Tuesday, November 26, 2013

LAST CALL: MoCo Council Votes on Minimum Wage Today // Leggett Seeks Changes As Numerous Advocacy Groups Arm Up

LAST CALL TO CONTACT MOCO COUNCILMEMBERS: The Montgomery County Council is due to vote today on whether to increase the minimum wage in the county and establish a regional standard with Prince George's and the District of Columbia. Specifically, Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Nancy Navarro and Valerie Ervin are proposing: 1) an $11.50 an hour minimum wage in Montgomery County, 2) that would be phased in by 2016, and 3) would be "indexed" to rise with increases in the cost of living. Last Friday we published a whip count indicating where the County Councilmembers and County Executive candidates stand on this, and we noted that the effort needs one additional vote to pass without weakening amendments.
EMAIL NOW TO SUPPORT AN $11.50/HOUR MINIMUM WAGE: You can email all nine Montgomery County Councilmembers and the office of the County Executive by sending a message to montgomerycounty@lockheedwelfare.com
Prince George's County Councilmembers are poised to pass a parallel $11.50 an hour wage rate this week, but not until Montgomery County acts on the effort. Please bear in mind that the $11.50 figure was established by a coalition of Councilmembers from MoCo, D.C. and Prince George's, and a deviation from that arrangement will throw unpredictability into the proposed regional minimum wage and potentially derail the effort. Below Maryland Juice provides numerous updates on the current state of play, including proposed alterations being suggested by County Executive Ike Leggett and action alerts from numerous advocacy groups.

JUICE #1: MOCO EXECUTIVE IKE LEGGETT PROPOSES $10.75 TO $11.10 MINIMUM WAGE, PHASED IN BY 2018 - County Executive Ike Leggett is calling a last-minute audible and trying to lower the proposed $11.50 an hour minimum wage proposal to somewhere between $10.75 and $11.10.  Last night he released a memo outlining an alternate minimum wage plan that deviates in significant ways from the Elrich-Ervin-Navarro $11.50/hour proposal:
$10.75 OR $11.10 MINIMUM WAGE RATE: Leggett's proposal purports to establish a minimum wage of $11.50 an hour or $1 over the state minimum wage -- whichever is lower. Leggett would also establish a floor of $10.75 an hour, which is the lower rate proposed by an amendment from Councilmember Hans Riemer. Given that the state is likely to consider a $10.10 minimum wage, it seems extremely unlikely that the MoCo wage will reach $11.50. The actual likely wage rate under this slightly convoluted plan is going to be between $10.75 and $11.10.  
FIVE YEAR PHASE-IN PERIOD UNTIL 2018: The Elrich-Ervin-Navarro plan would phase-in an $11.50/hour rate by the year 2016, while the Leggett plan would phase in a maximum rate of between $10.75 and $11.10 by 2018.
EXEMPTION FOR PART-TIME EMPLOYEES 18 AND UNDER: The Leggett plan would also exclude the new minimum wage requirement for part-time employees age 18 and under. This position was also adopted by the members of the County Council's Health and Human Services Committee. Interestingly, Councilmember Riemer's Chief of Staff Adam Pagnucco posted the following comment about this exemption on Facebook:
ADAM PAGNUCCO: I am extremely upset that Nancy Navarro and the rest of the HHS Committee voted to exclude all employees age 18 and under from the minimum wage.

JUICE #2: CASA DE MARYLAND ACTION ALERT ON MOCO MINIMUM WAGE - CASA de Maryland released the following action alerts and press releases on today's minimum wage vote:
CASA DE MARYLAND: We need your urgent participation. Please call now the office of Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Reimer and ask to vote YES for the minimum wage increase to $11.50 an hour.  To this moment, he has said that he would only increase it to $10.75 an hour. Please tell him that it would be unacceptable to vote for anything less than $11.50. 

His contact information is: 240-777-7964 /  councilmember.riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO CONTACT HIM. We need his vote to pass this bill.

Also, we will be holding a rally with CASA de Maryland and allies tomorrow at 12noon at the Montgomery County Council. We will proceed to the hearing room at 1:30pm to witness the vote. PLEASE COME SUPPORT.  Flyer attached / CASA press statement below.

CASA de Maryland Urges Montgomery County Council to Increase the Minimum Wage to $11.50, Eliminate 90-Day Temporary Worker Restriction

"As we approach Tuesday’s vote in the Montgomery County Council to increase the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2016, we remind people about the faces of low-wage workers who make our county move forward. Take the case of worker Wilfred Mokoko, he states:

For many years, I worked in a hotel making the minimum wage. At the start, the wages were fair, but as the cost of food, rent, electricity, and water increased I saw my wages were too low. Over the past few years here in Montgomery County, I have seen the Ride On Bus Fare increase from $1.20 to $1.35 to $1.70 and today it is $1.80. To many people these changes do not make a difference, but they matter to me. There are days I put $14 on my bus pass and I am shocked when it is empty before the end of the week. Some weeks, I spend more than $20 on bus transportation. Working people are suffering and we are looking to political leaders to bring relief to our community. If the cost of living rises then so must the wages that people need to survive.

"Increasing Wildfred’s hourly rate to $11.50 makes a significant difference to support his family. CASA de Maryland, the largest Latino and immigrant organization in the state, urges members of the Montgomery County Council to support the minimum wage increase to $11.50 an hour by 2016.

"At the same time, CASA strongly urges members of the County Council to eliminate the 90-Day provision that excludes temporary workers from obtaining the minimum wage increase. Day laborers and temporary/seasonal employees perform some of the most grueling work in the County and should not be paid less because of the short-term nature of their employment. All workers deserve to live in dignity and be able to afford to protect their families. No worker should be left behind."


JUICE #2: COALITION LETTER SUPPORTING $11.50 AN HOUR  - Several groups released the following letter to the County Council calling for an $11.50/hour wage, including SEIU Local 500, CASA, Jews United for Justice, MoCo Young Democrats, Progressive Maryland, Progressive Neighbors, and UFCW Local 400:

JUICE #3: PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND ACTION ALERT TARGETS RIEMER - Progressive Maryland released the following action alert on the minimum wage vote:
PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND: Riemer still waffling on $11.50 minimum wage with indexing, email now - Despite all the  calls and emails to Councilmember Hans Riemer's office in support of a $11.50 minimum wage in Montgomery County that is indexed to inflation, Councilmember Riemer has still not assured his constituents that he will vote in favor of Bill 27-13. This is shameful. At-Large Councilmember Hans Riemer needs to hear from you right now. Tell Riemer to raise the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour and to index it with the cost of living. Anything less will put workers in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Washington, DC in jeopardy of not receiving the vital pay raise they are due.
Take 30 seconds to email Councilmember Hans Riemer right now. Let him know that you won't settle for anything less than $11.50 per hour with indexing. Make sure he knows that you won’t forget his vote at election time.

JUICE #4: JEWS UNITED FOR JUSTICE ACTION ALERT - Jews United for Justice released the following action alert on the minimum wage vote yesterday (excerpt below):
JEWS FOR JUSTICE: Call for a Higher Minimum Wage in Montgomery County, One more push to victory! - In the past two weeks more than sixty JUFJers have called Councilmember Hans Riemer asking him to support raising the minimum wage in the county to $11.50 by 2016. The pressure is starting to build - but we need to keep it up.

The bill passed out of committee on Thursday and will be voted on in the full Council on Tuesday, November 26th. Four Councilmembers have committed their support for the bill. We need to keep the pressure on to secure the fifth vote. The county is ready and our workers deserve a raise.

JUFJ and our allies will be keeping the phones ringing off the hooks in the County Council on Monday, November 25th to make sure this message is heard loud and clear.  

Please sign up to call At-Large Councilmember Hans Riemer at (240) 777-7964.

JUICE #5: MONTGOMERY COUNTY YOUNG DEMOCRATS PRESS RELEASE ON MINIMUM WAGE VOTE - The MoCo Young Dems released the following statement regarding the minimum wage vote:

Montgomery County Young Democrats Support $11.50 Minimum Wage Increase, Urge Council to Remove Youth and Temporary Worker Exemptions

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Young Democrats are urging the Montgomery County Council to vote favorably to increase the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2016.

For member Gabriel Acevero, “The minimum wage is not just a story about income inequality, but rather it’s about achieving the American dream, and no one can achieve the American dream on $7.25 an hour.” Gabe is one of several members actively working on the state-wide campaign to raise the minimum wage, which the Young Democrats see as equally important to move the state forward economically and progressively as the County measure.

At the same time, MCYD is standing with organizations like CASA de Maryland in calling for the Council to eliminate the 90-Day provision that excludes temporary workers from obtaining the minimum wage increase. In addition, they are asking the County to remove the exemption for workers under 19 working less than 20 hours a week.

Board member Emily Shetty, who shared what raising the wage means personally to her at last Wednesday’s rally to raise the wage, states: “Above all, we want to see Bill 27-13 pass and change the lives of millions in the region when Prince George’s and DC pass similar bills. We do hope the Council will consider removing the temporary and youth workers exemptions. All workers in Montgomery County deserve the dignity of this higher wage.”


JUICE #6: BETHESDA-CHEVY CHASE CHAMBER ACTION ALERT ON MINIMUM WAGE VOTE - BethesdaNow.com reports that the BCC Chamber sent out the following action alert calling for a MoCo minimum wage of no more than $10.10/hour:
BCC CHAMBER: For the past several weeks, the B-CC Chamber has been working with other chambers and business groups in Montgomery County to persuade Council members to delay consideration of Council member Elrich’s bill that would set the minimum wage in Montgomery County at $11.50 an hour that would be phased in over three years, beginning in July 2014 and indexed to increase with the consumer price index in future years.  Based on a survey of businesses in the county, this increase is too much too fast and the indexing could result in a county minimum wage that is far higher than the state’s, unless the state legislature also passes a minimum wage tied to indexing.  Yesterday, the County Council HHS Committee voted (2-0) in favor of Elrich’s bill, this despite the fact that the proponents’ own economists told them that $11.50 is too high.  They did amend the bill to exempt teens age 18 and under working fewer than 20 hours per week and set the minimum wage for tipped employees at 50% of the County minimum wage. This bill will go to the full Council for a vote this Tuesday.  IT WILL PASS – possibly unanimously — unless the business community is able to persuade some Council members to make some changes that would make it less burdensome for employers.

LAST CALL: EMAIL NOW TO SUPPORT AN $11.50/HOUR MINIMUM WAGE: You can email all nine Montgomery County Councilmembers and the office of the County Executive by sending a message to montgomerycounty@lockheedwelfare.com

Friday, November 22, 2013

ACT NOW: One Vote Needed to Pass MoCo Minimum Wage // Fate of Prince George's & DC Hike Rests on $11.50/Hr in MoCo

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL OFFICIALS NOW:  In recent weeks, a battle has been brewing among government officials in Montgomery County, Prince George's County and the District of Columbia over efforts to pass minimum wage increases at the local level. Councilmembers in all three jurisdictions are poised to move a "regional minimum wage" of $11.50/hour that is indexed to the consumer price index (aka a minimum wage that increases as the cost of living rises). Note that a person working 40 hours week and who takes no vacations would make $23,920/year under the proposed $11.50/hour rate -- keeping them just above the $20,000 poverty line. Given the record high wealth inequality we've witnessed over the past few decades, this hardly seems like a radical proposal.

But efforts are afoot to weaken the bills in a way that threatens to derail the tenuous arrangement between a coalition of Councilmembers in MoCo, Prince George's & DC, who have all agreed to move an $11.50/hour minimum wage. While compromising on the amount of the wage increase would normally seem like fair game, in this instance, Prince George's lawmakers have a ready majority for $11.50 an hour but are waiting for Montgomery to act before pulling the trigger. A failure to pass the same rate increase will throw all sorts of unpredictability in the process and threaten to derail a historic economic justice pact between governments in the ever-expensive DC Metro region.

WHIP COUNT: Here's the current status of the $11.50/hour minimum wage proposals within the three participating jurisdictions:
MONTGOMERY COUNTY: The $11.50/hour minimum wage bill in MoCo is being sponsored by Councilmember Marc Elrich and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Valerie Ervin. Additionally, Councilmember George Leventhal has publicly supported an $11.50/hour minimum wage but tells Maryland Juice he would support a lower amount, "if that's what it takes to get a bill out of the full Council." That means there are currently four votes for an $11.50/hour minimum wage in MoCo, but one more vote is needed to pass the bill without weakening amendments. We also need to shore up Councilmember Leventhal's vote. The full MoCo Council votes on Tuesday and the members need to start hearing from you now - you can email all nine Councilmembers and the office of the County Executive by sending a message to montgomerycounty@lockheedwelfare.com. In the meantime, here's a whip count for the nine Councilmembers:
Note that a key element to the MoCo wage hike is a plan to index the pay rate to the cost of living, so that we don't have to have this fight every few years. But all Councilmembers need to hear that you support an "indexed $11.50/hour minimum wage."
Meanwhile, County Executive Ike Leggett has indicated he will sign a minimum wage hike into law but prefers a $10.75/hour increase with no increase with rises in the cost of living. He has not yet declared whether he would veto an $11.50/hour minimum wage if approved by the County Council. Former County Executive Doug Duncan has stated he has problems with a county minimum wage increase and wants to wait for the state to act. The County Council votes this TUESDAY, so please email all nine Councilmembers and the office of the County Executive NOW by sending a message to montgomerycounty@lockheedwelfare.com.
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY: Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich, the sponsor of MoCo $11.50/hour proposal, indicates that a majority of the Prince George's County Council is prepared to approve the same plan in their county. However, P.G. lawmakers want certainty that Montgomery County to act and are scheduling their vote to occur immediately after MoCo passes an $11.50/hour wage rate. Meanwhile, County Executive Rushern Baker has expressed concerns about the proposal, and it is unclear whether he would sign it into law or veto the plan. Please contact Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker to urge his support for a minimum wage increase at: (301) 952-4131 or countyexecutive@co.pg.md.us. And please do the same for the P.G. Councilmembers - their contact info is available here.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Councilmember Vincent Orange and his colleagues are pushing an $11.50/hour minimum wage proposal, though Mayor Vincent Gray wants an "independent commission" to study the exact rate. If Montgomery and Prince George's pass an indexed $11.50/hour minimum wage, it seems likely that the D.C. Council will follow suit. Please contact Mayor Gray and urge his support at (202) 727-6300 or eom@dc.gov. You can also find contact info for the D.C. Councilmembers here.

BOTTOM LINE?  IT'S NOW OR NEVER FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE - On Tuesday, all eyes in the region will be on the Montgomery County Council. If they pass an $11.50/hour minimum wage, I predict the Prince George's and D.C. Councils will do the same, and their Executives will more likely than not sign the bills into law. This would also help lay the political groundwork for a robust state minimum wage increase in Maryland. But if Montgomery County cannot summon the will to get this done, all bets are off, and the wrong message will be sent to lawmakers in Annapolis. Please contact all nine Montgomery County Councilmembers and the office of the MoCo Executive by sending a message to montgomerycounty@lockheedwelfare.com. You can read some more context on the MoCo fight below:

The MoCo Council staff memo regarding the minimum wage proposal describes two amendments to the minimum wage hike proposal that will be considered by Councilmembers. The bill's lead sponsor Councilmember Marc Elrich proposes reducing his proposed $12/hour minimum wage to $11.50/hour to create a regional standard in tandem with the District of Columbia and Prince George's County:
MOCO COUNCIL STAFF MEMO: Councilmember EIrich intends to introduce an amendment to reduce the minimum wage in 2016 from $12.00 per hour to $11.50 per hour to be consistent with the anticipated regional minimum wage that may be adopted by Prince George's County and the District of Columbia.
Meanwhile, Councilmember Hans Riemer proposed an amendment to reduce the MoCo minimum wage increase even further to $10.75 (or $1 over the Maryland minimum wage). His amendment would stop MoCo's minimum wage from rising with increases in the cost of living. This foreshadows a fight that may begin brewing in Annapolis, if state lawmakers similarly try to stop the Maryland minimum wage from rising with the cost of living. The County Council's staff memo also described Riemer's amendment and its rationale (excerpt below):
MOCO COUNCIL STAFF MEMO: Councilmember Riemer intends to introduce an amendment that would set the County minimum wage in 2016 at the greater of $10.75 or $1 over the State minimum and remove the index to the CPI-U. Councilmember Riemer's amendment would make similar changes to the County minimum wage during the phase-in period....
COUNCILMEMER HANS RIEMER: Of the 45 states that have minimum wage laws, eleven (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) have inflation escalators. No state or locality in the Washington D.C. area currently has one. As of this moment, there is no assurance that the State of Maryland will adopt one.
Riemer's amendment may help explain why the advocacy group Jews United for Justice hosted a call-in day with its members asking Councilmember Riemer to support an $11.50 minimum wage. You can see the script they are asked members to read (excerpt below):
JEWS UNITED FOR JUSTICE: I'd like to thank the Councilmember for his commitment to raising the minimum wage in Montgomery County and for his leadership on raising the local EITC. Also, I appreciate the Councilmember proposing to amend certain provisions of the current minimum wage bill that would weaken the bill.

I think the Councilmember is a leader on progressive issues, however, I was disappointed to see he does not support a timeline that would raise the minimum wage to $11.50 by 2016. Workers in Montgomery County can't wait any longer.

I'm calling to ask Councilmember Riemer to join his colleagues in supporting an increase in the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour by 2016....
ONE LAST TIME: CONTACT YOUR COUNCILMEMBERS NOW - Please contact all nine Montgomery County Councilmembers and the office of the MoCo Executive by sending a message to montgomerycounty@lockheedwelfare.com

JUICE: Kagan vs. Simmons for D17 Senate, Gansler's Attack Ad, MoCo Council Hopefuls for Wage Hike, Duncan on Purple Line


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

JUICE #1: FORMER DELEGATE CHERYL KAGAN ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR D17 STATE SENATE // MEANWHILE: DEL. LUIZ SIMMONS RELEASES D17 SENATE POLL -  This week, former Delegate Cheryl Kagan announced her campaign for the District 17 State Senate seat currently held by Jennie Forehand. Notably, D17 Delegate Luiz Simmons recently announced his intention to run for the same Senate seat. Below you can see Kagan's press release announcing her Senate campaign, followed by a polling memo released by Delegate Simmons:

Former Delegate Cheryl Kagan Announces Plans to Run for State Senate

(Rockville, MD) Former state legislator and longtime Democratic activist Cheryl Kagan announced today that she plans to run for the District 17 State Senate seat in 2014.

Kagan, who represented District 17 (primarily Rockville and Gaithersburg) in the House of Delegates for eight years, has been a leader on issues such as civil liberties, public safety and gun control, transportation, and the budget.

In the State Senate, Kagan pledged to get results on issues that matter.

"We need an effective advocate who will work tirelessly to protect our values," Kagan said.  "In the Senate, I will speak up for our interests and for improving the quality of life in Rockville, Gaithersburg, and all of Montgomery County."

Cheryl Kagan, a Montgomery County native, represented the 17th legislative district from 1995 to 2003, when she chose not to run again.  While in office, she earned a reputation as a hard-working, effective, and independent-minded leader who asked tough questions on behalf of her constituents.

In addition to her service in elective office, Cheryl Kagan has done legislative, political, and nonprofit work at the federal, state, and local levels.  She has lobbied to strengthen our federal gun control laws; defended women's reproductive rights; supported the election of progressive, pro-choice Democrats; and, as a foundation executive, distributed more than $1,000,000 per year to local nonprofit organizations.  Kagan currently works as the Director of Community Engagement for BBYO, an international nonprofit organization helping to nurture and support Jewish teen leaders.

"My experience in the nonprofit sector has given me a deep understanding of how state policies in Annapolis affect our neighbors here in Montgomery County," Kagan said.  "By listening to the community and building coalitions, I'm confident that we can overcome our state's challenges."

Committed to giving back to the community, Kagan is a dedicated volunteer leader as well.  She has served with civic organizations including the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Charter Review Commission, and Leadership Montgomery.

In 2010, Kagan's energetic and competitive campaign for State Senate was called the "#1 Race to Watch" in all of Maryland.  She finished with 48% of the vote.

"Over the past several months, I've been humbled by the tremendous number of people who have encouraged me to run for the State Senate.  I am excited to continue these conversations on the campaign trail," said former Delegate Kagan.

An official announcement of Kagan's candidacy will be forthcoming.  To learn more about Cheryl Kagan and her campaign, please visit www.CherylKagan.org, www.facebook.com/CherylCKagan, and http://www.twitter.com/CherylKagan.

Shortly after Cheryl Kagan announced for the D17 State Senate race, rival candidate Delegate Luiz Simmons released a polling memo claiming a 16 point lead in the race. It is worth noting, however, that the poll results below came from a fairly small sample of 219 voters:

Meanwhile, Cheryl Kagan points to a different metric in her race against Simmons - namely, social media followers. Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck recently highlighted some numbers in the race for online support in District 17:
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: Just days after Delegate Luiz Simmons formally announced he would seek the District 17 Senate seat in next June’s Democratic primary, the jockeying is intensifying for what may turn out to be the only competitive 2014 contest among Montgomery County’s eight Senate districts....

The Kagan camp was boasting that, in just over three hours after its launch, her Facebook page had accumulated as many “likes” – 135 -- as a counterpart fan page launched by Simmons six months ago, in May. “The social media primary was won in less than 3.5 hours. Thank you, @facebook friends,” Kagan declared Friday night via Twitter.

As of Sunday evening, the Kagan page had slightly more than 400 likes, as compared to just under 175 for the Simmons page....
If you're interested in the social media contest, you can check out Cheryl Kagan and Luiz Simmons' campaign profiles on Facebook.

JUICE #2: DOUG GANSLER RELEASES VIDEO ATTACKING ANTHONY BROWN ON HANDLING OF OBAMACARE - The gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Doug Gansler released the following video this week attacking rival Anthony Brown on his handling of Maryland's Obamacare roll-out:

JUICE #3: NEW MOCO COUNCIL CANDIDATES LAUNCH CAMPAIGNS WITH SUPPORT FOR MINIMUM WAGE HIKE: BETH DALY AT-LARGE & NEDA BOLOURIAN IN DISTRICT 2 - Two candidates this week announced campaigns for the Montgomery County Council: Beth Daly for an at-large seat and Neda Bolourian for the District 2 seat. All four at-large incumbents (Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal & Hans Riemer) are seeking re-election next year, as is the District 2 incumbent Craig Rice. Below you can see a press release and social media roll-out from the candidates, as well as statements in support of the proposed MoCo minimum wage increase:

Beth Daly Declares Candidacy for Montgomery County At-Large Council Seat
Daly is a Critic of Unchecked Growth

Montgomery County, MD – Beth Daly, a civic activist and member of the Montgomery County Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board and the Sugarloaf Citizens Association, announced her candidacy for one of the county’s four at-large county council seats. Daly will be running as a Democrat in the June 24 primary.

Daly, a critic of unchecked growth who has been active in advocating for public transit and more accurate traffic management systems, would be the council’s only at-large council member from Montgomery’s fast-growing upcounty region. Currently, all four of the at-large council members live south of White Flint Mall.

“We need to put the smart back in smart growth,” Daly said in her campaign video, which appears on her website www.bethdaly.org. “I do not want to hear that the Montgomery County Council is powerless to fix the problems it created or allowed to fester under its watch,” Daly said.

While working as an advertising consultant, Daly, 51, raised two children, Jack and Joe, with husband Steve Seeger, living first in Bethesda and later in Dickerson. Daly now works for the Spanish language broadcaster Telemundo. 

A first-time candidate for elected office, Daly is no stranger to Democratic politics or public policy. She began her career in the mid 1980’s on the staff of the late Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH); she directed the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign’s media buying efforts in the 1990’s; and in 2012 was selected by EMERGE Maryland, for a program designed to recruit and develop accomplished women seeking elected office throughout the state of Maryland.

 “I love Montgomery County and I’ve loved my life here as an apartment dweller, as a suburban homeowner and as someone who now lives in the Agricultural Reserve,” said Daly. “This county has much to offer. The challenge now is to keep pace with transportation, education, recreation and other needs. I am tired of seeing our school grounds littered with portable classrooms. I am tired of spending more time in traffic and less time at home with my loved ones. We either do it right, now, and right now, or we feel the pain for decades to come.”

The Daly campaign held its first campaign kickoff on November 16th to a jam-packed crowd at the Poolesville home of Tom Gutierrez and Ann Stevens. A second event is scheduled for November 21st in the Chevy Chase home of George and Monica Baker.

# # #
In the District 2 Council race, former candidate Neda Bolourian announced her intentions to run for the seat through a couple of messages on Facebook:
NEDA BOLOURIAN: Pleased to announce that we have filed the appropriate paperwork and are officially in the running for Montgomery County Council! Thank you for the outpouring of support!....

The new website will be up by next week! I look forward to hearing from all of you and would love to get the youth involved in our great county!! Message me if you would like to volunteer or take part in our informal panel discussion. This campaign is about ALL of us! Let's get this started!

On the week of their campaign announcements, Daly and Bolourian both came out for the proposed Montgomery County minimum wage increase:

Statement by Beth Daly Montgomery County, MD At-Large Council Candidate on Increasing Montgomery County’s Minimum Wage

I fully support Bill 27-13 - to raise the minimum wage in Montgomery County to $11.50 over a three-year span.  We live in one of the ten wealthiest counties in the nation. We also have a very high cost of living, as compared to other areas of Maryland and the U.S.  Hourly workers deserve a living wage, and the federal minimum of $7.25 is simply not enough to allow low-wage workers to pay for rent, food, and transportation in Montgomery County.

In real terms, the minimum wage has decreased. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “Legislated increases in the federal minimum wage in both 2007 and 2008 boosted it from $5.15 in 2006 to $7.25 in 2009, its highest level in real terms since 1981. But even after this nearly 41 percent increase, the minimum wage in 2009 was still 7.8 percent less than its value in 1967 (in 2011 dollars).”

I want to thank Councilmember Marc Elrich for introducing this important legislation, along with Council President Nancy Navarro, and Councilmember Valerie Ervin  for co-sponsoring it. I urge the remaining five councilmembers to sign on to this bill.

# # #
Neda Bolourian announced her support for a minimum wage increase on Facebook and Twitter:
NEDA BOLOURIAN: Every citizen deserves a #livingwage. I support raising the minimum wage in our county immediately. There is no time to waste.

Pleased to hear that the committee has voted to raise the #livingwage in our community. Hope that the full council follows suit. #MDpolitics

JUICE #4: MARYLAND BOARD OF ELECTIONS TAKES ISSUE WITH GANSLER'S PROPOSAL FOR AN OUTSIDE SPENDING BAN IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE - Maryland Juice previously reported that Doug Gansler was calling on Anthony Brown and Heather Mizeur to join him in a pledge to voluntarily reject outside spending from groups in the 2014 Governor's race.  But The Washington Post reported this week that the Board of Elections has issues with the pledge (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: As Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler presented it last week, his plan to “keep outside money out of Maryland” would require him and his Democratic rivals to sign a pledge discouraging third-party spending on the race.

If an organization other than a campaign spent money on radio or television ads, the candidate who benefited would have to pay a penalty by donating campaign money to charity....

This week, however, a state election official said there was a hitch: Maryland election law bans most charitable contributions by active campaigns.

“However noble it may be, it’s not allowed,” said Jared DeMarinis, director of the state election board’s candidacy and campaign finance division....

“This can be worked out,” [Gansler spokesman Bob Wheelock] said. “The first step is getting the other campaigns to agree to do it.”

Brown’s campaign manager, Justin Schall, wasn’t biting. He said Gansler’s proposed pledge was “well intentioned,” but he added, “We have been advised that it fails to comply with Maryland law....”

JUICE #5: DOUG DUNCAN'S COMMENTS ON THE PURPLE LINE AT MARYLAND JUICE'S "MILLION VIEWS" PARTY UNDER SCRUTINY - The Washington Post's Bill Turque earlier this week wrote a review of commentary from rival MoCo executive candidates Ike Leggett and Doug Duncan. But Turque followed up on his piece with a second article digging into some remarks Doug Duncan made during Q&A about the Purple Line (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: While answering questions from Democratic activists at a Rockville restaurant Monday night, Doug Duncan — the former Montgomery County executive who is running to regain that office — said he’d “always” been a steadfast supporter of the Purple Line. But that depends on your definition of “always....”

During his first campaign for county executive in 1994, Duncan signed a pledge to oppose light rail from Bethesda to Silver Spring, especially if it happened to cross the fairways of the Columbia Country Club or pass through land behind expensive Chevy Chase homes. A copy of the agreement is on the Action Committee for Transit Web site, under the “Purple Line History” tab....

[Action Committee for Transit's Ben] Ross, who attended the Monday night event and asked Duncan about his position on the Purple Line, tweeted attention to Duncan’s revision of history the next day....

Duncan said Wednesday he didn’t think he misled the audience Monday night. “I’ve always supported the Purple Line. It was a question of alignment,” he said.... “But, we had a good debate on it, and the decision was made to put it somewhere else, and I support that decision,” he said. “We’re not going to revisit that. We need to get it built.”

JUICE #6: NEW MARYLAND ACLU REPORT DETAILS HOW USING LOCAL POLICE AS IMMIGRATION AGENTS UNDERMINES PUBLIC SAFETY - Maryland Juice has for a long time been calling for the Free State and its counties to stop participating in the Department of Homeland Security's so-called "Secure Communities" program. Other states have fought participation in the program, which forces local police to serve as immigration enforcement agents. This week the ACLU of Maryland, along with CASA and SEIU, highlighted a new report indicating that these "immigration detainers" by local law enforcement undermine public safety. You can read the press release and the ACLU's report below:

ACLU Report Details How Immigration Detainers in Maryland Undermine Public Safety Through Unnecessary Enforcement

Group Will Support “Maryland TRUST Act”Legislation in the 2014 Session

TAKOMA PARK, MD – Amid a deportation frenzy in the U.S. even while immigration reform is being considered in Congress, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland today released a report on how state and local law enforcement are undermining public safety and wasting resources by enforcing immigration detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Compliance with these detainers is not mandatory, yet the report details the startling rate at which many counties detain immigrants with no greater offense than a traffic violation – effectively transforming their local law enforcement officials into proxy immigration agents.

The ACLU report was launched at a press conference featuring State Sen. Victor Ramirez (D-Prince George’s) and representatives from CASA de Maryland (CASA) and Service Employees International United (SEIU). Sen. Ramirez will be the lead Senate sponsor of the Maryland TRUST Act, a bill to restore community trust in local law enforcement by eliminating their entanglement in civil immigration enforcement efforts.

“More and more jurisdictions across the country are refusing to act as surrogates in the current deportation frenzy,” said Sirine Shebaya, attorney directing the ACLU of Maryland’s immigrants’ rights advocacy. “The ACLU is calling on Maryland to join other states in deciding that complying with these requests is an inefficient use of our limited law enforcement resources and results only in ripping apart our communities.”

The report, Restoring Trust: How Immigration Detainers in Maryland Undermine Public Safety Through Unnecessary Enforcement, describes how immigrants in Maryland are detained after they are eligible for release, in state and local facilities and at state and local expense, for the sole purpose of transferring them to federal immigration authorities even when they are picked up solely on traffic violations and even when they are not even charged with a civil immigration violation.

Key findings in the ACLU report:
  • Most individuals held on an immigration detainer in Maryland are charged only with traffic violations or minor misdemeanor offenses.
  • The overwhelming majority of people targeted by immigration detainers in Maryland are Latino.
  • Immigration detainers undermine public safety and community trust in local law enforcement by entangling local authorities in federal immigration enforcement.
  • Immigration detainers are purely voluntary requests that impose costs on local jurisdictions, and those costs are not reimbursed by the federal government.
  • Several states, counties, and cities across the United States have taken steps to stop detaining individuals based solely on immigration detainer requests.
The report calls for statewide reform that would take back control of Maryland’s entanglement in a broken immigration enforcement system and that would provide safeguards that address the significant due process and other constitutional concerns raised by immigration detainers. These safeguards would restore and help build community trust in law enforcement. And they would ensure that local jurisdictions are fully reimbursed for any costs associated with responding to immigration detainer requests.

Recently, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office issued a letter of advice joining a number of other state and county attorneys in recognizing that compliance with immigration detainer requests is discretionary.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

JUICE: Mizeur Calls for Marijuana Legalization, Gansler Disses Brown on Obamacare, Duncan vs. Leggett at Our Reader Party

Below Maryland Juice provides a few news items that may be of interest to politicos, including a summary of what happened during the sometimes feisty Q&A at our "Million Views Party" Monday night:

JUICE #1: GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE HEATHER MIZEUR CALLS FOR MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION // PLUS: GANSLER & BROWN RESPOND - This week Delegate Heather Mizeur unveiled a plan to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maryland. The Washington Post received an advanced copy of the plan and published responses from the rival gubernatorial campaigns of Doug Gansler and Anthony Brown (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather R. Mizeur on Tuesday will propose legalizing marijuana and using the tax revenue it generates to fund pre-kindergarten education, according to an advance copy of her plan.... She estimates that taxing the drug could yield up to $157.5 million in new revenue for the state each year....

Mizeur’s two better-known Democratic opponents reacted cautiously to word of her plan.

“The attorney general recognizes that public sentiment is slowly shifting toward limited, prescribed medicinal use of marijuana and, in some states, even toward decriminalization of marijuana,” said Gansler campaign spokesman Bob Wheelock. “There does not appear to be a groundswell toward full scale legalization here in Maryland, nor does the attorney general feel that unrestrained legalization would be appropriate.”

Justin Schall, Brown’s campaign manager, said Brown “welcomes a continued discussion and analysis on how decriminalizing negligible amounts of marijuana would impact the ability of our law enforcement agencies to focus on more violent crimes and criminals....”
SUMMARY OF GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES' VIEWS THUS FAR ON MARIJUANA - Based on the candidates' commentary in The Washington Post, it appears that while Mizeur supports full-on pot legalization, Gansler opposes the proposal and is silent on decriminalization (aka the proposal to simply change the penalty for possession from jail time to a fine). Meanwhile, Anthony Brown's campaign appears to be silent on legalization but may be keeping the door open to supporting decriminalization.  You can read Mizeur's press release announcing her proposal below:

Mizeur Proposes Marijuana Legalization in Maryland

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – This morning, Heather Mizeur, Democratic candidate for governor, released her plan to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Maryland.

“A majority of Marylanders and Americans support the legalization of marijuana because of its impact on public safety and its ability to generate badly needed revenue for critical state priorities,” said Mizeur. “Legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana similar to the way we regulate alcohol will provide our state with increased revenue, enhance public safety, and improve environmental and economic outcomes.”

Under Mizeur’s proposal, taxation of marijuana would generate $157.5 million annually to be spent on early childhood education.

“Legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana will provide Maryland with a dedicated revenue stream to make overdue and critical investments in early childhood education. Our plan will help ensure that prekindergarten is available to all children in our state.”

“Finally, a Maryland gubernatorial candidate who understands the linkage between drug policy, crime and human rights,” said Neill Franklin, a retired Maryland State Police Officer who served for 33 years in law enforcement. We now have a chance to focus our limited police resources on violent crime and to end mass incarceration.”

To read Mizeur’s entire plan to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, visit www.heathermizeur.com/marijuana


JUICE #2: DOUG GANSLER DISSES ANTHONY BROWN ON OBAMACARE, SAYING THE LT. GOVERNOR IS "DROPPING THE BALL" - Maryland Juice received the following press release from the gubernatorial campaign of Doug Gansler stating that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown is "dropping the ball" on Obamacare enrollment in Maryland:

DROPPING THE BALL: Lt. Governor Anthony Brown Mismanages Maryland Health Exchange Rollout, Calls Insurance Company Cancellations "Renewal Notices”

Silver Spring, MARYLAND - Lieutenant Governor Brown said Sunday that the 73,000 Marylanders who have had their health insurance cancelled by insurance companies should know “It’s not really a cancellation,” and that “they are renewal notices.” This blatant, factual inaccuracy is part of an emerging pattern: Brown mismanaged the rollout of the Maryland Health Exchange and has yet to be clear about his failure to oversee the program or what he is doing to fix it.

“Attorney General Gansler and I strongly support Obamacare. Some states managed this process well and are succeeding. Unfortunately, Lieutenant Governor Brown, given the job of managing the rollout, mismanaged it, and has given Obamacare critics ammunition to attack it.,” said Delegate Jolene Ivey, Gansler’s Lt. Governor running mate. “Hopefully the Governor has taken this over,” she added.

Bob Wheelock, Gansler’s Communications Director added, “Today Lt. Gov. Brown is appearing with local athletes to highlight efforts to get people to enroll.  We support that.  But he dropped the ball when it came to actually getting the rollout right and I think the voters of Maryland would prefer he fix it instead of posing for photo opportunities.”

Wheelock also noted that in a recent WBAL interview, Brown admitted to knowing that pre-rollout testing of Maryland’s health care exchange had technical challenges. “Why didn’t Brown stand up and do something to protect Obamacare, fixing the problem here in Maryland before it happened?” Wheelock asked. Brown’s statement on WBAL also contradicts what he said previously when he claimed not to know of any problems with the system until the opening day of the rollout.

“He has constantly ducked responsibility and has refused to be straight about the problems and what he’s doing to fix them,” added Ivey.

Wheelock added that unlike Brown, who is making excuses for insurance companies, Democratic candidate for Governor Doug Gansler is taking them on.  His office yesterday called on eight Maryland health insurance companies to comply with the letter of the law under the Affordable Care Act and spelled out the information that every Maryland consumer should receive if their insurance carrier opts to cancel their policy.

In that letter, Attorney General Gansler noted that "Our office will not stand for the abuses and fear-mongering that has been documented in other states."

Notably, today Anthony Brown's campaign issued a press release indicating that the Lt. Governor would be promoting health care in Prince George's County (excerpt below):

Lt. Governor Brown to Promote Health Care and Education in Prince George's County

Brown to Participate in Health Care Outreach Announcement and Tour Local Elementary School

CAPITOL HEIGHTS & UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (November 19, 2013) – TODAY, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown will participate in two events in Prince George’s County, where he’ll continue his efforts to expand access to quality, affordable health care for all Marylanders. He will also tour a local elementary school as part of American Education Week, as he continues his efforts to provide every child in Maryland with a world-class education.

JUICE #3: SPARKS FLY BETWEEN MOCO EXEC IKE LEGGETT, DOUG DUNCAN & COUNCILMEMBER GEORGE LEVENTHAL AT MARYLAND JUICE'S READER PARTY - On Monday night Maryland Juice hosted a "million views" party for readers in Rockville, Maryland. Dozens of Free State politicos and candidates joined us for some informal conversations about state and local issues, and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions of Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and rival candidate Doug Duncan (former Montgomery County Executive). Congressman John Delaney also dropped by and answered questions from readers. A special thanks again to Delaney and Progressive Maryland for sponsoring food at the event!

The Washington Post's Bill Turque attended our celebration and published a good summary of the remarks from the rival County Executive candidates Doug Duncan and incumbent Ike Leggett, which includes candidates' commentary on the Silver Spring Transit Center delays, marijuana decriminalization, and a proposal for a minimum wage hike in Montgomery County. Turque's write-up of the Maryland Juice party also includes coverage of an unexpected exchange of words involving Doug Duncan and Councilmembers George Leventhal and Roger Berliner that occurred during our Q&A (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: “Who’s accountable for this fiasco?” asked [Doug] Duncan, decrying the construction flaws and delays that have placed the [Silver Spring Transit Center] project more than two years behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget.... “We need to hold someone accountable for this....”

Leggett, who appeared first, was not asked about the transit center. But he ended his stint by quizzing himself....  “I accept responsibility,” he said, contending that the delay was a product not of lax oversight....  I had a full-scale investigation into what some deemed to be a minor problem,” Leggett said. It was a not-so-subtle slap at general contractor Foulger-Pratt....

Questions from the audience drew a few nuggets. Talking about incarceration rates among young African Americans, Leggett said the state should long ago have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. He also said that while the state needed to step up and finance new construction to address public school overcrowding, MCPS leadership could have done more on its own to mitigate the impact of unprecedented enrollment growth....

Duncan said the county needed to be more assertive in securing money from Annapolis and “quit being the county that takes the leftovers....” He cautioned against the county going on its own to raise the minimum wage because it was “not an economic island....” Duncan said he wanted to change a sluggish political culture of “paralysis by analysis” that had taken hold in the Leggett years....

One bit of drama toward the end of Duncan’s Q-and-A was triggered by a pointed query from Council member George Leventhal (D-At-Large). Leventhal ... noted reports that Duncan was seeking a new slate of candidates to oust all council opponents. Leventhal asked how that was going.

“George has misquoted me,” Duncan replied, saying that he never said he wanted to oust all incumbents.... “I do think we need new faces on the council,” Duncan added. “This county council is known for their bickering, their fighting. We need a change.

But Duncan then recognized Council member Roger Berliner (D-District 1) as someone he would be happy to see continue. But when asked about Leventhal, Duncan said he had no comment..... “I thought we were on good terms,” Leventhal said, adding: “He doesn’t take criticism well.”
Several officials and candidates for office dropped by the event and/or made brief remarks, including: MoCo Councilmember Roger Berliner, MoCo Councilmember George Leventhal, newly appointed D15 Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, Liz Matory (D18 Delegate candidate), Shelly Hettleman (D11 Delegate candidate), Charlotte Crutchfield (D19 Delegate candidate), Clarence Lam (D12 Delegate candidate), Marc Korman (D16 Delegate candidate), Cheryl Kagan (D17 Senate candidate), Almina Khorakiwala (D16 MCDCC member), Hamza Khan (D15 MCDCC candidate) and more. Maryland Reporter's Len Lazarick, The Washington Post's Bill Turque, and a rep from Congressman Chris Van Hollen's office also joined us for the shenanigans.

Below we provide more commentary and photos from the event:

Commentary from Congressman John Delaney
  • Delaney laid out a series of policy priorities including seeking to incentivize infrastructure investment in America and to mitigate risks in various areas
  • Delaney predicted that if U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi were to leave tomorrow, Rep. Steny Hoyer would likely be chosen as her replacement -- but if the leadership contest were held in a year, he declined to comment on what might happen
  • Delaney noted a tough political climate for immigration reform and stated that a desire to get something passed leads him to support the U.S. Senate bill on the topic: "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good"
  • Delaney provided a nuanced response on whether to change social security policies, noting that raising the retirement age would negatively impact poor people

Below you can see some live Tweets from readers at the event, along with some photos that were posted to social media:

MoCo politico Kevin Gillogly posted the following photo of new candidates for Delegate in 2014 who did a quick round of Q&A:

Liz Matory (D18), Shelly Hettleman (D11), Charlotte Crutchfield (D19), Clarence Lam (D12), David Fraser-Hidalgo (D15)

Prolific MoCo political photographer Ed Kimmel also has an album of shots from the event up on Facebook:

Monday, November 18, 2013

JUICE: Sen. Cardin Endorses Anthony Brown for Governor & Candidates Firm Up Plans for Montgomery County Council

Below Maryland Juice provides two tidbits of news that may be of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: US SENATOR BEN CARDIN ENDORSES ANTHONY BROWN FOR GOVERNOR - Maryland Juice received the following press release today from Anthony Brown's gubernatorial campaign indicating that his steady stream of endorsements is continuing:

Senator Ben Cardin Endorses Anthony Brown for Governor and Ken Ulman for Lt. Governor

Cardin: “Anthony Brown has been a strong and dynamic leader for Marylanders and is the best choice for our next Governor”

BALTIMORE, MD - Today at MTC Logistics in Baltimore, Senator Ben Cardin formally endorsed Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown for Governor and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman for Lt. Governor. Sen. Cardin cited Brown’s record of helping lead Maryland schools to become #1 in the nation, his work to reduce domestic violence and the job-creating efforts he's spearheaded to strengthen our middle class — including his efforts to ensure that all Maryland veterans can find good jobs — as reasons why he's making this endorsement.

“Anthony Brown has been a strong and dynamic leader for Marylanders and an effective partner to those of us in Congress — he’s the best choice for Maryland’s next governor and has my full support,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “While working closely with Anthony over the last seven years, I’ve witnessed time and again his exemplary character and deep commitment to service — traits that have inspired Anthony’s efforts to help Maryland build the nation’s #1 schools for five years in a row, reduce domestic violence, and bring tens of thousands of jobs to Maryland through the BRAC process and our new Public-Private Partnership law. I know he’ll continue this leadership as Governor and I look forward to continuing to work with him to expand opportunity for working families.”

“Senator Ben Cardin has been working on behalf of Marylanders for decades and I’m honored to have him join the Brown-Ulman team,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. “Whether representing the Baltimore area in the legislature and Congress or fighting for all Marylanders in the United States Senate, no one has been a more forceful advocate for Maryland’s working families. By working together through this campaign and in government, we'll build a better Maryland for more Marylanders.”

With this endorsement, Senator Ben Cardin joins Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Congressman John Sarbanes, State Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr., State House Speaker Michael E. Busch, former Attorneys General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. and Steve Sachs, and more than half of Maryland’s Democratic elected County Executives, Councilmembers and Commissioners who have endorsed Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman.

To see an updated list of all of Anthony Brown’s endorsements, click here.


JUICE #2: NEW CANDIDATES FIRM UP PLANS FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL RACES - Below Maryland Juice provides a quick round-up of info regarding a few new candidates for Montgomery County's 2014 Council races. The MoCo Council is composed of five members who serve in districts and four members who serve at large (aka countywide).

DISTRICT 5: Today Silver Spring activist Evan Glass announced a run for the District 5 Council seat currently held by Councilmember Valerie Ervin (excerpt below):
EVAN GLASS: For the last seven weeks I have been on a listening tour throughout our community engaging in conversations with hundreds of residents in their living rooms, on their doorsteps and at community meetings about the challenges and opportunities facing Montgomery County.
What I have heard loud and clear is that we all enjoy living in this corner of Montgomery County because of our diverse and vibrant neighborhoods but more importantly there is a need for responsive leadership that drives progress in our communities.

That is why I am announcing my candidacy to be the next Montgomery County Councilmember from the 5th District....

AT LARGE: Takoma Park activist Terrill North is up with a website indicating he is running for an at large seat on the County Council. All four at large incumbents (Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer) have indicated the are seeking re-election. North's site includes the following video:

AT LARGE: Dickerson activist Beth Daly has also indicated she's running for an at large seat on the County Council. Daly's site includes the following video:

TONIGHT: Join Rep. John Delaney, MoCo Exec Ike Leggett & Doug Duncan for Q&A at Maryland Juice's Million Views Party

Tonight Maryland Juice bloggers David Moon & Dan Furmansky are hosting our first ever reader party to celebrate our newest milestone: over 1.1 million article views and growing!  Join us MON 11/18 from 6 to 8 pm for a fun evening of horserace talk and tasty snacks (cash bar):

Maryland Juice Unplugged - "Million Views" Party

Paladar Latin Kitchen
11333 Woodglen Drive
Rockville, MD (White Flint Metro)

Food for the event is being sponsored by Progressive Maryland & Congressman John Delaney

ASK THEM ANYTHING: Maryland Juice readers will be joined by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, former County Executive Doug Duncan, and Rep. John Delaney for live Q&A about Maryland politics. While we're hoping to have an unfiltered conversation with these three elected officials, we are going to encourage readers to observe some fairly basic ground rules:
  • Ask a real question that can be answered fairly quickly (eg: don't just make statements about your views)
  • Try not to ask about things that a quick Google search can answer or that's already been well-covered on Maryland Juice or another outlet
  • Be respectful of the candidates' participation, as they don't have to answer every question
Personally, I'm hoping to hear some new insights into local politics, campaign strategy, nuances on issues or other enlightening matters. See you tonight!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

JUICE: AFSCME Endorses Frosh for AG, MCDCC's Charlotte Crutchfield Running for Arora's D19 Seat, Mizeur = Lefty MD?

Below Maryland Juice provides a few items that may be of interest to Free State politicos:

JUICE #1: CHARLOTTE CRUTCHFIELD TO RUN FOR DISTRICT 19 DELEGATE // MOCO DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBER SEEKS TO REPLACE SAM ARORA - Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) member Charlotte Crutchfield confirmed to Maryland Juice that she is throwing her hat into the ring for District 19 House of Delegates. Crutchfield is running in the June 2014 Democratic Primary, now that D19 Delegate Sam Arora has announced he is retiring at the end of his term. Crutchfield's bio on the MCDCC site states:
Charlotte Crutchfield
MCDCC: Charlotte Crutchfield was elected to MCDCC in 2010. She is the Liaison for District 19. Ms. Crutchfield serves on Rules Committee, Voter Protection Committee, Ballot Question Review Committee and Strategic Planning Committee. Ms. Crutchfield has served on the Executive Board for Women’s Suburban Democratic Club (Women’s Democratic Club and was a member of the District 19 Democratic Club, as well as the Hispanic Democratic Club and the African-American Democratic Club.
She served as Girl Scout leader, President of the Glenallan ES PTA, and the Board of Directors of Tivoli Home Owners Association. Ms. Crutchfield is a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association, N.A.A.C.P, and the Red Hat Society. She has served as Committee Chair for the Howard University Alumni Club of Montgomery County and is a supporter of Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Ms. Crutchfield is an attorney, having gotten her BA at Howard University and her JD at Boston College Law School. She has two children.
District 19 is currently represented by three Democratic Delegates: Sam Arora, Bonnie Cullison and Ben Kramer. Though Arora is retiring, Cullison and Kramer are both seeking re-election. In addition, two additional candidates have already announced for the D19 House of Delegates: Melodye Berry and Marice Morales.

JUICE #2: SEN. BRIAN FROSH WINS ENDORSEMENTS OF AFSCME FOR JUNE 2014 ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE - Yesterday Maryland Juice received the following press release from State Senator Brian Frosh's Attorney General campaign announcing the endorsement of AFSCME at an event today:

AFSCME Council 3 to Endorse Democratic Candidate
Brian Frosh for Attorney General
Baltimore, MD- The AFSCME Council 3 will give their full support and endorsement to Democratic candidate, State Senator Brian Frosh, who is running to be the next Attorney General of Maryland.

WHO: AFSCME Council 3, representing 25,000 workers in the state of Maryland.

WHAT: AFSCME Council 3 President Patrick Moran and AFSCME members will formally endorse State Senator Brian Frosh for Maryland Attorney General at a rally in Baltimore.

WHERE: AFSCME International Union Office
1410 Bush Street, 1st Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

WHEN: Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 10:00 AM


JUICE #3: BALTIMORE SUN SAYS HEATHER MIZEUR'S CAMPAIGN REFLECTS LEFTWARD SHIFT IN MARYLAND - A Maryland Juice reader pointed us in the direction of a fascinating piece from The Baltimore Sun's editorial board titled "Our view: Underdog gubernatorial campaign follows the state's leftward shift." In the piece below, The Sun's ed board argues that Maryland voters are now ideological and more prone to support leftward politics than engage in regional battles (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: The conventional political wisdom about Del. Heather Mizeur's pick of the Rev. Delman Coates as her running mate is that it shows her campaign for governor is more about making a point than winning the Democratic primary.... But the more interesting question is not what the selection says about the Mizeur campaign than what the Mizeur campaign says about the state of Maryland politics....

The fact that Mr. Coates does not balance the ticket other than racially — de rigueur at this point in Maryland Democratic politics — could be read as a further sign that Ms. Mizeur is not doing what it takes to win. Like her, he is from the Washington suburbs, and like her, he is well to the liberal side of the spectrum.

But what that analysis misses is the extent to which we have shifted from a tribal to an ideological stage in our politics.... Now, though, it's less a matter of family and community tradition and more a question of political philosophy. To a great extent, machine politics has given way to people organizing through affinity groups on Facebook and Twitter that make old geographic boundaries irrelevant.

In the process, the character of Democratic politics has changed. Traditionally, the party's office holders were often moderate or even conservative on social and cultural issues. But the last four years saw a real shift to the left in Annapolis.... There's not much electoral room for a candidate to run to the right of the field in next year's Democratic primary — Comptroller Peter Franchot, an astute reader of the political landscape, kicked the tires on that proposition rather thoroughly and decided to stay put....
This is a provocative (but perhaps now obvious) take on the state of Maryland politics. But Maryland Juice has been trying to make this point for a couple years now!  At least some of our state's Democrats are beginning to act on these new opportunities. Indeed, progressive politics are the new normal in Maryland.

Friday, November 15, 2013

JUICE: Gansler & Brown Spar Over Vets, O'Malley in NH, No Corporate Tax Cut Support, Mizeur LG Video, D16 Senate, More

Below Maryland Juice highlights a few items that may be of interest to Free State politicos:

JUICE #1: RSVP FOR MARYLAND JUICE'S "1 MILLION VIEWS" PARTY // REP. JOHN DELANEY, FORMER MOCO EXEC DOUG DUNCAN & OTHERS WILL TAKE Q&A FROM READERS ON MONDAY - Don't forget to RSVP for Maryland Juice's "1 Million Views" party. The event is taking place this Monday 11/18 from 6-8 pm at the Paladar Latin Kitchen in Rockville (White Flint Metro Station). Congressman John Delaney, MoCo Exec candidate Doug Duncan and other elected officials will be on hand to take live Q&A from Maryland Juice readers, and we'll be announcing other surprise participants soon! Food at the event is being sponsored by Progressive Maryland and Congressman John Delaney (cash bar):

Maryland Juice Unplugged : One Million Views Party
Paladar Latin Kitchen
11333 Woodglen Drive
North Bethesda, MD

JUICE #2: NEW POLL SHOWS MARYLANDERS NOT INTERESTED IN CUTTING CORPORATE TAXES & EVERYONE SUPPORTS MINIMUM WAGE HIKE  - This week Maryland Reporter highlighted a new poll by the Maryland-based survey firm Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies on behalf of Progressive Maryland (excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER: The survey ... found overwhelming support for increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, with more than 82% favoring the move. Support was strong from all groups — Democrats, Independents and even Republicans, as well as whites, blacks, men and women.... The poll also found 56% opposed reducing the corporate income tax rate....
Below Maryland Juice highlights a few of the party crosstabs from the poll indicating how Democratic and Republican voters feel about the minimum wage and corporate tax cut proposals that may be considered in Annapolis next year. Notably, a super-majority of Democrats oppose a corporate tax cut, and even Republicans are more likely to oppose than support cutting corporate taxes. Meanwhile, Democrats, Republicans and Independents are united in supporting a minimum wage increase and "combined reporting" to close tax loopholes for corporations. Is this another example of voters being ahead of politicians on obvious policy matters?
Minimum Wage Increase
  • Democrats: 92% Support, 8% Oppose
  • Republicans: 64% Support, 34% Oppose
  • Independents: 88% Support, 11% Oppose
Corporate Tax Cuts
  • Democrats: 33% Support, 62% Oppose
  • Republicans: 48% Support, 49% Oppose
  • Independents: 38% Support, 55% Oppose
"Combined Reporting" to Close Corporate Tax Loophole
  • Democrats: 75% Support, 17% Oppose
  • Republicans: 60% Support, 28% Oppose
  • Independents: 66% Support, 26% Oppose
You can read the full polling memos [HERE].

JUICE #3: UPDATE ON POSSIBLE CANDIDATES FOR BRIAN FROSH'S DISTRICT 16 SENATE SEAT - Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck recently provided an updated on potential candidates for Maryland's District 16 Senate race. Delegate Susan Lee is running for the State Senate seat being vacated by Brian Frosh, but a couple others may enter the race (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: Reggie Oldak, a familiar figure in District 16 Democratic politics... said Tuesday she had decided against running – leaving Delegate Susan Lee as the only announced candidate for the Senate nomination in next June’s Democratic primary....

“I’m still evaluating a few different races, and that is, of course, one of them,” former County Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg.... And sources said that Kyle Lierman, who came close to winning a nomination for delegate in District 16 in 2010, is continuing to strongly consider the Senate contest....

JUICE #4: GOVERNOR O'MALLEY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE TOMORROW NIGHT // 2016 WHITE HOUSE SETUP? - Today Maryland Juice received the following email blast from Governor Martin O'Malley indicating he'll be speaking in New Hampshire tomorrow night at the Democrats' annual Jefferson Jackson dinner. The event (which you can watch online tomorrow) is often a preview stage for candidates weighing presidential runs:
Juice -

Tomorrow night, I'll help New Hampshire Democrats kick-off the 2014 campaign season at their annual Jefferson Jackson dinner.

The event is an opportunity to gather with like-minded Democrats and build the Party, but it's also a chance to talk about the better choices we've made in Maryland to educate, innovate, and rebuild a strong and growing middle class.

The program will be broadcast on CSPAN and streamed live on the internet, and I'd love for you to watch it. If you'd like me to send you an email or text message alert shortly before it begins, just let me know here:


We have a lot to be proud of in Maryland, and I appreciate the opportunity to share our story while working to re-elect New Hampshire's Governor Maggie Hassan, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Democrats up-and-down the ticket.

I hope you'll consider tuning in tomorrow night.

All the best,

Martin O'Malley

JUICE #5:  WATCH VIDEO FOOTAGE FROM HEATHER MIZEUR'S EVENT ANNOUNCING PASTOR DELMAN COATES AS HER RUNNING MATE - Montgomery County Media posted video footage from Delegate Heather Mizeur's event this week announcing the selection of Pastor Delman Coates as her running mate. You can watch the video below:

JUICE #6: JANUARY 2014 GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE // WATCH ANTHONY BROWN, DOUG GANSLER & HEATHER MIZEUR LIVE - Save the date! Maryland Juice received the following announcement of a gubernatorial debate between the three Democratic candidates for Governor. Details from the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee below:
MCDCC: The Democratic Club of Leisure World and the District 19 Democratic Club have arranged to co-sponsor a candidates forum for the three major Democratic candidates for Governor of Maryland in the 2014 primary election. All the candidates have confirmed that they will participate.

The date is Thursday, January 30, 2014. The time is 7pm. The place is Leisure World, probably in the Ballroom in Clubhouse 1 (possibly in the Auditorium in Clubhouse 2).

JUICE #7: DOUG GANSLER AND ANTHONY BROWN SPAR ON VETERANS' ISSUES // VOTE VETS PAC WEIGHS IN - Below Maryland Juice highlights a tit-for-tat between the Brown and Gansler campaigns that emerged as both campaigns celebrated Veterans Day this week. There are three pieces to this story below:

First, Anthony Brown's campaign released the following announcement of a compact with veterans (excerpt below):

Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman Release Compact with Maryland Veterans

Five-Point Plan will Build on Existing Progress and make Maryland a Better Place for all Veterans

Baltimore, MD - Today on Veterans Day, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman released their Compact with Maryland Veterans, a five-point plan to make Maryland better for all of our Veterans.

“Our Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom and we owe them our gratitude,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “We’ve made a lot of progress to support Veterans in Maryland, but we can do more. That’s why I’m announcing my plan to build a better Maryland for all of our Veterans.”

The Brown-Ulman Compact with Maryland Veterans will:

Exempt Military Retirement Income from Taxation for the Majority of Veterans
Establish a VetConnect Hiring Challenge Program
Extend Bridge Loans for Disability Claims
Create a Maryland Veterans Treatment Court
Expand Rental Housing Works for Our Veterans

You can read the details of the five point Compact with Maryland Veterans by clicking here.
In comments that appeared in The Baltimore Sun, Doug Gansler's campaign then argued that the Attorney General could aid veterans better than Anthony Brown (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: A Maryland state senator who heads the General Assembly's veteran's caucus rebuked Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler Tuesday night over the Democratic gubernatorial candidate's claim he could fix problems with federal processing of veterans' claims better than his campaign rival.

Sen. Douglas J. J. Peters of Prince George's County criticized Gansler for claiming he would reduce the delays in processing by the Veterans Administration where Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, his rival for the Democratic nomination, has not.

The Baltimore office of the VA has some of the worst claims-processing times in the nation, and Gansler blamed Brown for that Monday after the lieutenant governor released a five-point plan for veterans.

Peters said that as a veteran and a state senator he felt compelled to respond.

"The Federal government is, of course, solely responsible for processing Veteran's Administration claim. The delay is a federal problem, and, therefore, requires a federal solution," Peters said....
The testy exchange pulled the Vote Vets PAC into the fray with the following press release. Note that the PAC endorsed Anthony Brown earlier this year:

After Gansler Campaign Implies that the Governor Controls the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Group Questions Gansler's Ability to Lead Maryland

Baltimore, MD – The largest progressive group of veterans, VoteVets.org, with over 360,000 supporters, is questioning Attorney General Doug Gansler’s ability to lead the state, after his spokesperson claimed that the Lt. Governor has the ability to control the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

On Monday, Veterans Day, Gansler spokesperson Bob Wheelock launched an attack on Lt. Gov Anthony Brown, an Iraq War Veteran, saying of the backlog of claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs, “The Lt. Governor has not fixed that problem.”

Responding to Wheelock, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org Jon Soltz said, “It’s somewhat disturbing that someone running to be the Governor of the state seems to have no idea what a Governor actually does.  While the backlog of claims at the VA is a huge problem, to claim that the Lt. Governor of Maryland has the ability to make changes to a Federal department shows a severe lack of understanding of how Government actually works.”

“Anthony Brown, having served in war, deeply understands what our veterans are going through, and has dedicated his life to help them, and all Marylanders.  To claim otherwise is a real cheap shot, and a terribly ignorant cheap shot, at that,” Soltz added.

Founded in 2006, the mission of VoteVets.org Political Action Committee is to elect Veterans to public office, with a focus on Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and hold public officials accountable for their words and actions that impact America's 21st century troops and veterans. Though VoteVets.org PAC is non-partisan, candidates it backs must support VoteVets.org's core mission and beliefs.  The group has endorsed Anthony Brown’s campaign for Governor.


JUICE #8: ANTHONY BROWN HIRES FORMER GOP CAMPAIGN AIDE? - Maryland Juice previously reported on news that Doug Gansler may have hired a GOP campaign aide for his gubernatorial campaign. The Gansler campaign said that the news report that first mentioned this hire was flawed, but now The Quinton Report (a GOP blog) is accusing Anthony Brown of the same (excerpt below):
QUINTON REPORT: I’ve confirmed an initial tip that William Pierce, who is working for the campaign of Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman, previously worked for the 2012 GOP presidential campaign of Buddy Roemer....

JUICE #9: NEW WEBSITE ACCUSES MARYLAND THINK TANKS OF TIES TO RIGHT WING FUNDERS  - A Maryland Juice reader forwarded us a link to a new website drawing attention to ties between right wing funders and Maryland think tanks. The site called StinkTanks.org notes the following (excerpt below):
STINK TANKS: Maryland is home to two State Policy Network (SPN) “think tanks”: the
Calvert Institute for Policy Research and the Maryland Public Policy Institute (MPPI). SPN is an umbrella group of right-wing think tanks across the country. While the two think tanks claim to be focused on issues important to the people of Maryland, they actually push an agenda dictated by their national right-wing funders and partners.