Showing posts with label maryland governor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maryland governor. 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.

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!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

AFTERMATH - So Larry Hogan's Our Governor: What Happened Down-Ballot, What's Next & What About the Purple Line?

Below Maryland Juice provides a few thoughts on last night's wild (and disappointing) election returns:

JUICE #1: WHAT HAPPENED IN MARYLAND'S DOWN-BALLOT RACES? - I have to admit, I wasn't quite expecting Larry Hogan to have a shot at winning the Governor's race (known unforced errors notwithstanding). However, I fully expected that several races down-ballot would be hotly contested in the General Election. After all, Maryland's rapidly growing Democratic electorate is geographically concentrated with some tentacles into counties like Howard & Frederick that are adjacent to Blue hotspots. When political demographics shift, wave years for political parties (like we saw this year, in 2010, and during the Newt Gingrich years) can often eliminate incumbent lawmakers who sit in districts that have become home to the opposing party. This year in Maryland was (unfortunately) no different.
The short summary is this: In the House of Delegates, Democrats are facing a net loss of 7 seats, and in the Senate, Republicans will gain 2 seats. Democrats will still hold a solid majority in both chambers. Blogger David Lublin over at : "The Democrats who lost in the General Assembly are almost all moderate or conservative Democrats.... The Democrats will be more liberal and the Republicans more conservative." Heading into the 2015 legislative session, Democrats will hold 91 seats in the House of Delegates, while Republicans will hold 50. But of the 91 Democratic lawmakers, 26% will represent Montgomery County, 25% will represent Prince George's County, and roughly 18% will represent Baltimore City. That means nearly 69% of the Democratic House Caucus will come from the "Big 3" jurisdictions.

In the State Senate, Democrats will hold 33 seats, with the Republicans holding 14. 24% of the Democrats will be from Montgomery County, 24% will represent Prince George's, and 15% will represent Baltimore City. In the upper chamber, 63% of Democrats will represent the "Big 3" jurisdictions.
Below I've noted some of the noteworthy down-ballot election results from around the state. Though it was a bad night for Democrats, some of the races below are Democratic pick-ups:

  • D6 (-1 DEM OPEN SEAT): Johnny Ray Salling (GOP) beats Johnny Olszewski Jr (DEM)
  • D29 (-1 DEM): Steve Waugh (GOP) beats incumbent Roy Dyson (DEM)
  • D34 (GOP HOLD OPEN SEAT): Bob Cassilly (GOP) beats Mary-Dulany James (DEM)

  • D1B (-1 DEM): Jason Buckel (GOP) beats incumbent Kevin Kelly (DEM)
  • D2B (-1 DEM): Brett Wilson (GOP) beats incumbent John Donoghue (DEM)
  • D3A (+1 DEM IN 2 OPEN SEATS): Carol Krimm & Karen Young (ALL DEM) beat Paul Smith & Victoria Wilkins (ALL GOP)
  • D6 (-3 DEM): Bob Long, Robin Grammer & Ric Metzgar (ALL GOP) beat incumbent Mike Weir & 2 Democrats
  • D29A (-1 DEM IN OPEN SEAT): Matt Morgan (GOP) beats Daniel Slade (DEM)
  • D29B (-1 DEM): Deb Ray (GOP) beats incumbent John Bohanan (DEM)
  • D31A (+1 DEM): Ned Carey (DEM) beats Terry Lynn DeGraw (GOP)
  • D34B (-1 DEM IN OPEN SEAT): Susan McComas (GOP) beats Cassandra Beverly (DEM)
  • D35A (LOSS ACCOUNTED FOR IN D34B): Kevin Bailey Hornberger (GOP) beats incumbent David Rudolph (DEM)
  • D38B (-1 DEM): Carl Anderton Jr (GOP) beats incumbent Norm Conway (DEM)
  • D34A (NO CHANGE): Incumbent Glen Glass (GOP) & Mary Ann Lisanti (DEM) win
NOTE ON DEFEATED DEMS: Del. Norm Conway is House Appropriations Chair; Del. David Rudolph is House Economic Matters Vice-Chair; Sen. Roy Dyson is Senate Education, Health & Environmental Vice-Chair. We can expect some shifting of positions due to these losses.

CONGRESS (ALL INCUMBENTS WIN RE-ELECTION): Though every member of Congress in Maryland is headed to re-election, the CD6 race between Rep. John Delaney and Dan Bongino was an interesting one. Here are the final numbers (not including absentee and provisional ballots):
  • John Delaney 89,318
  • Dan Bongino 87,152

  • Del. Steve Schuh (GOP) beats George Johnson (DEM)
  • County Council will be 4 GOP to 3 DEM ()

  • Incumbent Kevin Kamenetz (DEM) beats George Harman (GOP)
  • County Council will be 3 GOP to 4 DEM

  • Jan Gardner (DEM) beats Blaine Young (GOP)
  • County Council will be 5 GOP to 2 DEM

  • Sen. Allan Kittleman (GOP) beats Courtney Watson (DEM)
  • County Council will be 1 GOP to 4 DEM

  • MD Question 1 - "Transportation Fund Lock Box" was Approved
  • MD Question 2 - Authorization for County Executive Special Elections was Approved
  • MoCo Question A - Residency Requirement for District Councilmembers was Approved
  • PG Question J - Longer Term Limits for County Officials was Rejected

JUICE #2: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: 2018 ELECTION TEA LEAVES - Last night Maryland Juice was watching election coverage on News Channel 8. Doug Gansler's running-mate, Jolene Ivey, was on-air talking about the election returns, and it sure sounds like Gansler might run again in 2018. Gansler has also since appeared in post-election coverage criticizing the Brown campaign (see eg: ). The other candidate in the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, Heather Mizeur closed out the General Election with a stating, "our time will come at some future election." Let's also not forget that Congressman (with his name included) during the primary. in a list of election winners & losers (listed as a winner), with the following statement: "You may have dodged a bullet by avoiding the trap of being Maryland's lieutenant governor, historically a one-way ticket to nowhere.... See you in four years." Lastly, , who also flirted with a gubernatorial bid this cycle: "In an awful year for Democrats, Comptroller Peter Franchot actually increased his margin of victory from 2010. He ran strong where Democrats did well, and he ran strong where they didn't." Last night's election results were utterly disappointing, but I guess we'll at least have something to talk about for four years.

JUICE #3: MOVING FORWARD & THE FUTURE OF THE PURPLE LINE - I don't want to spend too much time talking about the Governor's race, but :

As noted above, I am indeed thinking about how to adjust to the reality of a Hogan administration. Of primary concern are two issues that should not be seen as partisan: 1) funding for severely overcrowded schools in Montgomery County, and 2) funding for transit projects that are near-ready to break ground, like the Purple Line. The transit-focused blog and included some of my thoughts (excerpt below):
GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON: Business groups supported Hogan because of his message of tax cuts. They also have strongly favored the Purple Line. Will they tell Hogan that it's important to them? David Moon, an organizer who once ran the Purple Line Now campaign and was just elected to the House of Delegates from the Silver Spring/Takoma Park area, said, "You're not going to be able to [win Hogan over] from a regional DC-suburban perspective, or a liberal transit versus roads perspective," or the environment (he ran against a stormwater fee calling it a "rain tax"). But if businesses are willing to stand up for infrastructure that will generate economic growth, he said, that is more compelling....
The interesting piece has generated a decent amount of commentary and debate ().

That's all I got for now....

Monday, October 27, 2014

Early Vote Turnout Analysis, Hillary Clinton in MD, Brown vs. Hogan Polls, Raskin vs. Zirkin for JPR Committee Chair & More!

Below Maryland Juice provides a roundup of news and analyses of key races of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: DUELING POLLS IN THE RACE BETWEEN ANTHONY BROWN VS. LARRY HOGAN - Maryland's top race this cycle is undoubtedly the gubernatorial match-up between Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and former Ehrlich-administration official Larry Hogan. Here is a quick round-up of recent polls in the race. Note: the Gonzalez poll below was commissioned by supporters of Larry Hogan:

  • Anthony Brown (D) - 51%
  • Larry Hogan (R) - 38%

  • Anthony Brown (D) - 49%
  • Larry Hogan (R) - 42%

  • Anthony Brown (D) - 47%
  • Larry Hogan (R) - 38%
  • Shawn Quinn (L) - 4%

  • Anthony Brown (D) - 47%
  • Larry Hogan (R) - 43%
  • Shawn Quinn (L) - 1%

JUICE #2: MARYLAND JUICE EARLY VOTE TURNOUT ANALYSIS // WHO'S BEEN VOTING? - Below Maryland Juice takes a deep dive into early vote turnout data by party, gender, and county -- and we also give breakdowns in all Montgomery County state races, a few swing districts and in key Maryland counties. Early voting is currently underway in Maryland, as voters can cast early ballots until Thursday, October 30, 2014. Polls are open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm at early vote centers across the state. Who has been voting early in the Free State? Below you can see some of our findings from turnout data for the first three days of early voting (Thursday, Friday & Saturday).

EARLY VOTE TURNOUT BY COUNTY & PARTY: Below we take a look at early vote turnout by raw party advantage and by county turnout. Not surprisingly, Democrats are turning out at an almost 2-1 rate over Republicans, reflecting their statewide registration advantage. As a result, the top raw turnout counties are not surprising (Baltimore, Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, etc). But in terms of the % of eligible voters casting ballots, Montgomery County is near the bottom of the state, along with Baltimore City. Though you cannot assume all Democrats will vote for Brown and all Republicans will vote for Hogan, the data reflect mixed news for Democrats. The party can try and coast on its registration advantage, but the low turnout %'s in heavy Democratic counties should be seen as a call to arms. Montgomery County is seriously lagging in % turnout (again, probably owing to the fact that the large numbers of new MoCo voters who registered over the last few years are not turning out at the polls):
2014 Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 62,765
  2. Republicans = 29,533
  3. Independents = 8,275
2010 Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 60,547
  2. Republicans = 26,146
  3. Independents = 7,508
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Top 8 Counties by Raw Turnout (First 3 Days):
  1. Baltimore County = 16,893 (3.25%)
  2. Prince George's = 14,004 (2.58%)
  3. Anne Arundel = 12,930 (3.7%)
  4. Montgomery = 11,271 (1.78%)
  5. Baltimore City = 8,413 (2.25%)
  6. Howard = 7,064 (3.62%)
  7. Harford = 6,301 (3.83%)
  8. Frederick = 3,712 (2.46%)
2014 Early Vote Turnout - All Counties Ranked by % Eligible Turnout (First 3 Days):
  1. Talbot = 1,651 (6.43%)
  2. Queen Anne's = 1,885 (5.68%)
  3. Kent = 719 (5.65%)
  4. Worcester = 1,415 (3.96%)
  5. Harford = 6,301 (3.83%)
  6. Somerset = 486 (3.74%)
  7. Anne Arundel = 12,930 (3.7%)
  8. Howard = 7,064 (3.62%)
  9. Wicomico = 1,859 (3.28%)
  10. Baltimore County = 16,893 (3.25%)
  11. Caroline = 577 (3.14%)
  12. Dorchester = 582 (2.84%)
  13. Calvert = 1,672 (2.79%)
  14. Prince George's = 14,004 (2.58%)
  15. Frederick = 3,712 (2.46%)
  16. Carroll = 2,751 (2.44%)
  17. Cecil = 1,491 (2.41%)
  18. Garrett = 460 (2.38%)
  19. Saint Mary's = 1,466 (2.27%)
  20. Baltimore City = 8,413 (2.25%)
  21. Charles = 2,069 (2.06%)
  22. Montgomery = 11,271 (1.78%)
  23. Washington = 1,279 (1.42%)
  24. Allegany = 587 (1.38%)
EARLY VOTE BY GENDER & PARTY: Below we take a look at the first three days of early vote turnout by gender and party. Statewide, women are turning out in larger numbers than men, a trend which clearly benefits Democrats. Women make up almost 60% of the Democrats early voting electorate, while men are a majority of Republican and Independent early vote turnout:
2014 Early Vote Turnout by Gender (First 3 Days):
  1. Women = 54,759
  2. Men = 46,778
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Democrats by Gender = 62,765:
  1. Democrats Female = 36,787 (58.6%)
  2. Democrats Male = 25,967 (41.1%)
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Republicans by Gender = 29,533 
  1. Republicans Female = 14,078 (47.7%)
  2. Republicans Male = 15,447 (52.3%)
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Independents by Gender = 8,275 
  1. Independents Female = 3,522 (42.6%)
  2. Independents Male = 4,747 (57.4%)
EARLY VOTE TURNOUT BY AGE AND PARTY: Below we take a look at the first three days of early vote turnout, sorted by age and party. The largest block of early voters is age 65+, with almost equal numbers of early voters from the large 45-64 demographic. In every age category, Democrats are turning out in larger numbers than Republicans. But again, you cannot assume that voters are going to vote party-line:
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Ages 18-24 = 2,363
  1. Democrats 18-24 = 1,249
  2. Republicans 18-24 = 736
  3. Independents 18-24 = 349
  4. Libertarians 18-24 = 15
  5. Greens 18-24 = 4
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Ages 25-44 = 10,775 
  1. Democrats 25-44 = 6,170
  2. Republicans 25-44 = 2,992
  3. Independents 25-44 = 1,459
  4. Libertarians 25-44 = 64
  5. Greens 25-44 = 23
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Ages 45-64 = 43,605
  1. Democrats 45-64 = 26,465
  2. Republicans 45-64 = 13,057
  3. Independents 45-64 = 3,668
  4. Libertarians 45-64 = 75
  5. Greens 25-44 = 55
2014 Early Vote Turnout - Ages 65+ = 44,794 
  1. Democrats 65+ = 28,881
  2. Republicans 65+ = 12,748
  3. Independents 65+ = 2,799
  4. Libertarians 65+ = 36
  5. Greens 65+ = 14
EARLY VOTE BY PARTY IN THE TOP 8 TURNOUT COUNTIES: Below we take a look at early vote turnout in the top 8 highest turnout counties. In 7 of 8 of these counties, Democrats are turning out in much higher numbers than Republicans. In Harford County, Republicans have a slight edge of roughly 300 votes over the Democrats. Though you can't quite assume that all Democrats will vote for their County Executive candidates, the county-level turnout may be reassuring news for Democrats in some of the competitive County Exec races. Some of the turnout numbers are tight enough to warrant extra energy from Dems:
Anne Arundel Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 6,169
  2. Republicans = 5,282
  3. Independents = 1,433
Baltimore City Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 7,636
  2. Republicans = 417
  3. Independents = 326
Baltimore County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 11,259
  2. Republicans = 4,334
  3. Independents = 1,090
Frederick County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 1,698
  2. Republicans = 1,538
  3. Independents = 460
Harford County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Republicans = 2,967
  2. Democrats = 2,657
  3. Independents = 602
Howard County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 4,167
  2. Republicans = 2,035
  3. Independents = 775
Montgomery County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 7,909
  2. Republicans = 1,962
  3. Independents = 1,295
Prince George's County Early Vote Turnout by Party (First 3 Days):
  1. Democrats = 12,443
  2. Republicans = 878
  3. Independents = 507
EARLY VOTE TURNOUT IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY DELEGATE RACES: In all 8 of Montgomery County's House of Delegate Districts, Democrats are turning out in far greater numbers than Republicans. My home District 20 has the highest Democratic turnout in MoCo, and here Independents are tied with Republicans for turnout. Meanwhile District 14 has the highest overall turnout (counting all parties):
Maryland House District 14 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,953 Total Votes
  1. Democrats = 1,258
  2. Republicans = 472
  3. Independents = 317
  4. Libertarians = 3
  5. Greens = 0
Maryland House District 15 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,161 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 709
  2. Republicans = 275
  3. Independents = 163
  4. Libertarians = 5
  5. Greens = 1
Maryland House District 16 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,092 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 796
  2. Republicans = 171
  3. Independents = 119
  4. Libertarians = 2
  5. Greens = 0
Maryland House District 17 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,242 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 835
  2. Republicans = 234
  3. Independents = 161
  4. Libertarians = 2
  5. Greens = 2
Maryland House District 18 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,335 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 999
  2. Republicans = 182
  3. Independents = 136
  4. Greens = 6
  5. Libertarians = 0
Maryland House District 19 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,676 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 1,220
  2. Republicans = 257
  3. Independents = 183
  4. Greens = 4
  5. Libertarians = 3
Maryland House District 20 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,741 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 1,425
  2. Republicans = 148
  3. Independents = 148
  4. Greens = 7
  5. Libertarians = 3
Maryland House District 39 Early Vote Turnout by Party = 1,070 Total Votes 
  1. Democrats = 666
  2. Republicans = 222
  3. Independents = 170
  4. Libertarians = 3
  5. Greens = 1
EARLY VOTE TURNOUT IN A FEW SWING RACES: Below we provide early vote turnout figures and party breakdowns in a few key races on the November ballot. Democratic turnout from the first three days of early voting looks okay across the board, but there are a couple districts where the party needs to turn up the heat!

Senate District 3 Early Vote Turnout by Party (Ron Young vs. Corey Stottlemyer) 
  1. Democrats = 1,091
  2. Republicans = 719
  3. Independents = 246
Senate District 42 Early Vote Turnout by Party (Jim Brochin vs. Tim Robinson)
  1. Democrats = 1,062
  2. Republicans = 683
  3. Independents = 153
Delegate District 9B Early Vote Turnout by Party (Tom Coale vs. Bob Flanagan) 
  1. Democrats = 742
  2. Republicans = 506
  3. Independents = 158
Delegate District 12 (Eric Ebersole/Terri Hill/Clarence Lam vs. Gordon Bull/Joe Hooe/Rick Martel)
  1. Democrats = 1,773
  2. Republicans = 566
  3. Independents = 220
Delegate District 29B (John Bohanan vs. Deb Rey)
  1. Democrats = 190
  2. Republicans = 158
  3. Independents = 40
Delegate District 30A Early Vote Turnout by Party (Mike Busch/Chuck Ferrar vs. Herb McMillan/Genevieve Lindner)
  1. Democrats = 1,384
  2. Republicans = 839
  3. Independents = 257
Delegate District 38B Early Vote Turnout by Party (Norm Conway vs. Carl Anderton Jr) 
  1. Democrats = 430
  2. Republicans = 388
  3. Independents = 85

JUICE #3: NATIONAL PARTIES NOW SPENDING IN MARYLAND // PLUS: OBAMA, CHRIS CHRISTIE & THE CLINTONS CAMPAIGN IN MD - As we head into the homestretch for Maryland's gubernatorial race, the national Democrats & Republicans are engaging in a proxy battle in the Free State. Here are a few signs of activity from national politicians:
HILLARY CLINTON TO RALLY FOR ANTHONY BROWN THIS THURSDAY: So far Lt. Governor Anthony Brown's campaign has brought President Obama and former President Bill Clinton onto the campaign trail in Maryland. This Thursday, they are continuing the proxy battle with a rally with Hillary Clinton (press release excerpt below). You can RSVP at:

This event is free – supporters will be admitted on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited and supporters must RSVP at www.anthonybrown.com/Oct30, or pick up tickets at a Democratic office listed here: www.anthonybrown.com/offices.

Who: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, County Executive Ken Ulman, and the Maryland Democratic Team

What: Early Vote event – Final push before polls close at 8 p.m. (Nearest Early Vote location is the College Park Community Center at 5051 Pierce Avenue, College Park, MD)

When: Thursday, October 30th, Doors open to the public at 2:45 pm

Where: University of Maryland College Park, Ritchie Coliseum, 4533 Rossborough Lane, College 
Hillary Clinton's visit comes on the heels of an Anthony Brown rally with President Obama (see ) and a fundraiser with President Bill Clinton (see ). Meanwhile, Larry Hogan has enlisted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (see ) to campaign for him in the Free State.

NATIONAL PARTY TV AD WARS: Meanwhile, the Democratic Governor's Association (aka DGA) has now spent at least $1.15 million in deep Blue Maryland to shore up the Brown campaign. (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: The DGA previously spent about $750,000 on three weeks of ads in the Baltimore market that attack Hogan’s record on social issues, including his past opposition to abortion rights.... The latest DGA outlay in the heavily Democratic state will keep ads on the air on Baltimore stations through mid-October. The purchase appears to be roughly $400,000, based on publicly available records and people familiar with the buy....
To counter the DGA, the Republican Governor's Association (aka the RGA) has bought airtime in Maryland. (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: The RGA's intervention in the race in deep-blue Maryland reflects a growing hope in GOP circles that Hogan can score an upset despite the state's 2-1 Democratic registration advantage. The RGA's chairman, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, campaigned and raised funds for Hogan this week on his second visit to Maryland on Hogan's behalf. lRelated Distortions fly in race for governor POLITICS Distortions fly in race for governor SEE ALL RELATED 8 According to filings with the Federal Communication Commission, the RGA will spend $166,515 to advertise on WJZ-TV. The ad the group released Thursday is a 30-second spot rattling off taxes, fares and other charges that have gone up under Brown and Gov. Martin O'Malley....

JUICE #4: SENATORS RASKIN & ZIRKIN BATTLING FOR CHAIR OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE - One of the non-election stories politicos are currently following is the battle between State Senators Jamie Raskin & Bobby Zirkin for Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee. After all, not all of the hot races this year are electoral battles -- some of them relate to the assignment of leadership posts. This November, State Senator Brian Frosh is all but certain to be elected Maryland's next Attorney General, but Frosh also chairs the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee (aka JPR). With his looming departure from that post, Senate President Mike Miller will soon have to choose a replacement. (excerpt below):
JOSH KURTZ VIA CENTER MARYLAND: At first glance – and maybe even at second and third glance – it’s a no-brainer: A Harvard-educated constitutional scholar vs. a guy who advertises his ability to win dog bite cases prominently on his law firm website. Put another way, it’s a choice between a lawyer who wrote a best-selling book about the Supreme Court and a lawmaker who introduced a bill that would have prevented the wife of an Annapolis lobbyist from serving on the Baltimore County school board because the lawmaker didn’t like a natural gas pipeline project in his neighborhood that the lobbyist’s firm was promoting....

By all accounts, the battle is between Montgomery County Sen. Jamie Raskin (D), an American University law professor and constitutional scholar, and Baltimore County Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D), the trial lawyer and pipeline foe. But [Senate President Mike] Miller’s decision isn’t as easy as one might expect given the two contenders’ credentials, because this is not an academic exercise – and the chairmanship of JPR is anything but an academic position. In fact, it’s become a major dilemma for Miller, the longest-serving Senate president on Planet Earth who once held the JPR gavel himself....
WILL MOCO & LIBERALS HAVE A ROLE IN THE STATE SENATE? - But there is much more to the JPR battle than just the resumes of Senators Raskin & Zirkin. The decision has much to do with the trajectory of the chamber, and Montgomery County's role in the future of the State Senate. With the exit of Senator Brian Frosh and the retirement of former Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, Montgomery County may soon be without any Senator in a senior leadership position in the state's upper chamber.

Moreover, with the ever-increasing liberal bent to Maryland's Democratic electorate, the JPR battle foreshadows whether progressives in the State Senate will be given a correspondingly larger voice in the body. On this point, there are some similarities and some differences in voting record between Raskin & Zirkin. Most notably, Zirkin voted against the Dream Act while Raskin supported the bill. The two Senators also disagree on whether landlords should be able to discriminate against tenants based on the form of payment for rent (eg: housing vouchers for veterans and low income residents). Raskin opposes discrimination against form of payment, while Zirkin supports it.

That being said, both Senators voted for marriage equality and both support marijuana legalization. Both Senators also voted against corporate welfare for Lockheed Martin, and Zirkin ultimately joined Raskin in supporting death penalty repeal and transgender non-discrimination. In any case, we will likely not know how this story plays out until after the General Election is concluded.

JUICE #5: LOW PROFILE BALLOT QUESTIONS FACING VOTERS IN NOVEMBER // TRANSPORTATION LOCK BOX, COUNTY EXEC SPECIAL ELECTIONS & MORE - In addition to the state and county races on the ballot this year, there are some fairly interesting (albeit low-profile) ballot questions facing voters. We discuss the two statewide ballot questions and a Montgomery County-specific ballot question below:
QUESTION 1: SHOULD MARYLAND LOCK-BOX ITS TRANSPORTATION FUNDS? - This ballot question asks voters whether state lawmakers should be prohibited from spending transportation dollars on non-transportation budget items. The measure was placed on the ballot by the General Assembly as part of the gas tax negotiations during the last legislative session. The lockbox on the transportation trust fund dollars could be overturned through at 60% vote of the legislature during a fiscal emergency. including the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, Progressive Neighbors, The Baltimore Sun, The Gazette, various Chambers of Commerce, the carpenters union and supporters of the Red Line, Purple Line and CCT.
QUESTION 2: SHOULD MARYLAND ALLOW COUNTIES TO FILL COUNTY EXEC VACANCIES THROUGH SPECIAL ELECTIONS? - This ballot question asks voters whether Maryland should authorize counties to fill vacancies in the office of County Executive through special elections instead of appointments. In Montgomery County, for example, a County Exec vacancy would currently be filled through a vote of five members of the County Council. A vote "for" Question 2 is a vote to allow counties to use special elections and is recommended by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and Progressive Neighbors.
MOCO QUESTION A: SHOULD MOCO REQUIRE COUNCILMEMBERS TO LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT AT THE TIME OF A PRIMARY, GENERAL & VACANCY? - This ballot question asks voters in Montgomery County whether candidates for District-based County Council seats must reside in their district at the time of a Primary Election and General Election or at the time a vacancy occurs. A vote "for" Question A is a vote to require residency and is recommended by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and Progressive Neighbors.

JUICE #6: MONTGOMERY COUNTY APPROVES PUBLIC FINANCING FOR COUNTY RACES STARTING IN THE 2018 CYCLE - One major game-changer to local politics is that Montgomery County Councilmembers recently voted unanimously to adopt a "clean elections" public financing system for county races. (excerpt below):
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL: The Montgomery County Council today unanimously enacted Bill 16-14, which will allow candidates for County Council and County Executive to qualify for partial public financing for their campaigns. This is the first measure of its type for County elective offices in the Washington Region and in the State of Maryland.... The bill would establish a Public Election Fund. To qualify for public financing, a candidate would have to:
  • File a Notice of Intent prior to collecting qualifying contributions
  • Establish a publicly funded campaign account
  • Only accept contributions from an individual of between $5 and $150
  • Refuse to accept a contribution from any group or organization, including a political action committee, a corporation, a labor organization or a State or local central action committee of a political party
  • Collect a qualifying number of contributions from County residents: 500 for County Executive candidates, 250 for at-large Council candidates and 125 for district Council candidates
  • Meet qualifying dollar thresholds of $40,000 for County Executive, $20,000 for at-large Councilmember and $10,000 for district CouncilmemberLimits are indexed to inflation
  • Only contributions from County residents are eligible for matching funds
The plan provides strong incentives for candidates to seek out many small individual contributors. Matching public dollars for County Executive candidates would be $6 for each dollar of the first $50 of a qualifying contribution received from a County resident, $4 for each dollar for the second $50 and $2 for each remaining dollar received up to the maximum contribution. Matching dollars for County Council candidates would be $4 for each dollar of the first $50 received from a County resident, $3 for each dollar for the second $50 and $2 for each remaining dollar received up to the maximum contribution.

The maximum limit on public funds per candidate for either the primary election or the general election will be $750,000 for a County Executive candidate, $250,000 for a Council at-large candidate and $125,000 for a district Council candidate. Matching dollars would not be distributed for self/spouse contributions or to candidates running unopposed.
Advocates are hopeful that the "clean elections" push will soon spread to other states and hopefully be adopted for state elections in coming years.

That's it until next time!

Friday, March 7, 2014

CAMPAIGN JUICE: Brown & Gansler Launch TV Ads, Hucker v Barclay, Kagan v Simmons, D13 & Analysis of MoCo Exec Race

Below Maryland Juice has a few quick updates regarding campaigns of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: GUBERNATORIAL AD WARS BEGIN // WATCH ANTHONY BROWN & DOUG GANSLER'S FIRST TV SPOTS - Begun the ad wars have. Gubernatorial candidates Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler are beginning to unload their multi-million dollars war chests on the television airwaves. Below you can see their first ads in the race for Maryland Governor:

HEADLINE UPDATE: Notably, these early ads are soft and fluffy. But I fully expect the tone of future ads to take a downward spiral, based on the headlines of recent press releases I've been receiving. See a few examples below:
  • DOUG GANSLER:  Lt. Gov. Brown Says, “Leadership is About Inspiring People to Achieve Goals” – Really?
  • HEATHER MIZEUR:  Mizeur Questions Gansler’s Commitment to Middle Class Families
  • ANTHONY BROWN:  Doug Gansler yet to explain why he refuses to support funding full-day Pre-K for all Maryland children

JUICE #2: TOM HUCKER VS. CHRIS BARCLAY // DUELING UNION ENDORSEMENTS IN MOCO COUNCIL DISTRICT 5 - With the filing deadline closed, the race for Montgomery County Council District 5 is beginning to take shape. Board of Education President Chris Barclay received an endorsement from MoCo's teachers union, while Delegate Tom Hucker received the support of the MoCo government employees union. Check out the and excerpt below:



Praises his work as state delegate advocating for women, children, and working families

Silver Spring, MD. - Today, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1994 MCGEO announced its enthusiastic support of Tom Hucker for the vacant seat in the Montgomery County Council District 5 race. Key to the endorsement, said Local 1994 President Gino Renne, was “Tom’s tireless work to protect and fight for legislation that protects our most vulnerable residents – our working moms, our children, our seniors....” MCGEO plans to make the District 5 race its top priority this election season, and will launch a robust political program including weekend door knocking and phone banks.

JUICE #3: ENDORSEMENTS IN DISTRICT 17 SENATE RACE BETWEEN CHERYL KAGAN AND LUIZ SIMMONS - Two new endorsements have been announced in the District 17 State Senate slugfest between Delegate Luiz Simmons and former Delegate Cheryl Kagan. Kagan received the support of retiring D17 Senator Jennie Forehand, while Simmons was endorsed by the MoCo government employees union MCGEO. See press release excerpts below:

Statement by Senator Jennie M. Forehand

My friends and supporters have been asking me which Senate candidate I believe should represent District 17. I am proud to announce my enthusiastic endorsement of my former colleague, Cheryl Kagan, who will best reflect my views and priorities in the State Senate.

... I am delighted to endorse Cheryl Kagan for State Senate. Cheryl is the clear choice, and I look forward to campaigning together toward victory in the June 24th Democratic primary. I strongly urge my friends and neighbors in Rockville and Gaithersburg to join me in supporting Cheryl.

Montgomery County Public Employees Endorse Simmons for State Senate

Simmons is UFCW 1994 MCGEO First Legislative Endorsement of 2014 Political Cycle
Rockville, MD – Today, Del. Luiz Simmons received the endorsement of UFCW 1994 MCGEO, the Montgomery County Public Employees, in his run to be the next State Senator for District 17.  The support of Simmons is MCGEO’s first legislative endorsement of the 2014 political cycle.  MCGEO represents 8,000 public employees in Montgomery County and beyond.

Gino Renne, President of UFCW 1994 MCGEO released the following statement praising Simmons for his hard work on behalf of Maryland working families, “Delegate Simmons has proven himself time and again to be a strong advocate for working families in Montgomery County and beyond.  I am confident that as a state senator, Luiz will continue to fight and address the problems plaguing our poor and middle class....”

JUICE #4: POLITICAL CHESS IN DISTRICT 13 DELEGATE RACE - David Lublin, who has rebooted the Maryland Politics Watch blog at , has an (excerpt below):
SEVENTH STATE: Long story short, a husband and wife both filed for delegate as did an uncle and his niece. The wife, School Board Member Janet Siddiqui, withdrew at the last minute to refile for School Board but her husband, Nayab Siddiqui, stayed in the race.

Both Vanessa Atterbeary, formerly a candidate in District 18, and her uncle, incumbent Del. Frank Turner filed and neither dropped out. Del. Guy Guzzone, who is running for Senate, originally planned to form a slate with incumbent Del. Shane Pendergrass, Del. Frank Turner, and Janet Siddiqui.

Now, Guzzone, Pendergrass, and Turner have decided to put Vanessa Atterbeary on their ticket as its third candidate for delegate after a series of interviews with the prospective candidates. Nayab Siddiqui and Vanessa Atterbeary both had inside knowledge that someone was going to drop out–or else why on earth would they have filed? And now Team 13 has added the niece of an incumbent delegate to the slate....

JUICE #5: MY THOUGHTS ON THE RACE FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE - There are a few months left to go until the June Democratic Primary for Montgomery County Executive. After the January campaign finance filings, incumbent Exec Ike Leggett had a sizeable cash advantage over challengers Doug Duncan and Phil Andrews:
  • County Executive Ike Leggett (incumbent) = $971,159.00
  • Former County Executive Doug Duncan = $330,120.86
  • Councilmember Phil Andrews = $118,805.41
Between the power of incumbency and the heft of his war chest, Leggett may be sitting in a decent spot right now. But it is worth noting that even after the campaign finance reports came out, Duncan picked up endorsements from the MoCo police and firefighters unions. Meanwhile, a few major groups have yet to weigh in on the race, and Duncan may have decent residual name id from his previous terms as County Executive.

On the financial front, history also demonstrates that money is not decisive in these races. When Leggett first won in 2006, he was heavily outspent by rival candidate Steve Silverman (). Even still, there is likely a threshold amount of spending a countywide candidate needs to meet in order to get their basic message out. Perhaps recognizing these challenges, in recent campaign debates Duncan has attempted to draw sharp contrasts with his rivals (Leggett especially) by criticizing their records on school construction funding and other issues.

DUNCAN JABS: In the latest bout of sparring, Duncan has taken to attacking Leggett for the stalled opening of the Silver Spring Transit Center. Though I can't speak for the rest of the parts of the county, I've spoken to lots of voters in the downtown Silver Spring area, and it is true that they frequently raise the Transit Center as an issue of concern. For those interested in further details on the Silver Spring Transit Center delays, . In any case, the key question at hand is whether this and other issues like school funding will come to define the race, and whether any blame will be pinned on Leggett. Perhaps that's why Duncan held a press conference this week to raise questions about county officials' roles in the Transit Center controversy (excerpt below):

Duncan Urges Completion of Silver Spring Transit Center;
Calls on County to Provide Answers, Plan of Action

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – Standing on the site of the long-delayed Silver Spring Transit Center, Democratic candidate for County Executive, Doug Duncan, today called on Montgomery County officials to stop making excuses, offer up a plan of action, and move swiftly to complete a critically important transportation hub that serves thousands of Washington area commuters. Duncan, who, as County Executive, oversaw the successful revitalization of downtown Silver Spring[1], said taxpayers deserve to know when the transit center will open – and how much more it will cost to complete it.... The Silver Spring Transit Center is currently two and a half years overdue and tens of millions over budget....

Duncan called on the County Executive and County Council to promptly give the public answers to these questions. "It’s time for answers.  Silver Spring residents and community leaders fought too long and hard for a vibrant downtown to have to wait for this mess to be cleaned up, before they have access to the state-of-the-art transit center they were expecting," said Duncan. "This failure on the part of the County government to get the job done here leaves pedestrians at risk, commuters frustrated and hurts the economic vitality of Silver Spring.  The people of Montgomery County deserve better."
LEGGETT HITS BACK: Patrick Lacefield, a spokesperson for Ike Leggett, responded in turn with the following statement:
PATRICK LACEFIELD: This is nothing more than the previous County Executive playing politics by seeking publicity for his campaign. If he had been following this issue, he would know that we are awaiting warmer temperatures to resume the remaining work on the private contractor’s faulty concrete work. All other things being equal, the facility could be completed, turned over to WMATA and opened by the summer. The detailed plan to fix it is embodied in the KCE Report made public last year and discussed by the Council. The cost for the concrete overlay is estimated at $2 million, costs which the County will ensure would be borne by the private parties at fault for construction, design and inspection flaws, not by County taxpayers.

The County continues to work with WMATA and the designer about the possible need to further strengthen interior beams and girders, as was discussed with the County Council last November.  Again, the County would work to ensure that any additional costs for fixing flaws would be borne by the private parties responsible.

It is heartening that the former County Executive is interested in the safety of the facility since previously he had expressed the view that he would simply have covered over the faulty workmanship and moved on, notwithstanding the more profound safety flaws that were discovered by KCE, with findings endorsed by three independent engineers. The County Executive has stated that he will turn over to WMATA a structure that is both safe and durable and that he will not let politics get in the way of safety, period.
The interesting thing about Duncan raising the Transit Center controversy is that he worked for one of the parties involved in its construction. (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Duncan has worked as a consultant for Foulger-Pratt, the general contractor on the project. KCE held the firm responsible for the absence of reinforcing steel in two critical 10-foot-by-40-foot slabs in the center of the bus roadway. Foulger was also accountable for unacceptably thin concrete covering in some portions of the building, KCE said. Duncan said that contractors and engineers “did not perform as expected,” but declined to criticize Foulger directly.
THE PHIL ANDREWS EXPERIMENT: While Doug Duncan and Ike Leggett take turns punching each other, Councilmember Phil Andrews is embarking upon an interesting political experiment. He is essentially testing whether a candidate can win a countywide race in MoCo almost entirely by door-knocking. It seems clear at this point that Andrews will be outspent (heavily perhaps?), but in his literature (scanned below) he claims that he's knocked 17,000 doors in the last year or so. By comparison, when Leggett received 64,382 votes to Steve Silverman's 37,279. Notably, my wife reports that some of her co-workers (who are not plugged in to local politics) report having spoken to Phil Andrews personally when he canvassed their neighborhoods. In any case, you can read Andrews' literature below (click on the images to expand them):

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