Friday, February 28, 2014

JUICE: Frosh Video, Gross D9A Facebook Post, D13 Family Ties, Henson vs. McFadden, MoCo School $, MCDCC Battle & More!

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

JUICE #1: BRIAN FROSH RELEASES NEW WEB VIDEO HIGHLIGHTING GUN CONTROL ADVOCACY - Sen. Brian Frosh (a candidate for Attorney General) released a new web video today highlighting testimonials from national gun control advocates:



JUICE #2: OUTRAGEOUS FACEBOOK COMMENTARY FROM D9A DELEGATE CANDIDATE FRANK MIRABILE - Social media platforms are known to produce feisty back-and-forth commentary between politicos. But a Maryland Juice reader highlighted an outrageous set of comments from District 9A candidate Frank Mirabile, a Republican candidate for an open Delegate seat.  In the Facebook thread (excerpts screen-capped below), Mirabile responds to someone criticizing his stances on various issues by repeatedly insulting her physical appearance:


#TACKY: Maryland's District 9A is two-member House of Delegates district, with one open seat. D9A incumbent GOP Delegate Warren Miller is running for re-election, but there are four candidates in the Republican Primary for the one open seat: Eric Bouchat, Trent Kittleman, Kyle Lorton and Frank Mirabile. Notably, Frank Mirabile was also the 2010 Republican Congressional nominee against Congressman Elijah Cummings. I'm not sure I've seen a candidate for public office publish commentary as crass and unseemly as this before. Notably, the Facebook link appears to have been deleted, but not before a few hundred comments appeared on the thread.


JUICE #3: BIZARRE FAMILY JOCKEYING IN HOCO'S DISTRICT 13 DELEGATE RACE - Strange things are happening in the House of Delegates District 13 race. In the three-seat Howard County-anchored district, incumbents Shane Pendergrass and Frank Turner are currently filed to run for re-election. They had previously formed a slate with HoCo school board member Janet Siddiqui, but on the last day for candidates to file, Turner's protege Vanessa Atterbeary and Siddiqui's husband Nayab Siddiqui both filed for office. This appears to be a bit of a switcheroo, because Janet Siddiqui has now withdrawn from the race. The Baltimore Sun's Amanda Yeager had this to say (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: The political world got a last-minute shock Tuesday night when Nayab Siddiqui, husband of district 13 candidate and Howard County school board member Janet Siddiqui, filed to run in the same race. But as of Thursday afternoon, Janet Siddiqui is no longer up against her husband. She has officially withdrawn from the race, according to the state Board of Elections’ online list of candidates.... Other Democratic candidates include Oakland Mills community organizer Fred Eiland and Fulton lawyer Vanessa Atterbeary, who also filed at the last minute on Tuesday.

JUICE #4: JULIUS HENSON PLEDGES TO CONTINUE CAMPAIGN AGAINST SEN. NATE MCFADDEN, EVEN AS JUDGE RULES IT IS A PROBATION VIOLATION - Baltimore consultant Julius Henson was convicted of voter fraud charges for illegal robocalls he deployed on behalf of GOP Governor Bob Ehrlich. But Henson is now a candidate for State Senate against Sen. Nate McFadden, and he's pledging to continue campaigning even though a judge has ruled he's now violating his probation. The Washington Post's Paul Schwartzman reported on the development (excerpt below, H/T Maryland Reporter):
WASHINGTON POST: Julius Henson ... promised to keep running for office despite a judge’s ruling that he had violated his probation by becoming a candidate.... Henson, 64, vowed not only to appeal but also to press on with his campaign to “retire” Nathaniel J. McFadden (D), who has served in the state Senate for 18 years....  Prosecutors accused Henson of seeking to suppress turnout among African Americans during the 2010 governor’s race when he worked as a strategist for the campaign of former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R)....  At Thursday’s hearing, Emmet Davitt, Maryland’s special prosecutor, argued that the language of Henson’s probation order — barring him from working on campaigns “in any capacity” — made his candidacy a violation....

JUICE #5: MOCO UNLIKELY TO GET SCHOOL INCREASE IN SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION FUNDING? - The Gazette's Kate Alexander reported this week that despite surging enrollment, Montgomery County may be unlikely to receive an increase in school construction funding this year (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: Midway through Maryland’s 90-day legislative session, county lawmakers seem to hold little hope of their top legislative priority passing the General Assembly and establishing a steady, predictable stream of state money to leverage borrowing for school construction.

[MoCo Executive Ike] Leggett said the county began pushing for more school construction dollars in 2010 and was able to get some additional state money through the conventional budget process. But to keep pace with growing enrollment — about 2,000 new students each year for Montgomery County Public Schools — even more money is needed.... [Delegate Anne Kaiser’s school construction funding] bill is scheduled for a hearing March 6. The Senate version is scheduled for a hearing March 12.

JUICE #6: PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND LAUNCHES SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN OPPOSING ESTATE TAX CUT - Progressive Maryland's Executive Director Kate Planco Waybright recently published a guest post on Maryland Juice urging lawmakers to abandon support a cut in the state's estate tax. It appears the organization is now following up on their effort with targeted social media ad buys. Check out the screen cap sent to us by a reader below:

JUICE #7: CONTESTED RACES FOR MOCO DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE // SEE WHO IS ON THE OFFICIAL MCDCC SLATE - Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck reported on jockeying over the upcoming Democratic Primary elections for the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC). Notably, the MCDCC appoints Democrats to fill vacant legislative seats and mails sample ballots to voters recommending positions on referenda. Last year we witnessed all sorts of mayhem  when some labor unions picketed the MCDCC spring ball due to the group's support for repeal of "effects bargaining" rights in MoCo (aka Question B). This week Bethesda Magazine reported on the aftermath (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: An ongoing effort to mend a rift between the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and local labor groups appears to have taken a step forward, as a party screening committee put forth a slate of candidates aimed at placing a significant number of new faces on to the 24-member MCDCC.

One party insider described behind-the-scenes developments over the past week – with the slate not finalized until shortly before Tuesday’s primary filing deadline – as “a bloodless coup in a lot of ways.”

While there will be a number of contested central committee seats in the upcoming June 24 primary – including challenges to some committee veterans – the slate proposed by a five-member screening committee headed by MCDCC Chair Gabriel Albornoz won praise from a top local labor leader....
The MCDCC sent Maryland Juice a press release announcing their selections for the official slate of recommended candidates in the June 24th primaries. Their statement noted the following (excerpt below):
MCDCC: The 2014 Democratic Leadership Team Slate is pleased to announce the candidates for the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. The candidates will be on this June’s primary ballot. The slate is comprised of Democratic leaders from many different backgrounds, including: labor, non-profit, government and business. In bringing this group together, party organizers considered the diverse voices and backgrounds that represent the Democratic Party –as well as the various skills and expertise needed to effectively run the party organization....
FULL LIST OF MCDCC CANDIDATES: All of the MCDCC races are contested, except in Districts 17, 18 and 39. Below we publish the MCDCC'S choices, along with the names of candidates who are running against the slate:
  • Brian Anleu, District 14
  • Arthur Edmunds, District 14 - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Pam Queen, District 14 - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Anis Ahmed, District 15
  • Tim Whitehouse, District 15 - MCDCC Slate
  • Venattia W. Vann, District 15 - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Kris Verma, District 15
  • Wendy Cohen, District 16 - MCDCC Slate
  • Loretta Jean Garcia, District 16
  • Almina Khorakiwala, District 16 - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Julian Haffner, District 17 - MCDCC Slate
  • Jonathan Prutow, District 17 - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Alan Banov, District 18 - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Aaron Kaufmann, District 18 - MCDCC Slate
  • Hoan Dang, District 19 - MCDCC Slate
  • Harold Diamond, District 19 - (incumbent)
  • Melissa Pinnick, District 19 - MCDCC Slate
  • Tamika Bennett, District 20 - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Ed Kimmel, District 20
  • Jheanelle Wilkins, District 20 - MCDCC Slate
  • Juan Cardenas, District 39 - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Mumin Barre, District 39 - MCDCC Slate
  • Darrell Anderson, At Large - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Steve Boliek, At Large
  • Chris Bradbury, At Large - MCDCC Slate
  • Natalia Farrar, At Large
  • Marjorie Goldman, At Large - MCDCC Slate - (incumbent)
  • Johntel Greene, At Large - MCDCC Slate
  • Michael Gruenberg, At Large - MCDCC Slate
  • Dave Kunes, At Large - MCDCC Slate
  • Pavel Sukhobok, At Large
  • Kevin Walling, At Large - MCDCC Slate
  • Erin Yeagley, At Large - MCDCC Slate

JUICE #8: MINIMUM WAGE SUPPORTERS RALLY OUTSIDE OF MARYLAND RETAILERS ASSOCIATION OFFICE - The debate over a Maryland minimum wage increase is heating up during the current Annapolis legislative session. Yesterday SEIU organized a rally outside the offices of the Maryland Retailers Association (industry opponents of the minimum wage increase). Check out some photos from the event:





JUICE #9: NEW MAP OF THE PROPOSED MOCO RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM - The newly rebooted Maryland Politics Watch (www.theseventhstate.com) posted a new map of a planned rapid transit system (RTS) for Montgomery County. The transit network below is advancing right now, but it is still in the early stages of development:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

JUICE: Frick Exits AG Race To Run for Re-Election, Challengers for Susan Lee & Joe Vallario, Trachtenberg vs. Berliner & More!

Below Maryland Juice has a quick round of updates of interest to politicos:

UPDATE: The Baltimore Sun's Michael Dresser reported tonight that former Delegate Tiffany Alston is running to regain her District 24 seat (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Tiffany Alston, the former Prince George's County delegate who was ousted from her House seat in 2013 after a theft conviction, is running to get her old job back.... The 36-year-old former lawmaker pleaded guilty in June 2012 to misconduct in office and the theft of $800 from her delegate office account to pay expenses of her law firm.... O'Malley appointed former Del. Darren M. Swain to the vacated seat. He is seeking re-election in a crowded Democratic field.

JUICE #1: DELEGATE BILL FRICK EXITS ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION IN D16 - Maryland Juice just received the following statement from District 16 Delegate Bill Frick announcing he's exiting the race for Attorney General to run for re-election to the House of Delegates:
BILL FRICK: Today I will withdraw my candidacy for the Democratic Nomination for State Attorney General and file for re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates.

My two terms in the House have been exceptional.  I’ve been a part of a team that has enacted marriage equality for all Maryland couples, repealed the death penalty, protected consumers from abuses, and begun the task of reforming our tax code. 

While I know that I could have been a valuable asset to the State as Attorney General, there is still much to be done as a member of the House representing District 16.

JUICE #2: FORMER MOCO COUNCILMEMBER DUCHY TRACHTENBERG CHALLENGING COUNCILMEMBER ROGER BERLINER - Bethesda Now's Aaron Kraut reported today that former MoCo Councilmember At Large Duchy Trachtenberg is challenging District 1 Councilmember Roger Berliner (excerpt below):
BETHESDA NOW: Trachtenberg, a Democrat who was an at-large council member from 2006-2010, will take on incumbent Roger Berliner, who until Tuesday looked to have a clear path to his third term representing District 1. The last minute filing for District 1 comes as something as a surprise....

Communications consultant and former Trachtenberg advisor Eric Hensal tweeted a photo of Trachtenberg making her run official at 2 p.m. Tuesday.... According to state campaign finance records, Trachtenberg has $122,574 in campaign funds on hand, all left over from previous campaigns.... The press release on Tuesday boasted that Trachtenberg will have the help of high profile Democratic political advisors Celinda Lake and presidential campaign veteran Joe Trippi....

JUICE #3: D16 DEL. SUSAN LEE TO FACE TWO DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGERS FOR STATE SENATE - Today was the last day for candidates to file for office, and Del. Susan Lee now has two Democratic challengers for the D16 Senate seat: J'aime Drayton & Hugh Hill.


JUICE #4: HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIR JOE VALLARIO TO FACE TWO DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGERS FOR DELEGATE - House of Delegates Judiciary Chair Joe Vallario is in a newly redrawn District 23B, and he's now facing two challengers in his re-election bid: former school board member Ron Watson and Thea Wilson, a minister at First Baptist Church of Glenarden. 


JUICE #5: FORMER CONGRESSMAN ROSCOE BARTLETT'S WIFE RUNNING FOR FREDERICK COUNTY COUNCIL - The Frederick News Post's Bethany Rodgers reported today that former GOP Congressman Roscoe Bartlett's wife Ellen Bartlett is running for Frederick County Council District 1.


JUICE #6: ANNAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF TESTIFIES AGAINST MARIJUANA REFORM CITING HOAX ARTICLE CLAIMING 37 POT-RELATED DEATHS IN COLORADO - The Carroll County Times' Alex Jackson today reported that law enforcement officials are continuing the "Reefer Madness" style justifications for continuing the failed War on Drugs in Maryland. Annapolis police chief Michael Pristoop cited a hoax article claiming that 37 people died in Colorado on the first day of legalization, and Sen. Raskin put the smack down on the false claims (excerpt below):
CARROLL COUNTY TIMES: Testifying against bills proposed in Maryland to legalize and decriminalize marijuana, Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop cited a hoax story that claimed 37 people died the first day marijuana was legalized in Colorado.

"The first day of legalization, that's when Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana," Pristoop said in testimony at Tuesday's Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing. "I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths."

But Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery, who has proposed a bill that would legalize, regulate and tax the drug, immediately fact-checked Pristoop. "Unless you have some other source for this, I'm afraid I've got to spoil the party here," Raskin said. "Your assertion that 37 people died of a marijuana overdose in Colorado was a hoax on the DailyCurrant and the Comedy Central website...."

JUICE: Gansler & Simmons Mail, AG Polls, Attack Ads for Gov, Miller Aide for Delegate, Hucker & Barclay for MoCo Council 5

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

JUICE #1: DEL. LUIZ SIMMONS DIRECT MAIL INCLUDES DOUG GANSLER // PLUS: TEAMSTERS ENDORSE SIMMONS FOR D17 SENATE - Maryland Juice caught the following mail piece from Del. Luiz Simmons on Twitter, which includes a testimonial from Attorney General Doug Gansler:


UPDATE: A source close to Simmons clarifies that this was a legislative mailing paid for with personal funds, but the piece carries an authority line to stay in compliance with Maryland law:



Lastly, we received the following press release from Simmons today, noting the endorsement of the Teamsters:
PRESS RELEASE

Del. Luiz Simmons Endorsed by Teamsters Joint Council #55 for State Senate

Rockville, MD – Following the endorsement of Teamsters Local 730 the Teamsters Joint Council #55 have endorsed Del. Luiz Simmons for State Senate in District 17.

Ritchie Brooks, President of Teamsters Local 730 released the following statement: "Luiz Simmons is our choice for State Senate in D17. The hard working men and women of the Maryland Teamsters are proud to support his candidacy and we have beeN proud to support him in the House of Delegates. Delegate Simmons shares our values, and understands the important work we do in his community and all across Maryland. We know we can count on Luiz Simmons to be a voice for working families in the Senate.”

JUICE #2: POLLING RESULTS IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE // PLUS: MOCO FIREFIGHTERS UNION ENDORSES BRIAN FROSH - Maryland Juice previously wrote about a Baltimore Sun poll on the Attorney General race, which showed the following status of the race:
  • Undecided - 69%
  • Jon Cardin - 18%
  • Brian Frosh - 6%
  • Aisha Braveboy - 4%
  • Bill Frick - 3%

But The Washington Post also polled the Attorney General race and came up with a different set of results from voters who lean Democratic:
  • No Opinion - 40%
  • Jon Cardin - 22%
  • Aisha Braveboy - 12%
  • Brian Frosh - 5%
  • Bill Frick - 4%

2-SECOND ANALYSIS: For a race like this, Maryland Juice urges a healthy dose of skepticism that early poll results are yet meaningful. I call this the Joe Lieberman effect; if you'll recall, Lieberman briefly weighed a Presidential bid after serving as a Vice Presidential candidate to Al Gore, and for a time he was leading in the polls. This is almost certainly owing to higher name id, but as we know, these things start to change once unknown candidates start spending money on media. In the Attorney General race, we have not yet gotten to that point in the campaign. Meanwhile, Maryland Juice received the following press release from the MoCo firefighters union, announcing their endorsement of Brian Frosh (excerpt below):
PRESS RELEASE

Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association (IAFF) Local 1664
Endorse Democratic Attorney General Candidate Brian Frosh 

Union President Jeff Buddle hails Frosh’s experience and leadership

Bethesda, MD- Today, Brian Frosh, Democratic candidate for Maryland Attorney General, received the endorsement of the Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association (IAFF) Local 1664, representing approximately 1200 career fire fighters in Montgomery County.

“Brian Frosh has a record on public safety that stands above the rest. We are confident that he will continue to make the safety and security of Maryland communities a top priority as our next Attorney General,” said Jeffrey Buddle, Union President, IAFF Local 1664. "He is a proven leader and will bring the right combination of experience and leadership to the Attorney General’s office. We wholeheartedly support Brian Frosh in the Democratic primary for Maryland Attorney General...."

JUICE #3: DUELING ATTACK VIDEOS FROM ANTHONY BROWN & DOUG GANSLER - In the last month, gubernatorial candidates Anthony Brown & Doug Gansler released YouTube videos criticizing each other. You can watch the attack videos below:

BROWN ATTACKS GANSLER

 
GANSLER ATTACKS BROWN
 


JUICE #4: PAT MURRAY, FORMER AIDE TO SENATE PRESIDENT MIKE MILLER, FILES FOR D34A DELEGATE RACE - Center Maryland's Josh Kurtz reported last week that Pat Murray, a former aide to Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker Mike Busch, has filed for District 34A Delegate (excerpt below):
CENTER MARYLAND: Patrick Murray, a former top aide to both Senate President Mike Miller (D) and House Speaker Mike Busch (D) and one of the most respected strategists in Maryland politics, will run for a seat in the House of Delegates this year. Murray, currently the director of State Affairs for Johns Hopkins University, filed papers Friday afternoon to become a candidate in District 34A in Harford County, the community where he grew up....

Already running on the Democratic side are Harford County Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti; retired teacher Marla Posey-Moss, who was a Democratic nominee in 2010 but finished third in the general election; and businessman and civic activist Steve Johnson.

Even though he’s joining the campaign late, Murray doesn’t appear to be at any kind of financial disadvantage in the Democratic primary. According to their January campaign finance reports, Johnson had less than $1,100 in his campaign account, Posey-Moss had $500 on hand, and Lisanti had no money at all. Even Glass, the lone incumbent in the race, reported just $3,100 in the bank...

JUICE #5: DEL. TOM HUCKER & SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT CHRIS BARCLAY TO SEEK VALERIE ERVIN'S COUNCIL SEAT // PLUS: EVAN GLASS RELEASES LIST OF SUPPORTERS - The Democratic Primary race for Montgomery County Council District 5 is now taking shape with announcements for Valerie Ervin's seat from Delegate Tom Hucker and Board of Education President Chris Barclay. Barclay filed for County Council yesterday and has a website up:


This weekend, The Washington Post's Bill Turque reported that Del. Tom Hucker also planned to launch a campaign for County Council (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Del. Tom Hucker (D-Montgomery), confirming a widely expected move, said he will file Monday as a candidate in the Democratic primary for the District 5 Montgomery County Council seat.... His announcement came with an endorsement from House Speaker Michael E. Busch: “I I am confident he will be a strong and effective advocate for the people of his district and all of Montgomery County,” he said in a statement.

Hucker enters the race with a significant financial edge: nearly $147,000 in cash on-hand from prior fundraising for state House campaigns, according to the most recent finance report.... Barclay can keep his school board seat while running for County Council....
Hucker's website now also announces his Council campaign:



Lastly, Evan Glass, another District 5 Council candidate, sent us a press release announcing support from over 70 community leaders. Some interesting names on his list include:
  • Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams
  • Takoma Park Councilmember Seth Grimes
  • Candidate for Clerk of Circuit Court Alan Bowser
  • Former D20 Delegate Candidate Aaron Klein
  • Former Legislative Director for Heather Mizeur Patrick Metz
  • Board of Education At Large Candidate Jill Ortman-Fouse

You can see the full release below:


JUICE #6: CONTESTED RACES FOR ALL MOCO BOARD OF EDUCATION RACES // PLUS: ONLY MOCO COUNCILMEMBER RUNNING UNOPPOSED - There are still eight hours left until the candidate filing deadline, but already all of Montgomery County's Board of Education races are contested. Notably, in all of the District races for school board there are only two candidates, and the top two candidates in the Non-Partisan Primary will advance to the General Election ballot.

Board of Education At Large (open seat):
  • Edward Amatetti
  • Shebra Evans
  • Merry Eisner Heidorn
  • Jill Ortman-Fouse

Board of Education District 1:
  • Judy Docca (incumbent)
  • Kristin Trible

Board of Education District 3:
  • Laurie Halverson
  • Pat O'Neill (incumbent)

Board of Education District 5:
  • Mike Durso (incumbent)
  • Larry Edmonds

At the County Council level, there are contested races for every position except for one. So far District 4 Councilmember Nancy Navarro is running unopposed.

Friday, February 21, 2014

JUICE: Delaney Out for Governor, House of Cards Extortion, MoCo School Board Races, D4, D16, D45 & D46 & Much More

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

JUICE #1: REP. JOHN DELANEY NOT RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR // PLUS: A DEEPER DIVE INTO RECENT GUBERNATORIAL POLLS - The race for Maryland Governor is finally settling in with a pair of developments in the last week. First, Congressman John Delaney, who had been rumored to be weighing a run for the office has instead filed for re-election to Congress. The Washington Post's John Wagner reported on the development this week (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) filed for reelection Tuesday, a move likely to end speculation that he could run for governor. There had been chatter for more than a month about the first-term congressman from Montgomery County making a late entry into the Democratic field, fueled in part by a telephone poll that included Delaney’s name as an option for governor.... Delaney was spotted at the State Board of Elections office in Annapolis filing to run again for his 6th District seat. He did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment about the decision.
Meanwhile, a pair of fresh polls seems to confirm the current status of the Governor's race. We previously reported on a Baltimore Sun poll claiming the following results:
  • Undecided - 40%
  • Anthony Brown & Ken Ulman - 35%
  • Doug Gansler & Jolene Ivey - 14%
  • Heather Mizeur & Delman Coates - 10%
But now The Washington Post has released results of a gubernatorial poll showing very similar findings:
  • Undecided 43%
  • Anthony Brown & Ken Ulman 34%
  • Doug Gansler & Jolene Ivey 15%
  • Heather Mizeur & Delman Coates 8%
There are a few things to note here: 1) Brown has a sizeable lead right now (not surprising), 2) Mizeur is coming dangerously close to Gansler in both polls, and 3) there are a large number of undecided voters. All that being said, it is worth taking a closer look at one aspect of the polls. In The Washington Post survey results, if you strip the poll down to voters who lean Democratic and consider themselves likely voters, Brown's lead increases a bit (see question 4 in The Washington Post crosstabs):
  • Anthony Brown & Ken Ulman 41%
  • Doug Gansler & Jolene Ivey 19%
  • Heather Mizeur & Delman Coates 10%

JUICE #2: KEVIN SPACEY WANTS $15 MILLION FROM MARYLAND TAXPAYERS // "HOUSE OF CARDS" THREATENING TO LEAVE MD WITHOUT A HANDOUT - Maryland Juice just started watching the second season of the popular Netflix series "House of Cards" last night. But this morning, I woke up to some irritating and ironic news about the Kevin Spacey series about political corruption. The Washington Post has reported that Maryland taxpayers have been subsidizing "House of Cards" to the tune of millions of dollars, and now the producers are demanding even more money or else they'll shoot in another state (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: A few weeks before Season 2 of “House of Cards” debuted online, the show’s production company sent Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley a letter with this warning: Give us millions more dollars in tax credits, or we will “break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state.”

A similar letter went to the speaker of the House of Delegates, Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), whose wife, Cynthia, briefly appeared in an episode of the Netflix series about an unscrupulous politician — played by Kevin Spacey — who manipulates, threatens and kills to achieve revenge and power.

In recent years, Maryland has spent more than $40 million to reward movie and television production companies that choose to film in the state, and most of that largesse has gone to “House of Cards.”

“This just keeps getting bigger and bigger” Del. Eric G. Luedtke (D-Montgomery), who until now has supported film tax credits, said at a hearing on the issue last Friday. “And my question is: When does it stop?...”

In his letter to O’Malley, Charlie Goldstein, a Media Rights Capital senior vice president, wrote that the filming schedule for Season 3 has been pushed back to June to ensure that a big enough increase has been approved....

JUICE #3: MULTIPLE CANDIDATES FILING TO CHALLENGE MOCO SCHOOL BOARD INCUMBENTS // PLUS: ALAN BOWSER FILES FOR MOCO CLERK OF COURT - The candidate filing deadline in Maryland is next Tuesday, but already some interesting things are happening in Montgomery County's local races. First, numerous candidates are filing to challenge incumbent Board of Education members. The school board races are non-partisan, so in the primaries, the top two vote-getters will advance to the General Election ballot. Here is the current list of candidates:

Board of Education At Large (open seat):
  • Edward Amatetti
  • Shebra Evans
  • Merry Eisner Heidorn
  • Jill Ortman-Fouse
Board of Education District 1:
  • Judy Docca (incumbent)
  • Kristin Trible
Board of Education District 3:
  • Laurie Halverson
  • Pat O'Neill (incumbent)
Board of Education District 5:
  • Mike Durso (incumbent)

MOCO CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT RACE: Meanwhile, another unusual local race will be contested in the upcoming elections: Clerk of the Circuit Court. The current incumbent, Loretta Knight, is retiring at the end of her term this year. Two candidates are currently filed for her position in the Democratic Primary:

Clerk of the Circuit Court (open seat):
  • Alan Bowser
  • Barbara Meiklejohn

JUICE #4: TRANSGENDER NONDISCRIMINATION BILL PASSES OUT OF SENATE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE - The Maryland Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee has finally passed a transgender nondiscrimination bill, after years of failed efforts. The shift toward civil rights puts the effort on track to finally pass this year. According to Equality Maryland, eight State Senators on the committee voted for the nondiscrimination effort:
  1. Brian Frosh
  2. Lisa Gladden
  3. Jim Brochin
  4. Jennie Forehand
  5. Anthony Muse
  6. Jamie Raskin
  7. Norm Stone
  8. Bobby Zirkin

JUICE #5: ISRAEL-PALESTINE POLITICS CLASH WITH ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN ANNAPOLIS // DEL. BEN KRAMER BILL BANS ACADEMICS FROM BOYCOTTS  - The Gazette's Kate Alexander reported last week that the politics of the Middle East and academic freedom are emerging as issues in Annapolis this session (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: An academic boycott of Israel by a U.S. academic association has Maryland lawmakers questioning how the state’s colleges and universities spend public funds. The American Studies Association — a national organization devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history — voted in December to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County remained a dues-paying member of the association even after the vote to boycott, so Del. Benjamin F. Kramer has introduced a bill that would restrict the ability of universities and its faculty to spend public money on participation in organizations that engage in such boycotts....

University President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous have openly opposed the academic boycott.... Just as UMBC opposed the boycott, it vigorously opposes Kramer’s bill....

This is not the first time the legislature has questioned how Maryland universities spend public funds. In 2010, Perdue chicken farmers Alan and Kristen Hudson of Worcester County were sued by the Waterkeeper Alliance of New York over Chesapeake Bay pollution. The University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic represented the plaintiffs....

“…[W]e believe that it constitutes a very serious threat to academic freedom and to the autonomy and integrity of the state’s publicly-supported colleges and universities,” Nathan Brown, president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, said in a letter.... “Faculty in Maryland should not be subjected to a political litmus test concerning their involvement in academic organizations....”
Peace Action Montgomery issued the following email alert on this issue:
PEACE ACTION MONTGOMERY: ... Senate bill 647 and House bill 0998 would prohibit state financial aid for public colleges and universities that fund teachers' membership or participation in academic organizations that support boycotts against higher-eduction institutions in other countries....

Along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, and the New York Times editorial board, we believe that this bill is an unconstitutional infringement of free speech and that it is very dangerous....

In coalition with many other groups in MD, we have joined an ad hoc coalition to oppose SB 647 and HB 0998. You can read more details about this bill, its background, and the broad-based opposition to it on the ad hoc coalition's Web site.... 

JUICE #6: IKE LEGGETT & DOUG DUNCAN CLASH OVER BIOTECH INCUBATOR IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY - As Montgomery County's race for Executive heats up, incumbent Ike Leggett and former Exec Doug Duncan are increasingly clashing over policy matters. The latest skirmish resolves around a Montgomery County biotech business incubator. The Washington Business Journal reported that Duncan threw the first punch on the issue (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL: Doug Duncan, the former Montgomery County executive who is running this year for his old job, issued a broadside Friday against the county's decision to close its largest biotech incubator.
In a guest commentary in this week's Business Journal, Duncan attacks what he refers to as a "questionable county action" to evict more than three dozen startups from the William Hanna Center for Innovation at Shady Grove to make way for a cybersecurity center.

The 60,000 square foot facility — also referred to as the Shady Grove Innovation Center — has been in operation for about 15 years. The vast majority of its occupants are biotechs, which make use of the lab space provided by the incubator. In its place will be a federally-funded "center of excellence" for non-defense cyber run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)....

Duncan's letter signals that the incubator's closure has spilled into the county executive race, where he is seeking to unseat two-term executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett. "In 2013, his seventh year in office, Leggett announced a new 'open for business' initiative. That’s certainly not the impression given to the companies that will be displaced," Duncan wrote. "Nor was it the message perceived by the biotech world, both in and beyond the county, which sees Montgomery County as a haven for fostering biotechnology and life science innovation...."
GAZETTE: In Doug Duncan’s quest to reclaim the reins of Montgomery County political power, he has attacked Isiah Leggett’s decision to relocate some biotech businesses out of a Gaithersburg incubator. The move is to make room for the county’s effort to become a cybersecurity center for Maryland.

On this, Duncan is wrong and Leggett is right.

Duncan, who will face Leggett in the Democratic primary in June, believes the county should find a way to keep the biotech companies in place and find somewhere else for the cybersecurity businesses.... A new location to house cybersecurity start-ups would cost $3 million, the county says. The cost inside the William Hanna Center for Innovation: $750,000. Where would Duncan find the difference? He doesn’t say....

We appreciate Duncan’s desire to assist growing biotechs.... However, his recent actions cast him as a politician who has forgotten the financial difficulties of the last six years. Adding millions to the county’s bottom line looks like a 20th-century thing to do.

JUICE #7: GOP DEL. MICHAEL HOUGH CHALLENGING GOP SEN. DAVID BRINKLEY, CALLING HIM O'MALLEY'S "RUBBER STAMP" - Maryland Juice reader Howard Gorrell forwarded us news of intra-party battle between GOP lawmakers Del. Michael Hough and Sen. David Brinkley. Hough announced the Republican Primary challenge on a press release on his website (excerpt below):
MICHAEL HOUGH: ... Today Maryland State Delegate Michael Hough (Frederick & Washington Counties), announced he is running for state senate in district 4 (Frederick & Carroll Counties). Hough said, “Frederick and Carroll Counties deserve a true conservative Republican, not ‘O’Malley-lite.’ To quote one of my heroes President Ronald Reagan, we need to be a party of bold colors, not pale pastels....”

Hough concluded, “Senator David Brinkley’s record shows that he is nothing more than a rubber stamp for O’Malley’s and the Democrats’ liberal agenda. Frederick & Carroll counties deserve a state senator who will fight out-of-control taxes and stand firm for our conservative values.

JUICE #8: ROCKVILLE COUNCILMEMBER TOM MOORE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR MOCO COUNCIL DISTRICT 3 - Rockville City Councilmember Tom Moore hosted a kickoff event for his campaign for the MoCo Council District 3 this week. Incumbent Phil Andrews is vacating the seat to run for County Executive, and so far Gaithersburg Mayor Sid Katz, Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel, and activist Guled Kassim have announced plans to run for the seat. Below you can see a photo from Tom Moore's kickoff:



JUICE #9: JULIUS HENSON VIOLATING PROBATION TERMS BY RUNNING AGAINST D45 STATE SENATOR NATE MCFADDEN - Julius Henson, who was convicted of election fraud in a case involving robocalls he created on behalf of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Ehrlich, had previously announced a Democratic Primary challenge to D45 State Senator Nate McFadden. But The Baltimore Sun's Luke Broadwater reports that Henson may be violating the terms of his probation by running for office (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Veteran political consultant Julius Henson pledged Wednesday to continue running for a Maryland Senate seat even though the state says that may violate the terms of his probation.

“Whether I’m free or in prison, the contest will go on and I plan to win this race,” Henson, 64, said during an afternoon news conference in the living room of his East Baltimore home. He vowed to “retire” longtime Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, whom he plans to challenge in the June 24 Democratic primary.

Henson is serving three years probation stemming from his conviction in a high-profile election-fraud case. As part of the sentence, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Emanuel Brown ordered that Henson “shall not work in any political campaign paid/volunteer during probation....”

At issue is whether Henson is prohibited from running for office or only from working on another candidate’s campaign. Gerard Shields, a spokesman for the state prison system, said Henson’s probation agent alerted the court of the potential violation after learning that Henson was planning to run for state Senate. A hearing before Judge Brown is scheduled for Feb. 27....

JUICE #10: KYLE LIERMAN OPTS AGAINST D16 CAMPAIGN // PLUS: SISTER BROOKE LIERMAN POISED TO WIN D46 DELEGATE SEAT - Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck today reported that former D16 Delegate candidate Kyle Lierman has opted against a 2014 run for office (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: Kyle Lierman, who had been mulling a race for an open state Senate seat, has decided to forgo a run in Bethesda/Potomac-based District 16 this year, sources said late Thursday.

His decision all but assures Delegate Susan Lee’s election this year to the seat being vacated by Sen. Brian Frosh, who is running for state attorney general. With only four days until the filing deadline for the June 24 primary, no other Democrats have filed for the slot – and no one else appears to be on the horizon in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.  

Lierman came within several hundred votes of capturing the Democratic nomination for a state delegate seat in District 16 four years ago, and also had been mulling a reprise run for delegate. His move further reinforces the status of health policy advocate Hrant Jamgochian and attorney Marc Korman as the strong favorites this year to capture two open delegate seats created by Lee’s run for Senate and Delegate Bill Frick’s candidacy for the attorney general slot also sought by Frosh....
BROOKE LIERMAN SURGING: Meanwhile, Kyle's sister Brooke Lierman is a candidate for Delegate in Baltimore-based District 46. Brooke looks well-poised to win a Delegate seat given the broad support her campaign is receiving. First, the D46 Democratic incumbents (Senator Bill Ferguson & Delegates Pete Hammen and Luke Clippinger) have formed a slate with Brooke Lierman. Additionally, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Baltimore Councilmember Edward Reisinger, the League of Conservation Voters, and others have also endorsed Brooke for D46 Delegate. Dems in other parts of the state have apparently taken notice, as we received a statement of endorsement for Brooke Lierman from MoCo Del. Jeff Waldstreicher (excerpt below):
JEFF WALDSTREICHER: We need more progressive voices in Annapolis. We need Brooke Lierman. I endorse my friend Brooke without hesitation or reservation. She is the best candidate to ensure our great state reaches its full potential--a green, safe, & prosperous Maryland....

JUICE #11: ADVOCATES SEEK TO REDUCE RECIDIVISM & MASS INCARCERATION WITH THE "MARYLAND SECOND CHANCE ACT" - Last year, Maryland Juice wrote about a worthy effort by some Maryland lawmakers to bring some sanity to our criminal "justice" system by allowing residents to shield minor crimes from public view after a few years (think minor nonviolent misdemeanor offenses and simple pot possession charges, as examples). Currently, a conviction for a minor crime can stick on one's public record for years and create unnecessary obstacles to employment. This session, advocates are making another effort to pass reform legislation.

The 2014 shielding legislation is now titled the Maryland Second Chance Act of 2014.  This year's proposed legislation would allow persons to petition the courts to shield certain nonviolent misdemeanor convictions from public view.  Law enforcement, courts and certain employer would maintain access to shielded records.

Last year, the shielding legislation came very close to passing, but fell victim to the drama of the House Judiciary and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee over an unrelated bill.  This year, however, there is a strong chance that it could pass given current local (and national) conversations around mitigating the collateral consequences of those with a criminal record - particularly those convicted of nonviolent misdemeanor offenses and persons and color.   It won't be easy, but at least folks are interested in Annapolis.  Sponsors this year are Senators Jamie Raskin and Verna Jones-Rodwell and Delegates Curt Anderson and Jeff Waldstreicher.  The fact sheet for the bill (from the Job Opportunities Task Force) is below:


JUICE #12: MOCO COUNCIL HOLDING PUBLIC HEARINGS ON CLEAN ELECTIONS PROPOSAL - The Montgomery County Council is debating a program for public financing of local elections (aka "clean elections"), and they have scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, March 4th, at 7:30 pm.

Under a public funding program, candidates for County Council or County Executive would raise low-dollar donations from individual donors in their district to qualify for public funds, and in exchange turn down large donations from wealthy donors or corporations.
  • To testify, call 240-777-7803 and ask to be added to the witness list. Make sure you speak to a live person as leaving a message on the voicemail system will not sign you up on the list.
The bill file, including the language of the bill, is available at the County Council website. You can watch a video from the press conference launching this initiative below:



JUICE #13: STATE OF BLACK MONTGOMERY EVENT SOLD OUT FOR THIS SATURDAY - Maryland Juice received an invitation to a forum titled "The State of Black Montgomery." The event this Saturday is sold out, but there may be standing room available for late registrants. Here's the event description:
The African American Democratic Club of Montgomery County (AADCMC), the Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD), and other organizations throughout the metropolitan area are joining forces to convene a call to action forum that will explore and address topics pertinent to the black community. The State of Black Montgomery will bring together Montgomery County’s elected officials, business leaders, community activists and the community at large to advance the successes of the black community in Montgomery County.

Panel Topics Include:
  • Empowering and Engaging Our Youth
  • Increasing Our Political Participation 
  • Addressing Our Social Justice Issues 
  • Advancing Our Economic Power

GUEST POST: Progressive Maryland Sounds Off On Estate Tax Cut Proposal // By Kate Planco Waybright, Executive Director

Maryland Juice received the following guest post from Kate Planco Waybright, Executive Director of Progressive Maryland:

Maryland Progressives Lead Charge to Give Top 2% a Tax-Break 
on the Backs of Working Class Marylanders

KATE PLANCO WAYBRIGHT: Something smells fishy in Annapolis, and it’s not crab cakes. Unfortunately, some so-called progressive legislators (wait till you hear who!) have hopped on the Republican bandwagon—they are seeking to increase the Maryland estate tax exemption from the current level of $1 million to the federal level of $5.34 million. At a time when income inequality is one of the nation’s most discussed issues, a reduction in the estate tax fails to encourage a fair and progressive tax structure and will serve only the wealthiest Maryland citizens at the expense of hardworking middle and lower class families.

A just-released Baltimore Sun poll of 1200 registered voters likely to vote in the June primary show that a whopping 71% are concerned about the state budget deficit. At a time in which 594,000 Marylanders are still living in poverty, it is difficult to understand why any lawmaker—let alone one who bills him or herself as progressive—would cast a vote in support of cutting taxes on the wealthiest estates in Maryland, especially when such a measure will cost the state tens of millions each year. With a current estate tax exemption up to $1 million, less than 3% of estates are subject to the tax while nearly $90 million in revenues each year go to the state’s General Fund for core public services. These public services help provide a critical social safety net for our state’s most vulnerable citizens, and support our state’s investment in schools, job training, health care, public safety, infrastructure, clean energy, and so much more.

Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker of the House Mike Busch are the most enthusiastic about this move. They have sponsored bills in their respective chambers and lined up an impressive array of legislators as cosponsors. In the Senate, for instance, we have Montgomery County Sens. Jennie Forehand, Brian Feldman, Karen Montgomery, and Nancy King. Prince George’s County Sens. Joanne Bensen and Ulysses Currie. And Baltimore City Sens. Lisa Gladden, Nathaniel McFadden, and Catherine Pugh. That’s not the full list of Democrats adding their name to the proposal, either.

In the House, we have Montgomery County Delegates Jim Gilchrist, Ana Sol Gutierrez, Kathleen Dumais, Anne Kaiser, Ariana Kelly, Susan Lee, Aruna Miller, Lou Simmons, and Craig Zucker, plus a whole crop of Democrats from other parts of the state, including 2 attorney general candidates—Jon Cardin and Bill Frick. Full details on: SB602 & HB739.

Right above the lists of Democrats are these bills' fiscal notes, which say this:
The bill increases the value of the federal unified credit used in the calculation of Maryland estate taxes equal to an exclusion of $1.75 million for decedents dying in calendar 2014, $2.5 million in calendar 2015, and $3.5 million in calendar 2016. Beginning in 2017, the value of the credit will be equal to the amount of the federal exclusion allowed in the taxable year. As a result, general fund revenues decrease by $27.9 million in fiscal 2015, $58.6 million in fiscal 2016, $84.7 million in fiscal 2017, $121.9 million in fiscal 2018, and $137.7 million in fiscal 2019.
So, to review: Democrats in Maryland want to join Republicans in passing a tax break for the very wealthiest of Marylanders that will result in millions lost from our General Fund—more than $100 million in a few years. And to think—people say Maryland is so progressive. If that’s the case, what are these so-called progressives thinking?

Let me knock out some of the arguments I have heard. First, it’s important to note that while the estate tax is imposed on the transfer of the taxable estate of a deceased person, all property left to a surviving spouse, no matter the amount, is exempt from the estate tax. Second, you should be aware that the estate tax is not a duplicative tax, which some argue. Yes, Maryland has an inheritance tax—but inheritance taxes aren’t paid by the estate of the deceased, but by the inheritors of the estate. And the inheritance tax doesn’t apply to a direct beneficiary that includes a child, parent, step-parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, other descendent, or a corporation if all stockholders are direct beneficiaries. That’s a pretty generous list.

Advocates for raising the exemption claim that wealthy, older Marylanders are leaving the state to avoid having their estates pay this tax, but arguments of tax migration are just a myth. Recent studies have confirmed Maryland’s distinction as the number one state for millionaires per capita. (The top six states in millionaires per capita in 2013 all have an estate tax!). In fact, a December report by the Maryland Dept. of Planning confirmed that people over 55 are the wealthiest segment of Marylanders, and that our state continues to gain wealthy residents in this age bracket.

Advocates also cite the burden on farms, but Maryland law protects family farms by exempting up to $5 million of unqualified agricultural property passing from a decedent to a family member who will continue to use the property for agricultural purposes for at least ten years. State law also limits the tax rate imposed and provides for a 3-year payment deferral for estate taxes on family farms.

So why would so-called progressive legislators in Maryland allow us to go in the wrong direction? Are they donning their George W. Bush masks because it’s an election year and they want to curry favor with conservatives? Do these legislators themselves have estates worth more than a million dollars? Do they feel it’s more important to ensure their wealthy constituents can hang onto every last penny of their millions than to take care of all Marylanders? 

Since 2010, six states have reinstated or increased their estate tax. Passage of this measure would be a grave injustice to the residents of the state of Maryland—helping the very few at the expense of many. Reducing taxes for the wealthy while robbing the state budget of funds that support programs that working families depend upon is just wrong. Progressive Maryland believes that a fair tax system asks all citizens to contribute to the cost of government services based on their ability to pay. We hope Maryland Juice readers will join us in opposing these efforts to increase the estate tax exemption for Maryland’s wealthiest citizens.

Please take a moment to send a message to your letters in opposition to these proposals:
http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5206/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9194

Kate Planco Waybright
Executive Director, Progressive Maryland

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.

Senate
  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....

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

JUICE: Sparks in Governor's Race, Candidate Updates in D15, D16, D19, D23B & MoCo 3, MoCo Exec Debate WED & More!

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

JUICE #1: PRINCE GEORGE'S LAWMAKERS ISSUE LETTER CONDEMNING DOUG GANSLER'S REMARKS ABOUT THEIR COUNTY - Yesterday a wide range of Prince George's County elected officials signed onto a letter condemning remarks from Attorney General Doug Gansler about their county. Gansler's remarks were covered in a Washington Post article about his new campaign office in Prince George's (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: In an attempted show of strength on his rival’s home turf, Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler opened a campaign office Saturday in Prince George’s County and argued that his ticket is more committed to the jurisdiction’s vast economic development and educational needs than Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown....

Gansler, a former Montgomery County state’s attorney, also unveiled a list Saturday of 34 current and former municipal officials from Prince George’s who are backing his campaign — including eight officeholders whose names had previously appeared on lists of endorsements released by Brown.

By Sunday morning, The Washington Post was able to independently verify that two of the eight had switched allegiances from Brown to Gansler. One of the eight, however, said he is still backing Brown, and another name was removed from Gansler’s list after his campaign said that it had appeared by mistake....

“He’s not from Prince George’s County. . . . He’s from Long Island,” Gansler said at one point, referring to Brown’s birthplace of Huntington, N.Y....

Gansler also said that Prince George’s has not seen the kind of economic development the county deserves. “When people get up in front of you and say, ‘We have one Maryland,’ we do on a map,” Gansler said. “But we have two Marylands: There are those who have it and those who don’t....”
Prince George's officials ranging from U.S. House members Donna Edwards and Steny Hoyer to State Senate President Mike Miller released the following letter in response to Gansler's remarks:


JUICE #2: MIZEUR CALLS ON GANSLER & BROWN TO TESTIFY IN FAVOR OF MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION  //  PLUS: BROWN RESPONDS W/ LETTER - Delegate Heather Mizeur took an early stand on marijuana reform by being the only gubernatorial candidate to come out for legalization, while also co-sponsoring legislation to decriminalize pot. This week she followed up on her stance by calling on Doug Gansler and Anthony Brown to testify in support of the decriminalization bill. Both Brown and Gansler recently confirmed support for removing jail time as a penalty for pot possession, and Mizeur asked both candidates to do more in the following press release (excerpt below):
PRESS RELEASE

Mizeur Calls On Brown, Gansler to Testify For Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

SILVER SPRING, Maryland—This morning, Delegate Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery), candidate for governor, invited Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler through her legislative office to join her in testifying on behalf of the Maryland Marijuana Decriminalization Act (HB0879).

The bill, if passed, would replace criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana with a civil fine of $100. For individuals under 21, criminal penalties would be replaced with drug education classes and would also include parental notification requirements for those under 18. Mizeur introduced the bipartisan bill last week with Delegate Michael Smigiel (R-Cecil County) as the lead Republican co-sponsor.

The bill has 40 co-sponsors, including Gansler’s running mate, Delegate Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s), House Majority Leader Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery) and two committee chairs: Delegate Sheila Hixson (D-Montgomery) and Delegate Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore).

After hesitating to endorse decriminalization earlier in the campaign, both the Brown and Gansler campaigns have since come out publicly in favor of the reform. Brown expressed his strong support for decriminalization at a Baltimore Sun “Newsmaker Forum” last month. Ivey has made her ticket’s support public over Twitter and at last week’s BEST Democratic Club lieutenant governor candidate roundtable....
Anthony Brown' campaign responded with the following letter to Mizeur:
ANTHONY BROWN: Dear Delegate Mizeur: Over the past several years, in our state and throughout our country, there has been a serious discussion about marijuana and its impact on our society. Here in Maryland, a number of dedicated public servants, like Senator Zirkin and Delegate Anderson have proposed legislation decriminalizing marijuana. Last year, legislation was sponsored, and passed, by Delegate Clippinger and Senator Raskin which reduces the sentences for those caught with small amounts of marijuana.

As they are currently constructed and enforced, our state’s marijuana laws are costly, ineffective, and racially biased. In 2010, African Americans in Maryland were almost 3 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts, and black Marylanders represent almost 58 percent of all marijuana possession arrests, but only 30 percent of the population. This is despite the fact that both groups have nearly identical marijuana usage rates. An arrest for possession has an incredibly negative impact on that person’s life, often creating problems finding employment or even a place to live.

Equally distressing is how ineffective and costly our marijuana laws are: just four years ago, our state spent over $55.3 million in enforcement of this law on police costs alone. These are resources that could have been better spent fighting violent crime throughout our state, or on substance abuse treatment that could help end the cycle of use and dependency. I support the decriminalization of marijuana because I believe in strong communities where safety – and not just the appearance of being tough on crime – comes first....

JUICE #3: MOCO EXEC CANDIDATES DEBATE ON TOMORROW (WED) // TEACHERS  HOSTING EDUCATION FORUM W/ LEGGETT, DUNCAN & ANDREWS - Tomorrow MCEA (the union representing MoCo teachers) is holding a schools debate with Democratic MoCo Exec candidates Ike Leggett, Doug Duncan and Republican candidate Jim Shalleck (details below):
MCEA Montgomery County Executive Forum
Wednesday February 12, 2014 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, MD
RSVP: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CountyExecForum


JUICE #4: THE MARYLAND POLITICS WATCH BLOG IS BACK - Maryland Juice considers our blog a later iteration of the news model developed by the Maryland Politics Watch blog (aka MPW). Indeed, MPW ceased operations sometime after the 2010 election cycle, but now the site's owner David Lublin has relaunched Maryland Politics Watch:
DAVID LUBLIN (VIA MARYLAND POLITICS WATCH): After a long hiatus, I've decided to start blogging again. I'm hoping to move to a new platform and URL so watch this spot to follow Maryland Politics Watch. For now, I'm not going to publish comments because I just don't have the time or desire to moderate them. Enjoy!

JUICE #5: CANDIDATES ANNOUNCE // THEA WILSON VS. DEL. VALLARIO IN D23B, BENNETT RUSHKOFF VS. DAVID FRASER-HIDALGO IN D15, CHARLOTTE CRUTCHFIELD VS. MARICE MORALES IN D19, TOM MOORE FOR MOCO COUNCIL - Maryland Juice has received a number of alerts from candidates announcing for various positions. Below you can see a quick round-up of the events.

DISTRICT 23B: This Sunday, Thea Wilson is announcing a campaign for District 23B Delegate. Notably, D23B is a new legislative district that has been re-drawn in a way that may make incumbent Delegate Joe Vallario vulnerable in his re-election bid:



DISTRICT 15: Delegate Brian Feldman recently vacated his District 15 seat to be appointed to Rob Garagiola's State Senate seat. In turn, David Fraser-Hidalgo was appointed to Feldman's vacant D15 seat. But now progressive attorney Bennett Rushkoff has announced a campaign for District 15 Delegate, and some interesting officials attended his campaign kickoff this weekend. In the photo and press release excerpt below, Rushkoff announced that his event was attended by D15 Delegates Kathleen Dumais and Aruna Miller (current colleagues of David Fraser-Hidalgo):

PRESS RELEASE

Over 100 People Pack Bennett Rushkoff’s State Delegate Campaign Kickoff
District 15 Delegates Dumais and Miller Attend

North Potomac, Maryland  – Over 100 people, including District 15 Delegates Kathleen Dumais and Aruna Miller, packed into Nantucket’s Reef in North Potomac for Bennett Rushkoff’s State Delegate campaign kickoff on Saturday, February 8.

After being introduced by Ron Weich, Dean of the University of Baltimore Law School and a Yale Law School classmate of Rushkoff’s, as well as Antonio Carrillo, a public school science teacher and local community activist, Rushkoff described why he was running for office.  He spoke about his many years fighting for justice as a consumer protection attorney and how he plans to pursue justice in the General Assembly, advocating in the areas of education, health care, and the environment on behalf of all Marylanders.  Rushkoff said that his commitment to protecting the environment comes from his belief that we “borrow our planet from our children.”

Following the kickoff, Rushkoff commented on the packed house at Nantucket’s Reef: “I am inspired by all the people who came out today to hear about our campaign for justice.  It is clear that the residents of District 15 want a Delegate who will fight for our shared values.”

Rushkoff has assembled a professional campaign team, hiring the consulting firm Feldman Strategies and bringing on former Obama campaign staffer Britney Mumford....

DISTRICT 19: This week MCDCC member Charlotte Crutchfield announced a campaign for District 19 Delegate, where incumbent Sam Arora recently announced his retirement. Crutchfield will be joining Marice Morales (an aide to Sen. Roger Manno) in seeking the open seat. Check out this excerpt from Crutchfield's announcement press release below:
PRESS RELEASE
Longtime County Activist Charlotte Crutchfield Announces Candidacy
Bringing Communities Together Through Energy and Experience

February 9, 2014 (Silver Spring, MD)—Longtime Montgomery County activist Charlotte Crutchfield formally announced today that she has filed as a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 19. She will be running in the Democratic primary on June 24, 2014.

“After many years working in the community with and for the wonderful people of District 19, I am ready to serve as an effective advocate in the General Assembly,” Crutchfield said.

Seeking to fill the vacant seat with Delegate Arora’s retirement, Ms. Crutchfield’s election will be historic, as she will be the first African American woman from Montgomery County to be elected to the State legislature.
Ms. Crutchfield's focus is Community First. Her top three campaign issues will be education, the economy, and equality. “A community is strongest when its citizens are well-educated, economically prosperous, and are treated equally. A livable minimum wage benefits workers, unions and businesses alike, and bolsters the economy. And, when every member of the community knows that their life, lifestyle and life-choices are valued regardless of sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or identity we, indeed, become a community," she said.
Charlotte Crutchfield was elected to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) in 2010, serving as Liaison for District 19, and as a member of the Rules Committee, Voter Protection Committee, Ballot Question Review Committee and Strategic Planning Committee....

MOCO COUNCIL 3: Rockville City Councilmember Tom Moore announced a February 17th kickoff for his campaign for County Council District 3. The incumbent Phil Andrews is running for County Executive, and so far Gaithersburg Mayor Sid Katz, Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel, and activist Guled Kassim have announced in the race. Moore's announcement is below:
Greetings, Juice!

Please join Tom Moore, his wife Amy, his kids, and many of Tom's friends and supporters next Monday as we kick off his campaign for County Council with good cheer and good food.

Come hear why Tom is running, and how he will represent Rockville and Gaithersburg on the County Council!

We have four short months until the June 24 Democratic primary, and Tom's in a red-hot race. Let's get this campaign off to a roaring start!

When: Monday, Feb. 17, from 3-5 p.m. (Presidents' Day!)
Where: American Tap Room in Rockville Town Square   
Please feel free to bring as many people as you like. Kids are more than welcome to attend.
Click here to RSVP: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1YrGoQUTRRfZ529Z9q6owR5ePPBhYayZ2QzA-xHgGBfc/viewform
See you there!

Max van Balgooy
Campaign Chair, Friends of Tom Moore

JUICE #6: KYLE LIERMAN WEIGHING RUN FOR D16 SENATE OR DELEGATE AS FIELD THINS // PLUS: MOCO BOE MEMBER SMONDROWSKI FOR D17 SENATE? - Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck highlighted some possible last-minute candidate filings as we head closer to the February 25th deadline for candidates to put their names on the June Primary Election ballot. The race for two open Delegate seats in District 16 may lose some candidates and gain others, while candidates are still eyeing the open Senate seat primaries in Districts 16 and 17 (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: Local real estate agent Ted Duncan, who had formed a campaign committee and was ready to run as recently as mid-January, has pulled out of the contest.... Veteran political operative Kevin Walling, who announced his candidacy last summer, appears ready to drop out and instead run for a seat on the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.... White House aide Kyle Lierman, who finished second in an 11-person race for an open seat in 2010, is said by sources to be continuing to consider another run for delegate or a run against Delegate Susan Lee for the seat being vacated by Sen. Brian Frosh.
Rebecca Smondrowski confirmed she is still mulling a run to succeed state Sen. Jennie Forehand, who is retiring after 20 years in the seat.... Smondrowski, a former General Assembly aide who was elected to the school board in 2012, acknowledged that “I’ll likely be staying where I am,” But she added of a possible Senate run: “I’m very torn. I really love what I’m doing, [but] I’m feeling like this might be once in a lifetime opportunity…My guess is that I’ll be considering it until pretty much close to the deadline....”

JUICE #7: MOCO POISED TO APPROVE PUBLIC FINANCING FOR COUNTY ELECTIONS // PLUS: CONGRESSMAN SARBANES & NANCY PELOSI INTRODUCE CLEAN ELECTIONS BILLS FOR FEDS - All members of the Montgomery County Council have signed on to legislation sponsored by Councilmember Phil Andrews to take advantage of new state law allowing municipalities to enact public financing systems for local elections. Indeed, MoCo Councilmembers seek to make the county the first in Maryland to create a "clean elections" fund and reduce the impact of special interests in elections. This effort seems likely to pass.

Meanwhile, Congressman Jon Sarbanes is sponsoring legislation to create a similar program at the federal level. Sarbanes co-signed an op-ed with U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about their new legislation, and Governor O'Malley and former MoCo Councilmember Valerie Ervin (now with the Center for Working Families) issued a press release about the effort. You can see excerpts from both items below:
NANCY PELOSI & JOHN SARBANES (VIA WASHINGTON POST): Americans have seen it on their televisions and heard it on their radios: political ads backed by unnamed sources; the work of so-called advocacy groups backed by undisclosed donors; damaging policy agendas orchestrated by special interests; endless money muddying the waters of our debate with confusion and voter suppression.... Indeed, Citizens United shook the foundation of our democracy: the principle that, in the United States of America, it is the voices of the people, not the bank accounts of the privileged few, that determine the outcome of our elections and the policies of our government....

Those of us inside and outside the Capitol who support this kind of major change are rallying around H.R. 20, the Government by the People Act, which is to be introduced Wednesday. This sensible, straightforward legislation would:
  • Encourage the participation of everyday Americans in the funding of campaigns by providing a refundable $25 My Voice Tax Credit. This would bring the voices of the broader public into the funding side of campaigns and democratize the relationship between money and speech.
  • Establish a Freedom From Influence Matching Fund to boost the power of small-dollar contributions. To be eligible for these matching funds, a candidate would have to agree to a limit on large donations and demonstrate broad-based support from a network of small-dollar contributors. Amplified by the Freedom From Influence Matching Fund, the voices of everyday Americans would be as powerful as those of big donors.
  • Provide candidates with an opportunity to earn additional resources in the homestretch of a campaign so that the voices of the people are not completely drowned out by super political action committees and other dark-money interests. In the wake of Citizens United, this kind of support is critical to ensuring that citizen-backed candidates have staying power.
Here's the press release from the Center for Working Families about the new Pelosi-Sarbanes public financing bill:
PRESS RELEASE

Gov. O'Malley, Valerie Ervin Laud New Sarbanes Bill to Take on Money in Politics
Today, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Center Working Families Executive Director Valerie Ervin lauded a new bill meant to take on the role of big money in politics and raise the voices of everyday people in the political process

H.R. 20, The Government by the People Act, was introduced today by Rep. John Sarbanes, and has more than 100 original co-sponsors.

"We need more action and smarter solutions to improve our nation's campaign finance system and I commend Congressmen John Sarbanes and Chris Van Hollen for their leadership on this important issue," said Governor Martin O’Malley. "Elections are the foundation of a successful democracy and these ideas will put us one step closer toward a better, more representative system that reflects the American values we share.”

"The Citizens United decision has given wealthy interests a megaphone so big it drowns out the rest of our voices," said Valerie Ervin, Executive Director of the Center for Working Families. "I am proud to stand in support of more than 100 members of Congress today who want to put the voters back in charge. Democracy shouldn't be for sale at any price."

The Government by the People Act would change the way our elections are financed through a combination of small donors, matching funds, and a “My Voice” tax credit.  Instead of relying on Wall Street executives or lobbyists, participating candidates would rely on the ones the founding fathers intended them to represent: we the people.

How the bill works:

People would be encouraged to give small contributions through two parts of the proposal: first, contributions of $1 to $150 would be amplified on a six-to-one basis by a newly-created “Freedom from Influence Fund.” Large contributions would not qualify.
The first $25 contributed by individuals would qualify for a “My Voice” refundable tax credit.
Each candidate’s money from the new fund -- which would be financed by closing corporate tax loopholes -- would be capped, and there would be strict enforcement of campaign finance laws, including disclosure of all donations.

Learn more about the Government by the People Act at: www.ofby.us

###

JUICE #8: STATE SENATOR LISA GLADDEN WITHDRAWS BILL TO TACKLE DEL. JON CARDIN'S HELICOPTER STUNT - The Daily Record recently reported that State Senator Lisa Gladden withdrew a bill designed to combat misuse of police equipment. The bill was apparently aimed at a scandal involving Delegate Jon Cardin, who is locked in a battle for Attorney General against Gladden's Senate colleague Brian Frosh (excerpt below):
DAILY RECORD: A bill that would have established reimbursement requirements and perhaps set other penalties for elected officials who misuse police equipment has been pulled by the sponsor because of election year concerns. Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, D-Baltimore, introduced the bill last week but quickly pulled it at the request of her committee chairman, Sen. Brian E. Frosh, D-Montgomery.

“It will not be considered for this year because of the election,” said Gladden, who is vice chairwoman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. “It will be back next year because I like the bill and I think it’s a good idea....” The bill imposes a $15,000 fine for an elected official found guilty of misusing police resources and requires the official to reimburse the agency for the use of the equipment and officers.... When asked if the bill was specifically related to the Baltimore County Democrat, Gladden responded: “Of course we’re talking about Jon Cardin.”
The Associated Press reported on the context for the bill in 2009 (excerpt below):
ASSOCIATED PRESS (VIA HUFFINGTON POST): A Maryland lawmaker has apologized for using a police boat and helicopter to create a diversion so he could surprise his girlfriend with a marriage proposal.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld told reporters Tuesday that Delegate Jon Cardin also offered to pay expenses from the incident. The department is investigating. Officials don't know yet how much Cardin's proposal cost the department....

JUICE #9: TWO-TIME DUI CONVICT DEL. DON DWYER INTRODUCES BILLS REQUIRING JAIL & SUSPENSION FOR LAWMAKERS JAILED FOR DUI - If you haven't already heard, Delegate Don Dwyer was back in the news again. The Tea Party lawmaker has been in and out of the news in recent cycles, due to back-to-back drunk driving incidents. The first incident was a drunken boat crash that injured several children, while the second was a DUI conviction for dangerous driving. But now Dwyer has introduced two bills to create mandatory expulsion and jail-time for lawmakers involved in DUI's:
  • BILL #1 - HB733: For the purpose of requiring that certain State officials who are convicted of certain alcohol–related driving offenses be subject to a certain mandatory minimum sentence; defining a certain term; and generally relating to a mandatory minimum sentence for a State official who is convicted of certain alcohol–related driving offenses.
  • BILL #2 - HB734:  For the purpose of requiring that a member of the General Assembly who is found guilty of any crime for which the member is sentenced to serve a period of incarceration in any penal institution during the member’s term of office be suspended and, under certain circumstances, removed from office by operation of law; requiring that a member of the General Assembly who enters a certain plea relating to any crime for which the member is sentenced to serve a period of incarceration in any penal institution during the member’s term of office be removed from office by operation of law; and submitting this amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection. 

JUICE #10: ANTHONY BROWN SLAMS DOUG GANSLER CORPORATE TAX CUT PROPOSAL - Attorney General Doug Gansler has voiced support for linking a corporate tax cut to a minimum wage increase in Maryland. Last week Lt. Governor Anthony Brown issued a press release calling Gansler's stance a Republican position (excerpt below):
PRESS RELEASE

Doug Gansler’s $1.6 billion corporate tax giveaway to be debated in Senate at 1 p.m. in Annapolis today

Will Gansler join with Republicans by testifying and explaining which programs he'll slash or schools he'll close to pay for this reckless corporate tax handout?

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Throughout his campaign for governor, Doug Gansler has frequently and enthusiastically embraced the Republican proposal to slash Maryland’s corporate tax rate from 8.25% to 6%. Just like Annapolis Republicans, Gansler has yet to explain how he’ll pay for this corporate giveaway, which would cost Marylanders more than $1.6 billion in revenue over the next five years. The Washington Post even called Gansler’s unfunded giveaway part of a “package of panders” to Maryland voters.

Today at 1 p.m. in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Republicans will push for passage of Doug Gansler’s $1.6 million corporate tax handout – the only question is, will Doug Gansler finally stand with them and explain how he’ll pay for it?
“Doug Gansler has been in lockstep with Republicans who want a $1.6 billion corporate tax handout that would defund our schools and put the brakes on several job-creating infrastructure projects,” said Brown-Ulman campaign manager Justin Schall. “If Gansler wants to recklessly create a $1.6 billion hole in revenues, he should come clean and explain which programs he’ll slash or which schools he’ll close to balance the budget. Marylanders deserve to hear Doug Gansler and the Republicans explain why a corporate tax giveaway is a better idea than investing in our schools.”