Sunday, December 8, 2013

JUICE: Brown's MoCo Endorsers, Saqib Ali Exits D15, Ryan Spiegel for MoCo Council, MCEA Supports Incumbents & More!

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

JUICE #1: ANTHONY BROWN ANNOUNCES NEW ENDORSERS FROM MONTGOMERY COUNTY - This weekend, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown announced endorsements from elected officials in Montgomery County. You can see the names of his local supporters in the following press release (excerpt below):
Brown-Ulman campaign unveils 18 Montgomery County endorsers

Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz: “Montgomery County families know that they can count on Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman”

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Today, 18 Montgomery County elected officials endorsed Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and County Executive Ken Ulman in their campaign for Governor and Lt. Governor.... Earlier today, Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and three others endorsed Brown and Ulman at an event marking the opening of the campaign’s Baltimore office. 

“I’m proud to be endorsing Anthony Brown because he’s fought hard for education, maintaining record investments for Maryland schools while making them the best in the country for five years running,” said Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz. “Montgomery County families know that they can count on Anthony and Ken Ulman to make sure they have access to affordable health-care, good jobs, and a quality education for their children. Like many throughout Montgomery County, I’m ready to get to work for the Brown-Ulman team.”

“Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman each have an impressive record of progressive results for hard-working Maryland families and they’re the best choice for Montgomery County,” said Del. Tom Hucker. “Anthony has a great vision for Maryland's future and I wholeheartedly support him. He has the high moral character and commitment to service Marylanders expect in their next Governor, and I’m excited to help him get elected....”

The following Montgomery County leaders have endorsed the Brown-Ulman team:
  • State Senator Nancy King (39)
  • Former State Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola
  • Delegate Sheila Hixson (20)
  • Delegate Tom Hucker (20)
  • Delegate Kirill Reznik (39)
  • Craig Rice, President of Montgomery County Council
  • Valerie Ervin, Montgomery County Council
  • Nancy Navarro, Montgomery County Council
  • Hans Riemer, Montgomery County Council
  • Chris Barclay, President of Montgomery County Board of Education
  • Sidney Katz, Mayor of Gaithersburg
  • Peter Fosselman, Mayor of Kensington
  • Jeffrey Slavin, Mayor of Somerset
  • Michael Sesma, Gaithersburg Council
  • Tracey Furman, Kensington Council
  • Paul Sexton, Kensington Council
  • Cathy Pickar, Somerset Council
  • Tim Male, Takoma Park Council....

JUICE #2: GAITHERSBURG COUNCILMEMBER RYAN SPIEGEL TO RUN FOR MOCO COUNCIL DISTRICT 3 - Last week, Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel announced he will be running for the Montgomery County Council seat being vacated by incumbent Phil Andrews. Indeed, Maryland Juice has been astonished at the fairly empty field for a coveted Council seat, given that Andrews announced his departure months ago. But now we have a race on our hands. Local activist Guled Kassim has already announced for the D3 seat, and last week we received the following message from Ryan Spiegel (excerpt below):
RYAN SPIEGEL: Dear Juice, This time of year, we enjoy the blessings in our lives and we give to others.  We reflect on the past and we make resolutions for the future.  After much reflection together with my family, I have resolved that the best way I can give back to my community is by running for the Montgomery County Council. 

As you may know, Councilmember Phil Andrews is vacating his seat to run for County Executive.  It is imperative that someone with experience, vision, and commitment be elected to continue serving the people of District 3, which includes Rockville, Gaithersburg, Leisure World, Washington Grove, and parts of Aspen Hill, Derwood, North Potomac, and Potomac.

During my two terms on the Gaithersburg City Council, we've implemented cutting-edge policies on sustainability, economic development, housing, and job creation, all while preserving the quality of existing neighborhoods and our excellent record of constituent service.  We've achieved big successes for public safety, transportation, cultural events, and open space, while maintaining a fiscally responsible budget.  And we've increased our support for critical social programs addressing senior living, medical care, homelessness, financial education, and youth empowerment. 

But just as important is the way in which we've governed.  I have worked with colleagues of all political stripes to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and to build consensus on major decisions.  And by reaching out and working together, we've managed to get incredible things done to make Gaithersburg one of the most progressive and productive cities in the nation.
I will bring that important combination of legislative experience and leadership style to the Montgomery County Council.

In the coming weeks, our campaign will be rolling out the details of our policy priorities, updating our webpage, scheduling events, and calling on supporters to help us get the word out. I've run campaigns before, and I can tell you it's incredibly hard work. 

Like any successful endeavor, a campaign needs investors -- people who believe in the candidate and the cause and who understand that their contribution will help elect the right kind of leaders to make the decisions that affect us all.  It is particularly important to have a strong financial position in the early days, to ensure a smooth and successful campaign.  Please take a moment to make a contribution....

Thank you so much.  I am truly humbled by your support.

I am also a big proponent of open government. Throughout this journey, we want to hear from you and stay connected.  So please follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and call or email with any ideas or questions. 

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season.


Councilmember Ryan S. Spiegel

JUICE #3: SAQIB ALI WITHDRAWS FROM D15 DELEGATE RACE // BENNETT RUSHKOFF TO RUN AGAINST DAVID FRASER-HIDALGO - Earlier this year the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee appointed David Fraser-Hidalgo to serve in the District 15 Delegate seat that was vacated by Brian Feldman. There are a few updates to the story, as one candidate has dropped out of the race to win a full term to the D15 seat in 2014, and a new candidate has emerged for the Delegate seat.

First, according to the Board of Elections website, Saqib Ali has withdrawn from the D15 race:

Second, Maryland Juice received the following press release from a new D15 Delegate candidate, Bennett Rushkoff:

Bennett Rushkoff announces his candidacy for Maryland State Delegate, District 15

December 4, 2013 - North Potomac resident Bennett Rushkoff announced today that he has filed as a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, District 15. He will be running in the Democratic primary on June 24, 2014.

Rushkoff is Chief of the D.C. Attorney General Office's Public Advocacy Section, where he leads public interest enforcement in the areas of consumer protection, antitrust, charities, and government-related fraud. He joined the Office in 1998.

“After 25 years of public protection work at the federal, state, and local levels, I’m ready to serve as an effective advocate in our General Assembly,” Rushkoff said. “It would truly be an honor to join Senator Brian Feldman and Delegates Kathleen Dumais and Aruna Miller in representing District 15.”

Rushkoff’s top three campaign issues will be education, health care, and the environment. “We should strive to keep Maryland’s public schools No. 1 in the country, to ensure quality health care for all, and to promote clean, safe, and renewable energy as well as energy conservation,” he said.

A graduate of Yale Law School, Rushkoff has previously served as a Special Assistant to the Maryland Attorney General, as a consumer protection attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, and as Special Chief Counsel in the Missouri Attorney General's Office. He earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where he majored in public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School.

Rushkoff is a Lay Minister for social justice at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville. With his congregation, he has worked for marriage equality, offshore wind power, and repeal of the death penalty.

Rushkoff is married to Karen Whitesell, a physical therapist at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital. They have been residents of Montgomery County since 1997. Their daughter and son attend Wootton High School.

Friends of Bennett Rushkoff’s campaign website is at


JUICE #4: MOCO TEACHERS UNION ENDORSES ALL INCUMBENTS SEEKING RE-ELECTION (INCLUDING ALL D18 ELECTEDS) - Maryland Juice just saw the following announcement from the Montgomery County teachers union (MCEA), noting early endorsements for all MoCo Senate & House members seeking re-election. Note that MCEA has not yet weighed in on the contested D16 and D17 Senate races or the open seats. Also note that in District 18, MCEA has endorsed all three Delegates for re-election, including Ana Sol Gutierrez. This may be further evidence that she'll be running again in 2014:

JUICE #5: WASHINGTON POST PUBLISHES BLOW-BY-BLOW OF CONTENTIOUS MOCO MINIMUM WAGE VOTE - A couple weeks ago, Maryland Juice published several action alerts from groups making last minute appeals to voters before the Montgomery County Council's vote on a minimum wage increase. Indeed, I attended the Council vote in-person and witnessed a four hour spectacle of debate before the Councilmembers ultimately approved a minimum wage of $11.50/hour. Last week, however, The Washington Post's Bill Turque published a blow-by-blow of the contentious debate (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: the proceedings approached the four-hour mark, the council dais began to look and sound like a Thanksgiving dinner where long-simmering family tensions bubbled to the surface. The measure sponsored by Council member Marc Elrich (D-At-Large), lifting the minimum from $7.25 to $11.50 by 2017, passed 8-to-1 last Tuesday. The decisive final margin, however, belied the level of acrimony and personal animus.....

The first unexpected twist came from Council member Craig Rice (D-Upcounty), who for weeks had urged the council to defer action until the General Assembly passed a statewide wage hike. But toward the end of the debate, Rice solemnly announced that he would support Elrich’s initial proposal to raise the county minimum to $11.50 by 2016.... Gasps of surprise and applause rippled through the chamber.

Leventhal, who had planned on a strong six-vote majority for the amendment, was clearly stunned by Rice’s reversal.... “I’m losing track of how many times I’ve heard Mr. Rice change his views....”

Without naming her, Leventhal chided Council member Valerie Ervin (D- Silver Spring), one of Elrich’s co-sponsors, for telling The Washington Post that the bill raising the minimum to $11.50 by 2016 was “a vote of conscience” and “a litmus test” for the June 2014 Democratic primary. “Some colleagues are eager to make this an election issue, as quoted in the paper this morning,” Leventhal said.... 
Ervin: “....We’re all Democrats. We’re all supposed to be progressive Democrats....”

Riemer, speaking in support of [Roger Berliner's amendment to set the minimum wage at $10.75], underscored the importance of aggressively lobbying the General Assembly to raise the statewide minimum.

Riemer: “We are going to have to take the battle to Annapolis, and get the state to raise the minimum wage.”

Ervin: “Good luck.”

Riemer: “Well, we’ll see if you’re there on the front lines....” 
Berliner’s amendment was approved, 5-4. But a motion by Elrich, to phase in the increase from $7.25 to $11.50 across four years instead of three, won 6-3.

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