Thursday, December 12, 2013

JUICE: MCDCC Truce with Labor, Del. Sheila Hixson Kills Retirement Rumor, Brown Denies Snubbing MoCo Advocate

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

JUICE #1: MOCO DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE & LABOR ACTIVISTS FORMING COMBINED SLATE FOR 2014 MCDCC ELECTIONS - Last May MoCo Democratic politicos ended up in a divisive debate over the MoCo police union's displeasure with "Question B," an effort to end "effects bargaining rights" for county law enforcement workers. Maryland Juice predicted we hadn't heard the last of that story, and this week Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck provided some follow-up. In the article below, Peck describes a new "unity" effort between members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) and labor activists. It appears that MoCo Young Dems, MCDCC members, and labor activists are attempting to form a slate of MCDCC candidates for the June 2014 Democratic Primary (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: The quadrennial election for Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) doesn’t usually attract much attention from Primary Day voters....  But the MCDCC found itself in an unwanted spotlight last May, when labor groups organized a boycott of the committee’s “Spring Ball” that kept a number of state and local Democratic officeholders away....

Now, with the filing deadline for committee slots just 10 weeks away, a peace initiative of sorts is underway involving MCDCC Chairman Gabriel Albornoz and representatives of several of the county’s leading labor groups.

Taking advantage of a larger than average turnover in the central committee next year –  due to retirements and several members seeking public office -- the apparent goal is to produce a unity slate of MCDCC candidates who are palatable to local labor groups, while representing something of a youth movement for the local party....

Albornoz is forming a screening panel—consisting of outgoing MCDCC members, along with a few party veterans—to interview applicants for the central committee, with an eye to producing a slate of candidates by mid-January. Two-thirds of the committee’s 24 seats are divided among the county’s eight state legislative district; the remaining members are chosen at-large.

Playing a major role in the effort is Dave Kunes, president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats, who is himself planning to seek a seat on the MCDCC and has recruited as many as 10 colleagues in the Young Democrats to apply during the slating process....

JUICE #2: DELEGATE SHEILA HIXSON STAMPS DOWN RUMORS OF A RETIREMENT - Though Maryland Juice was unaware of this, apparently there have been recent rumors of a possible retirement from Delegate Sheila Hixson. But Hixson's campaign aide Michael Vaughan reached out to Maryland Juice to stamp out the unfounded rumors with the following statement for publication:
MICHAEL VAUGHAN: I have heard a couple of rumors in the last few days, no doubt created by the usual mischief makers, that Delegate Sheila Hixson is retiring.  Sorry, not true.

I assure you and whoever reads this, that Sheila Hixson is running a vigorous campaign for re election in District 20 in 2014. We are well advanced in our planning for the campaign and have already begun making contact with the new precincts in D 20 who may not be familiar with the impressive record of Delegate Hixson and her powerful position in Annapolis.

As you know, Sheila and Senator Jamie Raskin have created a formidable legislative team, representing Montgomery County and the progressive values of District 20 reinforced by Sheila's position as Chair of House Ways and Means committee. 

Sheila and Jamie announced that they were running together after they led a walk across District 20 concluding with a well attended BBQ  at the Takoma Park VFW on October 26th.  I know the political waters in District 20 are swirling at the moment and you have a personal interest in the race but I know definitely that Jamie and Sheila are running and will continue to represent the progressive values of District 20.

I cannot speak for Delegate Tom Hucker but as far as I know he is running for re election for District 20. Tom is more than capable of handling rumors about his future plans.

We will continue to keep you informed as we ramp up our campaign. If anyone wants to know the status of our campaign please call and ask!  As you can know, I talk to Sheila all the time and I will be happy to inform you of the facts.

JUICE #3: MOCO ADVOCATE DISMAYED BY ANTHONY BROWN EVENT CANCELLATION // BROWN SAYS HE'S ATTENDING - A Maryland Juice source forwarded us the following email from Barbara Henry, the head of Committee for Montgomery, "a coalition of leaders representing a broad cross-section of Montgomery County business, labor, education, civic and community-based organizations. Our mission is to advocate in Annapolis on issues of importance to Montgomery County and the State. Through our membership, CfM represents more than 250,000 Montgomery County residents."

Committee for Montgomery is holding their annual breakfast this Monday, but today noted that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown has pulled out of attending at the last minute. As a result, the organization's head sent the following email message to Montgomery County's Councilmembers, Senators and Delegates:
BARBARA HENRY: We were informed, yesterday evening, that Lt. Governor Brown would not be participating in Committee for Montgomery’s breakfast on Monday.

As you can imagine, we were quite surprised to hear this at the 11th hour, particularly because we have an email commitment from his staff dated November 19th.

What this says about the Lt. Governor’s relationship with and commitment to Montgomery County I will leave to you to decide.

Since November 19th, we have been promoting his (and the other 4 candidates’) participation in the event.  As a result, will have to explain to the 750 attendees (most of whom, as you know, are at the political heart of Montgomery County) and the reporters from the Washington Post, Center Maryland, WAMU, and WJLA the circumstances surrounding Mr. Brown’s withdrawal.

If any of you have any influence whatsoever with Mr. Brown and his campaign, we would appreciate any influence you might bring to bear regarding a reconsideration of this decision.
The strangest part of this story, is that The Washington Post reported today that Brown does plan on attending the Committee for Montgomery breakfast (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Sparks are already starting to fly in advance of a Maryland gubernatorial forum scheduled for Monday — over who plans to attend....

A widely distributed e-mail on Thursday, however, suggested that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) had just backed out — and that organizers weren’t happy....

Brown will, in fact, be at the breakfast, his campaign manager Justin Schall said in an interview shortly after Henry’s e-mail was sent. “We are planning to attend,” Schall said. “We’ve always been planning to attend. I’m not sure what she’s talking about.”

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