Friday, November 22, 2013

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,, and

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 “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.


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