Sunday, February 21, 2016

What the Presidential Race Says About the Future of Maryland Politics // Through the Lens of Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders

GUEST POST - By Delegate David Moon

This year's presidential primaries have been taking place in the midst of the Annapolis legislative session. As a result, I've been far more focused on Maryland politics than the presidential race. But I've finally started tuning in to the national horserace, and I'm noticing some fascinating data points that Maryland politicos might want to consider. Indeed, without making any commentary or predictions on the presidential race itself, my thesis for Maryland is that the battle for the White House shows the impact of a recession-era (and growing millenial) electorate finally registering. Here are five emerging trends to note:

1) AMERICA'S DEMOCRATIC ELECTORATE IS NOW FIRMLY LIBERAL - I've noticed the historic wealth gap routinely discussed in the media, but we hadn't really seen the effects of this on Democrats nationally, in quite the same way the Tea Party has tilted the Republicans. It appears that is beginning to change. This clip from stands out: "Among the entrance poll numbers that help explain how Sanders became a serious threat to Clinton: 70% of Nevada's caucusgoers identified themselves as liberal. That's up from the even split in 2008 between liberals and those who called themselves moderate or conservatives. The movement mirrors the results in Iowa and New Hampshire, and make clear that the party's leftward drift is here to stay."
  • MY TAKEAWAY: It is a good time for Democrats to speak out forcefully on justice issues, and to do so with credibility. Doing so isn't a guarantee of victory in a 2018 General Election, but it seems harder for us to generate turnout from the base in Maryland, if we aren't speaking to our party's increasingly liberal instincts. At the same time, Maryland's would-be Democratic governors will have to find a way to address this "party-base" sentiment to win the nomination in 2018.

2) ESTABLISHMENT POLITICIANS ARE GOING OUT OF STYLE (THANKS TO INDEPENDENTS) - Bernie Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire (where Independents can vote in either party's primary), but only came close to a tie in Nevada (where only registered Democrats can vote in the caucuses). Granted, Nevada has same-day voter registration, thereby allowing people to change parties on caucus day, but confirms Sanders' commanding lead over Clinton among these voters: he won over 70% of Nevada's Independent-minded caucus participants. Indeed, unaffiliated voters are growing at a faster rate than Democrats around the nation, including in places like Maryland. But the challenges this can pose for state Democrats are evident from this single data-point in : "If former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg jumps into the race as a third party candidate against Sanders and Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Bloomberg would hurt Sanders more than either Republican." You heard that right, a bloc of voters would prefer either Independent socialist Bernie Sanders or Independent billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg to today's Republican candidates. This is a puzzling dynamic, given the two very different views of Bloomberg and Sanders. In a lower turnout gubernatorial election, these types of voters may be the key to victory in Maryland.
  • MY TAKEAWAY: All of this means, for example, to defeat Governor Larry Hogan during his re-election race, the solution might NOT be to simply find a more moderate Democrat. A better standard might be to find a candidate who is clearly NOT a party hack. In a 2018 General Election fight, a key question for Maryland voters will be "who actually stands for me?" For various reasons, I think Hogan answered this question better than Democrats did in 2014. But as the presidential race shows, only some of this message can be conveyed by substance, as opposed to style (or lack thereof). In my own case, people often say (without flattery) that I don't dress like a politician. But maybe that's exactly my point -- and I would never run for Governor, hahaha, but I myself like to vote for candidates who seem like "real" people. We often say that authenticity matters, but rarely do I see that statement followed-up with an explanation of why. This year's presidential race provides numerous opportunities to study this question, and we would be wise to pay attention in Maryland.

3) LATENT SEXISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN PARTS OF THE ELECTORATE - If the race ends up being Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, Clinton's lead among women is somewhere between a tie and a 9-point margin. But the also notes, "Men vote anyone but Clinton by margins of 8 to 16 percentage points."  Yikes!  I've cautioned my Democratic friends against complacency with Clinton as our nominee, because I predict the vitriol we will see against her will be similar to what Republicans have done to Obama. So we have to choose between either a socialist candidate or a polarizing candidate to serve as the punching bag for Republican craziness. That's not an endorsement of either Sanders or Clinton, but one key lesson here is that the Democratic Party establishment should NEVER attempt to scare candidates out of these primaries.
  • MY TAKEAWAY: We should embrace an organic dialogue within the party, and let these dynamics play out. It might've been useful to have a few more candidates in the race this year, and in 2018 Maryland Democrats should not attempt to artificially narrow the gubernatorial field for a chosen establishment candidate.

4) MILLENIALS ARE OUR GENERATION'S DEPRESSION-ERA VOTERS - It is not always easy to see historical trends happening when you're standing in the middle of them, but I believe we're witnessing a shift right now. The Great Depression had a lasting impact on voters who came of age during that period, and I imagine we're seeing the same from the millenial generation. This write-up on a provides a snapshot: "Among college-aged Americans, 58 percent report a positive view of socialism and 56 percent a positive view of capitalism." While this may sound like conflicting data to many people, it actually sounds awfully similar to how Northern European social democracies work. is as follows: "Social democracy is a political ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, and a policy regime involving welfare state provisions, collective bargaining arrangements, regulation of the economy in the general interest, measures for income redistribution, and a commitment to representative democracy."
  • MY TAKEAWAY: In the future, Democrats should increasingly embrace a populist economic justice agenda. Today's college students who DON'T often vote will be tomorrow's 40-year-old's who DO often vote. The millenials are an emergent very large voting bloc, and voting habits form early and can last a long time.

5) THE RISE OF MELTING POT POLITICS - We've all been hearing how America is headed to a majority-minority future. But just as we're seeing in ‪Montgomery County‬, that doesn't mean that the nation is rehashing a 1960's black-white paradigm; rather we are witnessing the formation of a multi-racial electorate with large disparate blocs of races and ethnicities. Clinton is crushing Sanders among African-American voters, Sanders is supposedly leading among Latino voters, and . We see these types of political changes manifest earlier in diverse places like Maryland.
  • MY TAKEAWAY: Democratic aspirants won't be able to take these groups for granted in the future. In the past, party politicians seeking a promotion have been quick to throw certain groups under the bus. Here are a few examples -- Democratic support for deportations, pandering to dismantle welfare, voting for foreign wars (Iraq, ahem), cultural cues like the Sister Souljah incident, and of course racially disparate "tough on crime" policies like zero-tolerance, crack-cocaine disparities and the drug war. Staying on this path would be a grave error. Indeed, I was in the audience at the Netroots Nation conference last year in Phoenix when speeches by Martin O'Malley & Bernie Sanders were disrupted by #BlackLivesMatter protesters. I sat astonished as neither candidate addressed the issues raised by the activists, though all the Democratic candidates today are singing a different tune.

That's all I got. Fire away. 

QUINNIPIAC FEBRUARY 2016 POLL: Below you can see a clip from the latest Quinnipiac poll ():
Presidential matchups among American voters show:
  • Sanders over Trump 48 – 42 percent;
  • Sanders tops Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas 49 – 39 percent;
  • Sanders leads Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida 47 – 41 percent;
  • Sanders beats Bush 49 – 39 percent;
  • Sanders edges Kasich 45 – 41 percent.
  • Clinton with 44 percent to Trump’s 43 percent;
  • Cruz with 46 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent;
  • Rubio topping Clinton 48 – 41 percent;
  • Bush at 44 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent;
  • Kasich beating Clinton 47 – 39 percent.
If Bloomberg mounts a third party run, results are:
  • Sanders and Trump tied 38 – 38 percent, with 12 percent for Bloomberg;
  • Sanders tops Cruz 39 – 33 percent, with 14 percent for Bloomberg.
Sanders’ leads among key independent voters range from 45 – 35 percent over Kasich to 52 – 33 percent over Cruz. By comparison, Clinton’s best score among independent voters is 42 percent to Trump’s 40 percent.
Sanders’ leads among women range from 9 to 16 percentage points. Men are generally divided except in the Sanders-Bush matchup where the Democrat leads by 6 percentage points.

Clinton’s leads among women range from a tie to a 9-percentage point edge over Trump. Men vote anyone but Clinton by margins of 8 to 16 percentage points.

American voters give Sanders a 51 – 36 percent favorability. Kasich gets a 35 – 18 percent favorability with Rubio at a split 39 – 37 percent score. All other scores are negative:
  • 37 – 58 percent for Clinton;
  • 37 – 57 percent for Trump;
  • 36 – 45 percent for Cruz;
  • 21 – 26 percent for Bloomberg;
  • 37 – 48 percent for Bush.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ANALYSIS: Sky High Approval Ratings for HoCo Exec Allan Kittleman // Big Smiles, Sharp Elbows, And Both Eyes on 2018

By Matt Verghese

Over the weekend, the Committee to Elect Allan Kittleman announces the Republican Howard County Executive had a , with only 9% disapproving after a full year in office. Even though no other details about the poll - who was polled, what the margin of error is to start with- were released (I’m perturbed the Sun would ever publish such a result), if true it would make Allan Kittleman . But this weekend’s disclosure of sky high poll ratings, which Kittleman’s former campaign manager concedes is not normally made public, leaves one with more questions than answers.

THE COATTAILS COUNTY EXECUTIVE: Kittleman, a former County Councilmember and Senate GOP leader, defeated his Democratic opponent Courtney Watson by 2,600 votes (2.5%) in a closely contested evenly matched race that made him Howard County’s first Republican County Executive since 1998. The results closely mirrored the gubernatorial contest - where Larry Hogan turned the County red reversing O’Malley victories in both 2006 and 2010. Kittleman benefited from Hogan’s coattails but had little of his own. Democrats retained a 4-1 majority on the County Council, and all other county-wide elected positions.

BIG SMILES, SHARP ELBOWS IN FIRST YEAR: Kittleman - who has often been previously praised for his willingness to buck his own party - has attempted to govern with big smiles, while throwing sharp elbows at his opponents on a number of issues that may not receive a lot of attention from County voters. In his first year Kittleman has and held , and through a hiring freeze. He also does weekly tours of schools, dressed up like ‘The Raven’ author Edgar Allen Poe, and didn’t shave in November  to raise awareness for men’s health.

On more substantive note, one of his first actions was overturning Ulman’s executive order banning the sale of unhealthy snacks and drinks. When the Council passed legislation to reinstate the nutritional restriction, Kittleman vetoed it - only for the Council to overturn it.Kittleman also gave a number of his Democratic predecessor’s appointees their marching orders, refused to reappoint well performing persons to nonpartisan boards and commissions, and was so aghast that the County Council pushed back that his political operation circulated a targeting the Democratic members.

Late last year, Kittleman followed in Hogan’s footsteps and proposed phasing out the County’s stormwater management fee (the supposed “rain tax”), but promised to maintain the funding to maintain the County’s pollution reduction goals. Unlike Ulman who prided himself on a transparent stormwater program that was model on how to fund important projects to protect the Bay and constructively engage community stakeholders, Kittleman has yet to explain how he will replace the lost revenue or what he will cut in general fund to make up for it. No surprise, that at a filled with supporters of the policy, Kittleman’s proposal was called “shortsighted, factually inaccurate and politically driven.”

INSECURE LEADERSHIP? But Kittleman’s rush to poll his approval ratings may be due to recent controversies. First there was his much criticized response to the January blizzard, where he prioritized plowing out the Republican Lt. Governor before every other County resident. In a classic he said,she said -- to ask for the preferential special treatment, while the .

Then there’s the of Renee Foose as HCPS Superintendent despite criticism of her leadership and lack of transparency from parents, teachers and local elected officials. Even Governor Hogan weighed in, stating that “there’s a palpable loss of trust between many parents and the [Howard] county school system.” Granted Kittleman doesn’t run the Board of Education or choose the Superintendent, but this distinction is often lost among County residents who see education as their top issue.

WHAT ELSE WAS IN THAT POLL? No one polls with one question, and thanks to our sources in Howard County we have a sense of the other items the Kittleman campaign was asking about:

  • Is the County heading in the right or wrong direction?
  • If we the election was held today would you vote for Allan Kittleman or potential opponents - Councilmember Calvin Ball, Councilmember Mary Kay Sigaty or Register of Wills Byron Macfarlane.
  • Favorable or unfavorable opinion of potential opponents - Ball, Sigaty, Macfarlane and 2014 opponent Courtney Watson
  • County and state’s handling of snow removal efforts: Good, fair or poor
  • Do you think Allan Kittleman is a reasonable moderate or a dangerous extremist?
  • Grade Howard County Public Schools on an A-F scale
  • Support or oppose the following issues: rain tax, increasing the property tax, and funding for police body cameras
  • Name the top issue the County Executive and Council need to work on
  • 2018 gubernatorial matchups: Governor Larry Hogan or Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, or Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker 

Seems to me that despite being in office for 14 months, Kittleman already has an eye to 2018 and is sensitive to potential threats - both issues and candidates -  to his reelection bid.

ALWAYS DIALING FOR DOLLARS: Kittleman’s 2015 fundraising report only seems to confirm the hypothesis that he is obsessed with his next election. Kittleman had nearly $514,000 in the bank - more money than the incumbent County Executives in Anne Arundel, Cecil, Harford, Frederick Montgomery, Prince George’s and Wicomico.

While Kittleman’s campaign claims “the majority of donations came from individual donors in amounts of $200 or less” a deeper dive paints a much different picture. More than 75% of Kittleman’s total contributions came from people and entities that gave $1,000 or more. His average donation? $608. Not exactly being funded by grassroots donors.

Even as Kittleman rakes in the cash from developers, contractors and out-of-county interests - Democrats on the Council are taking the first steps to implement . If successful, Howard would join Montgomery County - who passed the first local public financing system law in 2014.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

BREAKING: Delegate Dereck Davis To End Campaign For Congress // Race To Replace Rep. Donna Edwards Down to 3

Multiple sources confirm that Delegate Dereck Davis (D-25) will end his congressional bid this week. Davis' departure comes on the heels of former County Councilmember Ingrid Turner signaling that she too was exiting the race.

Davis, the powerful and popular Chairman of the House of Delegate Economic Matters Committee, was a favorite among many in the Prince George's County establishment, had surrounded himself with seasoned political operatives, and was clearly in the top tier of candidates to replace Rep. Donna Edwards. Davis' departure from the race is a reminder of the challenges of running for higher office from the General Assembly, especially with the primary occurring only days after the end of the legislative session.

With Turner and Davis out, the race for the Fourth Congressional District is essentially down to former Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, former States Attorney Glen Ivey, and Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk. While it is unknown whether Davis will make an endorsement in the race, Brown may have the most to gain. Brown and Davis both represented the 25th Legislative District in the House, and their regional paths to victory likely were similar. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fourth Quarter Fundraising Reports for Maryland's Open Seat Congressional Races: US Senate, CD4 and CD8

Below Maryland Juice provides a rundown of fundraising numbers for Democratic candidates running the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives in Maryland. We are posting numbers from official FEC reports.

January 31 at 10:15 PM

Summary Table of Current Cash on Hand

US Senate
  • Chris Van Hollen - 
  • Donna Edwards  - 

8th Congressional District
  • Kathleen Matthews - $1,147,930
  • Jamie Raskin - $869,330
  • Kumar Barve - $288,538
  • Will Jawando -  $215,449
  • Ana Sol Gutierrez - $169,483 (includes $94,500 loan)
  • Joel Rubin - $71,743
  • David Anderson - $47,027 (includes $50,000 loan)
  • David Trone - report not required

4th Congressional District
  • Glenn Ivey - $526,667
  • Joseline Pena-Melnyk - $378,396
  • Dereck Davis - $304,934
  • Anthony Brown - $269,443
  • Ingrid Turner - $104,579 (includes $100,000 loan)
  • Warren Christopher - $80,810
  • Alvin Thornton - $7,426 (includes $8,000 loan) 

United States Senate

Donna Edwards 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015):
  • Donations Raised Year to Date:
  • Current Cash on Hand:

Chris Van Hollen 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015):
  • Donations Raised Year to Date:
  • Current Cash on Hand:

8th Congressional District

David Anderson 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $23,250
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $59,432
  • Current Cash on Hand: $47,027

Kumar Barve 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $111,748
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $535,620
  • Current Cash on Hand: $288,538

Ana Sol Gutierrez
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $32,671
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $147,068
  • Current Cash on Hand: $169,483

Will Jawando 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $81,500
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $352,158
  • Current Cash on Hand: $215,449

Kathleen Matthews 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $503,827
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $1,568,860
  • Current Cash on Hand: $1,147,930

Jamie Raskin

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $374,864
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $1,303,582
  • Current Cash on Hand: $869,330

Joel Rubin
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $159,258
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $159,258
  • Current Cash on Hand: $71,743

4th Congressional District

Anthony Brown 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $102,481
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $457,024
  • Current Cash on Hand: $269,443

Warren Christopher
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $45,853
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $138,775
  • Current Cash on Hand: $80,810
Dereck Davis
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $150,776
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $441,112
  • Current Cash on Hand: $304,934

Glenn Ivey 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $196,570
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $714,894
  • Current Cash on Hand: $526,667

Joseline Pena-Melnyk 

  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $146,821
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $508,228
  • Current Cash on Hand: $378,396

Alvin Thornton
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $3,174
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $12,624
  • Current Cash on Hand: $7,426
Ingrid Turner
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $11,971
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $70,821
  • Current Cash on Hand: $104,579

Non-Open Seat U.S. House Incumbents

Elijah Cummings
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $191,978
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $561,642
  • Current Cash on Hand: $1,095,970
John Delaney
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $129,511
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $763,690
  • Current Cash on Hand: $319,986
Andy Harris (R)
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $129,998
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $623,680
  • Current Cash on Hand: $647,050
Steny Hoyer
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $299,246
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $1,635,434
  • Current Cash on Hand: $800,467
Dutch Ruppersberger
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $114,750
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $504,113
  • Current Cash on Hand: $1,048,439
John Sarbanes
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $187,485
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $536,676
  • Current Cash on Hand: $949,934

Select GOP Challengers

Amie Hoeber [CD6]
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $23,856
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $108,804
  • Current Cash on Hand: $200,540 (includes $200,000 loan)
Mark Plaster [CD3]
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $47,287
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $154,120
  • Current Cash on Hand: $56,906
Mike Smigiel [CD1]
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $3,355
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: #3,355
  • Current Cash on Hand: $3,912
David Vogt [CD6]
  • Donations Raised Q4 (October to December 2015): $10,099
  • Donations Raised Year to Date: $57,675
  • Current Cash on Hand: $30,965

Thursday, December 3, 2015

BREAKING: Maryland Senator Karen Montgomery To Step Down // Delegate Craig Zucker Favored for Appointment

Multiple sources confirm that Senator Karen Montgomery (D-14) will resign prior to the start of the 2016 General Assembly session, thereby triggering a vacancy appointment by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.

Montgomery, 80, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2002 - one of the first persons to represent District 14 within Montgomery County. In 2010 Delegate Montgomery defeated incumbent Senator Rona Kramer in the Democratic primary by just over 100 votes. She was strongly supported in that race by the teachers (MCEA), SEIU, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Progressive Maryland.

Should the District 14 Senate vacancy materialize, the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) will  have 30 days to make a recommendation to Governor Hogan on who should complete the remainder of Senator Montgomery's term.

Many insiders believe Delegate Craig Zucker to be the favorite to fill the vacancy.  Zucker, 40, was elected to the House of Delegates in 2010 and reelected in 2014. He sits on the House Appropriations Committee and was recently named the Vice Chair of Capital Budget Subcommittee by Speaker Mike Busch. Prior to his election, Zucker worked for a number of public officials including Senator Bill Bradley, Senator Barbara Boxer and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

If Zucker is appointed to the State Senate, his departure will trigger yet another MCDCC vacancy appointment, and a scramble to fill his Delegate seat. Among the names being mentioned for the potential Delegate vacancy include Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee member Chris Bradbury, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee member and Morgan State Professor Pamela Queen, and former Deputy Secretary of State Dr. Rajan Natarajan. Other names are sure to emerge, including past candidates like Jodi Finkelstein and Tom Degonia.

Van Hollen Gets Important Backing From SEIU // One Union Says Edwards "Has Turned Her Back Toward Labor"

Today, at an announcement at in Baltimore, Representative Chris Van Hollen will accept the endorsement Maryland’s Service Employees International Union (SEIU) locals, including 1199, 32BJ, Local 500, Local 400, NAGE and Local 722. This is the biggest endorsement to date for Van Hollen and a body blow to Congresswoman Donna Edwards, who many originally expected to win the strong backing from organized labor.
: Van Hollen "has a record of standing with labor and workers," said Ricarra Jones, with 1199 SEIU. "We're going to go with a person who is going to best represent our interests in the Senate."
: We feel like she has turned her back toward labor,” said Ricarra Jones, political organizer for Local 1199, the largest SEIU chapter in Maryland, which has about 9,000 members. “We think that Van Hollen will do a much better job.”
PAINT THE STATE PURPLE: The Maryland SEIU locals represent nearly 45,000 members, and their endorsement ensures the Van Hollen campaign will receive significant union support, including member-volunteers who will knock on doors and make phone calls in Baltimore City and other key Democratic jurisdictions.

Relaxed campaign finance rules post Citizens United not only allows SEIU to spend more heavily on advertising but also to ramp up voter contact efforts to non-union workers. In 2012, SEIU was the top outside spending on Democratic campaigns - spending $70 million on donations, television ads and GOTV.

SEIU has increasingly played a very active role in many important elections and legislative battles through both member outreach and paid media efforts. In 2014, SEIU backed and invested heavily in Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and more than 80 other candidates in the Democratic primary. The vast majority of these endorsed candidates prevailed.

Nationally, the 2 million member SEIU - the fastest growing union in the United States - endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. Notably, SEIU has supported and increased awareness of the ‘Fight for $15’ campaign, and has successfully persuaded local leaders in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

DISAPPOINTING FOR DONNA: Labor in the past has strongly supported Edwards, which likely makes today’s endorsement that much more painful. SEIU and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) strongly supported her bid to unseat Rep. Al Wynn in 2008 - spending more than $1 million on her successful campaign. Unions also circled the wagons and effectively scared Glenn Ivey into dropping a primary challenge in 2012.

Earlier this year observers thought Edwards had the inside track with labor, and would earn the financial and organizational resources to make up for Van Hollen’s fundraising edge. Instead, Van Hollen and Edwards have traded endorsements and the AFL-CIO declined to choose sides.

It is unlikely that any union that currently supports Edwards can match the resources SEIU can bring to bear. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

EMILY'S List Pumps $1 Million Into Edwards Campaign // SuperPAC Ads To Target Women, African American Voters

Christmas came early for Representative Donna Edwards.

With dwindling resources and a new poll showing the Prince George’s Congresswoman behind by double digits, the Edwards campaign desperately needed a game changer. And they got one.

EMILY’s List - the influential Democratic organization that supports pro-choice women - announced that they will spend more than $1.2 million on television, radio and online ads for Edwards predominantly in the Baltimore region. As reported by :
BALTIMORE SUN: The group will spend $875,000 on cable and broadcast ads alone, plus another $146,000 on radio and digital spots. The ads will run over six weeks and will target African American women. The ad campaign is paid for through WOMEN VOTE!, the group’s super PAC, which spent more than $12 million in the 2014 election cycle.
A MUCH NEEDED BOOST: EMILY's List ad buy - assuming the entire amount is spent - represents more than 3x the total amount of money the Edwards campaign has on hand, and allows her to finally respond to Representative Chris Van Hollen - who has been airing television ads unchallenged for the last month. Without this national bail out, it was likely Edwards’ path to victory could have become non-existent going into the homestretch.

DIGGING OUT OF A DEEP HOLE: Full crosstabs from the , shows the big hole that Edwards finds herself in, and why she needed EMILY's List to intervene now. She's losing women by 8 points (with 1 out 4 undecided), and doesn't even earn majority of African American support.

Men      Women
Van Hollen 51% 42%
Edwards 25% 34%
Other/Undecided      23% 25%

White      African American
Van Hollen

The impact of Edwards's lack of traction in Baltimore shows. She's only attracting a quarter of the vote in a region where more than 40% of Democratic electorate reside. 

Balt City    Balt Co    Balt Region    MoCo    PG      WestMD    SoMD    Shore
Van Hollen 44% 46% 49% 75% 23% 29% 49% 25%
Edwards 29% 24% 25% 12% 63% 16% 22% 24%
Other/Undecided    27% 29% 26% 13% 15% 55% 16% 42%

A POWERFUL PATRON: EMILY's List is a well resourced ally who has helped elect . In the first half of 2015, the organization raised - the most it has raised in an off-year. Jumping into the Maryland Senate primary is a signal that they are not abandoning Edwards -  a candidate they supported early and raised money for - in her time of need .

What may give some of EMILY's List supporters pause, are questions regarding whether they are spending their resources wisely with 2016 shaping up to be a historic year for women candidates. Putting aside Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign (), there's New  Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, Rep. Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, former Nevada AG Catherine Cortez Masto, Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and former Pennsylvania Environmental Secretary Katie McGinty facing off in competitive Senate races critical to Democratic chances to retaking the upper chamber. Every dollar spent in Maryland, is one less attacking Donald Trump, Mark Kirk or Pat Toomey. 

HOW EFFECTIVE WILL IT BE? The positive biographical  touts her humble roots and pushes the progressive fighter image (though the bright flashes throughout the ad have been called ""). But there's a few things to note.

First, it is cheaper for candidates to advertise on television than for super-PACs. The rate EMILY's List is paying could be 1.5 or 2 times (or even higher) what the Van Hollen campaign paid. This price differential will only become greater as we approach the primary. More money for fewer ads. 

Second, advertising over the next 6 weeks puts the flight in the middle of the shopping season, the holidays and when most broadcast channels are playing reruns. This likely means fewer people are paying attention. Van Hollen's ads meanwhile played during November sweeps. 

Third, there's no guarantee that super PAC ad spending will be effective. Just ask Jeb! Bush. His Right to Rise super PAC has  Add to that the inability to officially coordinate with the official campaign, sync messages or film the candidate - makes this a tricky and costly enterprise. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rep. Chris Van Hollen Jumps Into Lead in Maryland's Open Seat US Senate Race After Early Ad Campaign Spending

With 150 days left to go until Maryland’s April 26 primary, Representative Chris Van Hollen has leapfrogged over Congresswoman Donna Edwards to take a large lead in the Democratic primary according to a .

Van Hollen

A BIG JUMP: A month after a random digit dial gave Edwards a large 10 point lead (38-28), Van Hollen is now up a whopping 14 points. 45% of likely primary voters choose him, while only 31% side with Edwards. An August for the Edwards campaign said Van Hollen was behind 37-42.

While one should be cautious when comparing polls by different organizations, the newest numbers suggest not only a significant uptick in support for Van Hollen but a dramatic erosion of support for Edwards. While the Sun has not released full crosstabs of their poll, they note that Van Hollen is performing “remarkably well” with women and African American voters. Van Hollen is winning female voters by 7% and is attracts almost 30% of support from black voters.

One of five voters remain undecided, and Edwards would need almost all of them to break for her.

REAPING THE REWARDS : Unknown in the Baltimore region - even though Ambassador Chris Van Hollen Sr. was born there - Van Hollen’s campaign decided to invest resources in early ads on broadcast and cable television in the relatively inexpensive Baltimore media market . In three introductory spots, Baltimore voters heard Chris Van Hollen was “,” is “” and “”

The exact size of the month long ad buy is unknown, they seem to have been incredibly effective. Van Hollen is leading by 16 points in Baltimore City - a jurisdiction that both Anthony Brown and Kweisi Mfume won convincingly in their primaries. In the wider Baltimore region, Van Hollen’s lead expands to 2:1.

STICK A FORK IN IT? The Edwards camp who had been loudly touting her strong poll numbers until now, cannot be happy. She was already running out of cash and this new poll is a broadside on her continued viability as a statewide candidate. The demographics may be on her side, but attracting new supporters could be difficult if they don’t believe she can win. And another disappointing fundraising quarter could give any national organization serious reservations about bailing out a floundering campaign facing an uphill climb.

Edwards likely knows the facts on the ground. She’s been and her campaign just opened up an office in the City last week. But unless she can compete on the airwaves, the campaign will not be able to reach enough voters to make a difference. The simply won’t do the trick.

STILL WAITING ON CUMMINGS: Everyone’s still formally waiting on Representative Elijah Cummings to make his intentions on the US Senate race publicly known, but signals still point to the Baltimore Congressman staying in the House.

This poll finds Cummings leading the field by 12 points with 40%, Van Hollen second at 28% and Edwards bringing up the rear with 19%.

State Senator Jamie Raskin Leads In Internal Poll // First Look at Maryland 8th Congressional District Democratic Primary

The first publicly released poll in 8th Congressional District Democratic primary finds State Senator Jamie Raskin with an early lead over his closest competitor - Kathleen Matthews. GBA Strategies - which polled in Maryland in 2014 - conducted the poll for the Raskin campaign.

We tend to take internal polls with a grain of salt, but still this is our first look at where the race stands as we head into 2016.

TOP LINE: Raskin leads the crowded field with 30% of the vote. The poll surveyed 500 likely Democratic primary voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%

Name ID

FRONTRUNNERS: The poll seemingly confirms that Raskin and Matthews are the frontrunners in the race. Raskin’s lead isn’t particularly surprising given his longstanding work with and popularity among Montgomery County’s progressive base, many of whom have cast ballots for him before. On the other hand, while it is likely that primary voters may remember and like Matthews from her time as a news anchor, they may not be ready to vote for her until they know  more about this first-time candidate's positions and other relevant experience. This will likely change during the course of the campaign.

The polling memo notes that Raskin posts large leads over Matthews in his home district D20 (+43) and in nearby D18 (+30), but his smaller district-wide lead suggests Matthews is  stronger in Bethesda, Rockville and outside Montgomery County. The polls fails to mention if there is a gender gap (which could be critical for a Matthews victory).

As expected, Matthews' campaign manager's response was :  
MATTHEWS CM ETHAN SUSSLES: This poll shows that a majority of Democratic voters are looking for a fresh approach and Kathleen has a track record of getting things done, putting women and families first, and the international experience we need in these challenging times,
BRINGING UP THE REAR: The second tier of candidates is led by Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez who has been significantly outraised by Delegate Kumar Barve and Will Jawando - both of whom now trail her significantly in this poll. Gutierrez - who is the only Hispanic candidate in the race - benefits from greater name ID having been in public office for the last quarter century

With five months to go and barely any paid advertising in the race, nearly 1 out of 3 voters remain undecided. The composition of the group is key but unspecified.

You can read the full Raskin polling memo .

Friday, November 20, 2015

Gov. Larry Hogan Tows Trump & Carson's Party Line on Syrian Refugees // Will HoCo's Exec Allan Kittleman Break With GOP?

A SHAME IN MARYLAND: In the week following the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, 30 Governors have said they won’t allow Syrian refugees to resettle in their states until security concerns are concerned. All but one of those governors have been a Republican.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan - who is huddling with his fellow Republican Governors at their conference in Las Vegas this week - had initially sought more time to make a ““ but a day later followed the direction of  almost all the Republican candidates for President and called on federal authorities to “”

Granted, Hogan - nor any of his fellow governors - don’t really have anything with whether refugees are allowed into the US or where they are resettled. Though they can make the lives of women and children fleeing a violent civil war . Also it doesn’t seem to matter that of the 2 million refugees welcomed in the US since 1990, .

THE ACTUAL SCREENING PROCESS FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES: The US - which has a stringent 18-24 months process to vet and approve refugees - admitted less than 200 Syrian refugees between 2011 and 2014, and only recently quickened the pace. According to the , 39 such refugees have resettled in Maryland since 2011 - 79% of them arriving in 2015. The United States had planned to accept 10,000 refugees in 2016. In contrast, French President Francois Hollande said his country would accept 30,000, and expend 50 million euros to support refugee housing.

MARYLAND DEMOCRATS RESPOND: Hogan’s decision has drawn widespread criticism from Democrats. Rep. Cummings called Hogan’s actions “heartless” and “a betrayal of America’s values” while Rep. Van Hollen decried the Governor’s “shameful” demagoguery. Former Governor O’Malley - who was the first Democratic candidate for President to call on the Obama Administration to accept more refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war -- called on Americans to “overcome fear and remain true to [our] values.”

Local Democratic leaders have also sought to separate themselves from the Governor. Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake released the following (emphasis mine):
BALTIMORE MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: Baltimore, Maryland and the United States have proud traditions of welcoming refugees seeking assistance from crises around the world. There are few among us who can claim that their ancestors were indigenous to the United States. Welcoming immigrants and New Americans is a critical part of my strategy to grow Baltimore, and I hope that refugees from Syria will look to our city as a potential place to call home.
This call was echoed today by the Democratic members of the Howard County Council. On Thursday, In a , the four Democratic members of the Council - Mary Kay Sigaty, Calvin Ball, Jenn Terrasa and Jon Weinstein - stated (emphasis mine):
HOCO DEMOCRATIC COUNCILMEMBERS: In Howard County, we know that our diversity is our strength. Your request to end the settlement of Syrian refugees under the guise of protecting Marylanders erodes that strength by succumbing to fear—a fear that leads to overt racial profiling, which is an affront to our values. Opening our doors to those who are fleeing violence does not endanger our safety; it shows our compassion and hope.
1 in 5 of Howard County’s residents are foreign born and come from over 90 countries. None of Maryland’s current Syrian refugees are located in the County.

WAITING FOR KITTLEMAN: A spokeswoman for Governor Hogan reiterated his stance on Friday. There has been no response from Republican County Executive Allan Kittleman. Blinding following national Trump-Carson Republican herd not only threatens Hogan and Kittleman image as as kinder, gentler Republicans - but their compelling sales pitch as non-ideological, post-partisan executives. Sure, there may be no direct political risk (and as the Huffington Post wrote - ) - but calls into question their reputation. Hogan and Kittleman still need Democrats to govern - and and mean-spirited decisions could poison the well and erode trust.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Elections Today for Maryland Cities: Rockville, Salisbury, Gaithersburg, College Park, Greenbelt, Takoma Park & More!

Election Day 2015 is upon us. Nationally, Democrats and progressives have a number of competitive races to watch: Attorney General Jack Conway battling to keep the Kentucky Governor's mansion in Democratic hands; Republicans trying to fortify their one-seat State Senate majority in battleground Virginia; 3 open Pennsylvania State Supreme Court seats that could determine which party controls redistricting in 2022; Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood trying to keep his title as the last Democratic statewide official in the Deep South; and, a number of ballot measures including initiatives to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in Ohio and a referendum on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

In Maryland, some of the largest municipalities head to the polls. The vast majority of municipal elections are non-partisan. Baltimore City (elections in '16), Frederick ('17), Annapolis ('17), and Hagerstown ('16) are among the few exceptions.  Many of the contests this year feature open races, multi-candidate fields challenging incumbents, and the usual . With many town and city officials going on to run for higher office, Maryland Juice runs through some races to watch.

ROCKVILLE: Incumbent Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton faces a stiff challenge from political organizer and consultant Sima Osdoby, with development and growth being among the top issues in the race. Osdoby is part of Team Rockville slate - which includes incumbent city Councilmembers Julie Palkovich Carr and Virginia Onley, former Councilmember Mark Pierzchala and first-time candidate Clark Reed. Also running are Councilmember Beryl Feinberg, Twinbrook Civic Association President Rich Gottfried, former candidate Brigitta Mullican, Planning Commission member David Hill, and businessowner Patrick Schoof. The Mayor and Council are being elected to a 4-year term for the first time.

  • Bridget Donnell Newton (i)
  • Sima Osdoby

At-large Council (4 seats)
  • Beryl Feinberg (i)
  • Richard Gottfried
  • David Hill
  • Brigitta Mullican
  • Virginia Onley(i)
  • Julia Palakovich Carr (i)
  • Mark Perirzchala
  • Clark Reed
  • Patrick Schoof

GAITHERSBURG: Current Mayor Jud Ashman - who was appointed to the post after Mayor Sidney Katz was elected to the Montgomery County Council,  longtime Councilmember Henry Marraffa and Darline Bell-Zuccarelli are running to fill the balance of Katz's term. Ashman has been endorsed by Mr. Katz. Running for the 3 at-large Council seats are City Council Vice President Ryan Spiegel, appointed Councilmember Neil Harris, African American Democratic Club President Laurie Anne-Sayles, and attorney Robert Wu.

  • Jud Ashman (i)
  • Darline Bell-Zuccarelli
  • Henry Marraffa

At-large Council (3 seats)
  • Neil Harris (i)
  • Laurie-Anne Sayles
  • Ryan Spiegel (i)
  • Robert Wu

BOWIE: 21 year city council veteran Dennis Brady is challenging Mayor G. Frederick Robinson, who has the position since 1998. A number of newcomers are challenging incumbents as Bowie residents elect councilmembers who will now serve a 4 year term. These include veteran Kelly Rowe challenging Councilmember Diane Polangin in District 2, and former President of the Bowie Chamber of Commerce Craig Muckle trying to oust Councilmember Isaac Trouth. Two open city council races have attracted Comptroller Senior Advisor Monica Best-James, former Senator Peters aide Michael Esteve, and County Executive Baker intergovernmental affairs attorney Courtney Glass among others.  Dufour Woolfley, Jimmy Marcos and Henri Gardner - all sitting Councilmembers - are vying for 2 at-large spots.

  • Dennis Brady
  • G. Frederick Robinson (i)
  • Keith Alphonso Jackson

At-large Council (2 seats)
  • Henri Gardner
  • James L. Marcos
  • Dufour Woolfley (i)

Council District 1
  • Jenmaire Dewberry
  • Michael P. Esteve
  • Pauletta G. Handy
  • Monica Best-James

Council District 2
  • Diane M. Polangin (i)
  • Kelly P. Rowe

Council District 3
  • Babatunde O. Alegbeleye
  • James Scott Hessberger, Jr.
  • Courtney D. Glass

Council District 4
  • Isaac C. Trouth (i)
  • Craig M. Muckle

COLLEGE PARK: District 4 Councilwoman Denise Mitchell and District 1 Councilman Patrick Wojahn are vying to succeed Mayor Andy Fellows, who is stepping down after three terms. Mitchell would be the first African American woman to hold the post, and Wojahn would be the City's first openly gay mayor. Incumbent Councilmembers Faziul Kabir, P.J. Brennan, Monroe Dennis, Robert Day, Stephanie Stullich and Alan Hew all face competitive races. Interesting to note that 6 out of 18 candidates running in College Park are either UMD alumni, professors or students.

  • Denise Mitchell
  • Patrick Wojahn

Council District 1 (2 seats)
  • Faziul Kabir (i)
  • Christine Nagle
  • Cory Sanders

Council District 2 (2 seats)
  • Daniel Blasberg
  • P.J. Brennan (i)
  • Vivian Conway
  • Monroe Dennis (i)

Council District 3 (2 seats)
  • Ryan Belcher
  • Robert Day (i)
  • Robert McCeney
  • John Rigg
  • Stephanie Stullich (i)

Council District 4 (2 seats)
  • Mary Cook
  • Oscar Gregory
  • Alan Hew (i)
  • Dustyn Kujawa

SALISBURY: The Eastern Shore's largest city has revamped its electoral system for 2015 -- moving elections from the spring tot he fall, synchronizing terms of all elected officials, creating five single-member districts and eliminating their primary election. Current Mayor Jim Ireton decided against running for reelection, and instead filed to run for Council. City Council President Jake Day is running opposed for Mayor. All four City Council members are running for reelection - with Jack Heath and Tim Spies contesting from the same district. In the open District 2, former candidate and Libertarian Muir Boda seems to have the inside track.

  • Jake Day

Council District 1
  • Sarah Halcott
  • April Jackson
  • Shanie Shields (i)

Council District 2
  • Keyvan Aarabi
  • Marvin Ames
  • Muir Boda
  • Justin Gregoli

Council District 3
  • Jack Heath  (i)
  • Kevin Lindsay
  • Tim Spies (i)

Council District 4
  • Jim Ireton
  • Roger Mazullo

Council District 5
  • Laura Mitchell (i)

LAUREL: Mayor Craig Moe running unopposed for a fourth term, and all five City Council incumbents are favored to win reelection. Laurel has been in the news recently over the possible closure of Laurel Regional Hospital and the local MARC train station.

  • Craig Moe (i)

At-large Council
  • Michael Leszcz (i)

Council Ward 1 (2 seats)
  • Carl Dewalt
  • Jeffrey Mills
  • Valerie Nicholas (i)
  • H. Edward Ricks (i)

Council Ward 2 (2 seats)
  • Donna Crary (i)
  • Fred Smalls (i)
  • Mansoor Zia

GREENBELT: Residents elect a 7 member at-large Council with the highest vote getter traditionally being selected as mayor. Emmett Jordan -  who became the City's first African American Mayor in 2013 - is running for reelection, along with former longtime Mayor Judith 'J' Davis and the 5 other incumbent members of the City Council.

At-large Council (7 seats)
  • Silke I. Pope (i)
  • Susan H. Stewart
  • Emmett V. Jordan (i)
  • Leta M. Mach (i)
  • Konrad E. Herling (i)
  • Rodney M. Roberts (i)
  • Edward V. J. Putens (i)
  • Judith F. Davis (i)
  • Kathleen Marie Shaw
  • Bill Orleans
  • George R. Boyce

TAKOMA PARK: Councilmember Kate Stewart and local landlord Warren Holmes are facing off to become Takoma Park's next Mayor. Outgoing Mayor Bruce Williams - who is completing his 22nd year on the City Council - was the region's first openly gay elected official. Stewart - who has been endorsed by Williams, State Senator Jamie Raskin and County Councilmember Tom Hucker - is the frontrunner. The only other contested race is in Ward 1 where former HUD Assistant Secretary Peter Kovar and two others are running to replace Seth Grimes.

  • Warren Holmes
  • Kate Stewart

Council Ward 1
  • Peter Kovar
  • Victor Thuronyi
  • Elizabeth Forbes Wallace

Council Ward 2
  • Tim Male (i)

Council Ward 3
  • Rizzy Qureshi

Council Ward 4 
  • Terry Seamens (i)

Council Ward 5
  • Jarrett Smith (i)

Council Ward 6
  • Fred Schultz (i)

ABERDEEN: Incumbent Mayor Michael Bennett who prevailed in 2011 by only 26 votes, is fending of challenges from the City's first elected Mayor Ruth Elliott, Republican activist and perennial candidate Patrick McGrady, and former teacher and Delegate candidate Marla Posey-Moss. The City Council race includes incumbents Sandra Landbeck and Stephen Smith, and a 3 person slate aligned with McGrady. Mayor Bennett has endorsed both current Councilmembers as well as Appeals Board member Melvin Tyalor and  teacher Tim Lindecamp.

  • Michael Bennett (i)
  • Ruth Elliott
  • Patrick McGrady 
  • Marla Posey-Moss

Council (4 seats)
  • Carol Bruce
  • Sean DeBonis
  • Daniel Forte
  • Jason Kolligs
  • Barbara Kreamer
  • Sandra Landbeck (i)
  • Tim Lindecamp
  • Stephen Smith  (i)
  • Melvin Taylor

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Round-Up of New Endorsements in Maryland's Open-Seat US Senate & House Races: Less Than Six Months Until Primary Day

As we pass the sixth month mark until Maryland's April 26 primary, more endorsements were announced this week in the state's open seat US Senate race and in the open 4th and 8th District Congressional races. We previously published a round-up of all the endorsements in those races, but more have begun pouring in as the races take shape. Maryland Juice's Matt Verghese has a full round-up of updates below:

FIREFIGHTERS ENDORSE VAN HOLLEN FOR SENATE: The Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland - the state association for the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) locals, which represents 10,000 current and retired professional fire fighters, unanimously endorsed Chris Van Hollen for United States Senate. Local affiliates in Baltimore, Prince George's and Montgomery Counties have also endorsed Van Hollen.
PFFM President Mike Rund: Congressman Van Hollen has shown that public safety is and will continue to be a top priority for him. The money that has been secured through federal grants wouldn’t have been possible without Chris’s help. It is for these reasons and many more that that we endorse Chris Van Hollen for United States Senate.
This continues the split in local labor endorsements between Van Hollen and Congresswoman Edwards.

OFFICE EMPLOYEE UNION ENDORSES RASKIN FOR CONGRESS: Office and Professional Employees International Local 2 (OPEIU Local 2), a member of the AFL-CIO, became the second labor union to endorse Senator Jamie Raskin in the 8th Congressional District race. OPEIU Local 2 represents 7,000 workers in the region.
OPEIU Local 2 President Dan Dyer: OPEIU Local 2 is excited to endorse Jamie Raskin, an unwavering supporter of Maryland's working families and the proven progressive leader we need in the 8th District. Senator Raskin’s exemplary record of success in Annapolis shows that he is willing to stare down the powerful interests and stand up for the rights and values of working men and women. Our union is proud to stand with Jamie so he can go to Washington and take on the big-money special interests that are trying to destroy the right to organize and to engage in collective bargaining. We know we have a true partner in Jamie Raskin and we are excited to do everything we can to support his campaign for Congress.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM SUPER-PAC ENDORSES RASKIN: Raskin was also endorsed by , a pro-campaign finance reform super PAC formed by Democratic Presidential hopeful and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, and House Judiciary Committee Vice Chair Delegate Kathleen Dumais (D-15).

EMILY'S LIST COMES OUT FOR MATTHEWS: Kathleen Matthews earned the coveted support of EMILY's List. The well respected and well funded organization that backs pro-choice female candidates, could be one of the most important endorsements in the CD8. The organization's support often brings fundraising assistance, visibility and potentially staff and advertising support.
EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock: Kathleen Matthews is a lifelong advocate for women and families and a dynamic leader who will fight for progressive change in Congress. As a news anchor at WJLA-TV, she put a spotlight on issues affecting women and families – jobs, education, health care, and equality in the workplace – and as an executive, she spearheaded efforts to advance women's careers and women-owned businesses around the world. Maryland’s Eighth District has never elected a Democratic woman to Congress, and the EMILY’s List community is thrilled to endorse Kathleen Matthews: a pro-choice leader fighting for Planned Parenthood and deeply committed to helping Maryland working families get a fair shot.
EMILY's List previously endorsed Donna Edwards in the US Senate Race.

SIERRA CLUB ENDORSES PENA-MELYNK & RASKIN FOR CONGRESS: The Sierra Club announced its endorsement of Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk in Congressional District 4. The Maryland chapter previously announced its support of Jamie Raskin. No endorsement quote was provided, but the chapter's endorsement release is excerpted below:
Sierra Club: Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk has been a staunch supporter of environmental legislation and has worked well with the environmental community in the State Legislature where she represents State District 21. She has a lifetime score of 94% as reported by MD-LCV and she has proved herself to be a fierce fighter for our issues. We know she will be a great representative for District 4.

Donna Edwards is Running Out of Cash for US Senate Race // Will Campaign Depend on Outside Spending to Keep It Viable?

The headline of Josh Hicks’ article in the Washington Post on October 25 - Donna Edwards ahead in polls but far behind Van Hollen in fundraising - accurately summed up the emerging consensus among observers of Maryland’s US Senate race. Congresswoman Edwards' support with the state's sizable African American community gives her an early lead in the race, but it remains to be seen whether she has the resources to wage a winning campaign with less than 6 months to go until the April 26 Democratic primary.

A deep dive into the Donna Edwards for Senate FEC reports suggests, and some Edwards supporters admit, that Rep. Edwards could soon be out of money - and time.

While the $638,000 Rep. Edwards raised in Q3 may seem respectable (though once again far short of Van Hollen, and other Senate contenders across the country), her campaign managed to spend more than she raised and ended with a paltry $369,000 in the bank (with almost $20,000 in debt). Her third quarter “burn rate” was 107.9%

This gives Edwards less than a tenth of the resources Van Hollen currently has at his disposal, and puts her behind and a handful of CD4 and CD8 candidates. Without airing a single TV spot or sending a piece of persuasive mail - where did all the money go?

STAFFING: $311,460 (45% of Q3 Spending)

Staff Salary/Stipends $186,259
Payroll Taxes/Fees $105,188
Health Insurance $10,530
Reimbursements $9,483

The bulk of Edwards spending came from staffing up her campaign. In the first half of September, Edwards had 24 people receiving either a salary or stipend - more than the Van Hollen payroll during the same period. Edwards report also does not include paychecks for the second half of September. This is another $60,000 expenditure against the campaign’s cash on hand.

While it is impossible to run a statewide campaign without people on the ground - payroll becomes a monthly cost that could become increasingly burdensome over time as more organizers are brought on board closer to Election Day. If cash becomes tight, we may see the Edwards camp decide to take a page out of the Jeb! Bush playbook and reduce salaries and downsize, or try and outsource field operations to an externally run paid canvass.

FUNDRAISING: $160,819 (25% of Q3 Spending)

Direct Mail $82,499
Fundraising Consultants $64,000
Credit Card Fees $12,772
Postage $8,726
Fundraising Expenses* $1,548
* Doesn’t include other line-itemed costs for catering, facility rental, travel and lodging

It costs money to raise money, and it is costing Rep. Edwards at least $0.27 per dollar raised. That is not insignificant for a candidate who has historically struggled with fundraising. These expenses will likely increase as her campaign tries to raise even more money, especially from more out-of-state donors.

In addition to Jeremiah Pope, Amie Kershner and Ann Lewis - Edwards added Greg Kalik as one of her fundraising consultants in Q3.

CONSULTANTS AND SERVICES: $105,583 (15% of Q3 Spending)

Polling $53,000
Research $20,554
Compliance $16,047
Campaign Consulting $6,250
Mail Consultant $5,314
Legal $4,418

At the time of the filing deadline, the Edwards campaign had yet to pay some of these expenses. At least $15,749 of unpaid bills is noted on her FEC reports including $8,066 to Evans & Katz for Compliance, $5,820 to her mail vendor Mission Control Inc, and $1,863 to the firm Perkins Coie.

While it is certainly possible - though unlikely - that the Edwards camp won’t spend any additional money on polling or opposition research, compliance and legal both are ongoing costs. A substantive persuasive direct mail program to a statewide universe, will likely cost six figures.

DIGITAL: $35,612 (5% of Q3 Spending)

Website Services $16,289
Online Advertising $15,257
Software $4,066

There was a sharp drop (64% reduction) in digital spending by the Edwards camp in Q3, as they pared back their online program. Rising Tide Interactive - the campaign's digital consultant - performs a number of services including list acquisition, email programs, fundraising and persuasion, so it is difficult to determine exactly what was specifically cut and whether this level of spending is sustainable for the duration of the campaign.

The campaign ended with $3,950 in unpaid bills ($1,250 to Blue State Digital and $2,700 to NGP VAN for website related services).

OVERHEAD: $57,729 (8% of Q3 Spending)

Office Rent $17,638
Catering/Facility Rental $13,425
Travel $10,354
Printing $5,495
Office Supplies $5,444
Phones/Internet $2,783
Lodging $2,590

Nearly 45% of these costs seem associated with fundraising events. Including these would raise the campaign’s cost to $0.31 per dollar raised.

Other overhead expenditures are related to Edwards’ headquarters in Prince George’s. These costs will undoubtedly increase as field offices are opened in different regions of the state. At least one more is open now.

DONNA EDWARDS NEEDS FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES : It is hard to make a case that the Edwards campaign is financially viable and equipped to compete as we approach the new year. Not only is Edwards starting the home stretch with effectively less money than her FEC report suggests, but her ongoing monthly expenses is a growing drain on her limited resources.

And the Edwards campaign hasn't spent a dime on paid media. Spending in the expensive and inefficient DC media market looks completely out of the question, while even a small ad buy in Baltimore seems cost prohibitive. Try to budget in a statewide mail program, more online advertising and a radio buy - and one must wonder how the cash strapped Edwards campaign will get any real exposure to voters especially those outside Prince George's County. Van Hollen, on the other hand, is already on the air in the Baltimore-media market and will likely run several thousand points worth of advertising before 2016.

What Rep. Edwards desperately needs is a campaign bailout - some outside group to prop up her candidacy. This realization may have dawned early on Edwards when she rejected a proposal to . Aside from Emily's List the the Edwards campaign likely is relying on Labor for significant outside spending - making the recent decision of the the AFL-CIO to sit on sidelines  a significant blow.

But how big does Edwards' bailout have to be to keep her viable? And who is willing to part with millions of dollars to defeat progressive Van Hollen, when Democrats may have the opportunity to put the first woman in the Oval Office, and see a competitive path to a Senate majority through strong female candidates in GOP-held Illinois (Tammy Duckworth), New Hampshire (Maggie Hassan) and Pennsylvania (Kathleen McGinty)? Plus, how will anti-superPAC pro-campaign finance reofrm progressive Maryland voters feel about this?

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