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Monday, September 30, 2013

JUICE: SEIU for Brown, Sam Arora News, Delaney Letter for Saqib Ali, Susan Lee Lit, Gun Frenzy, Minimum Wage, Drones

Below Maryland Juice writers Dan Furmansky and David Moon highlight recent news of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: SEIU ENDORSES ANTHONY BROWN FOR GOVERNOR, DOUG GANSLER RESPONDS - for Maryland Governor (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown is expected to collect the endorsement of one of the most powerful unions in Maryland Monday in his race for the 2014 Democratic nomination for governor.... The SEIU is one of the state's largest unions, representing more than 30,000 public employees, health care workers, security workers and janitors in Maryland.....
Attorney General Doug Gansler's campaign responded with the following press release:

PRESS RELEASE

Campaign Statement Re: SEIU Endorsement

Silver Spring, MD - In response to SEIU endorsement announcement, Gansler campaign manager Matthew "Mudcat" Arnold said,  "SEIU 1199, with far more members in New York than Maryland, carried the state council endorsement. That is disappointing, but the fact remains that the largest, fastest-growing, statewide local with the most Maryland members, SEIU 500, cast their vote for Doug Gansler, proving once again that hard-working families in Maryland want a candidate with ideas and who isn’t afraid to shake up the status quo to get things done. This starts for Doug with creating jobs and a fairer economy where the middle class, and thus all of us, thrives. "

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JUICE #2: IT'S OFFICIAL DISTRICT 19 INCUMBENTS RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION WITHOUT SAM ARORA - that District 19 incumbents are publicly confirming that they will be forming a slate for re-election without Sam Arora. For what it's worth, Arora has not yet announced if he will seek re-election but will apparently be deciding "soon" what he is doing next year (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: Three District 19 state lawmakers — Dels. Bonnie L. Cullison and Benjamin F. Kramer, and Sen. Roger Manno — have confirmed they will campaign as a group for the upcoming election, excluding Del. Sam Arora.... [A] photo that recently popped up on Manno’s Facebook page taken for collective campaign materials shows him, Cullison and Kramer, without Arora. All four are Democrats.

Asked about the photo, Manno repeatedly answered “Who?” at the mention of Arora’s name, as if the first-term delegate already was gone and forgotten.... Arora has not announced publicly if he will seek re-election.... On Thursday, he would say only that he will announce “soon....” At least two other Democrats have committed to the District 19 race. Meloyde A. Berry of Silver Spring has filed to run for delegate. Maricé I. Morales of Silver Spring, a special assistant in Manno’s office has, too.
Maryland Juice has also heard of another potential candidate or two, but hopefully there will be more news on those fronts very soon. In the meantime, Delegate Sam Arora is making public appearances, as we noted his recent attendance at a :



JUICE #3: FORMER DELEGATE SAQIB ALI RELEASES LETTER FROM REP. JOHN DELANEY FOR DISTRICT 15 MCDCC APPOINTMENT - The vacancy created by District 15 Delegate Brian Feldman's appointment to the State Senate is creating yet another vacancy appointment by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. Feldman's seat will be filled at the MCDCC meeting next Tuesday, October 8th, and the District 15 Democratic Caucus is holding a candidates forum tomorrow night. You can see the list of candidates vying for the D15 Delegate appointment below, along with a letter from Congressman John Delaney on behalf of former Delegate Saqib Ali:
The District 15 Candidates Forum
7:00 pm October 1, 2013
Up County Regional Services Center
12900 Middlebrook Road
Germantown, MD  20874

Including:
  • Anis Ahmed
  • Saqib Ali
  • Lori Askinazi
  • David Frazer-Hidalgo
  • Hamza Khan
  • Jinhee Wilde
  • Venattia Vann


JUICE #4: DELEGATE SUSAN LEE CAMPAIGNS FOR D16 STATE SENATE // HERE'S HER FIRST LIT PIECE - Maryland Juice recently bumped into Delegate Susan Lee at a death penalty repeal victory party. Lee is currently campaigning for the District 16 State Senate seat being vacated by Brian Frosh, but so far she appears to be the only candidate in the race. Delegate Lee has produced the following State Senate lit piece highlighting testimony from State Senator Jamie Raskin and MoCo State's Attorney John McCarthy:






JUICE #5: IN ADVANCE OF NEW GUN LAWS, MARYLANDERS BUYING GUNS AT RATE OF 1,000 PER DAY // MEANWHILE, LAWSUIT TO DELAY GUN LAWS COMMENCES - Like squirrels collecting nuts for the winter, gun enthusiasts are flocking to collect assault-style rifles and other fun tinker toys before Maryland’s new gun laws take effect this week, when such weapons are banned and fingerprints and a license will finally be required to buy a handgun. that more than 102,000 gun purchase applications have been submitted so far this year — twice the number for all of 2011. This month, a swarm of requests hit the Maryland State Police background check system at a pace roughly seven times that during the same time last year.

The Sun also reports that at a store in Pasadena (the district of Delegate Don Dwyer, who hosted an auction of assault weapons during a "Gun Rights and Liberty BBQ) has sold out of the AR-15 — the nation's most popular assault-style rifle (pictured below), and the same type of gun used in the December Newton shooting:



temporarily resulted in residents with criminal backgrounds being able to purchase firearms (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: The spike in sales — and resulting backlog of background checks — has put guns at least temporarily into the hands of people whose criminal records barred them from owning firearms and has complicated efforts to implement the new law.

Demand for guns overwhelmed the state's background check system months ago, leading half of the state's 314 dealers to release weapons to buyers without waiting for them to be checked out. Under state law, gun dealers must wait only seven days to release a firearm, but background checks have taken two months or more. All told, dealers have released 45 guns to 40 people prohibited from having them. State police said they have recovered them all....

While the new law bans the sale of 45 different types of assault weapons, it allows dealers to sell their existing inventory of assault-style rifles after Sept. 30 so long as there is a valid order placed before then.
In the meantime, gun advocates have launched a lawsuit seeking to delay implementation of the new Maryland gun regulations. (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON TIMES: A federal judge is scheduled to consider Tuesday whether to issue a temporary restraining order to halt new firearms restrictions set to take effect that day in Maryland.
The request for the order is part of a lawsuit filed by a collection of Maryland residents, gun store owners and Second Amendment advocates attempting to block implementation of some of the most stringent gun laws in the nation.

In court papers served on Gov. Martin O’Malley, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and the Maryland State Police, the plaintiffs are seeking to block the laws from going into effect because they “will burden impermissibly the fundamental constitutional rights” and cause “significant economic harm” to business.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Maryland, says the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 passed this year by the General Assembly would “unconstitutionally restrict” the right to keep and bear arms. It argues the new laws violate the Second Amendment by arbitrarily outlawing certain guns and prohibiting features and accessories that promote their effective and efficient use. It also says the prohibition on magazines holding more than 10 rounds is unusual and limits a gun owner’s ability to defend themselves....

JUICE #6: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER ON MARYLAND'S PROPOSED MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE - Proposals to increase the minimum wage are gaining traction in the state. Here’s a kick-ass argument for the long-overdue increase made by . It’s entirely worth watching her rattle off important facts and statistics we all should know and mop the floor with Rob Santoni of Maryland Food Dealers Council, who offers only weak platitudes in response ():



Edward Kimmel ()
JUICE #7: PHOTO GALLERY: DISTRICT 20 CAMPAIGN SHOES - Edward Kimmel is well-known in Montgomery County Democratic circles for taking and posting massive amounts of photos from political events in the region. Today, Kimmel posted from a forum featuring nine candidates for the District 20 House of Delegates last Sunday:
EDWARD KIMMEL: On Sunday, the Democrats of Maryland Legislative District 20 -- the most liberal district in the Bluest State of the Union, held a "debate" in which nine candidates presented themselves to the most active of the activists -- Sheila Hixson's D20 Breakfast Club. Each of the feet shown in this forum trod upon the stage. So, for those of you who wanted to know what the movers and shakers of Lefty Land put on their feet, here it is. But who's shoes are these?



JUICE #8: GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY SIGNS PACT WITH GOP GOVERNORS TO PUSH STATE UNIVERSITIES INTO DEVELOPING DRONES - Maryland Juice received a copy of the following unfortunate press release from Gov. Martin O'Malley noting that he is launching an effort to push Maryland's public colleges into development of drone technology. Much criticized for allowing the Obama administration to conduct executions without transparent due process, the use of drones is now being proposed for use by local law enforcement and for other surveillance activities. Similar to other efforts to develop weapons at academic institutions, O'Malley and GOP Presidential hopefuls NJ Gov. Chris Christie and VA Gov. Bob McDonnell are joining hands on this initiative. Indeed, along with government surveillance (ie: NSA) and arms dealing (ie: Lockheed Martin), Virginia and Maryland seek to make "drones" a jobs issue in the region:

PRESS RELEASE

Governor O'Malley, New Jersey Governor Christie, Virginia Governor McDonnell Sign Letter of Support for Universities' Collaboration on Unmaned Aircraft System Testing

MOU strengthens Mid-Atlantic region’s potential to be selected as FAA test site

Annapolis, MD (September 27, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today joined New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell in submitting a letter supporting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which the University System of Maryland, Rutgers University and Virginia Tech University agreed to collaborate and partner on a Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) test site. The letter, sent to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, highlighted the cooperative UAS research conducted by the three universities.

“With the potential to create more than 2,500 well-paying jobs in Maryland over the next 12 years, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems sector has the potential to have a significant positive economic impact on our state,” said Governor O’Malley. “This is an exciting agreement between three world-class educational institutions that takes advantage of the unparalleled capabilities in Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia for research, development and testing, and positions the Mid-Atlantic region as the ideal location for an Unmanned Aircraft Systems test site.”

In Maryland, the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River is recognized as the world’s leading center of UAS activity. At both the university level and among federal facilities, Maryland has been testing and developing UAS technology for more than two decades. Maryland’s UAS proposal, submitted to the FAA in May, includes the University System of Maryland campuses in College Park, Baltimore County and Eastern Shore, general aviation airports in Crisfield and St. Mary’s County, federal and industry partners and community organizations such as the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, the Patuxent Partnership, and the Joint Atlantic and Chesapeake Range Collaborative.

“We are thankful to our entire Congressional delegation, especially Congressman Steny Hoyer, who worked diligently to grow this coalition, the universities for their spirit of cooperation, and to partner companies in each state whose support is testament to the potential of this initiative,” said Governor O’Malley.

“This memorandum of understanding between the University System of Maryland, Rutgers University, and Virginia Tech significantly strengthens our bid for one of six UAS test site designations chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “With the presence of three outstanding higher education institutions; federal facilities, such as Pax River Naval Air Station and Webster Field; and strong industry partners, I’m optimistic that we are strongly positioned in the bidding process. I thank Governor O’Malley, Governor Christie, and Governor McDonnell, as well as our three universities, for partnering on this effort, which has the potential to spur private sector development through the commercialization of autonomous systems and boost job creation in our region.”

Under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Congress authorized the FAA to develop a comprehensive plan to integrate UAS into the National Airspace System. In February 2013, the FAA opened the selection process for the six UAS Test Sites that will conduct research and testing of technologies to support the UAS integration.

“The partnership between the University System of Maryland and leading institutions in Virginia and New Jersey will help increase the safety, efficiency, reliability and security of our nation’s airspace,” Senator Barbara Mikulski said. “Because of Maryland’s incredible federal assets, dynamic private sector and academic institutions, Maryland is well-suited to work together with the FAA on the Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Through this Mid-Atlantic collaboration, we will enhance the safety of our nation’s airspace, while supporting Maryland’s economic security through jobs today and jobs tomorrow.”

With the University of Maryland, College Park, taking the lead, Maryland applied to be selected by the FAA as one of six test sites for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. New Jersey and Virginia submitted a joint application as the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, under Virginia Tech. The three universities subsequently determined that the region’s competitive position is significantly enhanced as a multi-state entity which leverages the competitive strengths of each state. The universities have agreed to work as a united Joint Test Team in the event either or both teams are selected by the FAA as a Test Site for UAS.

Fifty applications across 37 states were submitted to the FAA through May 6, 2013, and 25 applicants remain. A decision is due December 31, 2013.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

PHOTO ALBUM: MGM Reveals Designs for National Harbor Casino in Prince George's County

After the grand spectacle of a special legislative session and referendum fight to approve gambling expansion in Maryland, MGM has now released renderings of what the National Harbor casino will look like:






PRESS RELEASE
 
MGM National Harbor Reveals Design Vision for
Proposed Prince George’s County Destination Resort


Resort architecture draws inspiration from local culture and history;
Creates iconic gateway to Maryland at National Harbor

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD, September 25, 2013 – MGM National Harbor, a subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), today revealed architect’s renderings and detailed video animation of the company’s vision for the destination resort it plans to build in Prince George’s County, Maryland.


JUICE: Gansler's Kickoff, D15 Candidates Forum, Lower Corporate Taxes in MD vs. VA, MoCo's 10-Line Transit Network

PLUS: WEST VIRGINIA GOP REJECTS CARPETBAGGER ALEX MOONEY

Below Maryland Juice provides a few news items of interest to Free State politicos:

JUICE #1: WHO ATTENDED DOUG GANSLER'S CAMPAIGN KICKOFF IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY? - Attorney General Doug Gansler kicked off his gubernatorial campaign yesterday in Rockville, Maryland. Several politicos asked Maryland Juice who attended the event, and I was able to compile the following list of MoCo officials who attended. Note that I have no idea if these folks are actually endorsing Gansler, so don't read too much into this without asking them yourself:
  • Comptroller Peter Franchot
  • Senator Jennie Forehand
  • Senator Rich Madaleno
  • Senator Karen Montgomery
  • Delegate Charles Barkley
  • Delegate Al Carr
  • Delegate Susan Lee
  • Delegate Luiz Simmons
  • Delegate Craig Zucker
  • Councilmember George Leventhal
  • State's Attorney John McCarthy

JUICE #2: MEET THE DISTRICT 15 DELEGATE HOPEFULS NEXT TUESDAY 10/1 - Now that Delegate Brian Feldman has been appointed to replace Rob Garagiola in the State Senate, the MCDCC will next select a replacement for Feldman's D15 Delegate seat. The District 15 Democratic Caucus is holding a candidates forum next Tuesday, October 1st and is inviting members of the public to come and meet the Delegate hopefuls (excerpt of details below): 
D15 DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: The District 15 Democratic Caucus invites you to attend a Candidates Forum on October 1st at 7pm at the Up County Regional Services Center at 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD 20874. The Forum will provide a place for residents seeking the appointment to the open District 15 seat in the Maryland House of Delegates to introduce themselves to Caucus members and the general public. After the forum, the candidates will have an opportunity to informally socialize with members of the audience, Caucus officials, and others....

Candidates who desire to participate in the Forum shall notify the District 15 Caucus of their intent to participate by 5:00pm Monday, September 30, 2013, by replying to this email....

JUICE #3: STUDY SAYS MARYLAND'S EFFECTIVE CORPORATE TAX RATES ARE LOWER THAN VIRGINIA'S - Like in Maryland, officials in the District of Columbia have been embroiled in a minimum wage fight in recent weeks. Not surprisingly, DC officials are also discussing the city's corporate tax rates, and some Democrats are suggesting that the city's taxes need to be lowered to compete with Virginia. But an article in suggesting that not only are the District's effective tax rates comparable to Virginia's, but that Maryland's effective corporate tax rates may be lower than those in Northern Virginia. In a comparison of DC, Prince George's and Northern Virginia corporate taxes, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties are actually listed as having the lowest effective tax burden of all the local jurisdictions (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL: D.C.’s reputation as a high tax jurisdiction may be fueled by its highest-in-the-region corporate income tax rate of 9.975 percent, its nearly 10 percent business franchise tax rate and complex rules for pass-through entities, especially where Virginia residents are concerned.

But the overall tax burden is a combination of every levy, and D.C. fares quite well when they’re all tossed together. The study compares, in a variety of situations, what a fictional corporation with $30 million of total revenue and $2.4 million of income before taxes would pay in D.C., Alexandria and Montgomery, Prince George’s, Fairfax and Arlington counties.

In the case of a corporation with a single location, the business would pay $263,738 in annual taxes to the District, $264,424 in Arlington, $261,574 in Alexandria, $246,432 in Fairfax, $220,418 in Prince George’s and $216,378 in Montgomery.

If the business has no taxable income to report (and many do not, some by design) then D.C.’s relatively low gross receipts tax and its healthy incentives for qualified high technology companies keep it competitive with Maryland, while the Virginia burden can soar as a result of the Business, Professional, Occupancy License tax, according to the study....
Notably, , citing an unfriendly business climate compared to Virginia (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Douglas F. Gansler, a leading Democratic hopeful for Maryland governor, said Thursday that he wants to cut the state’s corporate income tax rate to the same level as Virginia’s, embracing a cause that has been pushed primarily by Republicans.

Gansler, Maryland’s attorney general, said that reducing the rate from 8.25 percent to 6 percent would help the state compete for jobs against Virginia, which he has repeatedly characterized as more aggressive and business-friendly than Maryland....
This political movement for a corporate tax cut in Maryland reminds me of other misleading advocacy we've seen in the Free State in recent years, with some Democrats alleging our state is business unfriendly and misleadingly claiming millionaires were fleeing Maryland for Virginia.


JUICE #4: MOCO COUNCIL BEGINS HEARINGS ON RAPID TRANSIT PLAN, WHILE VIRGINIA WILL OPEN TWO RAPID TRANSIT LINES NEXT YEAR - In Maryland Juice's opinion, one area where Virginia has been making itself more competitive than Maryland is in getting transportation infrastructure built more quickly than in the Free State. Virginia officials succeeded in funding the new Metro Silver Line to Dulles and are now building two "bus rapid transit" lines in Alexandria and Arlington. Virginia also passed a transportation funding package this year and many believe that their effort to raise these infrastructure funds was critical in pushing Maryland lawmakers to adopt their own transportation funding plan. 

In an effort to preempt our own growing traffic and environmental problems, Montgomery County officials are proposing a 10-line Rapid Transit System (RTS) that would run modern buses in dedicated transit lanes along many major transportation corridors throughout the county. The plan has support from a range of environmental, civic, and business groups including the local Sierra Club, CASA de Maryland, MoCo Young Democrats, Jews United for Justice, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and more. The County Council held the first of two public hearings on the project last night, and the news media is now tuning in to the debate in Montgomery County. Below you can see two quick articles on the MoCo RTS plan that appeared this morning in and (excerpts below):
WAMU: A coalition of 32 groups representing civic associations, environmental activists, smart growth advocates, and real estate developers testified in favor of constructing an 80-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) network in Montgomery County over the next decade during the first public hearing held on the issue by the County Council Tuesday night.

The hearing officially began what will be a months-long public process that will culminate in county legislators deciding whether to build what observers say is the most cost-effective way to cope with crushing traffic congestion. Montgomery County’s population—already bulging at one million people in 500 square miles—is expected to grow substantially.

“Our task force recommended a 160-mile system. An [80-mile] system is a good start. We hope it gets fully implemented and when it is successful the county will add additional corridors,” said Mark Winston, the chair of county executive Ike Leggett’s transit task force and chairman of the group Communities For Transit.

While building heavy Metro rail costs hundreds of millions per mile (see: Silver Line; 23 miles, $6 billion) or a light rail system costs tens of millions per mile (see: Purple Line; 16 miles, $2.2 billion), bus rapid transit is relatively cheap. Winston estimates the county’s BRT network could run $15 to $25 million per mile in capital costs. During the hearing a representative of Leggett’s office was unable to provide a cost estimate.

The BRT network will require building new lanes for buses as well as repurposing existing car lanes with traffic signal prioritization, otherwise the express buses would just sit in traffic with everyone else....
Alexandria is constructing a BRT network which is set to open in 2014 consisting of a new median bus lane along most of the route and repurposed curb lanes within Crystal City. Other major cities are pursuing BRT; Cleveland, Oakland, and Los Angeles have decided to dedicate general traffic lanes just to transit. 
Full disclosure: As noted in , Maryland Juice blogger David Moon is currently working for Communities for Transit, a nonprofit group conducting public education activities on the Montgomery County Rapid Transit System (excerpt below):
BETHESDA NOW: “The fundamental premise behind this is that our traffic is bad and our traffic is not going to get better, and that should not be news to any of you,” Councilmember Roger Berliner said. “We can’t afford to build more subways and we can’t afford to build any more light rail after the Purple Line. We have only one real option and that is rapid transit. It is, without a doubt, the most cost-effective, flexible option that is available to us. And it is a proven option....”

Kelly Blynn from the Coalition for Smarter Growth and David Moon from newly-formed advocacy group Communities For Transit introduced a coalition of 30 environmental, civic, business and development groups that supports the plan in a press conference before the public hearing....
 
"This movement has really got broad support," Moon said. "All of these groups have come behind this idea that the rapid transit system is a visionary, game-changing, catalytic project for traffic reduction, sustainable environmentalism in Montgomery County and economic development...."

[Councilmember Marc] Elrich got in a back-and-forth with North Bethesda civic activist Paula Bienenfeld, who claimed the bus rapid transit plan would mean the taking of 3,000 properties. That won’t be determined in the master plan process. Other opponents claimed the bus rapid transit system was a gift for developers.
“I’m not gonna respond to every misstatement that was made. We’re not going to take 3,000 properties from people,” Elrich said after Bienenfeld’s testimony. “I’m probably the last person on earth, or at least in this room, that would do something on behalf of developers. …There’s no way our roads can handle what’s coming.”
Below you can see a map of the proposed Montgomery County Rapid Transit System, as well as some photos of the Arlington-Alexandria "bus rapid transit" systems due to open next year:

 




JUICE #5: WEST VIRGINIA REPUBLICANS REJECT FORMER MARYLAND GOP CHAIR ALEX MOONEY - Maryland Juice caught . Former Maryland GOP Chair Alex Mooney recently left the Free State to run for a congressional seat in nearby West Virginia, but it appears that our neighbors are not thrilled at the prospect of electing Mooney (excerpt below):
JEFF WERNER (VIA THE JOURNAL): Congressional Candidate for District 2 and failed Maryland GOP Chair Alex Mooney, who states he was "exiled," is going back to Maryland for a massive fundraiser.

It is very concerning that a pro-choice GOP candidate who was chased from Maryland would go back there to get more campaign dollars. He formed an exploratory committee to run for retired Congressman Roscoe Bartlett's seat, and he raised $100,000. When it was determined that Roscoe was going to run again, Alex stopped his campaign and decided to move to Falling Waters, W.Va., to run for Congress and brought that money with him, not that he would even think of returning it to those he took from.

Alex Mooney presented a bill while still Maryland state senator to fund abortions for the mentally ill with tax dollars. He can't go around stating he is pro-life and state he will fight the pro-choice "zealots" in Congress; that would go against his own principles. But as a former resident of Maryland who knows Alex, it doesn't surprise me that he would fib to the electorate of District 2.

Alex Mooney was also for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants on the backs of Maryland taxpayers in 2003, a bill he supported and was vetoed. It violated the 1996 Federal Immigration Reform Act regarding Post Secondary Education for Illegal Immigrants and Foreign Nationals.

Mooney, while Maryland state senator, also supported bills that would have increased taxes/fees in Maryland. I have his voting record.

If you look up Alex Mooney on Google, you will find his resignation from the Md. GOP chairmanship. He was under heavy pressure to resign due to his lack of leadership skills....

Monday, September 23, 2013

POLL: Anthony Brown Survey Shows 22 Point Lead in MD Governor's Race // PLUS: Rep. John Sarbanes Endorses Brown

One day before Attorney General Doug Gansler is set to officially announce his campaign for Maryland Governor, rival candidate Anthony Brown has released a double-whammy of press releases. Early today, the Lieutenant Governor's team released internal polling results showing Brown with a 22-point lead over his closest rival. Note that the gubernatorial candidates have not really spent money on major voter outreach, so the race could easily change in a few months (note that Joe Lieberman was leading in presidential polls early in the 2004 race, likely due simply to higher name recognition). Even still, Brown's poll shows that this early in the race, only 31% of voters remain undecided.

In any case, the release of the polling numbers appears to be part of a strategy to rain on Gansler's kickoff, because hours later, Brown's campaign issued a second press release announcing the endorsement of Congressman John Sarbanes. You can see both press releases and a polling memo below:

PRESS RELEASE #1

POLL: Anthony Brown has 22 Point Lead in Race for Democratic Gubernatorial Nomination

September poll shows Lt. Governor Brown backed by 43% of likely primary voters, compared to 21% for Attorney General Gansler and 5% for Delegate Mizeur

Upper Marlboro, MD: A mid-September poll by Garin-Hart-Yang has found that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown takes 43% of the vote in Maryland’s June 2014 gubernatorial primary election, compared to 21% for Attorney General Doug Gansler. 31% of voters remain undecided, while Del. Heather Mizeur receives the support of 5% of voters.

Furthermore, Lt. Governor Brown leads Attorney General Gansler by 22 points in a head to head survey, supported by 46% of voters to Attorney General Gansler’s 24% with 30% undecided.

“With a 22 point lead in the Democratic primary for Governor, the momentum is clearly growing for Anthony Brown,” said Justin Schall, Campaign Manager for Brown Ulman 2014. “The excitement around the Brown Ulman team has been incredible and, while we still have a lot of work to do, we are energized by the broad and diverse support our campaign has received.”

The results show that Lt. Governor Brown has significantly increased his lead in the Democratic primary election since a similar September 2012 poll, expanding from a 14-point lead a year ago to his current 22-point lead in the three-way trial heat. He has similarly expanded his lead from 16 points a year ago to 22 points currently in the two-way trial heat. Lt. Governor Brown also has double-digit leads in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore media markets, while earning strong name recognition, favorability, and supporter intensity marks.

The survey was conducted between September 11 and 15, 2013 by Garin-Hart-Yang, which interviewed a statewide sample of 608 likely Democratic primary voters. The survey has a margin of error of +-4.0 percentage points and is fully representational of a 2014 statewide Democratic primary electorate by key geographic and demographic factors.

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PRESS RELEASE #2

Congressman John Sarbanes endorses the Brown Ulman Team

Sarbanes: Brown “is a proven and resourceful leader who will keep Maryland's recovery on track”

Baltimore, MD. - Today Congressman John Sarbanes announced his formal endorsement of Anthony Brown for Governor and Ken Ulman for Lt. Governor. In his endorsement, Sarbanes cited his work with Anthony Brown to implement the Affordable Care Act, and Brown’s commitment to investing in Maryland’s schools and infrastructure as well as his military service in Iraq.

“I am glad to support the Brown/Ulman team in 2014,” said Congressman John Sarbanes, “I have had the pleasure of working with Lieutenant Governor Brown on a variety of initiatives, including the effort to implement health care reform in our state and to ensure that the Baltimore region is maximizing the opportunities presented by BRAC.  He is a proven and resourceful leader who will keep Maryland's recovery on track with investments in infrastructure and education. The Lieutenant Governor's service to our country in the U.S. Armed Forces -- most recently in Iraq -- has set a powerful example of sacrifice and commitment. Ken Ulman and I have had the opportunity to collaborate on a number of health and environmental projects and I believe Ken will draw on his outstanding tenure as Howard County Executive for the benefit of all Marylanders.”

“I'm honored to have the endorsement of Congressman John Sarbanes, one of the hardest working leaders for Maryland's middle class families,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “Together, we've made health care more accessible and affordable, we’ve invested in our roads and schools and we’ve kept Maryland’s economy growing and creating jobs. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last seven years, and I’m looking forward to working with our growing and diverse coalition of supporters to build a better Maryland for more Marylanders.”

With this endorsement, Congressman Sarbanes joins Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, State Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr., Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and more than half of Maryland’s Democratic elected County Executives, Councilmembers and Commissioners who have endorsed Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman.

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VIDEO: U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski Endorses Anthony Brown for Maryland Governor in Downtown Silver Spring

Yesterday Maryland Juice dropped by a campaign rally for Lt. Governor Anthony Brown in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. A couple hundred Democrats attended the event, where Senator Barbara Mikulski announced her endorsement of Anthony Brown for Maryland Governor. U.S. House members Donna Edwards and Elijah Cummings also spoke at the event. You can watch the full videos of the speeches below:

U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski Endorses Anthony Brown



Representatives Donna Edwards & Elijah Cummings Speak at Anthony Brown Rally



MORE ON THE MARYLAND GOVERNOR'S RACE SOON!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

JuiceBlender: Gansler Hints at Runningmate, Frick & Braveboy for Atty General, Mikulski Endorsing Brown, Franchot Kickoff

Below Maryland Juice provides a few news tidbits and an event this Saturday relating to statewide candidates for Governor, Attorney General and Comptroller:

JUICE #1: ATTORNEY GENERAL DOUG GANSLER RELEASES CAMPAIGN KICKOFF VIDEO  //  NOTE: DEL. KIEFFER MITCHELL IS ALL OVER IT - Attorney General Doug Gansler is announcing his campaign for Maryland Governor next week, with . But for his campaign:


IS GANSLER HINTING AT HIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CHOICE? - Gansler's video (viewable below) highlights a lacrosse league he started in Baltimore, his work combating domestic violence as State's Attorney, a testimonial by Sen. Rich Madaleno noting Gansler's early support for marriage equality, support from former U.S. Senator Joseph Tydings, and .... Delegate Kieffer Mitchell. Notably, Mitchell has been named as one of Doug Gansler's potential running mates, though at least one source is very skeptical that Mitchell has signed on for the Lt. Gov. spot.

Also of note in Gansler's campaign video is a segment where he highlights problems in Maryland. The following issues appear to be previewing criticisms Gansler may level at the O'Malley-Brown administration: 1) Jobs leaving the state, 2) Maryland having the #2 educational achievement gap in the nation, and 3) Maryland having America's worst traffic congestion. You can watch Gansler's kickoff video below:



JUICE #2: U.S. SENATOR BARBARA MIKULSKI TO ENDORSE LT. GOVERNOR ANTHONY BROWN IN MOCO, TWO DAYS AHEAD OF GANSLER KICKOFF - Two days ahead of Doug Gansler's campaign kickoff, , this Sunday, September 22nd. (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown’s gubernatorial campaign plans to unveil Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski as its latest supporter at an event Sunday, according to several people familiar with the planned endorsement.

The backing of Mikulski (D-Md.), who rarely chooses sides in Democratic primaries, is scheduled to be announced in Silver Spring two days before Douglas F. Gansler, Brown’s chief rival for the 2014 nomination, plans to formally launch his campaign for governor. Brown (D) advertised the event in an e-mail to supporters last week, promising “an exciting campaign announcement” Sunday at noon....

JUICE #3: COMPTROLLER PETER FRANCHOT KICKS OF RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN WITH A NEW VIDEO - Peter Franchot kicked off his re-election bid today with a video highlighting his accomplishments. Among these, Franchot includes: 1) making it easier to file taxes and get refunds quicker, 2) collecting money from tax-dodgers, 3) fighting wasteful spending, and 4) not being a rubber stamp for "Annapolis insiders." Watch Peter Franchot's kickoff video below:



JUICE #4: DELEGATES BILL FRICK AND AISHA BRAVEBOY TO JOIN RACE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL - that Delegates Bill Frick (Montgomery County) and Aisha Braveboy (Prince George's County) will be joining Sen. Brian Frosh and Del. Jon Cardin (Baltimore County) in the race for Attorney General (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Del. C. William Frick (D-Montgomery) filed his paperwork with the State Board of Elections on Wednesday, and Del. Aisha N. Braveboy (D-Prince George’s) said she plans to file as a 2014 candidate by the end of the day Thursday.... Frick, a member of the House of Delegates since 2007, said he would make a formal announcement about his campaign in coming weeks....

JUICE #5: THIS SATURDAY, NARAL PRO-CHOICE MARYLAND GALA TO DRAW ATTENDEES RANGING FROM FRANCHOT & MIZEUR TO ULMAN & GANSLER - Maryland Juice received an invitation to a NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland "Evening of Chocolate Gala" this Saturday night, and it appears that many of our statewide Democratic candidates will be attending this event (). The NARAL Gala will be this Saturday night at 8 pm in Sandy Spring, Maryland (details below):

PRESS RELEASE
Chocolate for Choice

Gubernatorial Candidates, Elected Officials, and Others Celebrate Reproductive Rights and Honor Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene, Joshua Sharfstein, and Reproductive Healthcare Provider, Allie Harper.

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s 24th annual Evening of Chocolate Gala this Saturday at 8pm celebrates the 40-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the achievements of Secretary Joshua Sharfstein and Allie Harper. Also attending are Comptroller Peter Franchot, gubernatorial candidates Delegate Heather Mizeur and Attorney General Doug Gansler, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, candidate for Lt. Governor, and more than 200 NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland supporters.

“The Supreme Court’s Roe decision 40 years ago is a good foundation to protect reproductive freedom, but the issue of choice and reproductive health continues to be a matter of concern,” says Jodi Finkelstein, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland. “The Evening of Chocolate is a wonderful time to reflect on our successes, but we also need to focus on the work at hand. Nationally, a women’s fundamental right to choose is at stake. We need to continue to ensure a woman’s right to make decisions about her reproductive health remains unfettered by government intervention.”
WHO: Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD., Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene, Comptroller Peter Franchot, Candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor, Attorney General Doug Gansler, Delegate Heather Mizeur, and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Over 200 NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland supporters
WHERE: The Oak Room, 17921 Brooke Rd, Sandy Spring, MD 20860

WHAT: NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s Annual Evening of Chocolate Gala

WHEN: September 21, 2013, 8:00-11:00 pm
Current and former elected officials sponsoring the Gala include: Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congressman John Sarbanes, Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Erwin, Delegate Ariana Kelly, Senator Karen Montgomery, Delegate Anne Kaiser, Delegate Eric Luedtke, Delegate Craig Zucker, Senator Robert Garagiola, Delegate Kathleen Dumais, Delegate Brian Feldman, Delegate Aruna Miller, Senator Nancy King, Delegate Charles Barkley, Delegate Kirill Reznik, Delegate Shane Robinson, Senator Roger Manno, Howard County Councilwoman Courtney Watson, Cheverly Councilwoman Mary Jane Coolen, Delegate Ben Kramer, Delegate Bill Frick, Delegate Guy Guzzone, Delegate Jim Gilchrist, Delegate Luiz R.S. Simmons, Delegate Shelia Hixson, Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich, The Honorable Duchy Trachtenberg, and The Honorable Cheryl C. Kagan.

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland is the political leader of the pro-choice movement in Maryland and works to develop and sustain a constituency that works to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing safe, legal abortion. Money raised at the event supports NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s advocacy work.

###

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

JUICE: Doug Gansler's Shortlist of Running Mates, Garagiola = Lobbyist, Mizeur Pushes Crim Justice, St. Mary's Living Wage

Below Maryland Juice provides a quick round-up of recent news regarding politics in the Free State:

JUICE #1: DOUG GANSLER'S SHORT LIST OF POSSIBLE LT. GOVERNOR CANDIDATES - . Their write up mentions not only candidates who may be under consideration, but also a few who are indicating they are not interested in the #2 spot. Below you can see a few names under consideration, but the list of folks not seeking the LG slot includes Sen. Catherine Pugh, Del. Adrienne Jones, and author Wes Moore (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler has narrowed his search for a running mate to a handful of names and is likely to announce his pick next month, his advisers said Monday.

Several African American officials from Baltimore and Prince George’s County are apparently in the mix. Baltimore Comptroller Joan M. Pratt (D) confirmed in an interview that she recently talked to Gansler about the lieutenant governor position....

Several state legislators, including Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s) and Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. (D-Baltimore), have also had conversations with Gansler about the No. 2 slot, according to people with knowledge of the conversations but who were not authorized to speak on behalf of Gansler’s campaign....

Del. Melony G. Griffith (D-Prince George’s), who previously led her county House delegation, has also had discussions with Gansler about his ticket, according to several of Griffith’s colleagues. Griffith declined to comment on her future political plans in a brief interview Monday....

JUICE #2: SEN. ROB GARAGIOLA LEAVES ANNAPOLIS TO BECOME LOBBYIST - This isn't a huge surprise, but outgoing District 15 State Senator Rob Garagiola is revolving into a new role as a lobbyist for one of Maryland's top lobbying firms, Alexander & Cleaver. , which will include lobbying Montgomery County officials until the 90-day ban on lobbying his former colleagues expires (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Robert J. Garagiola, who stepped down this month as majority leader of the Maryland Senate, has joined Alexander & Cleaver, a law firm with a major lobbying presence in Annapolis. Garagiola, a Montgomery County Democrat, will manage the firm’s new Montgomery County office, Alexander & Cleaver said in a news release Monday morning.

Garagiola said in an interview that he plans initially to focus on practicing law and might do some local government relations work, but hopes to focus on Montgomery County rather than Annapolis. “There is a lot to be done in Rockville,” he said. “I’ll re-evaluate state-level lobbying in the future.” Under Maryland law, former legislators are barred from assisting clients in Annapolis during the first 90-day legislative session after their departure....

JUICE #3: "WIRE" ACTOR SONJA SOHN HIGHLIGHT'S HEATHER MIZEUR'S COMMITMENT TO MEANINGFUL CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS - Delegate Heather Mizeur has been running an issue-centric campaign in her quest for the office of Maryland Governor. She's previously come out aggressively as an opponent of fracking and helped re-spark interest in justice for Ethan Saylor, a Frederick man with Downs Syndrome, who was killed by off-duty police while trying to stay for a second showing of a movie. But with the recent pushback on the War on Drugs and mass incarceration issues by the Obama administration, it appears Mizeur is staking out space in this increasingly hot issue area. Last week, , an actor who played Detective Kima Greggs on the popular TV series "The Wire," highlighting Mizeur's commitment to criminal justice reform (excerpt below):
SONJA SOHN VIA BALTIMORE SUN: It was encouraging for the Obama administration to recently propose finally ending federal mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offenses.... I applaud Attorney General Doug Gansler, who plans to run for governor, for addressing our alarming recidivism rates.

But we need lawmakers and leaders with a larger vision. We will only achieve meaningful reform by addressing systemic, generational problems.... Proposals like giving wireless tablets to inmates miss the larger point about where the problems begin in the first place....
[Heather Mizeur] talks about shifting millions in state resources away from more walls and bars and instead investing in affirmative opportunities for youth. She proposes reducing penalties for low-level drug offenses that incarcerate far too many non-violent offenders.... She envisions a system that no longer stacks the deck by making it impossible to find a good job or decent housing and by restricting voting rights and the ability to serve on juries. We still make it nearly impossible for former inmates to ever become full members of society again....

JUICE #4: FACULTY & STUDENTS AT ST. MARY'S COLLEGE PROPOSE LIVING WAGE FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEES TO COMBAT TUITION SPIKES  - In the midst of a growing regional and national debate on the record high wealth gap and wage standards in America, advocates at Maryland's St. Mary's College are proposing a living wage for school employees and salary caps to help rein in rapidly escalating tuition costs. Check out the press release below:
PRESS RELEASE

St. Mary’s College Wage Plan First of its Kind in Nation

St. Mary’s City, Maryland, Sept. 2013: Faculty, staff and students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland are proposing a new salary structure they say will increase wages for the lowest paid while reining in college costs. The innovative plan is the first of its kind in the nation.

Titled “St. Mary’s Wages, the St. Mary’s Way,” the proposal would guarantee a living wage to all full time employees of the College and place a cap on faculty, administrative, and presidential salaries. The proposal’s authors say it reflects the mission of the State’s only public honors college.

“We are a public college that values ‘social responsibility and civic-mindedness’ along with the goal of ‘promoting and maintaining a community built on respect,’” said Dr. Laraine Glidden, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Emerita. “I can think of no better way to demonstrate that we live what is in our catalog than by advocating for a living wage for all, paid for by limits on the highest earnings.”

The proposal’s supporters argue the caps on higher salaries and initiatives to stem the growth of non-faculty administrative positions would eliminate one of the drivers of the cost of college education. They hope to limit future tuition increases and improve the College’s ability to implement its mission of inclusiveness and affordability.

“Affordability is important when it comes to maintaining the diversity of the student body, which matters to me and my classmates,” said senior computer science major Ashok Chandwaney. “This proposal can help keep St. Mary’s affordable by ending the insane and interlocked upward spiral of tuition and executive salaries that’s happening everywhere.”

The subject of wages has long been a point of interest at St. Mary’s College. In 2006, a student campaign ended with students staging a Living Wage Sit-In in the President’s office. In 2012, students launched the “Living Wage Campaign” culminating in a hundred-strong march of students, faculty and staff across campus.

“St. Mary’s Wages, the St. Mary’s Way,” is available online at .

Images of past events are available upon request.

###

Thursday, September 12, 2013

O'Malley Picks Brian Feldman to Replace Garagiola in Senate // Live in District 15 & Want to Be Delegate? Here's How to Apply

(excerpt below):
AP VIA WASHINGTON POST: Gov. Martin O’Malley has appointed Delegate Brian Feldman to the state Senate.... The governor announced the appointment on Thursday to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. Rob Garagiola, who represented District 15 in Montgomery County....
As a result of Feldman's elevation to the Senate, his own seat in the House of Delegates will also be vacant soon. Our most recent list of possible D15 candidates included the following names:
  • , former House of Delegates member
  • , founder/President of L.A. Interiors (business)
  • , area director for Regus (business)
  • , founder/CEO of FiscalNote, Inc (business)
  • , communications coordinator at Cont3nt.com (business)
  • , aide to Congressman John Delaney
  • , senior loan officer at Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers (business)
  • , MCDCC Vice-Chair
  • , principal and managing partner of Wilde & Associates (business)
 
WANT TO BE A DELEGATE?  HERE'S HOW TO APPLY - The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee issued the following press release announcing the next steps in the already hated race to be appointed to Brian Feldman's House seat (excerpt below):

PRESS RELEASE

Committee to Vote on Delegate for Legislative District 15

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee will meet and vote on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 pm to submit a name to the Governor for Delegate for Legislative District 15. The vacancy is the result of Delegate Brian Feldman’s appointment to the Senate. The Senate seat became vacant when Senator Rob Garagiola resigned.

In accordance with State rule, when a seat in the Maryland General Assembly becomes vacant, the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee must submit a name to the Governor within 30 days.

Candidates for the Delegate position must be a registered Democrat residing in District 15. Candidates should submit an application including a resume and cover letter by 5:00pm, Monday, October 7 to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee’s headquarters, 3720 Farragut Ave., Third floor, Kensington, MD 20895 or via email .  Candidates are expected to attend the October 8 meeting to address the Committee and participate in a question-and-answer period. 

###

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

D15 Delegate Brian Feldman Selected by MoCo Democratic Central Committee to Replace Rob Garagiola in State Senate

Maryland Juice received the following press release from Delegate Brian Feldman announcing his unanimous appointment by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee to replace Rob Garagiola in the State Senate:

PRESS RELEASE

The MCDCC Selects Del. Brian Feldman to Fill the D15 Senate Seat

Annapolis, Maryland  - The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee met tonight, September 10, 2013 and voted unanimously in support of Delegate Brian J. Feldman to fill the District 15 Senate seat recently vacated by Rob Garagiola.  Delegate Feldman’s name will be submitted to Governor O’Malley who has authority under the Maryland Constitution to make the appointment.  Once appointed, Feldman will serve out the remainder of Garagiola’s term.

“I am honored by the strong support of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and look forward to this new challenge.  I plan to build upon my experience in the House over the past decade and to hit the ground running on Day One in the Senate where I will continue to advocate for District 15 and Montgomery County,” said Feldman.

Delegate Feldman, both an Attorney and a CPA, has served in the House of Delegates since being elected in 2002.  He is a member of the Economic Matters Committee, Chaired the Montgomery County House Delegation for five years and has served as House Parliamentarian for the past three years.  He is also the House Chair of the Joint Information Technology and Biotechnology Committee and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Banking, Economic Development, Science and Technology. 

Prior to being elected to the Legislature, Delegate Feldman worked as a Senior Trial Attorney for the United States Department of Justice where he was a three-time recipient of the Department of Justice’s Outstanding Attorney Award.   He currently works as an attorney in private practice and as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University.  Delegate Feldman and his wife, Janice, have two college aged children who attended Montgomery County public schools.

###

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

JuiceBlender: Controversy Over Gansler's Campaign Manager "Mudcat," MoCo Voting Rights Effort, D15 Delegate Candidates

Below Maryland Juice provides a few tidbits of news that may be of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: VIRGINIA POLITICAL OPERATIVE ACCUSES DOUG GANSLER'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER OF STEALING THE NICKNAME "MUDCAT" - Last month, for his gubernatorial campaign (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), who is gearing up to announce his 2014 bid for governor next month, has hired a new campaign manager. Matthew "Mudcat" Arnold recently took over for Carrie Glenn, who has left the campaign for health-related reasons, Gansler aides said Friday.... In his LinkedIn Profile, Arnold lists his "likes" as red meat, bourbon, logic games and bar trivia. His "dislikes" include paying for parking and life without a dishwasher...
MUDCAT VS. MUDCAT: It turns out Gansler's manager, Matthew Arnold, is not the first campaign operative to use the nickname, "mudcat," and that has the "real" Mudcat (Dave Saunders) fuming. (excerpt below):
ROANOKE TIMES:  Identity theft is a big deal these days. But rarely are its victims’ nicknames appropriated, too. Which brings us to my friend Dave Saunders, who everybody knows as “Mudcat.” He was 13 when he began demanding his friends call him that. That was 51 years ago....

On Aug. 30, The Washington Post listed “Mudcat” as one of the 10 best nicknames in all of politics. Saunders was the only political operative who made the list..... But now another guy is using it — Matthew "Mudcat" Arnold, a young Democratic whippersnapper from Mississippi. Arnold’s mom was still changing his diapers when the real Mudcat was earning his chops in politics.

In August, Arnold was hired as campaign manager for Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who’s running for that state’s governor in 2014.... He told reporters to call him "Mudcat."

This has left the real Mudcat more frustrated than an Amish electrician. When I talked to him last week, he sounded madder than a three-legged cat trying to bury turds on a frozen pond.

"What pisses me off is, I've got to deal with it," the real Mudcat told me. "Now I’m getting calls for the Maryland governor’s race.... This guy is nothing like a Mudcat. It's a very redneck nickname. And this guy isn't any kind of redneck...."

Arnold might have been better off picking a moniker he could build into his own legend. Something distinctive — like Dogslobber or Squirrelly. Or perhaps Poseur. At least that shoe may fit.

JUICE #2: MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCILMEMBERS INTRODUCE RESOLUTION CALLING FOR EXPANSION OF VOTING RIGHTS AND DC SUFFRAGE - In response to the war on voting rights by conservative politicians and the U.S. Supreme Court, the Montgomery County Council is embarking on an effort to promote 21st century voting rights in MoCo. , co-sponsored by the entire County Council calling for a series of voting reforms (excerpt below):
1. The Council calls on Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would grant an individual right to vote to every American citizen of voting age. 
2. The Council calls on Congress to restore Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by creating a new coverage formula to determine which states and local jurisdictions should have voting changes reviewed for potential discriminatory impact. 
3. The Council calls on Congress to give residents of Washington, DC full representation and voting rights in the House of Representatives and United States Senate. 
4. The Council supports Maryland’s recent expansion of early voting and the adoption of same-day voter registration. We support placing new early voting sites at locations that are easily accessible by public transportation. 
5. The Council establishes a Right to Vote Task Force to:
a. Review all local laws and practices that may affect the right to vote;  
b. Review and recommend changes at the local level to uphold voting rights and increase voter participation;  
c. Develop plans and take action to promote early voting and same-day registration and make recommendations to the Council on any policies or actions needed to strengthen these efforts;  
d. Develop plans for a voter registration program designed to register eligible high school students and support voter education programs to increase citizenship knowledge and participation in the democratic process;  
e. Review Maryland election laws and regulations and recommend legislation that would strengthen the right to vote in Montgomery County, including whether the General Assembly should adopt automatic voter registration, allowing eligible voters to “opt-out” of the voter registration database instead of “opt-in”; and  
f. Review with the Montgomery County Board of Elections the strengths and weaknesses of our election practices and regulations after the 2014 general election. 

JUICE #3: UPDATE ON POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR A FUTURE DISTRICT 15 DELEGATE VACANCY - Maryland Juice previously published a list of potential candidates for a District 15 Delegate vacancy, in the event that Delegate Brian Feldman is selected to replace Rob Garagiola in the State Senate. We have a few updates to our running list (details below):
  • , former House of Delegates member
  • , founder/President of L.A. Interiors (business)
  • , area director for Regus (business)
  • , founder/CEO of FiscalNote, Inc (business)
  • , communications coordinator at Cont3nt.com (business)
  • , aide to Congressman John Delaney
  • , senior loan officer at Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers (business)
  • , MCDCC Vice-Chair
  • , principal and managing partner of Wilde & Associates (business)

The changes to the list above are as follows: 1) Sources previously indicated that Kevin Mack would likely skip the MCDCC appointment process and run straight for the June 2014 Primary, but we are now hearing that Mack may seek an appointment after all, 2) Based on a source's information, we've added Tony Puca of Potomac, Maryland to the list of potential candidates, and 3) We've dropped Tim Whitehouse from the list above, as he's now indicated he has decided to run for a voting position on the MCDCC instead of Delegate (see email below):
From: Timothy Whitehouse <>
Subject: Voting member of MCDCC
Date: September 10, 2013

Hi everyone:

I wanted to follow up with all of you about my plans for the coming election season.  After considering my various options, I have decided that I would like to seek a voting position on the MCDCC.  I think I would be a great assets to the MCDCC in their effort to build and maintain a strong party in Montgomery County.

I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks,

Tim




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