Monday, January 13, 2014

JUICE: Delaney Polling for Governor?, Van Hollen on Hillary's Hit List, O'Malley for $10/Hr Wage, Updates on Gov Race & More

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

JUICE #1: IS CONGRESSMAN JOHN DELANEY POLLING MARYLAND GOVERNOR & US SENATE RACES? - UPDATE: Maryland Juice received the following anonymous response from a source denying that the poll below involved the U.S. Senate race: "I have it on very good authority that Congressman Delaney has not been polling on Senator Mikulski in any way whatsoever. I'd prefer to not be attributed with this update, but wanted to pass the message along to you based on this morning's post."

Over the last week, Maryland Juice sources and readers have been mentioning a mysterious statewide poll surveying opinion about the 2014 Governor's race and U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. Notably, the poll appears to weigh the status of Congressman John Delaney in both contests. Below you can see some messages we received on Facebook and Twitter regarding the poll. We received the following message on Facebook from Frederick area Democrat Patrick Allen:
PATRICK ALLEN: January 5, 2014 - John Delaney push polls began today in an effort for Mr. Delaney to assess his future political aspirations and / or opportunities. Mr. Delaney currently represents the Maryland 6th Congressional District.

The polling is being conducted by Mountain West Research, based in Pocatello, Idaho, using satellite telemarketers located in Armada, Michigan (1-586-625-1581). This firm is generally known as a telemarketing firm and has a number of complaints filed against it.

It is important to note that the pollsters are asking a number of Gubernatorial questions regarding Mr. Delaney as well as a series of negative questions related to Senator Barbara Mikulski.

One can imagine that Mr. Delaney's Republican-styled legislative experience during his first term as a congressman has him a bit worried regarding his chances of re-election.
After Maryland Juice mentioned rumors of the poll on Twitter, we received the following responses from Karla Raettig, the Executive Director of Maryland's League of Conservation Voters:
KARLA RAETTIG: I can confirm. I was lucky enough to get a call Thursday night. It was pretty interesting.... Just want to clarify that it was clearly Delaney's poll and not a decoy.
Today The Washington Post's John Wagner reported on the development (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Is Rep. John K. Delaney (D-Md.) thinking about running for governor of Maryland? There’s at least some circumstantial evidence. A telephone poll has been conducted in recent days that includes the names of Democrats who’ve already announced they’re running for governor — along with that of Delaney, the freshman congressman....

Karla Raettig, executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, happened to be among those who got called as part of the poll. Raettig said she was interviewed Thursday and surprised to hear one of the choices offered for governor.... Raettig said the poll did not identify its sponsor. It included questions about negative aspects of the candidacies of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), Raettig said....

JUICE #2: REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN ON HILLARY CLINTON'S HIT LIST? - One of Congress's insider newspapers, The Hill, released an interesting report this week that Congressman Chris Van Hollen was apparently on a "hit list" created by Hillary Clinton's campaign staff for a perceived betrayal during her 2008 presidential campaign (excerpt below):
THE HILL: A longtime adviser to Hillary Clinton played down the importance of a list drawn up by campaign aides that noted the lawmakers and superdelegates who staffers believed had betrayed the former presidential candidate during the 2008 Democratic primary.

Among those named on the list, and earning the most negative rating from Clinton loyalists under a points system they devised, were Secretary of State John Kerry, the late Edward Kennedy, and a number of other prominent Democrats including Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jay Rockefeller (W.Va), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.), and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.).... The list, sources tell the authors, was sent to Doug Band, who at the time served as aide de camp to former President Bill Clinton....

JUICE #3: GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY SUPPORTING $10/HOUR MINIMUM WAGE HIKE IN MARYLAND - WTOP reported this week that Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley appears to be getting behind a $10 an hour minimum wage increase (excerpt below):
WTOP: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is calling for an increase in the state's minimum wage to at least $10 per hour. In an interview Sunday with CNN's "State of the Union", O'Malley said that if the minimum wage had only kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be a little more than $10 per hour now. He says it would be $20 per hour if the wage had kept pace with productivity....
Correspondingly, O'Malley is now scheduled to speak at an Annapolis rally for a $10.10/hr minimum wage tomorrow. Progressive Maryland circulated the following event announcement (excerpt below):
PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND:  TUES. Stand with working families, PM, allies, leaders in Annapolis to Rally with Gov. O'Malley to 'Raise the Minimum Wage, Raise Maryland!'

Tuesday, Jan. 14th, 5:45 p.m. at Lawyers Mall, State Circle before the State House, Annapolis
  • Raise the minimum wage to $10.10
  • Index it to the cost of living
  • Boost the pay of tipped workers from 50 to 70% of the prevailing wage
More than 500,000 Maryland workers will get a raise, boosting our state's economy for all.

JUICE #4: DOUG GANSLER CALLS FOR PRESS CONFERENCE AS REPORTS REVEAL MD OFFICIALS WERE WARNED ABOUT OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT PROBLEMS - In a lengthy expose, The Washington Post reported this weekend that Maryland officials were warned for at least a year about potential problems with the state's Obamacare enrollment platform (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: More than a year before Maryland launched its health insurance exchange, senior state officials failed to heed warnings that no one was ultimately accountable for the $170 million project and that the state lacked a plausible plan for how it would be ready by Oct. 1.

Over the following months, as political leaders continued to proclaim that the state’s exchange would be a national model, the system went through three different project managers, the feuding between contractors hired to build the online exchange devolved into lawsuits, and key people quit, including a top information technology official because, as he would later say, the project “was a disaster waiting to happen.”

The repeated warnings culminated days before the launch, with one from contractors testing the Web site that said it was “extremely unstable” and another from an outside consultant that urged state officials not to let residents enroll in health plans because there was “no clear picture” of what would happen when the exchange would turn on.

Within moments of its launch at noon Oct. 1, the Web site crashed in a calamitous debut that was supposed to be a crowning moment for Maryland officials who had embraced President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and pledged to build a state-run exchange that would be unparalleled.

Instead, by the next morning only four people had signed up using the Web site — and amazed that anyone had gotten through the system successfully, state officials contacted each of them to make sure they were real. The site’s problems continue to prevent Marylanders from signing up for health insurance. As of Friday, 20,358 people had selected private plans, and state officials have said they do not expect to come close to their initial goal of 150,000 by the end of March....
In response to The Washington Post expose, Attorney General Doug Gansler's campaign has announced a press conference today:

Doug Gansler to Hold Press Conference Today, Will Address Revelations About State’s Disastrous Health Exchange Rollout

Silver Spring, MARYLAND – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Douglas Gansler and his lieutenant governor candidate Delegate Jolene Ivey will hold a press conference Monday afternoon to address recent revelations in the media about the role of Lt. Governor Anthony Brown in mismanaging the rollout of Maryland’s health exchange.

WHAT:  Press conference with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler and his lieutenant governor candidate Jolene Ivey

WHEN:  Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3 p.m.                

WHERE: Gansler / Ivey Campaign HQ , 1300 Spring Street , Silver Spring, Md.


JUICE #5: DOUG GANSLER SAYS EQUALITY MARYLAND TRADED ENDORSEMENT OF ANTHONY BROWN FOR TRANSGENDER NON-DISCRIMINATION BILL - The Washington Blade reported today that Attorney General Doug Gansler believes Equality Maryland (an LGBT rights group) traded an endorsement of Lt. Governor Anthony Brown for support for a stalled transgender non-discrimination bill (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: Attorney General Doug Gansler told the Washington Blade last week that Equality Maryland “traded” its endorsement of Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown for governor for his support of a bill that would ban discrimination against transgender Marylanders.

Gansler told the Blade during a Jan. 10 telephone interview that Brown should “honor” the Equality Maryland endorsement by making the trans rights measure an administration bill as Gov. Martin O’Malley did in 2012 when he designated the same-sex marriage bill a legislative priority.... “That would be sort of putting his money where his mouth is,” said Gansler. “If it’s not an administration bill, I just don’t know....”

JUICE #6: FEMINIST MAJORITY ENDORSES HEATHER MIZEUR FOR GOVERNOR - Ms Magazine reported today that Delegate Heather Mizeur has received the endorsement of the Feminist Majority in her bid for Governor (excerpt below):
MS MAGAZINE: The Feminist Majority announced today its support for Del. Heather Mizeur in her bid to become governor of Maryland. Mizeur is an established state leader who fights for women's and human rights, health care access and education. If elected, Mizeur will become Maryland's first woman governor and the first openly gay governor in the nation....

"Maryland has a chance to make history by electing Heather Mizeur," said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal. "I am extremely impressed with Heather's leadership in the General Assembly. If elected as governor, she will surely win advancements for Maryland's women, working families, young people and members of the LGBT community...."

Mizeur, in addition to Feminist Majority, has been endorsed by EMILY's List, Maryland NOW, National NOW and Women's Campaign Fund.

JUICE #7: MCGEO DISCUSSES UPCOMING ELECTION FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE - A Maryland Juice reader flagged the following letter from Bob Stewart the Executive Director of MCGEO (the union representing many Montgomery County government employees). In the following piece in MCGEO's latest newsletter, Stewart discusses the forthcoming Democratic Primary race for members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (excerpt below):
BOB STEWART: In May 2013, we joined our brothers and sisters in the  FOP, the IAFF, the Metro-Washington Council of the AFL-CIO, and the Montgomery County Young Democrats in calling for a boycott and picket of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee’s Spring Ball. Beyond our dissatisfaction with the Committee’s role in eliminating effects bargaining for the County police, we felt that the party had strayed from  core democratic values especially its support for economic fairness and social justice for our most vulnerable citizens.

Fast forward to now, and you can see that our boycott had a tangible effect on the MCDCC and the choices it’s making in moving forward. An article in Bethesda Magazine says that the Committee is trying to produce a “unity slate” to fill upcoming vacancies on the Committee “who are palatable to local labor groups....”

Whether the MCDCC moves back to progressivism remains to be seen, but we are optimistic about these developments. We are happy to see that Dave Kunes, president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats, will likely play a huge role on the Committee. However, if the Committee doesn’t produce a slate that represents our issues we are ready to move forward with our own candidates....

JUICE #8: D29A DELEGATE JOHN WOOD RETIRING  //  PLUS: DEL. STEVE DEBOY RE-CONFIRMS HIS RETIREMENT DECISION - Maryland Reporter announced today that Democratic Delegate John Wood of District 29A is retiring. The article also notes that Delegate Steve DeBoy has re-confirmed his retirement from the Maryland House of Delegates (excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER:  “I’ve had enough,” Del. Johnny Wood told his colleagues in the legislature last week, confirming he would not seek reelection after seven terms in the House of Delegates.... In a way, it’s the legislature that has moved on over three decades, and left Wood a dinosaur among Democrats. Conservative Democrats were plentiful in the House when Wood arrived the same year as House Speaker Michael Busch. But over the years, the Democrats have moved to the left and Wood has found himself one of the few Democrats voting with Republicans on many fiscal, business and social issues....
Another conservative-leaning Democrat, [Del. Steve DeBoy] has been rumored to be reconsidering that move, but Friday he said he did not know who had started that rumor and he was sticking to his decision to leave the House of Delegates....

JUICE #9: D46 SEN. BILL FERGUSON AND DELEGATES PETE HAMMEN & LUKE CLIPPINGER FORM SLATE WITH BROOKE LIERMAN - Maryland Juice received the following press release announcing that District 46 Democratic state legislators have formed a slate with newcomer Brooke Lierman (a high school classmate of Maryland Juice):


Brooke Lierman joins Senator Bill Ferguson, Delegates Pete Hammen and Luke Clippinger as a candidate on the 46th District Democratic slate

BALTIMORE – Brooke Lierman, Fell’s Point resident and civil rights attorney, today announced that she is joining the Democratic ticket with incumbent State Senator Bill Ferguson and State Delegates Pete Hammen and Luke Clippinger. Brooke, a mother and community activist, is running as a Democrat.

“As a mother, community activist, and attorney, I have worked in the neighborhoods of our district to build a better City. I'm running for State Delegate to continue that work by making sure that Baltimore families and communities have a strong voice representing them in the State Legislature,” Brooke said. “I know that Bill, Pete and Luke share my commitment to Baltimore communities and families around the 46th District, and I am excited to be on a ticket with them.”

Brooke has been endorsed by former State Senator Perry Sfikas, former State Delegate Carolyn Krysiak, Councilman Ed Reisinger, and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

“I’m thrilled to have Brooke Lierman join the Democratic ticket for the 46th District,” said Senator Ferguson, who has represented the district since 2011. "Since she launched her candidacy, Brooke has worked tirelessly to get to know the voters in our district. She has proven, time and time again, how dedicated she is to our neighbors and all the residents of Baltimore. Pete, Luke and I are thrilled to welcome her to our team.”

Brooke is civil rights attorney with the Baltimore firm Brown, Goldstein and Levy, where she represents low-wage workers and disabled individuals in wage theft and civil rights abuse cases.  Brooke also provides pro bono representation to homeless individuals and to neighborhood groups advocating in front of the Liquor Board to close dangerous bars. She serves on the boards of the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, and the Citizens Planning & Housing Association.

Brooke is a resident of the Fell’s Point neighborhood, where she lives with her husband and young son.

The 46th legislative district represents Southeast, South and downtown Baltimore, as well as the Middle Branch neighborhoods. For more information about Brooke and her campaign, visit
# # #

JUICE #10:  REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN'S HELP NEEDED TO STOP THE "TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP," A SECRET BIG-BUSINESS TRADE DEAL - The Huffington Post reported this week that President Obama is working with U.S. House Republicans on passing a secret trade deal that aids big businesses over ordinary consumers. Advocates I've spoken to about the "Trans-Pacific Partnership" (aka TPP) indicate that Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen is a key figure whose help is needed to stop the TPP. Here's some brief background from The Huffington Post which indicates that Van Hollen is receptive to our outreach to stop the TPP (excerpt below):
HUFFINGTON POST: President Barack Obama's international trade agenda is dead in the water if he doesn't do a better job engaging with Democrats in Congress.... "We want transparency. We want to see what's going on there," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters. "We have a problem with that."

As a result, many Democrats fear the actual terms of the deal do not reflect traditional Democratic Party policy priorities. "This is a big problem now," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. "There is inadequate engagement on the substance of what will be in an agreement or out of an agreement."

Democrats in the House and Senate have complained for years about the secrecy standards the Obama administration has applied to the TPP, forcing members to jump over hurdles to see negotiation texts, and blocking staffer involvement. In 2012, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) complained that corporate lobbyists were given easy access while his office was being stymied, and even introduced protest legislation requiring more congressional input.

The issue came to a head Thursday in two ways. In one case, Obama's new nominee for China ambassador, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), angered his party by introducing fast-track trade legislation backed by the White House. The bill would ease the passage of the TPP and is cosponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). But most Democrats oppose the bill, and ultimately, Baucus and the administration introduced the legislation without a House Democratic co-sponsor -- a public embarrassment that prompted House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to declare Obama needs to get his act together on trade policy....

And most Democrats don't think the pending TPP deal addresses numerous labor, environmental and other issues adequately. Like NAFTA, the TPP would empower foreign corporations to directly challenge the laws and regulations of a country before an international tribunal. Under other trade frameworks, like the World Trade Organization treaties, only nations themselves are permitted to bring trade cases before an international arbiter, meaning companies must first win support from a government before attacking a law. Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly and other corporations have used NAFTA to attempt to overturn Canadian regulations regarding offshore oil drilling, fracking, pesticides, drug patents and other issues....

ACT NOW TO STOP THE TPP CORPORATE POWER GRAB: The online mobilization group Credo Action is calling the TPP a "massive corporate power grab" and has issued the following alert (excerpt below):
CREDO ACTION:  Stop this massive corporate power grab.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a terrible "trade" deal being negotiated in secret by the governments of a dozen countries (including ours) colluding with corporate interests.

Under the TPP, more American jobs would be offshored. Internet freedom would be a joke. Developing countries would lose access to lifesaving medicines. Unsafe foods and products could pour into our country. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Our best shot to stop the TPP is right now. The enactment of the TPP will hinge upon the passage of so-called “fast-track trade authority,” which would allow the president to sign off on the TPP before the American people or Congress ever have a chance to read it. A fast-track bill was introduced in Congress last week. So we need to speak out today....

No comments:

Post a Comment