Tuesday, December 31, 2013

JUICE: Equality Maryland for Brown, Gansler Backers Fight Donation Ruling, A Wrinkle for Ervin's Seat, Minimum Wage

UPDATE: An anonymous source indicates that Ronnie Galvin (a potential applicant for Valerie Ervin's interim County Council vacancy) may have moved to White Oak not too long ago, which would mean he may indeed still be eligible for the District 5 "caretaker" position. False alarm?

Below Maryland Juice provides a few news items of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: EQUALITY MARYLAND ENDORSES ANTHONY BROWN FOR GOVERNOR - Maryland's LGBT rights advocacy group Equality Maryland made a notable endorsement in the upcoming Governor's race by endorsing Lt. Governor Anthony Brown last week. The Washington Blade reported on the development (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: Maryland’s largest LGBT advocacy organization on Monday announced it has endorsed Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown for governor.... “We are proud to put our support behind the Brown/Ulman ticket for governor and lieutenant governor,” said Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans in a statement....

Mizeur described the Brown endorsement as a “puzzling choice” in a statement. “No one in this race has done more for the LGBT community than the Mizeur-Coates ticket,” she told the Washington Blade. “I’m not sure what more we could have done to earn their support....”

Evans defended her organization’s decision to endorse Brown — and not Mizeur. “I suppose any candidate that doesn’t get an endorsement feels snubbed,” Evans told the Blade. “Equality Maryland is confident the Brown/Ulman administration will provide the leadership Equality Maryland needs in our next governor and has the relationships we need to move LGBT issues forward in our state....”

JUICE #2: GANSLER SUPPORTERS FIGHT BOARD OF ELECTIONS RULING ALLOWING ULMAN TO FUNDRAISE DURING LEGISLATIVE SESSION - Maryland Juice reported that the state's board of elections recently drafted an opinion allowing Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to continue fundraising during the upcoming Annapolis legislative session. We previously noted that this decision means that the Brown-Ulman ticket can fundraise during the January to April session, while the Gansler-Ivey ticket cannot. Notably, state officials are prohibited from fundraising during session, and Doug Gansler and Jolene Ivey are both state officials. But The Baltimore Sun reported that the day after Christmas, supporters of Doug Gansler filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Board of Elections ruling (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Lawyer Daniel M. Clements, who backs Gansler's campaign for the Democratic nomination, filed suit in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court against Maryland State Elections Board chief Linda H. Lamone, Brown and his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. The suit seeks to invalidate the board's ruling that Ulman — as a county officeholder — is not covered by a fundraising moratorium that applies to state officials while the legislature is meeting....

But Lamone ruled Dec. 19 that Ulman can continue to raise money for his own campaign committee during the legislative session, which runs from Jan. 8 to April 7. The Brown campaign has said Ulman's fundraising activities will be kept separate from the overall Brown-Ulman effort, though any money Ulman takes in could be spent to promote the ticket in the June 24 primary.

Maryland law prevents statewide elected officials and legislators from soliciting or accepting donations during the session — a provision intended to avoid the appearance that campaign gifts are influencing the lawmaking process. A third Democratic candidate, Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County, can continue to raise donations of up to $250 because she is accepting public financing....

JUICE #3: MOCO ATTORNEYS RULE THAT CARETAKER APPOINTEE FOR VALERIE ERVIN'S COUNCIL SEAT MUST LIVE IN NEWLY REDISTRICTED BOUNDARIES - MoCo politicos have been discussing potential replacements for Councilmember Valerie Ervin's District 5 seat. There is one year left in Ervin's term, and a majority of Councilmembers plan to appoint a "caretaker" who will not run for her seat in the June 2014 Democratic Primary. Several names have been floated as possible appointees for the coveted County Council seat, but last night Maryland Juice received word of a wrinkle to the story. A source forwarded us an email they received from the County Council's press officer, Neil Greenberger indicating that the Council vacancy must be filled be a Democrat who lives in the newly redrawn District 5 boundaries (excerpt below):
NEIL GREENBERGER: I promised to get back to you as soon as I learned of the decision regarding the residency boundaries in regard to filling the County Council District 5 vacancy. After careful study, both the attorneys of the County Council and the County Attorney have concurred on the following:

The appointee to the District 5 Council seat, which will become vacant when Councilmember Ervin resigns on January 3, 2014, must be a resident of District 5 as it is currently configured after the 2011 redistricting, which became effective on March 7, 2012.
Notably, Montgomery County's Council districts were recently redrawn, and so it now appears that Democrats who live in Council District 5 as it existed in the 2010 election cycle are not necessarily eligible to apply for the appointment. Bethesda Magazine and The Gazette published lists of Democrats who may be interested in applying for the Council vacancy (see below), but so far only one possible appointee may be disqualified by MoCo's interpretation of the vacancy appointment process: Ronnie Galvin. Maryland Juice checked the voter registration addresses of all of the possible D5 appointees named below, and so far all but Ronnie Galvin appear to live in the new District 5. UPDATE: An anonymous source believes that Galvin moved to White Oak not too long ago, which would mean he would likely still be eligible for the appointment.

In any case, in a pair of articles this month, Bethesda Magazine and The Gazette began highlighting some of the folks that are interested in the "caretaker" appointment. Here's Lou Peck of Bethesda Magazine's coverage of the possible contenders (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: So far, the field includes:

* Alan Bowser, 61, a Silver Spring-based attorney who was a deputy assistant secretary of Commerce during the Clinton administration and more recently chief of staff to former County Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg.

* Michael Diegel, 59, a public affairs consultant who chairs the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee and is a member of the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force.

* Ronnie Galvin, 45, executive director of Impact Silver Spring, a group formed in the wake of the Silver Spring redevelopment to provide support services to community residents.

* Tim Male, 43, a Takoma Park city council member since 2011 and, until recently, vice president of a national environmental organization, Defenders of Wildlife. 

* Dale Tibbitts, 55, for the past seven years chief of staff to at-large Councilmember Marc Elrich and a former chair of the Silver Spring Transit Management District Advisory Committee.

* Dan Wilhelm, 68, a former president of the Montgomery County Civic Federation and a former chair of the Committee for Montgomery, an umbrella group that is active on state legislative issues.

Applicants for the seat must reside in Silver Spring/Takoma Park-based District 5 and, like Ervin, be a registered Democrat. They will be asked to pledge only to fill out the remainder of Ervin’s term, which runs through next Dec. 1, and not to seek a full term in next June’s primary, according to Rice’s statement.
Note that the list above flags people that may be interested in the caretaker appointment, though not all of them have actually submitted an application for the County Council vacancy. The Gazette's Ryan Marshall followed-up on the story with an article highlighting four people that have actually submitted applications already. Notably, three out of four people who have actually applied were not on Lou Peck's list, indicating that interest in the interim appointment is strong. Here's an excerpt from The Gazette's caretaker coverage:
GAZETTE: A retired high school principal, a Howard University law professor, a government contractor and a former town councilman are among the people who have applied to fill the soon-to-be vacant District 5 seat on the Montgomery County Council.... The deadline to submit applications is Jan. 8.

So far, applicants to fill the spot are: Jeanette Dixon of Silver Spring, Arthur H. Jackson Jr. of Takoma Park, Howard University law professor Harold McDougall and Daniel Wilhelm of Colesville, according to county records....

JUICE #4: TERRILL NORTH ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR VALERIE ERVIN'S MOCO COUNCIL SEAT   - While the County Council prepares to appoint a temporary District 5 Councilmember, the June 2014 primary race for a full four-year term is beginning to take shape. Maryland Juice received the following press release from Takoma Park activist Terrill North announcing that he will be running for the District 5 County Council seat in the June 2014 Democratic Primary. So far Terrill North is facing off against Silver Spring activist Evan Glass, though politicos expect Board of Education member Chris Barclay and Delegate Tom Hucker to make decisions on the race shortly. In the meantime, you can see Terrill North's press announcement below:

Terrill North released the following statement:
I’m in. And I’m in to win – Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, 1/20/2007

Living and working in Montgomery County has brought many moments of deep joy into my life, including:
I have spent the past few months listening to neighbors, family, and friends about issues including school construction, community-centered development, and environmental protection.  I have been humbled by expressions of support from all corners.  You can hear what several local leaders including my new campaign chair, Emily Koechlin, have had to say about me or my candidacy at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42CwihDTBis.

Today I’m announcing that I am running in the Democratic primary on June 24, 2014 for the open Montgomery County Council seat representing District Five.

Over the next several months I am looking forward to many discussions about preserving our Montgomery County heritage and preparing for our future, including:
  • Addressing growing inequality and closing the achievement gap in local schools;
  • Protecting Ten Mile Creek, the last pristine waterway in Montgomery County;
  • Reducing congestion; and
  • Building a Health Economy Corridor in centered on the FDA Science Center, Washington Adventist Hospital, local college campuses, and Bus Rapid Transit.
I'm in.  And I'm in to win – with your help.

Now let’s get to work…

JUICE #5: MINIMUM WAGE ADVOCATES TO HIGHLIGHT WHICH MOCO DEMOCRATS SUPPORT $10.10 AN HOUR // PLUS: 13 STATES TO INCREASE WAGE ON JAN 1  - Maryland Juice received the following press release from advocates of a minimum wage hike announcing a press conference to highlight which Montgomery County Democrats have signed onto a $10.10 minimum wage:

Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly to announce support for raising the state’s minimum wage during upcoming legislative session

County delegation chairs to announce list of elected supporters of higher pay for Maryland workers

Press conference with Montgomery County delegation to the General Assembly to announce support for raising the minimum wage
Montgomery County delegation chairs Sen. Jamie Raskin and Del. Anne Kaiser along with other county elected officials and advocates
Temple Emanuel
10101 Connecticut Avenue
Kensington, MD 20895
Friday, January 3, 2014 at 10 am

The Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly will detail its support for raising the state’s minimum wage during the upcoming legislative session at a press conference to be held at Temple Emanuel in Kensington on Friday, January 3.  Montgomery County delegation chairs Sen. Jamie Raskin and Del. Anne Kaiser will announce which members of the delegation have signed onto a letter of support circulated by Raise Maryland in support of a higher wage. Signatories call for legislation to raise the state’s lowest wage that includes three key provisions:
  • Raise Maryland’s minimum wage in three steps to $10.10 by 2016;
  • Index the minimum wage to the cost of living thereafter so that it doesn’t lose value over time; and
  • Increase the minimum wage for tipped workers from the current 50 percent to 70 percent of the prevailing minimum wage.
Speakers will include the delegation chairs who will discuss their plans to pass the minimum wage bill during the 2014 General Assembly session and why they believe that an increase in the minimum wage is good for both workers and business.

By failing to act to raise the wage floor during the 2013 Maryland General Assembly, state lawmakers effectively cut the pay of state workers as the value of the minimum wage continues to fall. By contrast, low-wage workers in 13 other states will get a raise on January 1, including four states that recently raised the wage as well as nine states that annually index the minimum wage to inflation

Momentum has been building for Maryland to increase the state’s minimum wage during the upcoming 2014 session of the Maryland General Assembly.  Montgomery and Prince George’s county councils each recently passed bills raising wages in those jurisdictions to $11.50 by 2017.

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

COMPETING MINIMUM WAGE PROPOSALS? - Though the event above will highlight which MoCo lawmakers are supporting a $10.10/hour minimum wage, by deduction that means we will also soon know which lawmakers are not supporting a $10.10 indexed minimum wage. Maryland Juice previously noted that Senate President Mike Miller was suggesting an $8.25/hour minimum wage, and we recently noticed that Delegate Keith Haynes of Baltimore filed a bill in the upcoming session establishing a $12.50/hour minimum wage that does not appear to be indexed.

Meanwhile, the National Employment Law Project just put out a press release noting that 13 states will increase their minimum wage on New Year's Day:

13 States to Increase Minimum Wage on New Year’s Day

2.5 million low-paid workers to receive a pay raise as a growing number of states raise the minimum wage in the face of Congressional inaction

Washington, DC – After a year when thousands of low-wage workers staged historic strikes to demand higher pay in the retail and fast-food industries, and after escalating calls from President Obama and Congressional Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in four years, the new year will begin with 13 states implementing minimum wage increases that are estimated to boost the incomes of 2.5 million low-paid workers, according to an analysis of Census data by the Economic Policy Institute.

Four of these states – Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island –  passed laws to raise the minimum wage earlier this year, while the remaining nine states – Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington – are adjusting their minimum wages in accordance with state laws requiring automatic annual increases to keep pace with the rising cost of living. (California, which also passed a law this year to raise its minimum wage, will raise its minimum wage in July).

The increases will generate an additional $619 million in new economic growth as low-paid workers spend their increased earnings on basic necessities like food, gasoline, and housing.

“As Congress drags its feet on raising the federal minimum wage, more and more Americans are earning poverty-level wages in expanding industries like retail and fast food,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. “In the face of federal inaction, states are boosting the paychecks of the lowest-paid workers, promoting growth and consumer spending, and hopefully providing an example for Congress to follow.”

As the unemployment rate in many states continues to slowly decline, new job growth remains disproportionately concentrated in low-wage industries such as retail and food services, making an increase in the minimum wage an urgent priority for growing numbers of working families who are relying on low-wage work to make ends meet. Fully 58 percent of new jobs created in the post-recession recovery have been low-wage occupations, according to a 2012 report by the National Employment Law Project.

A growing list of states and cities is expected to approve minimum wage increases over the next year. Legislators have introduced proposals in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, and Hawaii, while efforts to place minimum wage increases on the November 2014 ballot are underway in South Dakota, Alaska, New Mexico, Idaho, Arkansas, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.  Local leaders are also exploring citywide minimum wage increases in Seattle, Chicago, and other cities.

In a rare example of regional cooperation, the District of Columbia City Council approved a bill earlier this month to raise the District’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour, with parallel measures  raising the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour also approved in the neighboring Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, supported by President Obama and introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives earlier this year, would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and adjust it annually to keep pace with the rising cost of living. The Fair Minimum Wage Act would also gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from its current low rate of $2.13 per hour, where it has been frozen since 1991, to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.

At the local level, San Francisco will also increase its minimum wage on New Year’s day, to $10.79 per hour, along with San Jose, which will boost its wage to $10.15 per hour, in accordance with city statutes requiring annual inflation indexing. The city of SeaTac, Washington, will establish a $15 per hour wage for airport-related hospitality and restaurant occupations, following a ballot measure approved in November.

As of January 1st, 2014, 21 states, including the District of Columbia, will have minimum wage rates above the federal level of $7.25 per hour, which translates to just over $15,000 per year for a full-time minimum wage earner.

The most rigorous economic research over the past 20 years shows that raising the minimum wage boosts worker pay without causing job losses – even in regions where the economy is weak or unemployment is high. A recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research reviews the past two decades of research on the impact of minimum wage increases on employment and concludes that “the weight of the evidence points to little or no effect of minimum wage increases on job growth.” An April 2013 poll found that 67 percent of small business owners support raising and indexing the minimum wage, indicating that the majority believe an increase will help boost economic growth.

The following table lists the states with increases, amount of increase, the new wage on January 1, 2014, the total workers directly and indirectly affected, and the GDP impact of each minimum wage increase:
States with Minimum Wage Increase
Amount of Wage Increase
New Wage onJan. 1, 2014
Total Affected Workers
GDP Impact
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island

The National Employment Law Project is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts research and advocates on issues affecting low-wage and unemployed workers. For more about NELP, visit www.nelp.org or www.raisetheminimumwage.org.

JUICE #6: FORMER MD GOP CHAIR ALEX MOONEY EARNS BACKING OF RIGHTWING GROUPS FOR WEST VIRGINIA CONGRESSIONAL SEAT - We previously noted that Maryland's discredited former GOP Chair Alex Mooney left the state to run for Congress in West Virginia. In case you were hoping what ever became of his race, I just noticed that Mooney received the endorsement of the rightwing activist and opponent of womens rights, Phyllis Schlafly. Check out the following press release from Mooney's West Virginia campaign website:

Eagle Forum PAC Endorses Alex Mooney for Congress

Martinsburg, WV - Eagle Forum PAC endorsed Alex Mooney, conservative Republican candidate for Congress in West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.

“Alex is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington. He will be a bold, pro-family, Constitution-supporting representative who can provide sorely needed leadership in Washington,” said Phyllis Schlafly, founder and president of Eagle Forum. “We know we can count on him to continue to stand up for the unborn and the Constitutional rights that we hold dear.”

“I am honored by Eagle Forum’s endorsement,” Mooney said. “We share a deeply held belief that our traditional conservative values are under assault by the liberal Obama administration. West Virginians deserve a representative who will stand up for their conservative beliefs and their freedom. In Congress, I will be a relentless voice for our individual liberties, our families, and our industries.”

The Eagle Forum endorsement is part of a growing conservative movement rallying behind Mooney’s candidacy. Mooney has also been endorsed by the Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, and Morton Blackwell. The Eagle Forum endorsement can be read here.

Candidate Alex Mooney, his wife Grace, and their children reside in Charles Town, West Virginia. Mooney is taking his campaign to defend conservative values to every part of West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.


Friday, December 20, 2013

JUICE: Ulman & Mizeur Can Fundraise During Session, State Cops for Brown, LCV for Frosh, and D15 & D11 Delegate Updates

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

JUICE #1: GANSLER-IVEY PROHIBITED FROM FUNDRAISING DURING SESSION, WHILE ULMAN & MIZEUR-COATES MAY PROCEED - Yesterday the Maryland Board of Elections issued an opinion clearing the way for Lt. Governor candidate Ken Ulman to continue raising money during the coming legislative session. Ordinarily, state officeholders cannot fundraise during a legislative session, but given that both Anthony Brown has chosen a running mate who does not serve in a state office. Meanwhile, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Delegate Jolene Ivey will have their hands tied for fundraising between January 2014 and the end of the legislative session in April. The Washington Post reported on the development yesterday (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: The Maryland State Board of Elections ruled Thursday that the running mate of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Anthony G. Brown can continue raising money during the coming legislative session even though Brown himself is prohibited by law from doing so.

The decision was immediately criticized by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, another Democratic candidate for governor, who said he expects that a court will decide the elections board misinterpreted a law that is “crystal clear.”

Maryland law prohibits statewide officeholders — including Gansler and Brown, the state’s lieutenant governor — from raising money during the 90-day session, which starts Jan. 8. Members of the state legislature also may not raise money during the session, which means that Gansler’s running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey (Prince George’s), is subject to the ban as well.

There is no explicit prohibition that covers Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D), Brown’s pick for lieutenant governor....
According to The Baltimore Sun, the ruling does not apply to Heather Mizeur's campaign, as she was already able to raise small funds during session (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN:  The ruling doesn't apply to Brown and Ulman's political rivals for the Democratic nomination. Del. Heather Mizeur of Montgomery County filed this week to accept public financing for her campaign, a move that allows her to accept low-dollar donations throughout the election cycle even though she is a state official.
Below you can read a series of press releases from Doug Gansler and Common Cause Maryland criticizing the ruling, followed by the full BOE memo. Here is Gansler's first press release, which was sent shortly after release of the BOE's decision yesterday:

Gansler/Ivey Campaign Statement on Maryland State Board of Elections Decision

Silver Spring, MARYLAND — The Doug Gansler/Jolene Ivey gubernatorial campaign today released the following statement from Communications Director Bob Wheelock in response to guidance issued by the Maryland State Board of Elections about prohibited fundraising activities during legislative session:

"Lt. Governor Brown and County Executive Ulman are on the same statewide ticket together. It's one campaign; you can't draw a line down the middle. We fully expect the courts will decide this is prohibited -- but regardless, it's clearly unethical for one member of a ticket to continue raising money when the other member is barred from doing so. This does not even come close to passing the voter smell test."
The Gansler campaign followed up on the press release above with another one today:

Gansler to Candidates: Stand Up to Special Interests, Say No to Fundraising During Session

Silver Spring, MARYLAND — Today, gubernatorial candidate Douglas Gansler responded to yesterday's State Board of Elections decision by calling on all gubernatorial candidates barred from fundraising during the upcoming legislative session to agree to prohibit their running mates from raising money during session.

"Running for governor and, ultimately, being governor, means you must take a stand for what's right. Accepting money from powerful special interests during legislative session is not only illegal, it is unethical. Do not ask your running mate to do what you are barred from doing," said Gansler. "Either you open the door to special interests, or you keep it closed. Which is it? The voters of Maryland are waiting for your response."
Common Cause Maryland also weighed in on the BOE memo with the following press release:

Common Cause Concerned Over Fundraising During Session
Calls on candidates to voluntarily limit activities

(Annapolis) – Common Cause Maryland expressed concern over today’s guidance by the State Board of Elections that allows candidates for Governor or Lieutenant Governor to continue to fundraise during the legislative session even if one candidate is a state-level elected official if the other is not.

“This guidance allows some elected officials to skirt critical ethics reforms intended to limit the corrupting influence of fundraising during the 90 day legislative session,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Executive Director of Common Cause Maryland.

“The decision rests on the assumption that one candidate can engage in fundraising without coordinating those activities with the other candidate. But corruption can occur even without coordination,” Bevan-Dangel explained.

For example, the minimum wage is widely anticipated to be a critical issue in the coming session. If a large corporate employer makes a significant donation to County Executive Craig or Ulman, and the County Executive later expresses to their running mate their concern over provisions of the minimum wage bill, there never needs to be a conversation over the specific fundraising activities or campaign expenditures. The donation has had the effect of impacting legislative decisions – the very reason fundraising is prohibited during session.

Common Cause Maryland called on the candidates raising money to consider voluntary limitations on their activities.  Candidates running on a slate with a state-level official should consider:
  • Prohibiting fundraising during session;
  • Restricting their fundraising to low-dollar donations only;
  • Enacting clear firewalls within the campaign so that neither candidate knows what individuals or entities are donating money during the legislative session.
# # #
You can read the full Board of Elections decision below:

JUICE #2: ANTHONY BROWN WINS ENDORSEMENT OF STATE POLICE UNION - Maryland Juice received the press release below from the Brown-Ulman campaign announcing the endorsement of a state police union:

Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman endorsed by Maryland State Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 69

Organization cites Brown’s commitment to public safety and record of results in reducing crime and domestic violence

UPPER MARLBORO, MD - Today, the Maryland State Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 69 endorsed Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and County Executive Ken Ulman in their race for Governor and Lt. Governor. The organizations cited Brown’s long-running commitment to public safety, his work fighting for Maryland’s middle class families, and his distinguished military service in Iraq as key to their backing.

Brown has been a leader in helping to reduce crime and domestic violence. Since 2006, violent crime in Maryland has decreased by 26.3 percent, to the lowest levels since 1975. Additionally, with Lt. Governor Brown leading legislative efforts to reduce domestic violence, the State has experienced a nearly 20% decrease in domestic-violence related assaults and a 15.3% reduction in domestic-violence related homicides.

“Maryland’s dedicated and selfless state troopers put their lives on the line every day to keep Maryland families safe, and I’m honored to have their support,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. “I’m committed to partnering with our public safety professionals to make sure they have the tools and training they need to continue doing their jobs protecting the public. That commitment will never waver throughout my tenure as Governor.”

“The courage and commitment of our state troopers is a shining example what makes Maryland great, and Anthony Brown and I are thrilled to have their support,” said County Executive Ken Ulman. “Anthony has a long record of results in supporting Maryland police and reducing domestic violence and, together, we’ll make Maryland the safest state in the nation.”

“Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman have strong records of fighting for Maryland’s public safety officers and we’re proud to back them as the best team to build a better Maryland,” said Drew Liberto, President of Maryland State Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 69. “Anthony’s forceful leadership has helped us reduce violent crime in Maryland to the lowest levels since 1975, and he's led the way in passing real reforms that have reduced domestic violence assaults by 20%. Anthony's commitment to fighting for middle class families is exactly what we need in our next Governor. We’re excited to join the Brown-Ulman team.”

The Maryland State Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 69 was founded in 1967 and represents 499 active and associate members throughout Maryland. The organization advocates on behalf of member police officers and their families, and will mobilize to generate grassroots support for Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman in their race for Governor and Lt. Governor.

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


JUICE #3: MARYLAND LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS ENDORSES BRIAN FROSH FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL - Maryland Juice received the following press release announcing that the environmentalists at the League of Conservation Voters have endorsed Brian Frosh for Attorney General:
Maryland League of Conservation Voters Endorses Brian Frosh for Maryland Attorney General 
 “Long Time Environmental Champion” Endorsement is Environmental, Political Group’s First for 2014 Elections

(Annapolis, MD) – The Maryland League of Conservation Voters endorsed state Senator Brian Frosh (District 16, Montgomery County) for Maryland Attorney General on Friday. Citing Senator Frosh’s legislative record, the group said it is excited to back a “long-time environmental champion” as its first endorsement for the 2014 election cycle. 

“Marylanders have counted on Senator Frosh to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways, fight climate change, make our air safer to breathe, reduce trash and toxic pollution and conserve open spaces,” said Maryland League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Karla Raettig. “Attorney General Frosh will bring that same dedication and passion to protect all Maryland families.” 

“Brian has been a tireless voice for our land, air and water – including the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Parris Glendening (1995-2003). “He’s also one of the hardest working public servants I know, and I am so excited for him to be our next Attorney General.”

Senator Frosh earned a 100 percent score on the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) 2013 legislative scorecard and has a 99 percent lifetime score. In recognition of his environmental record, Frosh received Maryland LCV’s John V. Kabler Memorial Award in 2003.

“The Attorney General plays an enormous role in defending and enforcing our environmental laws,” said Maryland LCV Board of Directors Chair Tony Caliguiri. “Electing a 100-percent green champion to this important office will help protect Maryland’s valuable natural resources and public health.” 

First elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1987 and to the Senate in 1995, Senator Frosh has established himself as a leading environmental voice. His accomplishments include:
  • establishing the state’s recycling program
  • enacting a law to prohibit oil and gas drilling in the Chesapeake Bay
  • ensuring shoreline protections for Maryland’s Coastal Bays
  • passing nutrient pollution regulations
  • advancing Maryland’s acclaimed Smart Growth program
  • championing the Brownfields Revitalization Program
  • promoting energy conservation
  • Frosh chairs the Judicial Proceedings Committee and chaired the Senate's Environmental Subcommittee from 1995 to 2003. He also serves on the multi-state Chesapeake Bay Commission, which he chaired in 2001.
Before each state election, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Board of Directors and staff evaluate questionnaires and conduct interviews with dozens of candidates for state-wide office, including Comptroller, Attorney General, and Governor as well candidates as for the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate.

In the 2014 elections, Maryland LCV will once again campaign to elect pro-conservation candidates. The organization will release endorsements in the coming weeks and months.

JUICE #4: MOCO ATTORNEY BENNETT RUSHKOFF GEARS UP TO TAKE ON DEL. DAVID FRASER-HIDALGO IN DISTRICT 15 - A couple Maryland Juice sources have recently provided us with details indicating that challenger Bennett Rushkoff is gearing up for a serious challenge to newly appointed District 15 Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo. Here are two bits of news we've recently heard from more than one source:
  1. Ruskhoff is expected to be able to self-finance at least $100,000 in the District 15 Delegate contest, while David Fraser-Hidalgo will be prohibited from fundraising once the legislative session begins in January.
  2. Ruskhoff has hired Feldman Strategies the firm of former Delaney campaign aide and confidant Andrew Feldman.
We'll be keeping a close eye on this race as it develops!

JUICE #5: DISTRICT 11 DELEGATE CANDIDATE SHELLY HETTLEMAN NETS ENDORSEMENTS FROM US SENATOR BEN CARDIN & REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS - Maryland Juice received the following press release from Democrat Shelly Hettleman, who is running for the D11 Delegate seat being vacated by Attorney General candidate Jon Cardin. Hettleman was formerly a campaign aide for Senator Ben Cardin, and she confirms that the Senator has endorsed her campaign. The press release below announces the endorsement of Congressman Elijah Cummings:

Congressman Elijah Cummings Endorses Shelly Hettleman for 11th District House of Delegates

On Thursday, December 19, Congressman Elijah Cummings endorsed Shelly Hettleman, former Campaign Director for Senator Ben Cardin in her House of Delegates run for the open seat in the 11th district of Baltimore County.  “Shelly has an incredible commitment to public service and is a hard worker.  We need someone with her character and compassion in Annapolis fighting for Baltimore County residents.  As a former delegate in the Maryland General Assembly, I know how important team work is to get things done and believe Shelly is ready to jump right in to work for Baltimore County.”  The 11th legislative district includes parts of the 7th congressional district that Rep. Cummings represents. There is an open seat in the 11th District as Del. Jon Cardin has declared a run for Attorney General.

Ms. Hettleman is committed to public service.  She has worked in numerous community programs, including advocacy groups for parents and abused women. She served as Sen. Cardin’s Campaign Director and as one of the leaders of the 2012 Maryland Democratic Coordinated Campaign, she co-led the re-election campaign of the entire Maryland Democratic congressional delegation.

Shelly has the skills, work ethic, and vision to be an effective legislator. “It’s not about flashy promises,” Ms. Hettleman says, “To get things done, it takes hard work and being in close touch with the needs of children, families and seniors.”

Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Paul Sarbanes and Congressman John Sarbanes joined over 250 Marylanders to attend Ms. Hettleman’s Campaign Kick-Off this past Sunday in Pikesville.  At the Kick-Off, Ms. Hettleman outlined some of her legislative priorities, among them: better public schools and early childhood education, more and better jobs, a fuller range of services for seniors, protecting the environment, and a series of steps to ensure robust citizen and neighborhood involvement.

If elected, Ms. Hettleman would be the first woman to represent the 11th in nearly 30 years.

A graduate of Pikesville High School, Shelly Hettleman and her husband Jeff raised their son and daughter in the Dumbarton community.  In addition to her work with Senator Ben Cardin, she helped found CHANA, an aid network for abused women in the Baltimore region and Parent Action, a grassroots organization dedicated to strengthening early childhood education and family friendly workplaces.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

JUICE: Mayor Bloomberg Endorses Frosh for AG, John Delaney Obamacare Idea, MD Closer to Wind Power, Valerie Ervin Video

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

JUICE #1: NYC MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG ENDORSES BRIAN FROSH FOR MD ATTORNEY GENERAL - The Washington Post's John Wagner reported this morning that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed State Senator Brian Frosh for Maryland Attorney General (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: In his bid for Maryland attorney general, Sen. Brian E. Frosh has picked up the endorsement of outgoing New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a noted national gun-control proponent.

Frosh (D-Montgomery), chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, shepherded legislation introduced by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) through the Senate this year that subjects handgun purchasers to new fingerprinting and training requirements....

“Reducing gun violence in America is a moral and social imperative,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “No one has done more in Maryland than Brian Frosh to lead the fight against illegal guns and protect citizens from incidents of gun violence....”

JUICE #2: REP. JOHN DELANEY SUGGESTS MARYLAND JOIN FEDERAL HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE INSTEAD OF BUILDING ITS OWN - The Baltimore Sun in an editorial yesterday expressed interest in a proposal from Congressman John Delaney for Maryland to forget about building it's own health care exchange system, and instead adopt the federal Obamacare exchange (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Since Gov. Martin O'Malley declared that the state's health insurance exchange website was functional for most users, anecdotal reports have been mixed. Some people report continued problems with frozen screens and other glitches that have bedeviled the site; others say they were finally able to enroll with relative ease.... That said, the pace of enrollments is still far too low....

Under those circumstances, the question raised by Rep. John Delaney, a Montgomery County Democrat, about whether it would be better for Maryland to scrap its effort to build its own exchange and instead join the federal one has merit. Indeed, Gov. Martin O'Malley acknowledged on Monday that the option — and all others — remain on the table.

That's a hard possibility for Governor O'Malley to acknowledge. Under his leadership, Maryland was one of the most aggressive states in the effort to build out its own exchange — a strategic decision that appears in retrospect to have involved no small amount of hubris and political ambition. Walking away now from all that effort and tens of millions in expenditures would be particularly embarrassing....
Both the governor and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown indicated on Monday that they are open to all options. They need to be. We can't let pride or momentum get in the way of doing whatever it takes to make sure Maryland residents can sign up for health insurance as soon as possible. After all, despite the political overtones, that's what this is about.

JUICE #3: OBAMA HELPS ADVANCE WIND POWER IN MARYLAND - Maryland Juice received the following press release from Environment Maryland this week indicating that President Obama has helped the state move one step closer to harnessing wind energy:

Obama Administration Sets A Major Milestone for Offshore Wind in Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland -- Today, the Obama Administration joined state officials to announce another major milestone for clean, renewable energy in Maryland.  Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and Governor Martin O’Malley announced the sale of an area off the coast of Maryland suitable for offshore wind development.

The announcement comes in the wake of a bill passed earlier this year that would help finance offshore wind in Maryland.  The bill was a signature issue for Governor O’Malley and strongly supported by a wide range of stakeholders; including environmental advocates and business groups; 

Three additional wind energy areas have been approved – two off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts and one off the coast of Virginia.

The lease sales represent a key element of President Obama’s plan to expand clean renewable energy to meet our nation’s energy and carbon reduction goals. 

“There is tremendous potential for producing clean, pollution-free offshore wind energy off our coast,” concluded Environment Maryland’s Energy Program Director, Rob Sargent.  “Today’s announcement represents another important step forward on clean energy for Maryland and the nation.   It’s a great example of the collaboration between state and federal officials that is necessary for continued progress on reducing pollution.”

"Today’s announcement brings our state one step closer to harnessing the tremendous potential of offshore wind energy off our shores and realizing Maryland's clean energy future,” said Governor O’Malley. “The development of offshore wind will drive economic development in Maryland, create high-quality, family-supporting jobs for Maryland residents and play a major role in reducing emissions and protecting the environment.”

“Responsibly harnessing the power of the wind blowing off our coast is critical for cutting pollution, and repowering America with clean, renewable energy,” said Joanna Diamond, Environment Maryland Director.  “We are thrilled with this progress and look forward to continued action from our officials so that we can start reaping the benefits of offshore wind power.”


JUICE #4: VIDEO FOOTAGE FROM VALERIE ERVIN'S RETIREMENT PRESS CONFERENCE - Maryland Juice was unable to attend the press conference announcing MoCo Councilmember Valerie Ervin's retirement last week. But for those who are interested in what happened and what was said at the event, check out the video below:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

JUICE: Gubernatorial Candidates Trade Barbs, Apply for Ervin Seat by 1/8, MoCo Council Candidates, D18, D15, D12, D11 News

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

JUICE #1: MARYLAND GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES TRADE BARBS AT MOCO FORUM - Yesterday Maryland Juice attended the annual "Committee for Montgomery" breakfast, a nonpartisan event attended by numerous business, political and nonprofit leaders in Montgomery County. But the draw for the breakfast gathering was a forum featuring practically all of Maryland's gubernatorial candidates (Democratic & Republican) on stage at the same time. Below we highlight a few interesting statements and thinly veiled attacks from the candidates for Maryland's highest office:

L-R: Moderator Brad Bell, Anthony Brown, Heather Mizeur, Charles Lollar, David Craig, Doug Gansler, Ron George
MoCo County Executive Ike Leggett spoke moments before the gubernatorial candidates took the stage and implored once again for the contenders to help Montgomery County win increased school construction funding in the 2014 legislative session. Calling Montgomery County the economic engine of the state, he also urged the state leaders to help MoCo fund its transportation infrastructure needs. Here's what the candidates had to say about these and other matters:
DOUG GANSLER: Attorney General Doug Gansler may have provided the most notable commentary with a series of not-so-subtle criticisms of the O'Malley-Brown administration. In his opening statement, Gansler noted that this was not his inaugural appearance at the Committee for Montgomery breakfast, and that he didn't just start attending once he started running for office. In responding to Anthony Brown's commentary about Maryland's #1 school system, Gansler stated that the "the books are a little cooked." On Maryland's Obamacare roll-out, Gansler suggested that the state should've put someone in charge that had experience and knew what they were doing. On the state's recent shift of pension costs to counties, Gansler said the O'Malley-Brown administration "shifted the burden to local government and said you figure it out." He also argued that Maryland has an unsustainable situation where we just tax people and that we need to fix our transportation, not just talk about it. He specifically mentioned the Purple Line, Corridor Cities Transitway and the Rapid Transit System.

HEATHER MIZEUR: Delegate Heather Mizeur stayed on the progressive issue track during much of the forum and noted that issues like marijuana reform would not be discussed during the gubernatorial campaign if she wasn't running. She also noted that she fought Annapolis leaders on the pension shift.

ANTHONY BROWN: Lt. Governor Anthony Brown started off by answering Ike Leggett's call for more MoCo school construction dollars and pledged to work in Annapolis this session to make it happen. He also defended the pension shift and stated that the O'Malley-Brown administration made the tough decisions to keep the pensions sustainable.

RON GEORGE: Delegate Ron George, a Republican candidate for Governor, had perhaps the most unusual remarks during the candidates forum. In response to discussion about the educational achievement gap in Montgomery County and surging enrollment from the children of immigrants, George talked about charter schools and suggested that we should temporarily take the immigrant children out of the public schools and put them in a separate school until they are proficient enough to re-join the general population.

DAVID CRAIG: Harford County Executive David Craig (a Republican candidate) stated support for the Purple Line from Bethesda to Silver Spring.

CHARLES LOLLAR: Charles Lollar (a Republican candidate), gave a particularly animated performance at the forum and criticized the fact that Montgomery County sends more tax dollars to Annapolis than it receives back.

JUICE #2: DETAILS ON THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR VALERIE ERVIN'S DISTRICT 5 MOCO COUNCIL SEAT - Maryland Juice just received the following press release from MoCo Council President Craig Rice detailing the application process for the District 5 Council seat being vacated by Valerie Ervin. Note the January 8th application deadline in the press release below:

Council President Craig Rice Outlines Process to Fill Montgomery District 5 Vacancy

Application Deadline is Jan. 8, 2014

ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 17, 2013—Montgomery County Council President Craig Rice today outlined the process to appoint a new Councilmember for District 5. On Dec. 10 Councilmember Valerie Ervin announced that she will resign from the Council on Jan. 3, 2014 to become executive director of the Center for Working Families.

As provided in Sections 102 and 106 of the County Charter, the Council intends to appoint a new Councilmember for District 5 by Jan. 31, 2014 to complete Councilmember Ervin’s unexpired term, which ends on Dec. 1, 2014. The new Councilmember must reside in District 5 and be registered to vote in the same political party as Councilmember Ervin (Democrat).

The Council intends to select a person who has shown a clear understanding of the issues that are important to residents of District 5.  To assure a level playing field for all persons interested in seeking election to the next full term from District 5, the Council expects to appoint a person who does not plan to run for election to that term.

Applicants should submit letters of interest with a resume to Council President Craig Rice, Montgomery County Council, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850 by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.  Applications can also be submitted via email to: county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Each applicant must be a registered voter in Montgomery County, registered to vote as a Democrat, and, at the time of appointment, a resident of Council District 5.  Each resume submitted should include the applicant’s professional and civic experience, political party affiliation, home and office telephone numbers, and home and email addresses.

Each application letter, recommendation letter, and resume submitted as part of the appointment process will be made available to the public.  Each applicant must submit a confidential County financial disclosure statement for Council review. (The form will be transmitted to each applicant for completion.)  Only the financial disclosure statement of the ultimate appointee will be made available to the public.

The Council will decide which applicants to interview.  Interviews will be scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17 at the Council Office Building.  Additional interviews, if necessary, will be scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, and Friday, Jan. 24.

Maryland Juice will soon publish a list of some of the names we have been hearing may be interested in the District 5 interim appointment.

JUICE #3: UPDATE ON POSSIBLE CANDIDATES FOR PHIL ANDREWS' MOCO COUNCIL DISTRICT 3 SEAT - Councilmember Phil Andrews is the other MoCo official vacating a seat in 2014, and after bumping into people at holiday parties over the weekend, Maryland Juice has an updated list of potential candidates for the June 2014 Democratic Primary:
  • Activist Guled Kassim
  • Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz
  • Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel
  • Rockville Councilmember Tom Moore
There is at least one more potential candidate, but they did not respond to our inquiries before publication.

JUICE #4: D18 UPDATE // DELEGATE ANA SOL GUTIERREZ FILES FOR RE-ELECTION - Many MoCo politicos had been speculating that D18 Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez might retire at the end of her current term. But she posted the following message on Facebook last night indicating she has filed for re-election:

Indeed, according to the Board of Elections website, all of the District 18 incumbents have now filed for re-election (Sen. Rich Madaleno and Delegates Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Jeff Waldstreicher):

JUICE #5: UPDATE ON DISTRICT 15 DELEGATE CANDIDATES // REP. JOHN DELANEY'S AIDE KEVIN MACK IS OUT - David Fraser-Hidalgo was recently appointed to the District 15 House of Delegates seat vacated by Brian Feldman, and many have been wondering who might run for the D15 seat in the June 2014 Primary. Sources indicate that Congressman John Delaney's aide Kevin Mack has decided not to run for the D15 Delegate seat. But sources indicate Democratic activist Hamza Khan, who previously applied for the D15 appointment, is now weighing a run for the Delegate seat in 2014. Lastly, progressive attorney Bennett Rushkoff is waging a liberal campaign for the D15 seat. I ran into Rushkoff this weekend, and I overheard him describe his platform to someone as one focused on schools and the educational achievement gap, stopping fracking and promoting wind power, and creating a "public option" for Maryland's health care system.

JUICE #6: SHELLY HETTLEMAN (AIDE TO SENATOR BEN CARDIN) ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR D11 HOUSE OF DELEGATES - Maryland Juice received the following press release from Shelly Hettleman announcing a campaign for the District 11 House of Delegates seat being vacated by Attorney General candidate Jon Cardin (excerpt below):

Shelly Hettleman announces run for 11th District House of Delegates at Campaign Kick-Off

On Sunday, December 15, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin will introduce his former Campaign Director, Shelly Hettleman, as she announces her candidacy to represent the 11th District in the House of Delegates.  “A woman with Shelly’s character and commitment to public service will represent our community well in Annapolis,” said Senator Cardin.  There is an open seat in the 11th District as Del. Jon Cardin has declared a run for Attorney General.

Ms. Hettleman is committed to public service.  She has worked in numerous community programs, including advocacy groups for parents and abused women. She served as Sen. Cardin’s Campaign Director and as one of the leaders of the 2012 Maryland Democratic Coordinated Campaign, she co-led the re-election campaign of the entire Maryland Democratic congressional delegation.

Shelly has the skills, work ethic, and vision to be an effective legislator. “It’s not about flashy promises,” Ms. Hettleman says, “To get things done, it takes hard work and being in close touch with the needs of children, families and seniors.”

At the Kick-Off, Ms. Hettleman will spell out some of her legislative priorities, among them: better public schools and early childhood education, more and better jobs, a fuller range of services for seniors, protecting the environment, and a series of steps to ensure robust citizen and neighborhood involvement in her work as a Delegate.

“It will be an honor to represent the people of the 11th District, and I will work tirelessly to earn their trust.”   

If elected, Ms. Hettleman would be the first woman to represent the 11th in nearly 30 years....

A graduate of Pikesville High School, Shelly Hettleman and her husband Jeff raised their son and daughter in the Dumbarton community.  In addition to her work with Senator Ben Cardin, she helped found CHANA, an aid network for abused women in the Baltimore region and Parent Action, a grassroots organization dedicated to strengthening early childhood education and family friendly workplaces.


JUICE #7: RETIRING DISTRICT 12 DELEGATE STEVE DEBOY WEIGHING UN-RETIREMENT? - A few months ago, all three District 12 Delegates announced they would be retiring from office. As a result, several candidates have announced for the D12 race. The district was dramatically altered in the last round of redistricting, so that the more liberal voters in Columbia, MD and Howard County are disproportionately represented in the new D12. But Center Maryland's Josh Kurtz recently reported that one of the retiring Delegates Steve Deboy may be rethinking his retirement decision:
JOSH KURTZ (VIA CENTER MARYLAND): Word on the street in Annapolis is that Baltimore County Del. Steve DeBoy (D) is reconsidering his decision to retire.

DeBoy, the thinking goes, is less than thrilled with the lineup of liberals that has formed to replace him. What’s more, as he ponders a race for Baltimore County sheriff – in 2018, when veteran Sheriff Jay Fisher (D) is expected to retire – he is wondering whether he’ll be in a stronger position to run as an officeholder rather than someone who has been out of the public eye for four years, even with his 32 years of law enforcement experience.

DeBoy did not respond to phone messages and an email left at his Annapolis and district offices. But when he announced his plans not to seek reelection in 2014, just days after the end of this year’s General Assembly session, he made it clear that redistricting was a factor in his decision....
In our previous round-ups of contentious roll call votes, we noted that Delegate Steve Deboy voted against Maryland's recent Dream Act, marriage equality, death penalty repeal, gun control, gas tax, and immigrant drivers licenses bills. The only hot-button liberal issues he seems to have supported recently are medical marijuana and stopping the Lockheed Martin corporate welfare handout.