Showing posts with label howard county. Show all posts
Showing posts with label howard county. Show all posts

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.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Democratic Senators Lisa Gladden & Bobby Zirkin Endorse Allan Kittleman, GOP Candidate for Howard County Executive

UPDATE: The commentary below appeared in this month's issue of Business Monthly, but it turns out , who has mirrored the on his own website (additional excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER: It’s no secret that Sen. Allan Kittleman will need lots of Democrats to vote for a Republican for Howard County executive for him to accomplish what the GOP did 23 years ago — take over the county government.

“If Allan Kittleman can’t have a chance in Howard County, no one has a chance,” said attorney Michael Davis, who was campaign chairman for Republican Chuck Ecker when Ecker defeated Democrat Liz Bobo during her re-election bid for executive in 1990. Four years later, Republicans controlled the County Council, the courthouse offices and a majority of legislative seats.

Davis was involved in a poll taken last year that he said showed Kittleman “has good name recognition; he’s got high trust factors and likability factors.” But he’s still got “a tough fight”....

Maryland Juice previously noted that GOP State Senator Allan Kittleman was running for Howard County Executive in 2014, and that he would likely be facing off against Democratic HoCo Councilmember Courtney Watson. But we highlighted a report in Patch.com that Democratic State Senator Bobby Zirkin had crossed party lines to endorse Kittleman for Executive. There were rumors that another Democratic State Senator Lisa Gladden would be supporting the Republican candidate for HoCo Exec, but we never saw confirmation of that story until today. In fact, I only heard that Gladden was supporting Kittleman through :

Last night a Maryland Juice reader forwarded us a scanned copy of an interesting article that appeared in the , which features interviews with Senators Zirkin and Gladden highlighting their endorsements for Allan Kittleman. The article, titled "Kittleman's Uphill Fight" does not yet appear in the online edition of Business Monthly, but we provide some excerpts from the newsprint below:
BUSINESS MONTHLY: "It's the content of your character, it's not a 'D' or 'R' behind your name that makes a difference, said Zirkin.... Zirkin said he also asked Kittleman whether he could bring up same-sex marraige. Kittleman was only one of the dozen Republicans in the state Senate that supported the measure...."

Sure enough, Gladden, with a more liberal voting record than Zirkin's is a Kittleman fan. "Allan is a whole different breed of Republican," Gladden said in an interview.... Gladden recognizes there's a whole range of issues on which she and Kittleman disagree, but he supported her position on an issue she's passionate about, abolition of the death penalty....
Notably, Zirkin highlights Kittleman's support for marriage equality, while Gladden highlights his support for death penalty repeal. But one Democratic commenter in the article below highlights other issues where Kittleman conflicts with mainstream Democratic politics. In the article, Howard County Democratic Party Chair Michael McPherson called Kittleman a "flaming Tea Party zealot" who opposes gun control and works to restrict women's access to health care.

More on the HoCo Exec battle soon!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

JUICE: Valerie Ervin Exploring MoCo Exec Race, HoCo Blogger Tom Coale for Delegate, Many New Candidates for MoCo Council

Below Maryland Juice highlights a few tidbits of interest to politicos, especially those in MoCo & HoCo:

JUICE #1: MOCO COUNCILMEMBER VALERIE ERVIN FORMS EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE FOR COUNTY EXECUTIVE, OTHER CANDIDATES EXIT RACE - Last week Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett made a long awaited announcement about his future plans, and not surprisingly, he has decided to seek a third term in office. With the biggest variable in the race now decided, we finally have a real picture of what the 2014 race will look like. , noting which candidates are now entering and exiting the race (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: [Councilmember George] Leventhal (D) of Takoma Park said it is “highly likely” he will now run for re-election.... [Delegate Ben] Kramer said he is out and most likely will seek re-election.... [Councilmember Marc] Elrich said he will seek re-election.... [Councilwoman Nancy Floreen] said Thursday she will seek re-election....

Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring has formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for executive. On Tuesday, Ervin would not yet detail her plans, saying that she would disclose “in about a week....”
with their own thoughts about incumbent Executive Ike Leggett's two terms in office, and they noted a couple issues that they thought could emerge on the campaign trail:
GAZETTE: Looking back on Leggett’s two terms, he deserves credit for navigating the county through extremely difficult economic period, but voters still will have questions. The first would be the Silver Spring Transit Center.... Then there’s Leggett’s labor record, which will be difficult for voters to judge....
Interestingly enough, today by accepting responsibility for the project (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett realizes that the road to his re-election in 2014 will have to pass through the Silver Spring Transit Center. While the troubled $120 million project has a lifespan that stretches back into the administration of one of his opponents, former County Executive Doug Duncan, he has apparently decided to deal with it by taking full ownership.... “I accept full responsibility because it happened on my watch,” he said Wednesday on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt....
It's early yet, but it will be very interesting to see which issues come to dominate the coming battle for Montgomery County Executive!

JUICE #2: HOCO BLOGGER TOM COALE RUNNING FOR DELEGATE IN DISTRICT 9B - Over the last two years, Maryland Juice has had the opportunity to interact with a few other bloggers around the state, and Tom Coale happens to be one of them. Tom writes the , which as you can imagine, is about life in Howard County. But now the Ellicott City Democrat is on to bigger and better things, as he announced this week that . (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Columbia Association Board of Directors member Tom Coale ... to seek a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014, representing the newly formed District 9B. Coale, a popular blogger in Howard County, announced his decision at a fundraiser in Ellicott City. Coale ... will run on the Democratic ticket in the district, which encompasses Ellicott City and portions of Elkridge and Columbia.... County Council member Courtney Watson, who represents Ellicott City and Elkridge, applauded Coale's diligence on community issues....

Maryland Juice wishes Tom Coale good luck in his quest to represent HoCo!

JUICE #3: MULTIPLE CANDIDATES PLOTTING RUNS FOR COUNTY COUNCILMEMBER PHIL ANDREWS' SEAT - . Indeed, the District 3 Council seat is going to be vacant soon with the incumbent Councilmember Andrews off and running against Ike Leggett for County Executive (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: In interviews, former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow, former Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce President Richard Parsons and Gaithersburg City Councilmember Ryan Spiegel all said they are considering a run in next year’s Democratic primary for the District 3 County Council seat.  Also eyeing the contest is Guled Kassim, a local Democratic activist who previously has run for state delegate.

...the current CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Gigi Godwin, quashed speculation about a run.... Two others mentioned as contenders for the District 3 seat, Rockville Councilmember Tom Moore and Gaithersburg Councilmember Michael Sesma, are facing re-election to their current jobs this fall....


Monday, June 17, 2013

JuiceBlender: Minorities Organize for Garagiola Vacancy, 5 HoCo Delegate Vacancies, Jon Cardin Slams Lawless Sheriffs

Below Maryland Juice highlights a few items of interest to politicos around the state, starting with more organizing around pending legislative vacancies:

JUICE #1: MOCO PEOPLE OF COLOR ORGANIZING AROUND SELECTION OF SEN. ROB GARAGIOLA'S REPLACEMENT - Maryland Juice previously noted that Del. Brian Feldman was seeking the District 15 State Senate vacancy caused by the surprise resignation of Sen. Rob Garagiola. Feldman has received early support for a promotion from some of his elected colleagues and a District 15 Democratic political club, but already some Democratic Party members are agitating for a different direction.

PEOPLE OF COLOR ORGANIZING IN DISTRICT 15: Several Maryland Juice sources indicate that this past weekend, a group of Democratic activists met in Potomac to try and organize a push to ask the MCDCC to take diversity seriously in selecting a replacement for State Senator Rob Garagiola. I received the following statement and photo from a coalition of leaders representing communities of color following a meeting in Potomac:
A group of leaders representing the African American, Asian, Muslim, and Latino communities met today to challenge the efforts of elected officials and democratic party activists to shut-out qualified members of ethnic groups, People of Color, Young Democrats and others from the opportunity to fill the State Senate seat that will be vacated by State Senator Rob Garagiola from District 15. 

The group also maintains that although Montgomery County is a majority people of color County, the County has never elected a Person of Color to the Maryland State Senate.  Based on recent demographic data, we maintain that the Montgomery County Senate Delegation is not representative of the residents of the County.  The retirement of Senator Garagiola is an opportunity for the voters and leaders of Montgomery County to remedy this inequity. 

The people of color leadership group called for an open and transparent process over the next three months and were critical of efforts to anoint a successor by elected officials, party activists and others.  They also cautioned that efforts to intimidate central committee members, elected officials, and potential candidates will not be tolerated.  We believe that qualified candidates who live in District 15 should have a fair chance of interviewing for the vacancy.

Redistricting has had a significant impact on people of color in District 15 and in other communities in Montgomery County.  Many qualified candidates of color were redistricted out of their districts by design.  Communities with growing numbers of ethnic democratic voters as well as voters of color had their voting power diluted,  and the results of those decisions have been the disenfranchisement of voters of color. These and other issues were discussed today and we believe that we have no other alternative but to begin the process of interviewing candidates that we will forward to the Central Committee to be vetted for the District 15 Senate vacancy.  We will also to reach out to young voters, labor unions and other grassroots activists throughout Montgomery County.

DEMOGRAPHIC & ELECTORAL BACKSTORY: Montgomery County is now a majority-minority jurisdiction and barring a national shift in politics, District 15 is highly unlikely to be won by a Republican in the near future. That means that (within reason) almost any Democrat with the juice to win the 2014 primary for this seat ought to be able to easily defend the office in a General Election. But the D15 State Senate vacancy will be filled by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, and the MCDCC has a less than encouraging record at filling vacant seats with women and people of color.

Maryland Juice does not think the reasons for this usually have to do with race or gender per se; rather the MCDCC (like many Party entities) favors political insiders and connected individuals, by virtue of existing social networks. Thus, yielding to the inertia of "who you already know" replicates the national glass ceiling effect in MoCo politics. The argument from folks opposed to looking at a range of candidates for the D15 seat is that in order to defeat Robin Ficker (or someone else) in 2014, we will need to anoint a strong insider to keep the D15 Senate seat blue. Hmm. But no matter your view on Del. Feldman or whether the MCDCC should diversify the Senate delegation, that is clearly a spurious argument. You would really have to believe that there are no qualified women or people of color in highly educated MoCo who could win a State Senate seat in a jurisdiction that Barack Obama carried easily in two consecutive elections!

In any case, this is a very interesting development in District 15. I guess we will soon know whether the rebel forces will be heard. Notably, Maryland Juice is hearing about similar dynamics brewing among Democrats in Howard County. More soon!

BALTIMORE SUN: Guy Guzzone, a Columbia Democrat, announced Thursday evening that he would run for State Sen. Jim Robey's seat in 2014. County Executive Ken Ulman and Councilmember Mary Kay Sigaty were among his supporters.
Amazingly, Howard County voters will be electing five new Delegates in 2014, as Del Guy Guzzone is just the latest in a string of Maryand House members vacating their seats next year. Several of Guzzone's Democratic HoCo colleagues previously announced retirement from the House, including Democratic Delegates Liz Bobo, Steve DeBoy and Jim Malone.

Meanwhile, in District 9A Republican Delegate Gail Bates is vacating the House to seek the State Senate vacancy caused by D9 Sen. Allan Kittleman's run for Howard County Executive. (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Del. Gail Bates, a West Friendship Republican, said Kittleman is the right choice for Howard County because of his experience on the council and in the Senate. "He sees both sides, and I think he can be very effective as county executive," she said. Bates said she will announce her candidacy for Kittleman's former Senate seat after July 4....

JUICE #3: DEL. JON CARDIN SLAMS MARYLAND SHERIFFS WHO REFUSE TO ENFORCE THE STATE'S NEW GUN CONTROL LAWS - Maryland Juice just caught an interesting . Notably, Cardin is running for Attorney General in 2014, and his commentary below suggests that gun control will have strong support among voters in the upcoming Democratic Primary. In the column below, Cardin condemns Garrett County Sheriff Robert Corley for proclaiming he would not enforce Maryland's newly passed gun regulations (excerpt below):
JON CARDIN (VIA BALTIMORE SUN): While the vast majority of sheriffs nationwide serve honorably, enforcing the laws and putting their lives on the line for our safety, a small number of sheriffs have begun to claim that, in their opinion, validly enacted state and federal laws are unconstitutional. These sheriffs have ordered their subordinate law enforcement officers to ignore the law of the land and enforce only the provisions the sheriff personally feels are constitutional. By stating he will selectively enforce the Maryland Firearms Safety Act of 2013, [Garrett County Sheriff Robert] Corley ignores the oath he took to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the Maryland Constitution and the laws of the state of Maryland — while putting us all in danger of proliferation of violent crime....


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

JUICE: MoCo Exec Ike Leggett Wants 3rd Term, Sen. Zirkin Wants GOP HoCo Exec & Is Del. Feldman Next Sen. Garagiola?

Below Maryland Juice provides a few updates to percolating stories of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE IKE LEGGETT TO SEEK THIRD TERM - Several insiders began telling Maryland Juice yesterday that MoCo Exec Ike Leggett was preparing to make an announcement about his future. No surprise here - he's running for re-election to seek a third term as County Executive. Check out the following and :
WTOP: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is expected to announce he's running for re-election, WTOP has learned. The official announcement is expected online Tuesday night....

JUICE #2: DEMOCRATIC SEN. BOBBY ZIRKIN ENDORSES GOP SEN. ALLAN KITTLEMAN FOR HOWARD COUNTY EXECUTIVE // IS SEN. LISA GLADDEN NEXT? - for Howard County Executive -- before HoCo Democrats have even had a chance to choose their nominee:
PATCH.COM: Howard County Republican State Sen. Allan Kittleman is getting an unusual endorsement at his campaign event Tuesday afternoon for a run for Howard County executive. Baltimore County Democratic State Sen. Bobby Zirkin said he is supporting Kittleman's run for his new role at an event at Lake Kittamaqundi. "Yeah, I'm supporting him," Zirkin said by phone on his way to the afternoon announcement....

for Howard County Executive. Maryland Juice has not confirmed the report below:

What's going on here? As I understand it, should Kittleman win the 2014 GOP primary, he's likely to face off against Democratic HoCo Councilmember Courtney Watson for County Executive. I know some folks will say there's nothing wrong with breaking ranks on party, but even they must admit this is a very unusual circumstance. The cynic in me thinks that someone might be a bit paranoid about losing a General Election next year. On the other hand, maybe these State Senators are all best pals or something. Then again, Maryland Juice did name State Senator Allan Kittleman our 2012 Marylander of the Year for breaking ranks with his own party to support marriage equality. I don't feel too bad about it either since he even took the spirit of the award to heart by supporting death penalty repeal the following session. Win or lose, perhaps some of Kittleman's GOP colleagues could steal a page from his playbook.... But I'm still rooting for the Dems, of course. My party is (in my opinion) still the better vehicle for attempting to advance progressive politics & civil liberties (*cough*) and challenge corporate power (*cough cough*)  -- notwithstanding the betrayal of many, many elected Democrats on these issues.

JUICE #3: DEL. BRIAN FELDMAN EARNS ENDORSEMENT OF D15 CAUCUS IN QUEST TO BE APPOINTED TO REPLACE STATE SEN. ROB GARAGIOLA - Maryland Juice previously wrote about the District 15 State Senate vacancy being caused by the resignation of Rob Garagiola. We also noted that Del. Brian Feldman wanted to be chosen by the MoCo Democratic Central Committee to replace Garagiola. I guess that makes sense since they both sponsored and voted for legislation forcing Montgomery County taxpayers to give weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin $4.5 million every decade. Oh, but I kid the good Democrats of Montgomery County; nobody remembers the great lobbyist-driven Lockheed giveaway of 2013, right?....

In any case, today we received the following announcement from the District 15 Democratic Caucus (a political club in D15), noting that they endorsed Del. Feldman to replace Garagiola. The news was sent via a copied message from the D15 caucus leaders addressed to MCDCC Chair Gabe Albornoz:
June 10, 2013

The Honorable Gabriel Albornoz
Chair, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee
3720 Farragut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895

Re: Unanimous Support for Appointment of Delegate Brian J. Feldman to Maryland Senate Seat Being Vacated by Hon. Rob Garagiola

Dear Chairman Albornoz and Members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee:

Please receive this letter from the District 15 Democratic Caucus announcing our unanimous support and unconditional recommendation for Delegate Brian Feldman to be appointed by the Central Committee to succeed Sen. Rob Garagiola in the Maryland Senate. While we are saddened by Sen. Garagiola’s resignation after his many years of outstanding service to District 15, the board of directors of the District 15 Democratic Caucus unanimously voted for and recommends Brian to the Central Committee. We proudly urge the Committee to submit his name at the appropriate time to Governor O’Malley in accordance with the Maryland Constitution.

Delegate Feldman, an attorney, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2002 and was reelected by substantial margins in 2006 and 2010. Prior to his election, Brian served as President of the District 15 Democratic Club. Before 2002, Republicans occupied three of the four legislative seats in District 15. With the assistance of a strong Democratic precinct organization, Brian worked with his District colleagues over the next decade to transform a legislative district that had leaned Republican into what is now a district represented entirely by Democrats. The nature of District 15’s demographics does not allow us to assume a Democratic victory in every election. As a result, Brian’s reputation and his broad voter support will enhance the likelihood that the Senate seat will remain Democratic. Brian has been a member of the MCDCC Democratic Forum for many years and he was an Obama Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Brian has risen to leadership positions in the House of Delegates and received the respect of the House leadership and from his peers. After being re-elected in 2006, he was selected by the Speaker of the House to serve as Chair of the House Subcommittee on Banking, Economic Development, Science and Technology. In 2007, he was elected unanimously by his colleagues in the 24-member Montgomery County House Delegation to serve as its Chair and served in that capacity for 5 consecutive years. After the 2010 election, the Speaker appointed Brian to the leadership position of House Parliamentarian where he is responsible for making parliamentary rulings on the House Floor, often during contentious debates involving the General Assembly’s most controversial proposals, including involving special legislative sessions called by the Governor. In each position he held, Brian distinguished himself and received the admiration of his colleagues for his performance.

In the House of Delegates, Brian has been a remarkably effective legislator having sponsored and gained passage of numerous key bills that have enhanced the quality of life in Montgomery County and benefited Maryland’s economy in many ways. Brian is well known for being a pioneering legislator for the state’s emerging biotechnology sector, an industry which has become a leading economic engine in Montgomery County and which is critical to the county’s future. In 2005, the Biotechnology Industry Organization named Brian as its “State Legislator of the Year” for the entire nation. Brian has also sponsored legislation and navigated it through the General Assembly process including the landmark law which required for the first time that reliability standards be established for Maryland electric companies, including PEPCO; providing service disabled veteran owned small businesses enhanced opportunities; and supporting economic development programs which create new jobs.

Brian is part of House Speaker Mike Busch’s senior leadership team. Working collaboratively with other Democratic leaders of the General Assembly and with Governor O’Malley, he most recently helped pass an agenda that received national attention. It included the Marriage Equality Act, Death Penalty Repeal, Gun Control, and Off-Shore Wind projects. We believe Brian’s success as a senior House of Delegate’s leader, his proven ability to collaborate with colleagues from across the state, his knowledge of the nuances of the legislative process, and his dedicated work ethic would make him an outstanding Senator.

Brian’s background and extensive experience, both in the General Assembly and as an experienced attorney, are valuable assets for our County and District 15 in the State Senate. His proven electoral success in District 15 is also critically important as we seek to successfully defend the Senate seat in this legislative district that was the most recent District in the county to elect a Republican. Finally, we understand that the other three current District 15 state legislators - Delegates Kathleen Dumais and Aruna Miller and Senator Garagiola - support Brian’s appointment to the Senate. Their voices should be seriously considered as they are committed to continuing to achieve success for District 15 and Montgomery County in the General Assembly.

For all of these reasons, the District 15 Democratic Caucus unanimously recommends and respectfully requests that the Central Committee support Delegate Brian J. Feldman for the soon to be vacated Senate seat. If you have any questions, please contact Chairman Jeff Williams at jwilliams@xxxxxx.xxx or at (301) XXX-XXXX.

Very truly yours,

Jeffrey Ross Williams Tim Whitehouse
Chairman Vice Chairman 

Friday, May 31, 2013

INTERESTING: Does Del. Jolene Ivey Want to Join Atty General Doug Gansler's Gubernatorial Ticket? // PLUS: More Tea Leaves

The big political news of the week has been that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown has chosen Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to serve as his running mate in the 2014 gubernatorial battle. Politicos are now chattering over the developing dynamics of the race, and commentary is coming in from some interesting figures. Below Maryland Juice dissects recent commentary on the state of the gubernatorial race from Delegate Jolene Ivey (Democrat, Prince George's). But first, about the implications of the Brown-Ulman ticket (excerpt below):
DAILY RECORD:  David Moon, a Democratic political consultant and blogger for byrscdr.cn, said Gansler and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown appear to be taking opposite paths in their quest to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley.... Brown became the first hopeful to officially announce his candidacy this month, taking cues from lessons apparently learned during O’Malley’s first campaign for governor prior to the 2006 election.

Gansler’s strategy has been different, Moon said, because of a belief in his camp that a campaign could lose steam or peak too early.... That strategy could backfire, Moon said, as Brown and new running mate Ken Ulman are being talked about as frontrunners....

JUICE #1: TEA LEAVES IN DELEGATE JOLENE IVEY'S COMMENTS ABOUT MARYLAND GOVERNOR'S RACE  //  DOES SHE WANT TO JOIN TEAM GANSLER? - Maryland Juice was very, very intrigued by Delegate Jolene Ivey's recent appearance on Bruce DePuyt's morning news show on News Channel 8. The point of interest is that I had recently written about possible running mates for Attorney General Doug Gansler, and some of my sources mentioned Del. Ivey (see Juice #4). But I had no clue whether she would want to leave Annapolis to gamble on a statewide run. Judging by her comments below, I would say Delegate Jolene Ivey definitely seems interested in teaming up with Gansler:

MARYLAND JUICE ANALYSIS: In the video above, Del. Ivey appears to be positioning herself to run with Doug Gansler. She offers lukewarm praise for Ken Ulman ("he's nice"), dismisses Mizeur's candidacy ("can't see her winning"), questions Ruppersberger's vigor ("does he have the energy?") -- and to top it all off, Ivey suggests that Gansler would do best to choose someone from Prince George's County, who (....wait for it....) is a woman and/or an African American candidate. Could she be describing .... herself?  Interesting tea leaves. But given the glacial pace of Doug Gansler's campaign roll-out, we could be waiting a lot longer to see how this story unfolds! Oy vey.

JUICE #2: GAZETTE COLUMNIST RACIALIZES ANTHONY BROWN'S CAMPAIGN, MOCO SENATORS GARAGIOLA & KING RESPOND? // MORE TEA LEAVES - Rightwing, old-school , by putting the gubernatorial campaign of Anthony Brown through a purely racial lens (excerpt below):
BLAIR LEE VIA GAZETTE: So, as the contenders come to the starting gate, let’s handicap the Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls while mindful that next year’s primary is largely about race and place — about racial and regional rivalries and balance....

Lt. Gov. Brown kicked off his bid for the top spot last week. He has a solid gold resume (Harvard twice over, Iraq war vet, state legislature, etc.) and he’s African-American (ok, Jamaican-American) in a state where blacks can be up to 35 percent of the primary vote.... Apparently Brown’s strategy is to build a leftist coalition of blacks, guilty white liberals and remnants of the O’Malley machine echoing both O’Malley and Obama....

Who will pay for all this? The rich (which in Maryland means incomes over $100,000). And who will benefit? All those lower-income minorities whose votes Brown covets? And just in case minority voters miss the racial pitch, Brown’s campaign colors are, you guessed it, brown. Brown says his campaign is “more about results than race,” but it’s really more about race than results....
More interesting than Lee's latest screed is that of Montgomery County (excerpt below):
SENATORS GARAGIOLA & KING:  We were very disturbed by Blair Lee’s recent column [“2014 is about race and place,” May 17] about Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown launching his campaign for governor. It’s clear that rather than attending, reading or watching the speech of Brown’s announcement, Mr. Lee presented his own distorted world view as fact and resorted to what is essentially race baiting....

Throughout his speech, Anthony Brown made it clear that he is running for governor because he will fight for families that are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, he will fight for better opportunities for our children, and he will fight to help businesses succeed in every corner of Maryland so people who want good jobs can find them. These are areas where families of all races and incomes live, and Brown made it quite clear that he wants to represent all of them should he be elected governor.
Does this mean the pair of State Senators who drafted this letter will soon be joining the Brown-Ulman team?

JUICE #3: BETHESDA MAGAZINE PROFILES DEL. HEATHER MIZEUR // MORE TROUBLE FOR GANSLER? - While running mate gossip has been the big news with the Brown and Gansler campaigns, Del. Heather Mizeur has been diligently traveling the state on her quest to become Governor. for her thoughts on the race (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE:  The odometer on Heather Mizeur’s Chevy Volt has racked up 15,000 miles since she purchased it last October. “Every evening, I’m in some different corner of the state, and Saturdays and Sundays are usually filled with three to five events in any one day,” the two-term Takoma Park delegate related in an interview this week....

While saying a “formal decision” won’t come until this summer, Mizeur is holding house parties across the state to introduce herself to voters, while working actively to raise funds for a gubernatorial run...

Mizeur touted the precedent-setting aspects of her candidacy as she expressed confidence in her ability to narrow this gap. “The energy that is behind a candidacy like mine and the interest in breaking a few historic barriers – I would be Maryland’s first woman governor and the nation’s first openly gay one – opens up an energized donor network that is interested in helping to move this campaign forward,” she said....

Gansler’s life could be further complicated if Mizeur ends up as the only credible contender in the contest besides himself and Brown....

JUICE #4: HOCO DEMOCRATS RALLYING AROUND KEN ULMAN - While the rival campaigns start ramping up, the Brown-Ulman campaign is moving quickly on setting up their team. Judging by , it appears that high profile Howard County Democrats are rallying behind the Brown-Ulman ticket (excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER: After they declared “Ken Ulman Day” in Howard County Thursday, the four Democrats on the five-member County Council unofficially declared Monday “Ken Ulman and a Secret Partner Day.” This was a joking reference to the not-so-secret announcement planned on Monday by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown that Howard County Executive Ulman would join his ticket as candidate for lieutenant governor in the 2014 gubernatorial race.
Howard County Democrats returning home from the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Clarksville Thursday night even found a robo-call from Brown on their answering machines inviting them to the announcement on Columbia’s lakefront Monday morning. There would be coffee and doughnuts along with a “a big campaign announcement” of his running mate, promised Brown, who formally declared his run for governor at a rally three weeks ago....

While Ulman himself still wasn’t disclosing his plans, McPherson referred to him as “lieutenant governor” and suggested he put an award he received on his desk on the second floor of the State House. “We’ve been hearing a lot about Ken Ulman,” [HoCo Democratic Party Chair Michael McPherson] said. “We look forward to hearing great thing about Ken for years to come....”


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

LEAKED EMAIL: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown & HoCo Exec Ken Ulman Officially Forming a Ticket for Maryland Governor's Race

Maryland Juice has just caught wind of in his quest to become the next Free State Governor. No surprise here -- it's Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (excerpt below):
DAILY RECORD: Howard County Executive Ken Ulman will join Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown‘s ticket in next year’s race for governor. The official announcement will come June 3 in Columbia, according to an email circulated by Annapolis lobbyists.

David Nitkin, director of communications for Howard County, confirmed Wednesday morning an announcement would be made June 3 in Columbia about the 2014 election but would not confirm the substance of the announcement....

LEAKED EMAIL: Maryland Juice obtained a copy of the leaked email mentioned above:
From:      Robin Shaivitz
Sent:       Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:08 AM
To:          XXXX@alexander-cleaver.com
Subject:  The Rumor is True!

Yes, friends, the worst kept rumor of the political season is true. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman will be joining Lt. Governor Anthony Brown's ticket for the upcoming Governor's race!  The announcement will take place on the morning of June 3 at the Columbia lakefront. Ken told me to invite all of you who can make it around 9:00 am.

Ken and his entire family have been our friends in Columbia since I was a young Mom hanging out on soccer fields!  Now as County Executive, Ken has done an outstanding job to ensure that my home county is the best place to live and work in Maryland. He plans to bring those skills to the Brown ticket.

Anthony has had 7 years as the #2 slot in the Administration. He no doubt knows what it is like in this job. I fully expect that they are the victors. Ken will have much to say in some specific areas of interest, such as business and economic development.

By no means is this race a foregone conclusion. Attorney General Doug Gansler has the money to make a terrific primary race. Plus, the candidates on the Republican side include Blaine Young, the very colorful Frederick County Commissioner, and David Craig, the popular and very experienced Harford County Executive.

There is lots to look forward to in the upcoming race!


Robin F. Shaivitz
Chief Operating Officer
Government Relations Division

Attorneys at Law
54 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401

QUICK ANALYSIS: What does this mean for the race going forward? First, Anthony Brown will now be able to double his campaign appearances by dispatching Ulman to various parts of the state. Second, we can expect that Ken Ulman, like many political running mates, may be tasked with handling some of the Brown-Ulman ticket's dirty work (think responding to negative messages and being more free to serve in a "pit bull" role as examples). Most importantly, a Maryland Juice reader has reminded me that the Brown-Ulman alliance means that Attorney General Doug Gansler's cash advantage has been largely minimized by the combined war chest of the Lt. Governor and HoCo Executive. Lastly, this puts pressure on the other candidates to firm up their campaign timelines.

For example, this morning Barry Rascovar wrote in the Carroll County Times an article with the following headline: "." Indeed, the 2014 gubernatorial campaign is moving into full swing, and the time to sh*t or get off the pot is now (excerpt below):
CARROLL COUNTY TIMES: Dutch Ruppersberger has a major decision to make. Will the former Baltimore County Executive, who represents much of this area in Congress, run for governor? It won’t be an easy call for the five-term Democrat....

Ruppersberger has broad name recognition in the Baltimore region. That’s something Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur lack. He’s the most moderate of the bunch. Everyone else is left or far-left of center....
Ruppersberger’s decision may boil down to whether he is willing to give up his seat in Congress. Right now, he’s an important figure because he’s the top House Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. But he’s term-limited and must give up his prestigious seat on the panel next year. Then he becomes an unimportant minority member of Congress....


Thursday, April 18, 2013

JUICE: Sen. Robey, Del. Deboy & Del. Malone Retiring (Zirkin Too?) // PLUS: Don Dwyer Raffles AK-47 & 2014 AG Forum

Below Maryland Juice presents a round-up of recent tidbits relating to the 2014 election cycle, including several retirement announcements that promise to re-align politics in the Howard County area:

JUICE #1: DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR JIM ROBEY NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION - District 13 State Senator Jim Robey has announced he will not be running for re-election in 2014. (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: The end of the 2014 General Assembly session in Annapolis will mark the end of 48 years in public service for Howard County Sen. Jim Robey. Robey, an Elkridge Democrat, confirmed Tuesday, April 16, that he will retire next year after eight years in the Maryland Senate.... "I just feel it's time to step aside and let someone else step in."

Robey, 72, has served in the Senate since 2007 representing District 13, which covers much of southern Howard County. He previously served two terms as Howard County Executive from 1998 to 2006.... Robey said he "thoroughly enjoyed" his time in Annapolis, but acknowledged the legislature has made some tough decisions over the past two years....
Maryland Juice first caught wind of Sen. Robey's retirement when a reader pointed us in the direction of the following remark on Howard County Executive :
KEN ULMAN: Senator Jim Robey is a solid public servant who does what he thinks is right on behalf of others. That's the legacy he'll leave behind. Wishing him lots of luck on his retirement! Thank you for your service to Howard County!

JUICE #2: DELEGATES STEVE DEBOY & JIM MALONE ALSO RETIRING // 3 OPEN SEATS IN MARYLAND HOUSE DISTRICT 12 - State Senator Jim Robey's retirement is piled on top of multiple retirements from politicians representing parts of Howard County. Indeed, all three House of Delegates seats in Maryland's District 12 will be vacant in 2014. Last September, Delegate Liz Bobo announced she would not seek re-election, and this week Bryan Sears from Catonsville Patch reported that the other two (excerpt below):
CATONSVILLE PATCH: Dels. Steve DeBoy and Jim Malone say this term in the House of Delegates will be their last. In separate interviews, the two Democrats who represent the Catonsville and Arbutus areas said they have decided not run for a fourth and fifth term respectively....

DeBoy, who is finishing his third term, said redistricting and political changes in the House of Delegates were two factors in his decision..... Some of the issues that concerned DeBoy was the recent passage of the repeal of the death penalty and the recent gun control law....
Indeed, Steve DeBoy attributes his retirement decision to his disagreement with death penalty repeal and Maryland's new gun regulations. But Deboy's colleague James Malone was a bit more muted in his response. Shortly after the Patch article came out, Del. Malone emailed the following public announcement to his supporters:
DEL. JAMES MALONE: First and foremost, I want to thank you--my family, my friends and my supporters for your kindness and friendship over almost two decades of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates.  I feel that I have proudly served with distinction the area where I grew up, live and continue to raise my children. 

After serious and careful consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014.  As a result, I am canceling my fundraiser scheduled on May 16th, 2013.  I look forward to spending more time with my daughter Danica and my son Little Jimmy.

Over my and my family's lifetime in politics, my Dad, Mom and I have met so many wonderful people.  Thank you for sharing with me your time, your stories, your support and your friendship.

I look forward to continuing to serve the rest of my term and promise to always be a positive influence in our community,

May God Bless each and every one of you!

James E. Malone, Jr.
Delegate, District 12A 
Baltimore & Howard counties 

REASONS FOR THE RETIREMENT: Maryland Juice contacted some Annapolis sources for reaction to the news, and the consensus seems to be that District 12 is likely to elect three progressive Democrats to the House of Delegates in 2014. But one source explained some of the backstory to the retirements:
ANONYMOUS SOURCE: I can't tell you how bizarre this is. DeBoy and Malone were redistricted into a more Democratic district to give them easy elections and keep them around. But they were so used to voting conservative that they literally couldn't become liberal enough for their new districts.

Redistricting was designed to help these two, but they couldn't have it both ways. They couldn't have both the easy elections they wanted, AND vote the conservative way they wanted to. They voted their old districts perfectly but couldn't seem to make the transition to their new district. Well, that likely means two more progressive Dems from the Columbia-area.
Indeed Delegates DeBoy and Malone are both Democrats but over time have built relatively conservative voting records for Maryland Democrats. Notably, their current district includes parts of Baltimore and Howard counties, but starting in the 2014 election cycle their two seats will be merged with the far more liberal District 12B to create a new three-member House of Delegates District 12. Most importantly, the new D12 is projected to be dominated by the liberal Democrats in Columbia, Maryland. A second anonymous source remarked to Maryland Juice: "I think they saw the writing on the wall."

CONSERVATIVE VOTING RECORDS ENDANGER INCUMBENT DEMOCRATS: The writing on the wall in this instance was that DeBoy and Malone's voting records were clearly out-of-step with the new District 12. Delegate Steve DeBoy voted against the Dream Act, marriage equality, death penalty repeal, the gas tax, gun regulations, and drivers licenses for undocumented residents. Similarly, Delegate James Malone voted against the Dream Act, death penalty repeal, gun regulations, and the gas tax.

Given these voting records, the potential challenges facing DeBoy and Malone were becoming more real every day. After all, when Del. Bobo announced her retirement last September, almost a dozen candidates' names emerged as possible challengers for the single open District 12 seat. And in recent weeks, one 2014 candidate even began making an issue out of the incumbents' votes on death penalty repeal. Even still, the two conservative Democrats did themselves no favor with their new voters by continuing to vote against progressive issues in the face of these challengers. The race is now on to see what becomes of the new District 12, but one thing is certain: we are likely to see a stampede of HoCo Democrats running for the three open seats in 2014!

JUICE #3: IS STATE SENATOR BOBBY ZIRKIN CONSIDERING RETIRING? - Take the following bit of juice with a grain or two of salt, but several Maryland Juice sources are indicating that State Senator Bobby Zirkin is also weighing a potential retirement in 2014. I'll believe it when I see it, but a few sources swear that the District 11 Democrat sounds like he's serious. To be sure, Zirkin is fairly young for someone rumored to be weighing retirement, but after two terms in the House and two terms in the Senate, he will have been in office for 16 years when his current term ends.

If Zirkin does retire, there could be some interesting dynamics in the race for his seat. District 11 is currently represented by three Democratic members in the House of Delegates: Jon Cardin, Dan Morhaim and Dana Stein. An open Senate seat could provide Delegate Cardin a fall-back plan for his 2014 Attorney General run -- but sources seem to think that is an unlikely path for Cardin. Maryland Juice will be keeping an eye on a possible Zirkin retirement!

JUICE #4: TEA PARTY DELEGATE DON DWYER RAFFLING AK-47 AND AR-15 RIFLES FOR 2014 FUNDRAISER - Tea Party Delegate Don Dwyer faces a difficult re-election in 2014. First, redistricting drew him into an inhospitable new district, and then he was involved in a drunk boating accident that left several children injured. At last check Dwyer was embarking on a quixotic bid to switch parties and try and retain his seat as a Democrat. But Dwyer's latest move might be his strangest stunt yet.

To fundraise for the 2014 cycle, Dwyer is now raffling the now notorious AK-47 and AR-15 rifles that were recently banned in Maryland. He is hosting the event before the state's new gun regulations take effect, so for $10 Dwyer's supporters have a chance to take him assault weapons. (excerpt below):
ABC NEWS: Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer has announced a fundraising event in support of guns rights and his re-election campaign. As part of the event he is selling raffle tickets for an AR-15 and AK-47. Tickets for the assault riffles are available for $10 and can even be purchased online.
 Check out the following screencap from :

JUICE #5: BALTIMORE'S BEST DEMOCRATIC CLUB HOSTS 2014 ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATES FORUM - Baltimore's "B.E.S.T. Democratic Club is hosting a forum with candidates for 2014 Attorney General on June 6, 2013. See the :
BEST DEMOCRATIC CLUB: We hope to see everyone at the next general meeting which will be June 6, 2013 from 6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. The location is 4709 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21214. The theme for this meeting is “The Attorney General Round Table” where we have invited all those that are running for the Maryland Attorney General seat to have a discussion with Baltimore.

Invited Guest

Delegate Aisha Braveboy
Delegate Jon Cardin - Confirmed
Delegate Bill Frick - Confirmed
Senator Brian Frosh


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Maryland House Approves Transportation Funding Plan 76-63 // ROLL CALL: Analysis of How Lawmakers Voted on the Gas Tax

Maryland Juice recently highlighted the state's efforts to raise critical transportation funds to help maintain highways & bridges and build new transit lines (eg: the MoCo/PG Purple Line and Baltimore Red Line). Our sources were indicating that the vote on Maryland's $3.4 billion infrastructure funding bill was going to be very close, since the primary vehicle for raising funds was a proposed gas tax increase. But on Friday afternoon, the House of Delegates did indeed approve the historic transportation funding package in a fairly close 76-63 vote.

22 DEMOCRATIC HOUSE MEMBERS JOINED MARYLAND GOP IN OPPOSING O'MALLEY'S TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PLAN - , but below we analyze the details a bit and highlight the unusual votes. First, it should be noted that every single Republican Delegate voted against Governor O'Malley's revenue plan. Meanwhile, 22 Democrats joined 41 Republicans in opposing transportation funding.

Democratic opposition to Gov. Martin O'Malley's transportation funding plan came mostly from ideologically conservative Dems in the House of Delegates (details below). While some of the members surely have alternate explanations for their votes against the gas tax hike, it is worth noting that of the 22 Democratic House "no" votes, all but four members also cast votes against either the , or repeal:

  1. Pamela Beidle (Anne Arundel) - also voted against Dream Act & death penalty repeal
  2. Aisha Braveboy (Prince George’s) - also voted against marriage equality
  3. Eric Bromwell (Baltimore County) - also voted against Dream Act & death penalty repeal
  4. Emmett Burns (Baltimore County) - also voted against Dream Act & marriage equality
  5. Rudolph Cane (Wicomico) - also voted against marriage equality
  6. Frank Conaway (Baltimore)
  7. Norman Conway (Wicomico) - also voted against Dream Act, marriage equality & death penalty repeal
  8. Steven DeBoy (Baltimore County) - also voted against Dream Act, marriage equality & death penalty repeal
  9. Barbara Frush (Prince George’s)
  10. Mary-Dulany James (Harford) - also voted against Dream Act, marriage equality & death penalty repeal
  11. Kevin Kelly (Allegany) - also voted against Dream Act, marriage equality & death penalty repeal
  12. Stephen Lafferty (Baltimore County) - also voted against Dream Act
  13. James Malone (Baltimore) - also voted against Dream Act & death penalty repeal
  14. Joseph Minnick (Baltimore County) - also voted against Dream Act, marriage equality & death penalty repeal
  15. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (Baltimore County)
  16. John Olszewski (Baltimore County) - also voted against Dream Act & death penalty repeal
  17. David Rudolph (Cecil) - also voted against Dream Act & death penalty repeal
  18. Luiz Simmons (Montgomery)
  19. Theodore Sophocleus (Anne Arundel) - also voted against Dream Act, marriage equality & death penalty repeal
  20. Geraldine Valentino-Smith (Prince George’s) - also voted against marriage equality
  21. Michael Weir (Baltimore County) - also voted against Dream Act, marriage equality & death penalty repeal
  22. John Wood (St. Mary’s) - also voted against Dream Act, marriage equality & death penalty repeal

DEL. LUIZ SIMMONS CAST THE LONE "NO" VOTE FROM MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Meanwhile, in liberal Montgomery County, 23 out of 24 Delegates cast votes in favor of the transportation plan. Only Democratic Delegate Luiz Simmons cast a vote against the gas tax (Note: ). Simmons represents House District 17, alongside Sen. Jennie Forehand and Delegates Kumar Barve & Jim Gilchrest. But while Simmons voted against the transportation funding plan, his colleagues Barve & Gilchrest voted for the bill. Maryland-based political consultant :

Indeed, Maryland Juice has been hearing buzz about a potential 2014 run for State Senate by District 17 Delegate Luiz Simmons. The seat is currently held by fellow Democrat, State Senator Jennie Forehand.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC "NO" VOTES IN THE MARYLAND HOUSE - Three Prince George's Democrats voted against the revenue package: Delegates Aisha Braveboy, Barbara Frush, and Geraldine Valentino-Smith. Del. Braveboy represents District 25 in a 3-member House District with Dereck Davis and Melony Griffith. But Braveboy parted ways with her D25 colleagues in voting "no" on the transportation plan. It is worth noting that she's also a potential candidate for Attorney General in 2014.

Meanwhile, the Delegates representing District 12 continued to demonstrate ideological differences. House District 12 is currently represented by three Maryland Democrats: retiring Delegate Liz Bobo in subdistrict 12B and Delegates Steve Deboy and Jim Malone in subdistricct 12A. But even those these three Delegates are all Democrats, Deboy and Malone persistently join the Republicans on close votes -- even though their new 2014 district will include liberal Columbia, Maryland and scores of new progressive voters. Naturally, Bobo voted for the transportation funds, while Deboy and Malone voted against the infrastructure money. Some of their 2014 Democratic Primary competitors have taken notice of these political dynamics.

Here are a few more instances of Democrats in the House disagreeing with their legislative district colleagues:

MARYLAND GOP HEADS TO SOUTH CAROLINA DURING GAS TAX DEBATE - Amusingly, while the House of Delegates held a close vote on a Maryland gas tax hike, the Maryland Republican Party was holding press events in South Carolina. (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Gov. Martin O'Malley took the stage Saturday at a high school in this early presidential primary state, telling an auditorium of South Carolina Democrats that his principles worked in Maryland — and they'd work elsewhere....

The Maryland Republican Party's executive director took issue with the achievements O'Malley cited. David Ferguson drove his truck down to Charleston to stage an event outside the West Ashley High School where O'Malley spoke....


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