Showing posts with label larry hogan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label larry hogan. Show all posts

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.

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, October 6, 2015

POLL: MD Supports Obama, Hogan, Pot & Immigrants (1 Is Not Like The Others) // PLUS: Marylanders on Presidential Race

Below Maryland Juice provides highlights from a new Goucher Poll on the Presidential race, Governor Larry Hogan and a few policy debates. You can see the summary data below. A few quick items of interest:
  1. Slim majorities of Marylanders approve of Larry Hogan & Barack Obama's jobs, but many residents don't yet have an opinion on Hogan.
  2. Governor Hogan's issue ratings are lower, and he receives his lowest marks on education -- the most important issues facing the state and the only issue where Democrats disapprove 
  3. Marylanders support marijuana legalization, and a super-majority of residents support a path to citizenship for undocumented residents.
  4. Marylanders disapprove of the job Congress is doing by a whopping 83%.
  5. It's early in the Presidential race, but Hillary Clinton tops the polls for Maryland Democrats & Martin O'Malley is scraping the bottom in his own state

Who Would Maryland Democrats Vote for in Presidential Primary?
  • Hillary Clinton: 43%
  • Joe Biden: 23%
  • Bernie Sanders: 17%
  • Martin O'Malley: 2%

Who Do Maryland Democrats Think Will Win Nomination?
  • Hillary Clinton: 54%
  • Joe Biden: 14%
  • Bernie Sanders: 8%

Marylanders' Approval of Governor Hogan's Job as Governor:
  • Approve: 58%
  • Disapprove: 18%
  • Don't Know: 23%

Marylanders' Approval of Governor Hogan's Handling of Issues (ranked by importance):

Approve Disapprove
Public education 40 33 +7
Taxes 51 29 +22
Economic growth 52 21 +31
Job creation 42 28 +14
Crime 43 32 +11
Transportation 50 29 +21
Environment 43 27 +16

Marylanders' Approval of President Obama's Job as President:
  • Approve: 53%
  • Disapprove: 38%
  • Don't Know: 7%

Marylanders' Approval of Congress' Job:
  • Disapprove: 83%
  • Approve: 9%
  • Don't Know: 7%

Marylanders on Marijuana Legalization:
  • Support Legalization: 52%
  • Oppose Legalization: 42%

Marylanders on Who Should Decide Marijuana Policy:
  • States Should Decide: 64%
  • Federal Government Should Decide: 31%

Marylanders on Redistricting:
  • Prefer Independent Commission: 73%
  • Prefer Redistricting by Electeds: 21%

Marylanders on Starting School After Labor Day:
  • Support Starting After Labor Day: 72%
  • Oppose Starting After Labor Day: 19%

Marylanders on Undocumented Immigrants:
  • Allow Them to Stay In Jobs With Path to Citizenship: 62%
  • Make Them Leave Jobs & the USA: 20%
  • Allow Them to Stay Temporarly In Jobs Without Path to Citizenship: 13%

GOP War on Voting Comes to MoCo // MD Board of Elections to Vote OCT 15 on Ending Early Voting Sites: Here's the Process

Here we go again.... Four months after Governor Larry Hogan a bill to restore voting rights to 40,000 people returning to society from prison, the Maryland GOP is back at it. (MCBOE) to replace two of nine high-performing early voting sites with less populated polling locations closer to Republicans (excerpt below, emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON POST: The Republican majority on the Montgomery County Board of Elections, led by an appointee of Gov. Larry Hogan (R), voted Monday to shift two heavily used early-voting sites to less populous locations, prompting Democratic charges­ of voter suppression. 
The board voted 3 to 2 to move early voting from the Marilyn Praisner Community Center in Burtonsville, which serves high-poverty East County communities along U.S. 29, to the Longwood Community Recreation Center in Brookeville, 13 miles to the northwest. The panel also shifted early balloting from the Jane Lawton Community Recreation Center in Chevy Chase, about a half-mile from the Bethesda Metro station, to the Potomac Community Recreation Center, on Falls Road, 10 miles to the northwest....

THE PROCESS: WHAT HAPPENED & WHAT COMES NEXT: Notably, the party of the Governor (now a Republican) gets to appoint members to county boards of election. :
  • Jim Shalleck, President - Republican
  • Nahid Khozeimeh, Vice President - Republican
  • Mary Ann Keeffe, Secretary - Democrat
  • Alexander Vincent, Board Member - Republican
  • David Naimon, Board Member - Democrat

Notably, Jim Shalleck was the 2014 Republican candidate for Montgomery County Executive and formerly chaired the MoCo Republican Party. After listening to public testimony on Montgomery County's early vote locations, the MCBOE took a partly line vote (3-2) to close two early voting centers and replace them with locations closer to Republicans. The Montgomery County Republicans' proposal now heads to the five-member State Board of Elections (SBOE) for a final vote on October 15th. Notably the SBOE also now has a Republican majority, but one more person has to weigh in before this vote occurs: Linda Lamone, the State Administrator of the Board of Elections. Code of Maryland Regulation states (excerpt below):
MARYLAND CODE: Upon receipt of a form for a proposed early voting center, the State Administrator shall review and make a recommendation to the State Board as to whether to accept or reject the proposed early voting center....
Lamone could base a recommendation against the GOP's early voting proposal based on criteria listed in state regulations, including provisions that polling locations be "served by public transportation and roads" and have "parking facilities sufficient for early voting." Notably Lamone has served as Maryland's State Administrator since Governor Paris Glendening and previously foiled an attempt by Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich to remove her from her position.

The provision that sites be "served by public transportation" could be problematic for the Republicans' proposal to close the Burtonsville site and replace it with one at the Longwood Community Recreation Center in Brookeville. Only one bus route serves the Brookeville site (, and the bus only runs in the morning and evening on weekdays. Meanwhile, early voting is open all day.

If Lamone were to recommend against the early voting changes, it would take a super-majority of the SBOE to approve the Montgomery County Republicans' proposal. And if all else fails in stopping the Republican voter suppression effort, there is one final backstop: A few state legislators representing Montgomery County are contemplating legislation to increase the county's number of early voting sites from nine to eleven, using the two additional sites to restore polling locations in Chevy Chase and Burtonsville. (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery) said Wednesday that when the general Assembly reconvenes in January, he and Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Montgomery) will introduce a measure to expand the number of early voting sites in the county from nine to 11. The bill would restore the Marilyn Praisner Community Recreation Center in Burtonsville and the Jane Lawton Community Recreation Center in Chevy Chase to the list while retaining the two new sites selected by the board, Longwood Community Recreation Center in Brookeville and Potomac Community Recreation Center in Potomac....

[GOP MCBOE Chair] Shalleck said his only goal was to improve the “geographic diversity” of the sites, creating access to early voting for communities that have had none. But County Council staff have raised questions about whether the Longwood site meets all the Maryland criteria for early voting centers, specifically access to public transportation. [County Counicilmember Nancy] Navarro said the measure sponsored by Madaleno and Leudtke was “ a great idea. I’m really hoping this could be a fix,” she said....


VIDEO OF GOP BOARD OF ELECTIONS MEMBERS DISCUSSING THE CHANGES: In response to the controversy, Montgomery County Councilmembers held a public hearing to question the county Board of Elections (MCBOE) about the motivation for these changes. In the video clip below (posted by Councilmember Tom Hucker) you can see the recently appointed Republican Chair of the MCBOE Jim Shalleck admit that:
  1. Replacing the Burtonsville and Chevy Chase early voting sites with ones closer to Republicans would mean fewer voters live close to an early vote polling location
  2. Not a single person who testified at a public hearing about polling locations called for closing the Burtonsville or Chevy Chase polling locations
  3. Not a single person testified in favor of the proposed new sites in the less densely populated neighborhoods
  4. Republican members of the MCBOE held private calls with Republican Party leaders about changing the early voting sites

Let’s break the Republicans' decision down:

IMPACT OF THE GOP'S PROPOSED EARLY VOTING CHANGES: The move by the GOP Board to "expand the geographic reach of early voting" may seem innocuous, but is hard to see as anything but a partisan move -- instead of one based on fair and efficient election administration. points out that Chevy Chase's Lawton Community Center is the only western down-county early voting site within walking distance of a Metro station. The Republicans are proposing to close this polling location and open a new one in a far-less populated area in Potomac that is not Metro-accessible.

But what is most suspect about the GOP’s proposal is how it moves early voting away from the high concentration of minority voters in East County. You can visualize what the impact of this change by using the from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. The black star on the map below is the current Burtonsville early voting center. The shading around the star represents the concentration of minority voters:

Borders reflect approximately 5 mile radius from Praisner Center

The same voter suppression in Burtonsville holds true for lower-income voters. The following map was created using the developed by RTI International. Again, the star represents the Burtonsville early voting site, and the shading near the site represents lower income voters:

Unsurprisingly, these voters tend to vote . By comparison, the precincts around the Republicans proposed new site in Brookeville are among the handful of areas that Governor Hogan won in Montgomery County in 2014. The black star below represents the GOP's proposed new site in Brookeville, and the shading around the star represents the concentration of the Republican vote:

Thousands of low-income minority and Democratic-leaning voters will now be over 10 miles away from the nearest early voting center. But in Maryland show that the closer you are to an early voting site, the more likely you are to use it.

WHY THIS MATTERS IN 2016: Early voting use has surged ()  but its impact on turnout . Should we care then about these changes to early voting, especially when our friends across the aisle portend ?

One big reason is a new Maryland law taking effect that allows same day voter registration. Starting in 2016, Maryland residents can register to vote and cast a ballot at any early voting center for 8 days. According to , same-day registration would increase overall turnout especially among young adults, voters of color and low-income families. Research even suggests  that voter turnout is when same day registration is coupled with early voting. Moving early voter centers away from the voters most likely to benefit from same day registration? This is surely not the intention of the GOP....

BUT IT COULD’VE BEEN WORSE (HA): Facing perhaps unexpected pressure from the press and elected officials to fully explain their rationale for the early voting changes  -- Republican MCBOE Chair Jim Shalleck warned (transcript below, emphasis mine):
JIM SHALLECK: If we wanted to be political we could’ve cut Silver Spring and Wheaton - the two most heavily Democratic voting sites. But we didn’t.
The Republican Chairman's defense boils down to the fact that they could've suppressed even more voters than they did.  Beyond that Mr. Shalleck’s friends in the Montgomery County GOP put out a near incoherent of support spreading falsehoods - asserting that the Praisner site is “heavily used by residents of PG County” () or that Republicans are “making the early voting process more convenient” ().

EARLY VOTING WORKS WELL FOR MINORITIES AND LOW-INCOME VOTERS: The Washington Post’s about why early voting is important to minorities and low-income voters (excerpt below, emphasis mine)
WASHINGTON POST: Early voting is intimately bound up in race, not simply because minorities are more likely to take advantage of it, but because the policy itself addresses systemic barriers they face. When we decide to vote, we're not simply making a calculation about whether we like the candidates, or care about the issues at stake, or value the abstract idea of democracy. We also have to make calculations about how to get to the polls, whether we can spare the time to go there, and who will watch the kids while we're gone. 
These costs associated with voting — in lost pay, in childcare, in transit fares — are higher for minorities and the poor. Which is why they are among the largest beneficiaries of early, flexible voting.

Act now to stop the Maryland Republicans' voter suppression efforts:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

JUICE: Speaker Mike Busch Announces New Maryland House Leadership, Gansler Heads to Firm & Hogan for Public Finance?

Below Maryland Juice provides some post-election updates regarding leadership shuffles in Annapolis and more:

JUICE #1: MEET THE NEW DEMOCRATIC LEADERS IN THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES - Due to retirements and election losses, the House of Delegates was bound to go through a reshuffling of leadership and committee assignments. Speaker Mike Busch just sent out the following press release announcing some of the changes:
ANNAPOLIS, MD – House Speaker Michael E. Busch today announced his first round of leadership appointments following the 2014 general election.   Speaker Busch describes the group collectively as “the right additions to the existing House leadership team to help move us forward into the coming term.”    He adds, “We are fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals to help lead the House.”   Speaker Busch plans to announce additional leadership appointments and committee moves in the coming weeks.

Delegate Maggie McIntosh (Baltimore City, D43) will become Chairman of the Appropriations Committee.   Delegate McIntosh has chaired the Environmental Matters Committee since 2003, but served on the Appropriations Committee early on in her legislative career.  Said Speaker Busch, “Maggie McIntosh is one of the most well respected leaders in Annapolis and I have total confidence in her ability to manage the myriad of subjects that fall within the jurisdiction of the committee, most importantly legislative review and oversight of the State’s annual budget.  She is the right person to take the lead on budget issues as we continue to provide critical services to the citizens of our State and to use our resources to foster a growing economy.”  

Delegate Kumar Barve (Montgomery County, D17) will become the Chairman of the newly designated Environment & Transportation Committee (formerly Environmental Matters).   Moving forward, transportation policy issues will be consolidated within the Committee’s subject matter jurisdiction.   Delegate Barve has served as Majority Leader since 2003 and prior to that served on the House Economic Matters Committee under then-Chairman Busch.  He currently sits on the Ways and Means Committee.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Barve has demonstrated time and time again his command of complex issues and he is a natural choice of someone to guide State environment and transportation policy.”  

Delegate Adrienne Jones (Baltimore County, D10) will remain Speaker Pro Tem and will now oversee State higher education policy as Chairman of the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee in the Appropriations Committee.   Delegate Jones was Busch’s first appointment as a newly elected Speaker in 2003.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Jones is one of the most versatile leaders in the House.  She is a consensus builder and an extremely hard worker.  With job growth and economic development at the forefront of our agenda in the coming term, I can think of no better person to lead on policy and budget issues related to our system of higher education.”   Delegate Jones will also continue to serve as the Chairman of the Capital Budget Subcommittee.

Having served as an instrumental member of the Ways and Means Committee since 2003 and as the Chair of the Education Subcommittee since 2007, Delegate Anne R. Kaiser (Montgomery County, D14) has been appointed as the Majority Leader.  Delegate Kaiser will also maintain her roles on the Ways and Means Committee. “Anne Kaiser has worked tirelessly for the House Democratic Caucus and demonstrated leadership capabilities on crucial legislative priorities,” said Speaker Busch.

Assuming the role of Vice Chairman of the Environment and Transportation Committee will be Delegate Dana Stein (Baltimore County, D11).   Stein was first elected to the House in 2006 and serves on the Environmental Matters Committee.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Stein is a thoughtful legislator whose considerable knowledge and even temperament make him an ideal choice for Vice Chairman.”

Delegate Sally Jameson (Charles County, D28) will become Vice Chairman of the Economic Matters Committee.   Delegate Jameson is a long-time member of the Committee (since 2003) and is known for her work on energy issues.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Jameson brings a business background and a pragmatic approach to the important workforce and economic development issues handled in the Economic Matters Committee.”

Delegate Marvin Holmes (Prince George’s County, D23B) will become Chairman of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.    Delegate Holmes has been a member of the House since 2003 and has served in a number of leadership roles.   “Delegate Holmes is a model public servant and a person of great integrity.   He is the clear choice to Chair this important committee,” said Speaker Busch.

Delegate James Proctor (Prince Georges and Charles Counties, D27A), Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, will remain in that role and also assume the House Chairmanship of the Spending Affordability Committee.     The Committee plays a critical role in the budgeting process as it annually establishes State spending guidelines based on current and projected economic conditions.   Said Speaker Busch, “Delegate Proctor’s commitment to public service and his budgetary experience is unparalleled and I look forward to his continued leadership in this new role.”

# # # 

JUICE #2: ATTORNEY GENERAL DOUG GANSLER TO BECOME PARTNER AT DC LAW FIRM - Doug Gansler will wait out the next four years until the 2018 cycle as a partner at a downtown law firm. He announced the move in a press release yesterday (excerpt below):
Attorney General Doug Gansler Announces Post-Term Plans
Law firm partnership fits with AG’s extensive litigation experience

Baltimore, MD (Nov. 18, 2014) – Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that he will be joining the law firm, BuckleySandler LLP, when he completes his second term as Maryland Attorney General on January 12, 2015. AG Gansler will step into BuckleySandler as a Partner in its Washington, DC office where he will play a leading role in the firm’s government enforcement and litigation practices. The former President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) will also assist firm clients in complying with and managing increased regulatory expectations on issues ranging from consumer protection to cybersecurity and privacy. 

“I am extremely proud of the great things we’ve been able to accomplish during my eight years as Maryland’s Attorney General,” said Attorney General Gansler. “I will be leaving this office satisfied that our efforts made a positive impact on Maryland and across the country.”

“Joining BuckleySandler gives me the opportunity to practice law with longtime friends at one of the nation’s preeminent litigation and enforcement law firms. I am looking forward to putting those years of litigation experience to work on a regular basis.”

JUICE #3: CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORMERS SEE OPPORTUNITY IN HOGAN WIN - This week Common Cause MD and Progressive MD convened campaign finance reformers for a panel discussion in Silver Spring, MD. Speaking toward the opportunities to tackle the problem of money-in-politics were gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur, Congressman John Sarbanes, Montgomery Councilmember Phil Andrews, and Delegate Eric Luedtke. The packed house heard interesting commentary indicating reformers are hopeful that incoming Governor Larry Hogan (who is the first candidate to win a Governor's race with public financing) may embrace their cause:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

POST-HOGAN JUICE: Sen. Pinsky & Dems Decry Comcast Jab, Middle-Class Woes, Change MD, Progressive Caucus & More!

Below Maryland Juice provides a quick round-up of election analyses and discussion of life after Larry Hogan's victory in the gubernatorial race:

JUICE #1: SENATOR PAUL PINSKY & FRESHMEN HOUSE DEMOCRATS DECRY "WACKO" LABEL AND DEFEND EFFORT TO END CORPORATE TAX DODGING - Immediately after Larry Hogan's win in the Governor's race, wrote that Comcast lobbyist Sean Looney called incoming Freshmen Democrats "anti-business" and said Democrats who want to end corporate tax-dodging were "far-left wackos." The comments struck a nerve with numerous lawmakers and Looney has since apologized, but not before two response pieces from Democrats were published.

noting that ending corporate tax loopholes through a practice called "combined reporting" is anything but wacky (excerpt below):
PAUL PINSKY (VIA BALTIMORE SUN): At a Chamber of Commerce luncheon talk right after Larry Hogan's victory, Comcast lobbyist Sean Looney derisively dismissed ongoing legislative efforts in Annapolis to pass a corporate tax loophole-plugging reform known as "combined reporting."

"The far left wackos in the Democratic Party think it's a great idea," Mr. Looney told his high-powered business audience. Nearly a majority of Maryland's Senate — apparently the "far left wackos" decried by Mr. Looney — want to stop huge corporations like Comcast from charging their business expenses to their Maryland operations while shifting their profits to subsidiaries or companies incorporated in low- or no-tax states....

It seems this tax scheme is popular among the big boys doing business in our state. Our Maryland comptroller's office reports that many multi-state, multinational companies pay less in corporate tax than you and I pay in personal income tax. This tax avoidance garners these big corporations a major competitive advantage over Maryland's small businesses — and costs our state over $100 million in lost revenue annually.

We must have a good many such wackos in America today. Over half our states with corporate income taxes — 24 states in all — already have combined-reporting laws on the books. And these combined-reporting states include Texas, Utah and a host of other hotbeds of far-left wacko-ism....
Meanwhile, incoming Freshman Delegate Cory McCray of Baltimore organized a sign-on letter from 17 Democratic Delegates-elect (myself included) responding to Comcast's commentary. (excerpt below):
17 FRESHMEN DELEGATES (VIA MARYLAND REPORTER): It was with a mixture of amusement and frustration that we awoke days after our new election to the General Assembly to read that you, the lobbyist paid by Comcast to work with us, had attempted to publicly insult us and demean our ideas....

We will not use this time to debate the substance of your grievance, which seemed to be that combined reporting is a radical idea, even though numerous states (many with Republican legislatures) have passed similar legislation in recent years. We look forward to discussing the value of combined reporting, as well as any benefit Comcast receives from government programs and services, with you and your client....

Shelly Hettleman, Terri Hill, Clarence Lam, Vanessa Atterbeary, Marc Korman, Andrew Platt, Marice Morales, David Moon, William Smith, Daryl Barnes, Antonio Hayes, Charles Sydnor, Patrick Young, Cory McCray, Brooke Lierman, Diana Fennell, Jimmy Tarlau

JUICE #2: NATIONAL PUNDITS HIGHLIGHT WAGE STAGNATION AS OBSTACLE TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY & DEMOCRATS' ELECTORAL FORTUNES - Soon after Larry Hogan won Maryland's race for Governor, sweeping through the electorate. I then penned a piece calling on Maryland Democrats to prioritize measures to provide economic security for middle and working class residents, instead of joining the GOP and Big Business call for trickle-down (aka voodoo) economic measures like corporate & upper bracket tax cuts.

PAID SICK LEAVES WINS WHERE GOP BEAT DEMOCRATS: There is now a loud clamor of agreement from national pundits and economic analysts that Democrats have got to craft a strong economic populist message and start tackling our historic wealth gap. See a few examples below, starting with a case study from Massachusetts, where Republicans won control of the Governor's mansion -- at the same time that 60% of voters in the state approved a sick leave requirement at the ballot:
:  Massachusetts on Tuesday became the third state in the nation to guarantee paid sick days for workers, with voters decisively approving a sick-leave ballot initiative, 60 percent to 40 percent....

Although more employers voluntarily provide paid sick leave than they used to, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that about 39 percent of the U.S. private-sector workforce has no paid sick time. Workers without it are disproportionately employed in lower-wage jobs, such as food service and retail, where companies tend to keep a tighter grip on payroll hours....

As with raising the minimum wage, Americans in general seem to back the idea of placing a sick-leave requirement upon businesses, making such proposals good fodder for voter referendums. In a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, 74 percent of respondents said they would support such a mandate, while just 18 percent said they would oppose it. That backing included majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents....

WAGE STAGNATION HURT DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL FORTUNES: The Democrats' recent electoral drubbing has pundits pointing to working class economic justice issues as the greatest challenge for the Party in coming years:
): The Democratic Party’s short-term plan to help the middle class just isn’t very clear.... The fact remains that incomes for most Americans aren’t growing very fast and haven’t been for years. Median inflation-adjusted income last year was still $2,100 lower than when President Obama took office in 2009 — and $3,600 lower than when President George W. Bush took office in 2001.... We’re living through the great wage slowdown of the 21st century, and nothing presents a larger threat to the Democrats’ electoral fortunes than that slowdown. The Democratic Party fashions itself as the defender of working families.... But if Democrats can’t deliver rising living standards, many voters aren’t going to remain loyal. They’ll skip voting or give a chance to Republicans who offer an alternative, even a vague alternative....

HILLARY CLINTON NEEDS A REAL RESPONSE TO MIDDLE-CLASS WOES: The place where we're seeing this debate become increasingly relevant is in the upcoming Democratic Primary for the 2016 Presidential Election. Hillary Clinton, , may have to sing a different tune to secure the White House:
: It won't be sufficient to run on competence, breadth of experience.... [Hillary Clinton] needs an innovative, or even bold approach... to dealing with middle-class economic stagnation and income inequality....

LOW-INCOME VOTERS CHOSE GOP OR DIDN'T VOTE: Indeed, data from the November General Election shows that these bits of advice are not just speculation, they're backed by evidence:
: Sifting through returns showing that lower-income voters either supported Republicans or did not vote, liberals argue that without a more robust message about economic fairness, the party will continue to suffer among working-class voters, particularly in the South and Midwest....

“Too many Democrats are too close to Wall Street,” said Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. “Too many Democrats support trade agreements that outsource jobs, and too many Democrats are too willing to cut Social Security — and that’s why we lose elections.”

Mr. Brown said he had talked to over 60 Ohio Democratic leaders and activists since they were trounced in every statewide election. “The message I heard from all of them was: The Democratic Party should fight for the little guy,” he said....
Progressives pointed to three Democrats who ran as populists as models for success: Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Senator-elect Gary Peters of Michigan.

Mr. Merkley, who focused on the loss of well-paying jobs, the cost of college tuition and opposition to trade deals that he said sent jobs overseas, won by 19 percentage points. While Democrats nationally lost whites without a college degree by 30 percentage points, Mr. Merkley narrowly carried that bloc....

Many liberals believe that the disconnect between the politics of the party’s grass roots and the message coming from Democratic administrations has left blue-collar voters unenthused. “We do not have to struggle for an agenda that connects with working-class voters,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut. “We have an agenda that does that, but it does not get vocalized at the top....”

S&P ANALYSIS SAYS WEALTH GAP IS HURTING ECONOMIC RECOVERY: And while some Democrats continue to insist that economic populism is bad for business, the evidence actually points to the opposite conclusion. Indeed, trickle-down economics has never worked, and that fact has not changed today. In fact, S&P analysts seem to believe that caving to the millionaire & corporate tax cut crowd is hurting America's economic recovery and dragging down state revenues. Where is the courage?
: The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has been matched by a slowdown in state tax revenue, according to a report being released Monday by Standard & Poor’s.

Even as income has accelerated for the affluent, it has barely kept pace with inflation for most other people. That trend can mean a double whammy for states: The wealthy often manage to shield much of their income from taxes. And they tend to spend less of it than others do, thereby limiting sales tax revenue.

As the growth of tax revenue has slowed, states have faced tensions over whether to raise taxes or cut spending to balance their budgets as required by law. “Rising income inequality is not just a social issue,” said Gabriel Petek, the S&P credit analyst who wrote the report. “It presents a very significant set of challenges for the policymakers.”

Stagnant pay for most people has compounded the pressure on states to preserve funding for education, highways and social programs such as Medicaid. The investments in education and infrastructure also have fueled economic growth. Yet they’re at risk without a strong flow of tax revenue....
S&P’s analysis builds on a previous report this year in which it said the widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has slowed the U.S. economy’s recovery from the Great Recession. Because consumer spending fuels about 70 percent of the economy, weak pay growth typically slows economic growth....

U.S. VOTERS BACK INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING AT THE NOVEMBER BALLOT:  Policymakers would be short-sighted to think that Republican wins at the ballot reflect a desire to gut infrastructure spending. In fact, several states (Maryland included) had infrastructure spending measures on the ballot this November, and the message is loud and clear:
:  ...both Republican and Democratic lawmakers agree that dedicating money to infrastructure is one of the best ways to boost the economy....

Last week's midterm elections showed that the willingness to set aside money for transportation extends to the voting public. In Hawaii, California, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin, and Maryland, voters approved ballot initiatives to secure funding for water resources, roads, and transit. In Texas, 81 percent of voters approved a measure to dedicate half of the state's oil and gas revenues to a state highway fund, as long as that money isn't going to tolled roads. Maryland and Wisconsin voters approved "lockbox" initiatives to make it harder to take money out of the state's transportation coffers. Rhode Island voters gave a thumbs-up to bond initiatives for infrastructure. California voters, facing one of the most severe droughts on record, gave the OK to more than $7 billion in general obligation bonds to shore up the state's water supply.
"The outcomes of these elections demonstrate that Americans value well-maintained infrastructure and are willing to make the investment," said American Society of Civil Engineers President Robert Stevens.

U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATS RESPOND TO ELECTION LOSSES BY GIVING ELIZABETH WARREN A LEADERSHIP SPOT: At the national level, U.S. Senate Democratic leaders have responded to these challenges by giving economic populists a larger say in the Democratic Caucus. They recently elevated liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren to a leadership post. Will Maryland Democrats follow suit?
:  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gained a leadership position in the Senate Democratic caucus Thursday, giving the prominent progressive senator a key role in shaping the party's policy priorities.

Warren's new role, which was created specifically for her, will be strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, helping to craft the party's policy positions and priorities. She will also serve as a liaison to progressive groups to ensure they have a voice in leadership meetings and discussions, according to a source familiar with the role....

JUICE #3: CHANGE MARYLAND? // PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND & ACTIVISTS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO PRIORITIZE ECONOMIC JUSTICE ISSUES - It seems clear that Maryland progressives are getting fired up after the Democrats' recent electoral losses. The message moving forward is obviously that its time for the Party to start focusing on poor and working class Marylanders. Maryland Juice recently received the following event invitation from Progressive Maryland announcing a new campaign to move this message forward (details below and at ):
LARRY STAFFORD (VIA PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND): Yesterday I came on board as the Deputy Director for Progressive Maryland. After years of progressive activism that has included work with Project Vote, the New Organizing Institute, and with Heather Mizeur's campaign for Governor, I'm looking to bring my skills and experiences to build on the successes of this great organization. With last Tuesday's results in mind, Progressive Maryland is issuing a call to action for all progressives in the state to begin organizing and mobilizing for this upcoming legislative session. .
It has become clear. The status quo in Maryland politics is no longer acceptable. Many of our elected leaders have become disconnected from the voters that they have been elected to serve. Maryland's political leadership has found its opportunities to be progressive on important social issues, but has failed to speak to the economic plight facing poor and working families in Maryland.

Conservatives win when we are not boldly and clearly articulating our message of economic justice and fairness. They repeat dishonest messages that are designed to arouse the frustrations of the neglected communities of our State. They speak boldly of the problems that face poor and working families, but offer no real solutions that will create good paying jobs that uplift our communities....

When: November 18th at 7pm
Where:  4371 Parliament Pl Lanham, MD

JUICE #4: A PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS IN MARYLAND - As pundits continue to ponder Maryland's recent election results, one thing is clear: the Democratic Caucus is now much more progressive. Barry Rascovar recently discussed the developments at Maryland Reporter (excerpt below):
: Hardly noticed in the Nov. 4 election that saw Anthony Brown wiped out in an embarrassing avalanche of rejection was the obliteration of the Democratic Party’s moderate-conservative wing in Annapolis. Gone is Southern Maryland Sen. Roy Dyson. Gone is half-century veteran Baltimore County Sen. Norman Stone (retirement). Gone is a Howard County fixture, Sen. Jim Robey (retirement).

Also out of luck, conservative Western Maryland Del. Kevin Kelly, moderate Western Maryland Del. John Donoghue, conservative Baltimore County Dels. Mike Weir, Jimmy Malone (retirement), Steve DeBoy (retirement) and Sonny Minnick (retirement), moderate-conservative Del. Emmett Burns of Baltimore County (retirement), Eastern Shore Committee Chairman Del. Norm Conway, Cecil County Del. David Randolph, Southern Maryland Dels. John Bohanan and Johnny Wood (retirement), Harford County Del. Mary-Dulany James, and Frederick County Del. Galen Clagett (retirement).

The Democratic Party’s fulcrum in the State House now is dangerously weighted to the strident left. The party’s center-right legislators have shrunk to a handful.

It’s tough even coming up with who you’d place in that category in the House of Delegates once you get beyond House Speaker Mike Busch.  You can count less than 10 moderates still left in the Senate, including President Mike Miller — Charles County’s Mac Middleton, Frederick’s Ron Young, Anne Arundel’s John Astle and Ed DeGrange, Ocean City’s Jim Mathias, Baltimore County’s Jim Brochin and Kathy Klausmeier....
Rascovar calls this development "dangerous," but that seems like centrist spin. Believe it or not, many progressives (myself included) are outcome-oriented individuals and prioritize moving good policy over partisan politics. And while the GOP believes tax cuts will help ordinary Marylanders, progressives believe there are other was to help the middle-class. But the key commonality is that (if you take the GOP at their word), both the far right and far left are trying to help ordinary Marylanders. That may not be true of powered and institutional interests, and it presents an interesting opportunity to get things done in the future. Unfortunately, much of the pundit class is posing this question to liberal Democrats, but I think it is just as fair to pose this question to incoming GOP Governor Larry Hogan. Is he willing to play ball?

JUICE #5: MARYLAND JUICE & RED MARYLAND'S BRIAN GRIFFITHS DISCUSS THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS AND LIFE AFTER LARRY HOGAN: Maryland Juice (aka David Moon) recently appeared on WNAV radio with our frenemy Brian Griffiths at Red Maryland. We talked about the recent election results and what the future of Maryland politics might look like with a Republican Governor. You can listen to the three-part radio interview below:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

JUICE - A Way Forward for MD Democrats: Brian Frosh vs. Anthony Brown and Lessons from Connecticut & Minnesota

A WAY FORWARD FOR MARYLAND DEMOCRATS: Politicos have been chattering about Anthony Brown's loss this week, and everyone seems to have their own theory about how this happened. Was it a a reaction to partisan gridlock in Congress? Was it a canned campaign by the Democratic nominee? Was it a revolt against taxes? Was Maryland just part of the national anti-Obama wave? We'll never know for sure, but there are clear lessons for the future looking at examples both from outside and inside Maryland. Indeed, it seems clear that neither Democrats nor Republicans can take for granted the message from the electorate. To be sure, my side missed the populist tide sweeping through the electorate, but Republicans would be equally foolish to see this as a mandate for conservatism or austerity measures. Below, I make the case for Democrats embracing economic populism (as a contrast to an anti-tax agenda) in the coming years. After all, many of the Assembly Democrats who are closer to Hogan than Brown on tax policy lost this year anyway.

IT'S STILL ABOUT THE MIDDLE & WORKING CLASS: I previously wrote that was that the state party needed to step up its game on economic populism -- especially in a way that counters the GOP's trickle-down economic talking points (eg: the idea that tax cuts for millionaires and corporations will magically create jobs and wealth for ordinary Marylanders). But Larry Hogan's simple anti-tax message clearly had appeal with Maryland voters, because our Democratic Party simply didn't even try to present a progressive or populist vision on economic issues. And when we did, it wasn't really responsive to anyone except the wealthy and industry interests (who are often one and the same). For example, in the last few years Maryland Democrats tried to disarm the Hogan-style message by passing an estate tax cut on inheritances up to $5.9 million and reducing the state's millionaire's tax. I don't begrudge Maryland Democrats for trying to play the anti-tax game, but I think the ineffectiveness of the strategy in fending off Hogan warrants discussion (without even getting into the policy and revenue merits of these cuts).

In an era of a much-talked-about, historic wealth gap, how many ordinary Marylanders will actually benefit from these measures? Are those who declined to vote really in the dark about growing income and wealth inequality, or did they simply think Democrats weren't planning on doing anything different than in the past? The question is not, are you better off today than you were four years ago -- it is, will you be better off four years in the future than you are today if we are in charge. If you have children at the pre-K age, you might've been able to answer yes to this question -- but if you don't....

To be sure, trying to jump on Larry Hogan's broad anti-tax bandwagon didn't work this year. But I think this had less to do with taxes per se, and more to do with a failure by the party to passionately address the policy sins we all know exist that have led to the spiraling gap between the rich and the poor (both in Maryland and nationally). As Roy Meyers, a professor of political science at UMBC, noted in (excerpt below):
ROY MEYERS (UMBC PROFESSOR): "...repeatedly promising 'no new taxes' in this campaign was insufficient protection from the narrative Republicans, and Hogan in particular, have been building over recent years. Much of that narrative was false or misleading, yet many voters bought it. Though Maryland is still one of the richest and most productive states in the nation, the Republicans convinced many that the economy was worse than most other states’. Though even after the tax increases of recent years, when Maryland still has below-average tax rates per individual incomes, many voters came to believe that the tax burden promoted flight of high-income taxpayers (there’s no convincing proof of this)."
Indeed, many Maryland politicos (Democrats included) over the last few years have become cheerleaders for the idea that we're losing millionaires () and that we're losing residents to Virginia (we're not). In fact, The Washington Business Journal recently reported that . So rather than fight trickle-down economics in Maryland, we've largely embraced it as a policy solution for unquantifiable problems like "poor business reputation" or millionaires maybe/potentially/hypothetically leaving the state (some day).

But where I believe Democrats have faltered is on prioritizing relief for the middle-class and working class. During the gubernatorial race, there was always a lingering choice about whether to try and mobilize the base, or whether to try and convert voters on the other side. In many ways, these choices were mutually exclusive. Karl Rove famously chose the former tactic (to great success) in multiple elections. But in some states, it appears that the populist message was the winning one -- and it's not always a partisan message. Larry Hogan ran a populist campaign running against taxes. But in other states, the populist campaign manifested as sick leave and economic justice.

A LESSON FROM OTHER BLUE STATES: CONNECTICUT & MINNESOTA - Many politicos have been looking at Maryland in the same light as elections across the nation, where Republicans won tight races. But a better apples-to-apples comparison would be comparing Maryland to Connecticut (another traditionally Blue state with a tight Governor's race). , and I think he's got some good points (excerpt below):
LUKE BRINKER (VIA SALON.COM): Amid this week’s disastrous Democratic drubbing, Connecticut emerged as one of the few bright spots for Democrats. Facing a formidable challenge from wealthy investor Tom Foley, whom he defeated by less than one percentage point in 2010, Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy secured another term, fending off Foley 51 to 48 percent....

But Malloy also boasted something many Democrats who lost Tuesday night did not — an actual track record of economic populist accomplishments. Malloy could point to specific policies he’d signed into law — most notably, mandatory paid sick leave and the nation’s first-ever state-level minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour — that benefited Connecticut families but would be jeopardized if Foley, who opposed those policies, won the governorship....

A late-stage Malloy ad — aired as public polling indicated a tied race — put the issues at the very top. “On Tuesday, you future is on the ballot,” the ad’s narrator began. “What kind of state will Connecticut be? Tom Foley’s made his plans clear. No paid sick days for workers. No to raising the minimum wage....”

Lindsay Farrell, Connecticut director of the Working Families Party, told Salon that the issues resonated with a broad swath of voters.... But, Farrell noted, Malloy signed both paid sick leave and the minimum wage increase into law despite encountering opposition among more moderate Democrats in the state legislature, particularly on the former.... “Things that give people economic security and tackle economic inequality in this country are popular with voters,” [Farrell] added.

Results elsewhere bear this out. Bloomberg Politics’ Dave Weigel observes that while Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia barely survived after running a “radical centrist” campaign about the importance of slashing the national debt, Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken cruised to a 10-point victory over his GOP opponent after a remarkably economic populist campaign. Earlier this year, most commentators — including this one — would have told you that of the two senators, Warner was almost certain to win by a larger margin....
And so the push for paid sick leave in Maryland begins (again)....

A LESSON FROM WITHIN MARYLAND: BRIAN FROSH VS. ANTHONY BROWN - Indeed, it would be foolish of Maryland Democrats and Republicans to extrapolate lessons for the future only from this year's Governor's race. After all, my suspicion is that Hogan's win is more of a mandate for populism than it is for conservatism. Within Maryland results, comparing the vote totals of Anthony Brown and Democratic nominee for Attorney General Brian Frosh is very instructive. After all, the Frosh race makes it hard to see the rejection of Anthony Brown as a rejection of Democrats (or liberal political ideology more broadly). I think Frosh's race and multiple other races in the state suggest that the message, tactics, and tone of the Brown campaign were more decisive than party label or liberal vs. conservative.

Indeed, Brian Frosh is a clear liberal politician from Montgomery County (representing much-maligned Bethesda, no less). He's also been the target of true hatred and ire from the NRA and gun owners, many of whom blame him for shepherding Maryland's tough new gun regulations through the State Senate. As a Senator, Frosh has also not been afraid to raise taxes, and voted for bills like transgender nondiscrimination that the rightwing base has revolted against. Frosh also opposed the estate tax cut and tax cuts for Lockheed Martin. He's not exactly a Larry Hogan clone, and would be the perfect foil if we were indeed witnessing a wave of anger toward Democrats. But Frosh won big, and that counters the narrative that voters were looking to blindly oust Democrats or liberals. Indeed, in a realignment cycle like we saw this year, several underfunded Republicans defeated better-known, better resourced candidates.

PROGRESSIVE SENATOR FROSH WON WHERE BROWN LOST: Looking at the voting totals below, you can see that progressive lawmaker Brian Frosh beat his Republican opponent by almost a quarter-of-a-million votes, and he did so by winning in places that Anthony Brown failed to carry: Baltimore County, Charles County and Howard County. Frosh even nearly tied his Republican opponent in Kent County.

Brian Frosh Democrat Jeffrey Pritzker Republican
Allegany 5707 12056
Anne Arundel 71548 91789
Baltimore City 108198 17471
Baltimore 132912 108605
Calvert 11330 18009
Caroline 2708 5491
Carroll 16927 40940
Cecil 8065 16127
Charles 26045 17579
Dorchester 3979 5355
Frederick 30799 41319
Garrett 1823 6194
Harford 30289 52859
Howard 54534 41781
Kent 3394 3537
Montgomery 163238 72205
Prince George's 178809 24346
Queen Anne's 5836 11670
St. Mary's 10283 18779
Somerset 2292 3452
Talbot 5496 8045
Washington 11584 23005
Wicomico 9604 13904
Worcester 6430 11031
Totals 901,830 665,549

PROGRESSIVE SENATOR FROSH OUTPOLLED BROWN IN EVERY MARYLAND COUNTY: Even more interesting is that Brian Frosh got more votes than Anthony Brown in every single county in Maryland, netting over 115,000 more votes for Frosh than Brown. Looking at the results below is a depressing vision of what could've been:

Brian Frosh Democrat Anthony Brown Democrat
Allegany 5707 4539
Anne Arundel 71548 55918
Baltimore City 108198 102219
Baltimore 132912 100121
Calvert 11330 9355
Caroline 2708 1900
Carroll 16927 10181
Cecil 8065 5396
Charles 26045 23936
Dorchester 3979 3067
Frederick 30799 27041
Garrett 1823 1588
Harford 30289 19404
Howard 54534 48019
Kent 3394 2568
Montgomery 163238 151593
Prince George's 178809 177993
Queen Anne's 5836 3715
St. Mary's 10283 8030
Somerset 2292 1979
Talbot 5496 4285
Washington 11584 9480
Wicomico 9604 8572
Worcester 6430 5427
Totals 901,830 786,326

OTHER COUNTER-INTUITIVE TEA LEAVES FROM MARYLAND ELECTIONS: Before you start extrapolating that there was something special about Brian Frosh (not that he isn't special), I would point out that rabid anti-tax, pro-business deregulation Republican Blaine Young lost his bid for Frederick County Executive this year to Democrat Jan Gardner -- even as Republicans swept 5 of the 7 County Council seats, and Brown lost big in the county. Moreover, Democrat John Delaney won re-election not just through Montgomery County -- he carried the Frederick portion of his district too. Rep. Elijah Cummings carried the Baltimore and Howard County portions of his district; Rep. John Sarbanes won the Baltimore and Howard County portions of his district, and nearly tied in Anne Arundel; Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger won in the Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, and Howard County portions of his district; and so on....

On the other hand, , who apparently wants to preserve corporate tax loopholes, thinks the Assembly's incoming freshman are anti-business and a "headache," and believes some of Maryland's Democratic incumbents are "wackos." Stay classy!

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