Below Maryland Juice provides a round-up of news items of interest to politicos:
JUICE #1: DANA BEYER POLLING POTENTIAL RACE AGAINST SEN. RICH MADALENO - A Maryland Juice source sent us word of a poll out in the field right now in District 18. Two-time D18 Delegate candidate Dana Beyer now appears to be kicking the tires on a challenge to State Senator Rich Madaleno:
ANONYMOUS SOURCE: Beyer has a baseline poll in the field testing the delegate candidates, a Beyer/Madaleno senate matchup and testing some positive and negative messages as well as lines of attack.
JUICE #2: GOV. O'MALLEY & NUMEROUS LABOR UNIONS BACK CHALLENGER TO STATE SENATOR JIM BROCHIN - The Washington Post's John Wagner reported yesterday that Governor Martin O'Malley is backing a Democratic Primary challenger to State Senator Jim Brochin (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. never agreed on much, but the two adversaries have come to the same conclusion about one thing: Someone other than James Brochin should be elected to the state Senate from District 42.I looked up the recent campaign finance reports for both Brochin and DeJuliis, and here's where the two candidates currently stand in terms of cash on hand:
Both O’Malley (D) and Ehrlich (R) have penned fundraising solicitations in recent weeks for candidates challenging Brochin, the independent-minded, three-term Democratic incumbent representing the Baltimore County district. O’Malley is supporting Connie DeJuliis, a former member of the House of Delegates who helped him in his gubernatorial campaigns....
“Connie is running to be a strong, Democratic voice for the communities, families, and citizens of the 42nd District in Baltimore County,” O’Malley said in his Jan. 7 fundraising solicitation for DeJuliis. “Her campaign is an important one, and she needs our help....”
- State Senator Jim Brochin (incumbent): $228,744.52
- Connie DeJuliis: $41,745.06
Note that Connie DeJuliis' campaign finance report shows donations from a wide range of labor unions and some politicians including: AFSCME Local 770, Baltimore Fire Officers Local 964, Maryland Social Services Employees Local Union 112, Maryland Teamsters PAC, 1199 SEIU - NYS Political Action Fund, CWA Cope - VA, Local 32 BJ NY/NJ American Dream Fund, Teamsters Local Union No. 639, Ironworkers Political Action League PAC, UAW PAC MD State, Friends For John Olszewski Sr and Friends Of Senator Norman Stone.
JUICE #3: NEW STUDY REPORTS MARYLAND IS #1 FOR MILLIONAIRES, VIRGINIA IS #7 - After all the hysteria from Democratic lawmakers about the potential flight of millionaires to Virginia, Maryland Juice was irritated to see a new study last week indicating that Maryland is #1 in the nation for millionaires (per capita). Can we please end the hysteria used to advocate for pro-millionaire policies already? Phoenix Marketing International published the following study, which was summarized by Politico's Mike Allen:
MIKE ALLEN (VIA POLITICO): States with the most and least, per Phoenix Marketing International: 1) Md. 2) N.J. 3) Conn. 4) Hawaii 5) Alaska 6) Mass. 7) Va. 8) N.H. 9) Del. 10) D.C. 11) Calif. 12) N.Y. ... 22) Texas ... 30) Fla. ... 36) Ohio ... 46) Tenn. 47) Ky. 48) W.Va. 49) Idaho 50) Ark. 51) Miss.Here's a screencap from the Phoenix Marketing study:
JUICE #4: SIERRA CLUB ENDORSES HEATHER MIZEUR FOR GOVERNOR - Maryland Juice received the following press release from Heather Mizeur's campaign announcing the endorsement of the Sierra Club in her bid for Governor (excerpt below):
Mizeur-Coates Campaign Picks Up Sierra Club Endorsement
SILVER SPRING, Maryland – This weekend, Heather Mizeur and Delman Coates, Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, received the endorsement of the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, one of state’s leading environmental groups. They are the first environmental group to endorse in the Democratic gubernatorial election.
"The next Governor will face tough environmental challenges from eradicating dead zones in the Bay and boosting our alternative energy options to protecting and sustaining our natural resources," said Mizeur. “We’re honored to have the support of Sierra Club—and all their members—in this campaign, and look forward to working with them in victory.”
The Sierra Club is the largest grassroots environmental organization in the country. The Maryland Chapter has 12,000 members. Some of the chapter’s priority campaigns are focused on moving the state "Beyond Coal" and "Beyond Natural Gas", and on preserving the natural environment for future generations.
"Delegate Mizeur is a true environmental champion who leads the fight to ensure that all Maryland families have access to clean water, healthy air and open spaces,” said Josh Tulkin, state director of the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter. “Heather isn't afraid to speak her mind and stand up to special interests.”
Last week, the Mizeur-Coates campaign received endorsements from two women’s groups: Maryland NOW PAC and Feminist Majority. The campaign has also been supported by several other groups, including EMILY’s List and the Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police....
JUICE #5: SUSAN LEE FOR D16 SENATE & KELLY, KORMAN, JAMGOCHIAN FOR D16 DELEGATE // PLUS: DUCHY TRACHTENBERG WEIGHING AT-LARGE COUNCIL RUN - The Sierra Club also informed Maryland Juice that in District 16, they've endorsed Del. Susan Lee for State Senate and Del. Ariana Kelly, Marc Korman & Hrant Jamgochian for the three Delegate slots. On a similar note, Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck reported today that former Montgomery County Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg has decided not to challenge Susan Lee for the State Senate seat and is instead weighing a run for MoCo Council At Large (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: ...Delegate Susan Lee took another step toward locking up the nomination for the seat now held by Sen. Brian Frosh, who is seeking the Democratic nod for state attorney general. Former County Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg said this week that, despite “a great deal of encouragement and support from many District 16 residents, I will not be running for the…Senate seat.” Trachtenberg, who continues to weigh a bid to regain an at-large seat on the County Council, added: “My political interests have always been in Rockville, and down on Capitol Hill....”
JUICE #6: GANSLER SUPPORTS TYING MINIMUM WAGE HIKE TO CORPORATE TAX CUT // PLUS: SENATE PRESIDENT MIKE MILLER SENDS MIXED SIGNALS - Earlier this month, Baltimore Business Journal reported that gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler supports linking a state minimum wage increase to corporate tax cuts (excerpt below):
BUSINESS JOURNAL: Senate Bill 8 was introduced by Sen. Richard Colburn, R-Caroline. Colburn is a member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. The bill is one of several attempts expected this General Assembly session to reduce the state’s corporate income tax to bring it in line with neighboring states like Virginia, where the rate is 6 percent.Meanwhile, in recent weeks Senate President Mike Miller made a series of telling comments about his views on a minimum wage increase. The Baltimore Sun's Erin Cox reported on Miller's thoughts (excerpt below):
Those attempts could gain traction this session because several candidates for governor have come out in favor of a tax decrease. Attorney General Douglas Gansler, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, wants to see the rate lowered to 6 percent. Gansler would tie the reduction to a hike in the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, up from the current $7.25 an hour.
BALTIMORE SUN: Sen. President Thomas V. Mike Miller predicted a big fight over raising the minimum wage in Maryland and publicly urged his colleagues to look for compromise.
Miller said he doesn’t believe the proposal backed by Gov. Martin O’Malley will pass his chamber, and that while there is broad support for a wage increase, the state will have to allow different regions to have different wages. “I’m trying to find way out of dodge,” Miller told reporters, adding: “I’m telling you right now: it’s going to be a very tough sell....”
Miller, who said he believes some wage increase will pass, criticized those jurisdictions for acting alone. “Personally, I think what Prince George’s and Montgomery County have done is a tremendous disservice to their state and their community,” Miller said. The higher wage, he said, creates a political challenge for passing a state-wide wage lower than $11.50 and it discourages chain businesses from launching new enterprises in those counties....
JUICE #7: ANTHONY BROWN ENDORSES MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION PROPOSAL // PLUS: MARYLAND LEADS NATION IN POT ARRESTS - The Baltimore Sun's Michael Dresser recently reported that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown is endorsing a legislative proposal to remove the 90-days-in-jail penalty for marijuana possession in Maryland (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Speaking at a Baltimore Sun Newsmaker Forum, Brown also came out strongly for decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana. But he said Maryland should wait and learn from the experience of other states before moving to full legalization of the drug.... On marijuana, Brown took a middle ground between the O'Malley administration's cautious support of the limited medical marijuana program approved last year and the legalization plan offered by Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County, one of Brown's rivals in the June Democratic primary....Meanwhile, Christopher Neely of the Capital News Service reported that Maryland has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the top five states in the nation for marijuana arrests (excerpt below):
CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE (VIA PATCH.COM): Maryland is a state with a serious marijuana arrest problem, according to the FBI’s 2011 annual Uniform Crime Report. With 22,043 arrests for marijuana possession producing an arrest rate of 378 people per 100,000, Maryland ranked among the top five in marijuana possession arrests according to the most recent data available. This is not new for the Free State. Since 2007, Maryland has been in the top five states in marijuana possession arrest rate.In other news, a coalition of groups including the ACLU, Equality Maryland, League of Women Voters of Maryland, NAACP and more have formed a coalition to end marijuana prohibition.
“I have no idea why these numbers are so high,” said state Sen. Bobby Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, who is an advocate for marijuana decriminalization in Maryland. “The numbers are shocking and staggering.” Experts say the numbers are in part the result of the war on drugs being focused on petty marijuana possession arrests starting in the 1990s. Some also attribute much of the increase to then-Baltimore Mayor and now Gov. Martin O’Malley, who helped introduce both statistics driven policing and zero tolerance policies to the state.
From 2000-2007, Maryland’s overall marijuana possession arrest rate rose by 4,916 arrests per year, or 28 percent statewide. During the same time period, Baltimore’s marijuana arrest rate surged by 3,686 arrests per year - more than 155 percent....
But according to a recent poll conducted by Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling, 68 percent of Marylanders support decriminalization. Fifty-three percent support legalization similar to Colorado and Washington....
JUICE #8: GANSLER ATTACKS ANTHONY BROWN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE CONTRACTORS - In response to the ongoing controversy over Maryland's bungled roll-out for Obamacare enrollment, Attorney General Doug Gansler issued the following press release slamming Anthony Brown for taking thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from contractors working on the project (excerpt below):
Brown/Ulman Took Nearly $130K from Health Care Interests for Campaign, Leaving Marylanders to Foot $170 Million Bill
While Taxpayers Have Spent $170 million on Botched Health Exchange, Brown Reaping Campaign Contributions
Silver Spring, MARYLAND – According to campaign finance reports, the Brown/Ulman gubernatorial campaign received $45,850 in campaign contributions between 2011 to 2014 from health care interests directly associated with the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange that Brown is overseeing – in addition to $84,000 Brown has received in donations linked to the health care industry in prior years.
A description of the contributions is below.
“While taxpayers have spent over $170 million on a botched insurance website overseen by Lt. Governor Brown, he has been reaping nearly $130,000 from health care interests. That is outrageous. Lt. Governor Brown owes taxpayers an answer for this ethical lapse – and an apology for the state of the exchange,” said Bob Wheelock, communications director for the Gansler/Ivey campaign....
Campaign Contributions to Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman from Healthcare Interests Directly Related to Exchange
Friends of Anthony Brown & MBHE Vendors
Friends of Anthony Brown & MBHE Insurance Providers
- Friends of Anthony Brown received $8,550 from vendors listed as receiving contracts from the Maryland Health Benefit Exchanges and executives or employees with those vendors.
- Friends of Anthony Brown received a total $4,750 from lobbyists who currently or formerly represented companies that received contracts from the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. $2,450 came from individuals who are currently registered to lobby on behalf of vendors, and $2,300 came from individuals who had formerly been registered to lobby on their behalf. (Note that some of these lobbyists were also registered on behalf of insurance carriers on the Exchange.)
- Friends of Anthony Brown received $22,700 in contributions from authorized marketplace insurance carriers and their executives. The carriers were CareFirst, Evergreen, and Aetna.
- Friends of Anthony Brown received $10,495 from lobbyists who currently or formerly represented Maryland Health Benefit Exchange insurance carriers $4,325 came from individuals who are currently registered to lobby on behalf of carriers, and $6,170 came from individuals who had formerly been registered to lobby on their behalf. (Note that some of these lobbyists were also registered on behalf of vendors contracted with the Exchange.)
DMV DAILY: In a recent DMVDaily poll of likely voters, both from the citywide voter file as well as the avid readers of this publication, the once unknown Mizeur campaign has seemingly catapulted its way into the mainstream conversation of likely victors. Polling in single digits late last year, the Mizeur/Coates campaign has gained considerable ground amongst Baltimore City voters, closing the gap with such tenacity that one has to wonder how well she will do statewide with more time to connect with voters.Note: I have not seen the actual polling memo, sample or crosstabs, so I have no idea whether this was a statistically valid poll.
Our recent survey, asking roughly 500 area voters who they would choose for Governor if the election were held today, showed Mizeur trailing Brown by a mere three percentage points (32%-29%), while Gansler lagged far behind at 18%. And while over 20% of respondents were still undecided as to whom they would support, the fact that Mizeur has already bypassed her Montgomery County colleague Gansler, shows her campaign’s strategic success over the past few months....
JUICE #10: DEL. LUIZ SIMMONS SENDS ANOTHER DIRECT MAIL PIECE IN D17 SENATE RACE AGAINST CHERYL KAGAN // PLUS: WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL CRITICIZES SIMMONS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - Delegate Luiz Simmons sent a second direct mail piece to D17 voters regarding "mudslinging" in his State Senate battle against Cheryl Kagan (see below):
Meanwhile, The Washington Post's editorial board issued the following piece highlighting Delegate Simmons' obstruction of legislation to combat domestic violence (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland has long had the dubious distinction of being the only state that imposes a rigid burden of proof for victims of domestic abuse to receive a civil protection order. Past efforts to change the outdated law never got very far in a hidebound legislature, and advocates became so discouraged that they didn’t even raise the matter in recent years....
Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery), chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee and a candidate for attorney general, is sponsoring legislation that would establish a more reasonable burden of proof for victims seeking protection orders....
Mr. Frosh expressed confidence that the reform will pass in the Senate, but the real obstacles lie in the House of Delegates, notably its Judiciary Committee. It killed similar legislation when it was last proposed in 2010. Not even the wrenching testimony of a woman whose three children were drowned after she couldn’t obtain a protective order against her estranged husband could convince the committee of the need for change. The callous, if not hostile, treatment of Amy Castillo brought justifiable criticism to the committee and its chairman, Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George’s), but it remains to be seen whether lawmakers have learned from their mistakes.
Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Montgomery), who led the effort to kill the bill four years ago, told us he might be open to the change and has some ideas for “compromise” that he plans to discuss with Mr. Frosh. Perhaps not coincidentally, Mr. Simmons is seeking election to the Senate and is locked in a primary battle with former delegate Cheryl Kagan in which women and domestic violence issues are sure to be a focus....
JUICE #11: MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE CANDIDATES COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER TO PROTECT "TEN MILE CREEK" - An interesting environmental issue has emerged in Montgomery County's County Executive race. Activists with the "Save Ten Mile Creek" coalition are trying to stop development that would impact a MoCo waterway that serves as a back-up water supply:
SAVE TEN MILE CREEK: Just outside the boundaries of Clarksburg Town Center runs one of the healthiest waterways in the Chesapeake Watershed: Ten Mile Creek. A designated drinking water supply, Ten Mile Creek flows steadily, clear and cold, and teems with fish, many different kinds of aquatic insects, salamanders and other life forms. But large commercial and residential development proposals threaten this creek and watershed. Ten Mile Creek is delivering clean, healthy water to Little Seneca Reservoir and the Potomac. We want to keep it that way now, today and tomorrow....Notably, this issue is becoming a key political debate ahead of the 2014 Democratic Primary, as candidates for County Executive have weighed in on the issue. Below we excerpt a letter from County Executive Ike Leggett regarding this issue, as well as an email blast from former County Executive Doug Duncan:
IKE LEGGETT: As you know, protecting the environment is a priority of mine. It is for this reason I am making a commitment that the County will forego any development on the 128-acre County/Clarkwood site. Further, I have made a decision that the County will not build the proposed addition to the County Correctional Facility. Together these two properties owned by the County total over 400 acres in the Ten Mile Creek area. The commitment to forego any development on these two County properties represents a signficant reduction in impervious surface, and therefore a substantial contribution to protection the environmental resources in this watershed.
DOUG DUNCAN: Montgomery County is facing a major land use decision with environmental consequences that will outlive all of us by decades or centuries. Ten Mile Creek in the Clarksburg area is a County treasure - one of a very few high quality reference streams in the County. In the coming weeks, the County Council has to decide how much development to allow in the Ten Mile Creek watershed, a decision that will say a lot about our commitment to protecting our environment and our region's water supply. The Creek is like an endangered species - we value it for many reasons. If we destroy it, we will learn, to our regret, that it was truly irreplaceable.... The County Council must make this right by limiting development in the headwaters of Ten Mile Creek so that the current water quality of the Creek is maintained and that no further degradation occurs.... We can and must save Ten Mile Creek. If you agree, contact the County Council to please ask them to base their decision on this issue by supporting the policy of no further degradation to the Creek.For what it's worth, County Exec candidate Phil Andrews also joined Duncan and Leggett at a "Save Ten Mile Creek" event this weekend.
JUICE #12: DOUG DUNCAN WINS ENDORSEMENT OF MOCO FIREFIGHTERS - Last week Doug Duncan announced the endorsement of the Montgomery County firefighters union in his bid for County Executive (excerpt below):
JEFFREY BUDDLE, IAFF LOCAL 1664: As president of the Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1664, I am pleased to let you know that we have endorsed Doug Duncan to be the next County Executive of Montgomery County.
Having been a career fire fighter for 15 years now, and having worked with different administrations and politicians, I know that the traits Doug brings to the table are exactly what Montgomery County needs at this point in time in order to get us back on track.
His resolute commitment to public safety, both in the past and going forward, his vision for tomorrow’s Montgomery County, and his leadership style are what distinguish him as the clear choice in this race and made it an easy decision for us.
Doug has been an ardent supporter of the career fire fighters since day one. He understands the importance of working together to create one of the finest fire and rescue services in the country. Doug knows how critical safeguarding the residents of Montgomery County is.
Montgomery County needs a strong, invigorated leader with innovative and new ideas. More of the status quo will just simply not work and we must once again get Montgomery County moving in the right direction. It was an honor to work with Doug before and we look forward to working together again with him as the next Montgomery County Executive....
JUICE #13: NARAL PRO-CHOICE MARYLAND PAC ISSUES CALL FOR CANDIDATE SURVEYS - Maryland Juice received the following alert from the NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC requesting candidate surveys for its endorsement process:
NARAL PRO-CHOICE MARYLAND PAC
Announces Endorsement Process
SILVER SPRING, MD--Today, the Political Action Committee of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland announced that they have launched a new portion of their website dedicated to preparing for the upcoming elections.
Persons interested in the endorsement process, voting information, and volunteer opportunities should visit www.prochoicemd.org. The site will be continually updated and will include endorsed candidates when they are announced.
The NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Political Action Committee is the only statewide PAC dedicated solely to electing pro-choice candidates to office in Maryland. Since 1982, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC has worked to elect pro-choice officials at the state and county levels.
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland is dedicated to ensuring that Maryland continues to be a leader in the reproductive rights movement
To learn more about the endorsement process, please visit www.prochoicemd.org/elections.