Monday, February 17, 2014

JUICE: Governor Poll Results, MoCo Exec Debate, Minimum Wage Status, D17, Deportations, Pot, Reporter Shield, MD vs VA

Below Maryland Juice provides a quick round of updates on the status of high-profile legislative initiatives and campaigns of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: GUBERNATORIAL POLL RESULTS - BROWN 35%, GANSLER 14%, MIZEUR 10% // PLUS: AG POLL RESULTS - CARDIN 18%, FROSH 6%, BRAVEBOY 4%, FRICK 3% - This week, The Baltimore Sun released results of a poll they commissioned showing the status of the Democratic Primaries for Governor and Attorney General. Take these numbers with a grain of salt, because candidates in both races have not yet spent funds on media. Correspondingly, there are large numbers of undecided voters in the races for Governor and AG, but the early results are still pretty interesting. Here's a snapshot of The Baltimore Sun's survey results:

Democratic Primary for Governor
  • Undecided - 40%
  • Anthony Brown & Ken Ulman - 35%
  • Doug Gansler & Jolene Ivey - 14%
  • Heather Mizeur & Delman Coates - 10%
Democratic Primary for Attorney General
  • Undecided - 69%
  • Jon Cardin - 18%
  • Brian Frosh - 6%
  • Aisha Braveboy - 4%
  • Bill Frick - 3%
Meanwhile, Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck had a different analysis of the Governor's race. In an article last week, he sorted out support for Brown and Gansler in their home counties (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: Gansler has the backing of 16 of Montgomery County’s 32-member General Assembly contingent, with four senators (Brian Feldman of Potomac, Jennie Forehand of Rockville, Richard Madaleno of Kensington, and Karen Montgomery of Brookeville) and 12 delegates publicly behind him. By the same token, Brown has the backing of 15 members (five senators, 10 delegates) from among the 30-member Prince George’s delegation.... 

There is, however, a striking disparity in the level of support for Brown and Gansler among their home county councils: While Brown has the public backing of six of the nine members of the Prince Georges Council, Gansler has yet to attract the endorsement of a single member of the Montgomery council....

Privately, it appears that policy differences are keeping some officials in the state’s most avowedly liberal jurisdiction from embracing native son Gansler, a long-time death penalty supporter who more recently has called for a corporate tax cut....
Lastly, Gansler announced in a press release today that he received the endorsement of the Montgomery County Firefighters union (excerpt below):
DOUG GANSLER (VIA PRESS RELEASE): During his remarks, Gansler announced that the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1664, AFL-CIO, CLC has endorsed the Gansler/Ivey ticket.

“It is with great excitement that the firefighters right here in this county are getting behind Attorney General Gansler’s campaign for governor. Doug’s strong record on public safety, his support for firefighters, dating all the way back to when he first became State’s Attorney in 1998, and his willingness to fight for the people of Maryland make him our choice for Governor,” said IAFF Local 1664 President Jeffrey Buddle. “We look forward to campaigning with him, making calls, knocking doors, whatever it takes....”

JUICE #2: MARYLAND IS BEATING VIRGINIA IN JOB GROWTH  / / PLUS: MARYLAND HAS MOST MILLIONAIRES IN THE NATION (PER CAPITA)  - In recent years, some Maryland politicians have justified regressive policy proposals and corporate welfare by pointing to the economic threat posed by the anti-tax politics of Virginia. But is all that hysteria and race-to-the-bottom policymaking actually connected to the real world? Two studies released this year would suggest not:
FIRST: Gallup this week released a study ranking states in job creation and retention. Though Maryland is by no means leading the nation in this category, we are ahead of Virginia. I repeat, Maryland is ahead of Virginia for job growth. Maryland is #22 in the nation for job growth, while Virginia is tied for #32. North Dakota is #1 for job growth right now, and Washington, DC is #2.

SECOND: Earlier this year, Phoenix Marketing International released a report ranking the states with the most millionaires (per capita). It turns out Maryland is #1 in the nation for millionaires, while Virginia is #7.

JUICE #3: DEBATE BETWEEN MOCO EXEC CANDIDATES GETS HOT AS DUNCAN, ANDREWS & LEGGETT SPAR // PLUS: SEE VIDEOS OF THE CLOSING STATEMENTS - Maryland Juice attended an interesting debate between Montgomery County Executive candidates last week. The MoCo teachers union (MCEA), hosted a school policy forum with County Executive Ike Leggett, former County Executive Doug Duncan, Councilmember Phil Andrews, and GOP candidate Jim Shalleck. Though Shalleck (the lone Republican candidate) presented as an amusing and likeable guy, the sparks started flying between the Democratic candidates. The Washington Post's Bill Turque captured a few of the heated jabs in an article last week (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: The question was when, not if, Doug Duncan would start throwing punches during Wednesday night’s first joint appearance of candidates for Montgomery County executive.... He consequently took every opportunity to depict County Executive Isiah Leggett as weak and ineffective, especially when it came to securing school funding from Annapolis....

Calmly but firmly, Leggett gave as good as he got, dismissing Duncan’s version of recent county history as “a parallel universe.” Money was easier to find in the go-go economy that existed during much of Duncan’s three-term tenure, he said. “The good old days are gone,” Leggett said. “It is the real days today.”

Duncan came prepared to make school overcrowding and construction issues the centerpiece of his attack..... “This is a problem we’ve known about for several years,” Duncan said. “What took you so long?...” “We’re in this mess because of a lack of leadership by my two primary opponents,” Duncan said.

“I think we need a little bit of reality,” Leggett responded.... Leggett framed the larger issue as Duncan’s triumphal view of his own record, which he said ignores profligate spending that placed the county in a serious financial hole even before the Great Recession.

“When I assumed this office [in 2007], the county was broke and getting broker,” Leggett said, referring to large deficits that he and the County Council had to close. Leggett touted significant increases in capital spending for schools during his tenure, along with reductions in emergency response times, advances in affordable housing and record cash reserves as proof of the sound management ability he brought to the job....
VIDEOS OF THE CLOSING STATEMENTS: Montgomery Community Media posted videos of the closing statements from all four County Executive candidates, and I encourage you to check out their comments below. You can see the back and forth between Doug Duncan and Ike Leggett in their final comments, but Phil Andrews closing statement is also worth a watch. Andrews lists a series of progressive legislation he authored, such as a living wage law, public smoking ban, and clean elections bill for local campaigns. He also takes a jab at Annapolis, stating that MoCo has increased costs because of "bad decisions by the General Assembly."

Doug Duncan Closing Statement

Ike Leggett Closing Statement

Phil Andrews Closing Statement

Jim Shalleck Closing Statement

JUICE #4: DELEGATE LUIZ SIMMONS SENDS ANOTHER MAIL PIECE IN D17 SENATE RACE - Delegate Luiz Simmons is running against former Delegate Cheryl Kagan for the District 17 State Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jennie Forehand. He sent the following direct mail piece to voters last week:

JUICE #5: GOV. O'MALLEY QUESTIONING WHY MD'S SO-CALLED "SECURE COMMUNITIES" PROGRAM IS DEPORTING MANY NON-CRIMINALS - A few years ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched a sketchy new program called "Secure Communities" that gave local police the power to check the immigration status of people they encountered, and to process for deportation those without proper documentation. The program was built during the xenophobic policy wave that emerged during the recession, but in 2011 The New York Times reported that several states tried to resist participation in the program (excerpt below):
NEW YORK TIMES: A program that is central to President Obama’s strategy to toughen enforcement of immigration laws is facing growing resistance from state governments and police officials across the country.

Late Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois said he was pulling his state out of the program, known as Secure Communities, the first time a state has sought to withdraw entirely. In California, where the program is already under way throughout the state, the Legislature is considering a bill that would allow counties or police agencies to choose whether to participate.

In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick has held a series of heavily attended and sometimes raucous meetings on the program in an effort to vent criticism and build support for the administration’s approach. In Maryland, Montgomery County considered withdrawing, then concluded reluctantly that it had to take part....
Three years later, Maryland Juice is not surprised to see that the hysteria-driven "Secure Communities" program is doing exactly what we feared -- deporting residents who are not dangerous criminals. The Baltimore Sun reported on the unfortunate (yet predictable) policy developments, and that Governor O'Malley is now questioning the Department of Homeland Security's implementation of the program (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Gov. Martin O'Malley on Tuesday demanded that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security explain why federal officials are deporting a higher share of noncriminals from Maryland than from most other states under a controversial immigration program called Secure Communities.

In a sharply worded letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the governor called on the federal agency to document why the program has led to the deportation of undocumented immigrants with either no criminal record or only misdemeanor convictions, when its long-stated intent is to target dangerous criminals.

O'Malley, a Democrat, wrote to Johnson days after The Baltimore Sun reported that the share of noncriminals deported under Secure Communities in Maryland is twice the national average.
More than 40 percent of the immigrants who have been deported from Maryland under the program since 2009 had no prior criminal record, according to government data.

And the governor signaled that he is weighing legislation in the General Assembly that would limit the circumstances under which local jails agree to hold immigrants who have not been arrested for or previously convicted of serious crimes. Democratic governors in California and Connecticut have signed similar measures recently....

JUICE #6: DC COUNCIL PASSES MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION WHILE MARYLAND HOUSE SPEAKER FORMS COMMITTEE TO STUDY MARIJUANA ISSUES - The future of marijuana policy in Maryland is beginning to take shape, as House of Delegates Speaker Mike Busch recently appointed a legislative task force to study the various reform bills being proposed. The Washington Post reported on the development earlier this month (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: With the aim of taking a broad look at a range of proposed legislation on marijuana usage, Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch said Wednesday that he plans to appoint a work group of a dozen delegates to recommend a path forward this session.

A flurry of bills have been introduced since the 90-day session began last month that would either legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana or reclassify its use as a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense, subject only to fines of $100 or less....

“We want to fashion a work group to get as much information as we can on the full spectrum of ideas,” Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said in an interview. He said it is likely that legislation will emerge on medical marijuana and unlikely that a bill will pass this session legalizing marijuana for recreational use, as Colorado and Washington state have done. Busch said he expects robust debate on “decriminalization....”

In recent years, the House has been the more conservative chamber on reform of marijuana laws. Last year, the Senate passed a bill that would have done away with jail time or other criminal sanctions for those who use or possess only small amounts of marijuana. That legislation died in the House....
While Maryland continues studying this criminal justice reform issue, the District of Columbia is proceeding with marijuana decriminalization. CNN reported on the development this month (excerpt below):
CNN: The Washington City Council passed a measure on Tuesday that would move the District of Columbia one step closer to decriminalizing marijuana in most cases. Members approved the bill 11-to-1 in the first of two votes likely this month....

Despite the late change, the proposal is expected to receive final passage and become law because it has the support of a majority of and Mayor Vincent Gray.... For the council members who supported the plan, decriminalizing marijuana has become just as much about racial disparities as about sanctioning use of the drug....

JUICE #7: LIST OF MD LAWMAKERS WHO ARE SUPPORTING A $10.10 MINIMUM WAGE // PROPOSAL HAS MAJORITY IN HOUSE AND NEAR-MAJORITY IN SENATE  - Maryland lawmakers have been holding hearings on proposals to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, indexed to inflation. Though it is currently unclear what the outcome of this debate will be, below Maryland Juice provides a list of the co-sponsors for the $10.10 legislation. Notably, the minimum wage increase appears to have a majority in the House and is one vote shy of a majority in the Senate. The list below includes lawmakers who have publicly endorsed a Raise Maryland minimum wage hike letter, alongside lawmakers who are co-sponsoring the minimum wage bills SB 331 and HB 295:

UPDATE: The list below did not originally include three additional minimum wage supporters, Delegates Jon Cardin, Frank Turner & Joe Vallario. These three Delegates are not listed as co-sponsors of HB295 (the administration's minimum wage bill), but they are co-sponsors of  HB187 (Del. Aisha Braveboy's $10.10 minimum wage bill). We have added their names below:

House of Delegates
  1. Frank Turner
  2. Joe Vallario
  3. Jon Cardin
  4. Emmett C. Burns Jr.
  5. Benjamin F. Kramer
  6. Tom Hucker
  7. Benjamin S. 'Ben' Barnes
  8. Michael L. Vaughn
  9. Aisha N. Braveboy
  10. Mary Ann 'MaryAnn' Love
  11. Keiffer Jackson Mitchell Jr.
  12. Cheryl D. Glenn
  13. Brian K. McHale
  14. John A. 'Johnny O' Olszewski Jr. *
  15. Charles E. Barkley *
  16. Adrienne A. Jones
  17. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam
  18. Dan K. Morhaim
  19. Dana M. Stein
  20. James E. Malone Jr.
  21. Elizabeth 'Liz' Bobo
  22. Guy J. Guzzone
  23. Anne R. Kaiser
  24. Craig J. Zucker
  25. Eric G. Luedtke
  26. Aruna Miller
  27. David Fraser-Hidalgo
  28. Kathleen M. Dumais
  29. Ariana B. Kelly
  30. C. William 'Bill' Frick
  31. Susan C. Lee
  32. Luiz R. S. Simmons
  33. Alfred Clinton 'Al' Carr Jr.
  34. Ana Sol Gutierrez
  35. Jeffrey D. 'Jeff' Waldstreicher
  36. Bonnie L. Cullison
  37. Heather R. Mizeur
  38. Sheila Ellis Hixson
  39. Barbara A. Frush
  40. Joseline A. Pena- Melnyk
  41. Alonzo T. Washington
  42. Anne Healey
  43. Tawanna P. Gaines
  44. Geraldine Valentino- Smith
  45. James W. Hubbard
  46. Marvin E. Holmes Jr.
  47. Carolyn J.B. Howard
  48. Darren M. Swain
  49. Kriselda 'Kris' Valderrama
  50. Veronica L. Turner
  51. James E. Proctor Jr.
  52. Peter F. Murphy
  53. Theodore John 'Ted' Sophocleus
  54. Rudolph C. Cane
  55. A. Shane Robinson
  56. Kirill Reznik
  57. Barbara A. Robinson
  58. Frank M. Conaway Jr.
  59. Shawn Z. Tarrant
  60. Jill P. Carter
  61. Nathaniel T. Oaks
  62. Samuel I. 'Sandy' Rosenberg
  63. Stephen W. Lafferty
  64. Curtis Stovall 'Curt' Anderson
  65. Maggie L. McIntosh
  66. Mary L. Washington
  67. Keith E. Haynes
  68. Melvin L. Stukes
  69. Nina R. Harper
  70. Luke H. Clippinger
  71. Doyle L. Niemann
  72. Jolene Ivey
  73. Michael G. Summers
  74. James W. 'Jim' Gilchrist *
  75. Kumar P. Barve *
  76. Jay 'Sky' Walker *
  77. Talmadge Branch *
  78. Peter A. Hammen *
* Co-sponsored 2014 Raise Maryland bill but did not sign letter.

  1. Brian J. Feldman
  2. Catherine E. Pugh
  3. Victor R. Ramirez
  4. Richard S. Madaleno Jr.
  5. Roger Manno
  6. Douglas J.J. Peters
  7. Ulysses Currie
  8. Nancy J. King
  9. Verna L. Jones-Rodwell
  10. Nathaniel J. McFadden
  11. Ronald N. Young
  12. Norman R. Stone Jr.
  13. Karen S. Montgomery
  14. Brian E. Frosh
  15. Jennie M. Forehand
  16. Jamie Raskin
  17. Jim Rosapepe
  18. Paul G. Pinsky
  19. Joanne C. Benson
  20. C. Anthony Muse
  21. Lisa A. Gladden
  22. Joan Carter Conway
  23. William C. 'Bill' Ferguson IV

JUICE #8: DEL. SANDY ROSENBERG PROPOSES LAW TO PROTECT ONLINE NEWSMAKERS & THEIR SOURCES - Maryland Juice has been operating for the last few years without a budget or staff, but has been able to keep insider information flowing to the public due to a network of anonymous sources. Delegate Sandy Rosenberg is now proposing a law (HB385) to protect the confidentiality between newsmakers and their sources. The Baltimore Brew blog recently testified in favor of this effort (which Maryland Juice supports) and wrote about their experience (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE BREW: ... Turns out, Maryland’s shield law for reporters does not fully include online journalists. Aiming to correct the problem, Del. Samuel I. “Sandy” (D-Baltimore) introduced HB-385. I agreed to go down, as the editor/publisher of Baltimore Brew, and chime in on its behalf....

The current Maryland law defines the news media as “newspapers, magazines, journals, press associations, news services, wire services, radio, television and any printed photographic, mechanical, or electronic means of disseminating news and information to the public....”

Rosenberg’s bill would add another category: “An independent contractor or agent of the news media in any news gathering or disseminating capacity, including a self-employed journalist....”

“What you may not know,” I told the House Judiciary Committee, “is the degree to which non-print, non-broadcast, web-only publications have become equal members of the national and local press corps....”

I talked about the downsizing of mainstream media and how The Brew puts more professional journalistic boots on the ground in Baltimore, participating in news conferences with our peers in print and broadcast, and regularly breaking stories they follow, etc....

After our presentation, Del. Luiz R. S. Simmons (D-Montgomery) led the cross examination. While organizations like The Brew might deserve shield protection ... others, Simmons thought, maybe don’t.... “I don’t like to see things so loosey-goosey,” Simmons said. “I’m unsettled by the reach of this bill.” Shield protection is “a privilege,” he observed, “not a right....” Simmons might have a low opinion of bloggers and freelancers but cash-strapped mainstream media organizations are using them more and more....

Some in the debate say that shield laws should protect journalism, not journalists. A remark by Rosenberg yesterday suggests he might be one of them. “Wasn’t the First Amendment set up to protect the rights of pamphleteers?”

JUICE #9: GLENN GREENWALD (JOURNALIST WHO BROKE NSA SPYING STORY) SPARS WITH REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER OVER CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT - Maryland Juice just caught an interesting sparring match between Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger and Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who broke the story on the NSA's mass surveillance program. Ruppersberger took issue with Greenwald's suggestion that the NSA failed to provide members of Congress with the information necessary to conduct proper oversight of the spying program. Greenwald responded with the following blistering commentary:

JUICE #10: HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY // THE GAZETTE PROFILES FORMER MOCO DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR STAN GILDENHORN - To commemorate President's Day today, The Gazette ran a profile of former MCDCC Chair Stan Gildenhorn, who provided memories of President John F. Kennedy (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: Stanton Gildenhorn remembers the first time he met John F. Kennedy. It was 1958, and Gildenhorn had stopped at Kennedy’s Senate office on Capitol Hill to pick up a gift from his friend Evelyn Lincoln, the Massachusetts senator’s secretary. As Gildenhorn and Lincoln stood in the outer office, the door opened and out walked the future president.

Lincoln introduced Gildenhorn, and Kennedy greeted him warmly before apologizing that he didn’t have more time to talk and hurrying off to the next appointment on his schedule. The brief meeting left a mark on Gildenhorn, who would later work inside Kennedy’s White House. As the nation prepares to honor all its presidents Monday, Gildenhorn reflected on his time working with the 35th president.

“He was my hero then, and to get to meet him was one of the greatest moments of my life,” said Gildenhorn, 71, a longtime Montgomery County Democratic activist who lives in North Bethesda.

After Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in the 1960 election, Gildenhorn went to work for Larry O’Brien, one of Kennedy’s “Irish Mafia,” in a job for the Democratic National Committee.... Kennedy had a certain aura about him, Gildenhorn said. When he walked into a room, all eyes turned to him.

In a lifetime spent around politics, he said, he’s never met anyone else with that type of charisma. The president was down-to-earth, with a good sense of humor, Gildenhorn said. He was a voracious reader, devouring reports and memos....

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