Category Archives: Sixth Congressional District

Backlash Builds Against Baker Endorsement of Trone

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker is experiencing a rapid backlash against his endorsement of wealthy businessman David Trone in his bid for the Democratic nomination for the Sixth Congressional District.

Baker announced his support for Trone two days ago. Today, the Washington Post reported that Trone, his family members and company have donated a total of $39,000 to Baker’s gubernatorial campaign. My own quick scan of Rushern Baker’s latest campaign finance filing revealed the following donations:

David Trone, $6000, 10/5/17;
Julia Trone, $2000, 11/16/17;
June Trone, $6000, 10/5/17;
Michelle Trone, $6000, 11/5/17;
Natalie Trone, $2000, 11/16/17;
Natalie Trone, $3000, 11/16/17;
Robert Trone, $2000, 11/16/17;
Anna-Marie Parisi-Trone, $6000, 11/16/17;
Anna-Marie Parisi-Trone, $6000, 11/16/17.

While David, June, and Robert Trone are described as affiliated with Total Wine, Natalie Trone is listed as a student and Michelle Trone with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). All of the donations were made in October or November of last year.

Problems for Baker

There is certainly no proof of pay-to-play or corruption. Indeed, Baker has been a welcome breath of fresh air on that front in Prince George’s after the disastrous Johnson years. However, Baker’s decision to endorse in a race outside of Prince George’s has raised eyebrows.

In particular, I heard that senior women in the General Assembly are especially annoyed at Baker’s decision to endorse in the race when there was an experienced, talented and respected female legislator, Del. Aruna Miller, in the race. Baker’s wading into the race surprised many, as the Sixth does not overlap with Prince George’s.

Today, that frustration emerged more publicly in the form of a wave of endorsements of Miller’s campaign by her colleagues, especially many senior women. Miller’s campaign issued a press release (see below) touting support from:

Speaker Michael Busch,
Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones,
Chair Emerita Sheila Hixson,
Appropriations Committee Chair Maggie McIntosh,
Environment and Transportation Committee Chair Kumar Barve, Ways and Means Committee Chair Anne Kaiser,
Health and Government Committee Chair Shane Pendergrass, Judiciary Committee Chair Joe Vallario,
Judiciary Committee Vice-Chair Kathleen Dumais,
Appropriations Committee Vice-Chair Tawanna Gaines,
Women’s Caucus Chair Ariana Kelly

It will be interesting to see if this backlash impedes Baker’s efforts to reach further outside the County. Similarly, I’m curious to see if Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, a strong Baker supporter, endorses a candidate in the Sixth District. Unlike Baker, Leggett has long had constituents in the Sixth.

Problems for Trone

Baker’s endorsement has also revived talk of Trone’s use of his wealth. Two years ago, Trone told the press bluntly, “I sign my checks to buy access.” Indeed, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s lawyers cited this statement in their brief appealing McDonnell’s corruption conviction. County Councilmember George Leventhal also needled Trone regarding his gaffe.

Now, as Michael Kinsley once said, a gaffe is simply when a politician speaks the truth out loud. Trone was forthright and honest on this point, in a manner similar to Donald Trump in presidential bid. But the similarities to Trump and the current concerns regarding the corruption of American politics are hardly likely to endear him to Democratic primary voters.

Aruna Miller for Congress Press Release by David Lublin on Scribd

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Trone Proposes Spending $100 Billion on the Opioid Epidemic

David Trone, a candidate in the Sixth Congressional District, has released a detailed plan for combating the opioid epidemic. Despite being couched in highly politicized language, this document, shown below, contains several good ideas. Yet, the proposal authored by a businessman is missing one key factor: any mention of how to pay for this very expensive plan.

It’s also a nice example of how we expect candidates to come up with detailed plans that have little relation to the policy process. Just like when Obama and Clinton dueled over their health care plans in 2008, Congress would promptly put it into the shredder.

No junior representative gets to take the lead on a major issue. Who even knows if Trone will get appointed, or is even interested in being appointed, to the committee that addresses health policy? But it’s nonetheless very useful because it tells us where he stands and the types of measures he would like to support.

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Lost in Potomac: Stuart Rothenberg Eviscerates the Trone Campaign

National Political Pundit Stuart Rothenberg wrote a devastating account of his meeting David Trone:

Maryland Democrat David Trone, who is running for Congress in the 6th Congressional District, came to my Potomac community to talk about his candidacy – and he brought plenty of wine for residents to sample while they chatted with neighbors before turning their attention to the candidate. . . .

What made all the politicking odd is that my community is not in the 6th District but rather in the 8th, currently represented by Democrat Jamie Raskin, who beat Trone in the Democratic primary last year. In other words, Trone touted his credentials, talked about his views and supplied wine to a roomful of people who could not vote for him next year.

Oops.

But it gets even worse:

[My] second question involved my doubts that he is suited to being a lowly freshman who would have little influence. I noted his self-funding and his previous race, as well as the fact that he had flirted with running for county executive before deciding on a second race for Congress. I also noted that his earlier comments about leadership, about the county government and about his experiences in the private sector suggested he would be more effective in an executive position.

Trone seemed to dislike the question. He turned away from me and addressed others in the audience, insisting that his wealth was an asset not a liability, emphasizing that he would be politically independent, and promising that he could bring change. He was passionate, certainly, but he didn’t address my concerns about his temperament, district-shopping and suitability for a legislative office.

Trone took another question but suddenly had to run. He never stressed his Democratic label, instead embracing the “no labels” movement in response to a question and talking about his pro-business bent.

Running as the “no labels” candidate in a Democratic primary gives the impression that he thinks he has it sewn up. No voter likes being taken for granted or having his questions given the “talk to the hand” treatment–something you would think someone who runs a business with excellent customer service would know.

Rothenberg concluded his analysis with some sage advice for Trone:

His odds will improve if he campaigns among voters who actually live in the district where he is running.

I’d be glad I owned a liquor store after reading this piece.

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EMILY’s List Endorses Aruna Miller

Big news in the Sixth Congressional District. EMILY’s List has endorsed Del. Aruna Miller. We’ll have to see how much cash EMILY’s List invests in this contest but they put huge resources into Donna Edwards’ bid for Senate. David Trone may not be the only one with real money in the race.

It is yet another sign that Del. Miller is running a serious, focused campaign. She has raised significant dollars on her own and now has the backing of the major national Democratic organization that promotes pro-choice women.

Money doesn’t make someone a good Member of Congress. But it sure makes it a lot easier to run a viable congressional campaign. If anyone didn’t already think Aruna is among the candidates to watch, this should get across the message.

Here is the press release from her campaign:

GAITHERSBURG, MD – Delegate Aruna Miller is pleased to announce that she has been endorsed by EMILY’s List for her campaign for Congress in the 6th Congressional District of Maryland.

EMILY’s List is the nation’s largest resource for women in politics and has raised over $500 million to support Democratic women candidates. Their grassroots community of over five million members helps Democratic women wage competitive campaigns. Since their founding in 1985, they have helped to elect 116 women to the House of Representatives, 23 to the Senate, and over 800 to various state and local offices.

“I am honored to have been endorsed by EMILY’s List. This is an organization founded on bringing more people to the table, and I am so excited to see our message catching the attention of progressives who share our values,” said Delegate Miller. “We have learned this year that motivated and organized grassroots supporters can move mountains, and we know that with EMILY’s List support, we will take the fight to Donald Trump to protect our healthcare and our choices, to invest in our public education and programs like STEM, and to show that government works for the people.”

Aruna Miller has been a civil engineer, working for 25 years for Montgomery County. She began her political career by volunteering for her local Democratic Central Committee, going door to door and serving as a precinct captain. In 2010, she was elected to the Maryland Legislature where she represents the 15th District and serves on the Appropriations Committee. Delegate Miller officially entered the campaign for Congress earlier this year and has already surpassed $350,000 in fundraising.

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