frick Andrew] Feldman said of the Calvert County Democrat, who has served as head of the Senate for 26 years.... "Some unions chose not to risk what would have happened to them politically if they made the right choice," Feldman said.

Frick's spokesman said the AFL-CIO made the endorsement over the objections of its Building Trades member unions -- a statement confirmed by Chuck Graham, business agent of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26 in the Washington area....

A spokesman for Miller could not be reached to comment, but [AFL-CIO President Fred] Mason said the Senate president did not exert pressure on labor to back Frosh....

JUICE #2: ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATES DEBATE IN BALTIMORE THU 11/7 - The University of Maryland's School of Law is hosting a candidates forum for the four Democratic candidates for Attorney General: Del. Aisha Braveboy, Del. Jon Cardin, Del. Bill Frick & Sen. Brian Frosh. The event will be next Thursday, November 7th at 5:00 pm - 500 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201 (details and RSVP link below):
November 7, 2013 | 5:00 p.m.

Join us for the first open forum among all four confirmed 
Democratic candidates for Maryland Attorney General.

Free and open to the public.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. - Forum starts promptly at 5:00 p.m.
Reception (6:15 p.m. - 7 p.m.) with available candidates immediately following.

This student-initiated forum will feature a 45 minute moderated discussion, featuring pre-approved questions submitted by the public, followed by a 15 minute question and answer session, with students from UM Carey Law addressing the candidates.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Find complete information and register online at:


Aisha Braveboy
Maryland State Delegate | District 25, Prince George's County

Jon Cardin
Maryland State Delegate | District 11, Baltimore County

Bill Frick
Maryland State Delegate | District 16, Montgomery County

Brian Frosh
Maryland State Senator | District 16, Montgomery County

Submit a Question:
Do you have a question for the candidates? Tweet us!
Send us your question on twitter using #CareyLawAGF -- it is as easy as that! Don't have a twitter account? Or need more than 140 characters? You can also send an e-mail to MarylandLaw.AG.Forum@gmail.com or post to UM Carey Law's Facebook account.

Organized and Sponsored By:
-  University Student Government Association
-  The Class of 2015
- The University of Maryland Association of Legislative Law
- The Republican Legal Society
- The University of Maryland Law Democrats

JUICE #3: REP. JOHN DELANEY TO BANKROLL ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN FOR MARYLAND MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE - Maryland Juice received the following press release from Raise Maryland (the coalition advocating for a state minimum wage increase), indicating that Congressman John Delaney will be funding an online outreach campaign for the organization:


Backing from U.S. Rep. John Delaney for Raise Maryland campaign 
will build constituent communications capacity

COLLEGE PARK -- Support to increase Maryland’s minimum wage continues to grow as Raise Maryland, the coalition working to raise the state’s rate, has received funding from U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD6) and his wife April to build on the coalition’s digital constituent communications capacity.

Rep. Delaney’s support will be used to engage low-wage workers and their supporters via email, social media and texting, along with an enhanced campaign website, to ensure that their voices are heard by their elected representatives and the general public. Raise Maryland will also create a rapid response system to mobilize Marylanders to show their support for raising the wage before and during the 2014 Maryland General Assembly. The effort is projected to actively involve more than 60,000 state residents in actions ranging from writing letters, lobbying in districts and Annapolis and speaking out about raising the minimum wage in the media.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that Congress will not act on many issues of critical importance to working Americans, including raising the minimum wage,” said U.S. Rep. John Delaney. “My constituents need and deserve higher pay for their work and Maryland can use the economic boost that comes with raising the wage. Importantly, based on my two decades of experience as a job creator in the private sector, I believe that raising the minimum wage is also good for Maryland businesses, which will benefit from increased demand and greater productivity. Action has to come at the state level and that is why I am supporting the Raise Maryland campaign and their work to bring our state to a higher standard for our workers.”

The proposed legislation would raise Maryland’s minimum wage in three steps to $10.10 per hour by 2016 and index it to the cost of living thereafter so that it doesn’t lose value over time. The legislation also incorporates an increase for tipped workers (from 50 percent to 70 percent of the prevailing minimum wage).

“Raise Maryland is grateful and energized by this support and leadership from Rep. Delaney and his wife April,” said Ricarra Jones, chair of the Raise Maryland coalition. “We know that Marylanders are overwhelmingly in favor of raising the minimum wage. This funding gives everyone a voice and a platform to communicate and express their needs and goals to our elected officials.”

Momentum is building for Maryland to increase the state’s minimum wage. The Baltimore City Council, Montgomery County Council and the Charles County Board of Commissioners have all passed resolutions calling for a minimum wage of at least $10 an hour and indexing and each of the Democratic 2014 gubernatorial candidates have announced their support for a raise.

Research has found that approximately 472,000 Marylanders would benefit from the increase, putting $466 million more in their pockets in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from nearly half a billion dollars in new consumer spending and would create more than 4,000 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand.

Raise Maryland is a diverse coalition of business, civil rights, community, faith, immigrant and labor, organizations united to pass a statewide minimum wage increase indexed to inflation.


JUICE #4: ACTIVISTS ORGANIZE "DAY OF THE DEAD" PROTEST TO URGE MD U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS TO END TORTURE TRAINING FOR LATIN AMERICAN SOLDIERS - Activists from the organization School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) are gearing up once again to try and shut down the U.S. government's torture and military training facility for Latin American soldiers (aka the School of the Americas). This Friday, several Maryland members of Congress will be visited by advocates urging them to support a bill (HR 2989) to suspend operations at the School of the Americas, and so far Rep. Donna Edwards is the only Maryland U.S. House member signed on as a sponsor. As a result, SOAW will be presenting Edwards with the following letter thanking her for her sponsorship of HR 2989:
Dear Representative Donna Edwards,

We the undersigned 4th District voters want to sincerely thank you for becoming an original co-sponsor of the Latin America Military Training Review Act for the 113th Congress. It means a lot to me, your other constituents, and people throughout this hemisphere to be able to count on leaders like yourself who are truly committed to democratic values, transparency, human rights, and respect towards our Latin American neighbors.

As the ongoing human rights violations by SOA/WHINSEC graduates in Honduras and the recent suicide of Chilean Gen. Odlanier Mena (trained at the SOA in 1970 and convicted for ordering the deaths of three civilians in 1973) demonstrate, we need to stop spending our tax dollars on the School of the Americas SOA/WHINSEC, an institution that does great harm to the people of Latin America - as well as the reputation of the United States.

Thank you for your conscientiousness and leadership in our movement for peace and human rights.
Wikipedia notes the origins and shifting mission of this "educational institution," while highlighting recent efforts to close the school that have come close to succeeding in Congress (excerpt below):
WIKIPEDIA: The US Army School of the Americas was founded in 1946. From 1961 (during the Kennedy administration), the School was assigned the specific Cold War goal of teaching "anti-communist" counterinsurgency training to military personnel of Latin American countries. At the time and in those places, "communists" was, in the words of anthropologist Lesley Gill, "... an enormously elastic category that could accommodate almost any critic of the status quo...."

As the Cold War drew to a close around 1990, United States foreign policy shifted focus from "anti-communism" to the War on Drugs, with narcoguerillas replacing "communists". This term was later replaced by "the more ominous sounding 'terrorist'".

In 2005 a bill to abolish the institute, with 134 cosponsors, was introduced to the House Armed Services Committee. In June 2007, the McGovern/Lewis Amendment to shut off funding for the Institute failed by six votes. This effort to close the Institute was endorsed by the nonpartisan Council on Hemispheric Affairs, which described the Institute as a "black eye" for America....
SOAW is organizing visits to the Congressional offices of Elijah Cummings, John Delaney, and John Sarbanes to drum up support for HR 2989, and they'll be organizing a protest this Friday, November 1st (aka the Day of the Dead). SOAW explains some of their reasons for trying to shut down the School of the Americas (excerpt below):
SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS WATCH: School of the Americas has been historically dubbed the “School of Assassins”.... Since 1946, the SOA has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins....
Below you can see the flyer for the protest march that will occur after the activists have visited with members of Congress from Maryland and Virginia:

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