Category Archives: David Moon

Non-Incumbents Embrace Moon Country Club Bill

By Adam Pagnucco.

Delegate David Moon’s local bill on country clubs, which would have phased out a $10 million special tax break received only by country clubs with golf courses, did not get much love from elected officials.  The County Council did not support it (despite recently passing $53 million in budget cuts), the County Executive outright opposed it and Moon’s colleagues in the MoCo House Delegation killed it on a 17-7 vote.  This story is not quite over though because Moon has a statewide bill that would not eliminate the tax break but would limit country clubs’ assessed land value to one percent of market value.

Elected officials may not have embraced Moon’s bill but there is another group of people who absolutely loved it: non-incumbent candidates for office.  In the wake of the bill’s death, MANY candidates made clear they would support it if elected.  Here’s a sample.

Bill Conway (Council At-Large) tweeted in support of the bill.

Danielle Meitiv (Council At-Large) wrote in support of the bill on Facebook and criticized those who voted against it.

Andy Hoverman (House D-39) took out a Facebook ad supporting the bill.  Among the District 39 Delegates, Shane Robinson voted for the bill while Kirill Reznik and Charles Barkley (who is running for Council At-Large) voted against it.

Three non-incumbent candidates for Delegate in District 18 spoke out in favor of the bill on Seventh State’s Facebook page.

Emily Shetty said, “We have a budget deficit and are struggling to fully fund schools and other high priority services. I support David’s bill, and appreciate and would have supported the amendments he made to further tailor it as well. I don’t think it’s fair for private clubs to benefit from tax breaks otherwise unavailable to families and other employers in the state.”

Mila Johns said, “I 100% support David Moon’s bill. I have previously stated that on this page and I’m extremely grateful to Jeff Waldstreicher and Ana Sol Gutierrez for their principled vote. I read Al Carr’s reasoning and while I understand how he came to his decision, I disagree with it. It’s simply hard to believe so many in our county discarded a very reasonable way to raise revenue in a time of such painful budget shortfalls.”

Leslie Milano said, “Here’s where I stand: We cannot continue to subsidize a luxury restricted to the wealthy when taxpayers do not have access to the very thing they are subsidizing. The fact that only the very wealthy can access this subsidized luxury is extremely distasteful, especially when there is a great deal of poverty in our county as well as a budget shortfall of $120M affecting a variety of areas for every taxpayer. I would sponsor or co-sponsor a revised bill come January to ensure that clubs are paying their fair share. I agree with Ike Leggett that MoCo clubs shouldn’t be taxed differently than clubs in other counties, but I think we need to course correct MoCo clubs first with a local bill – as a sign of good faith – and in a second bill address remaining clubs in the state, which is David’s proposal. It will be easier to pass in two stages and moves us in the right direction.”

Among the District 18 Delegates, Al Carr voted against the bill while Ana Sol Gutierrez (who is running for Council District 1) and Jeff Waldstreicher (who is running for Senate) voted for it.

Several other candidates sent us statements in support of the bill.  They include:

Brandy Brooks (Council At-Large)

Our budget and tax policies should be built around the mutual concept of the common and each contributing their fair share. The common good should guide us in our decisions as well as our interactions with one another. It’s clear the special tax breaks for country clubs benefit only a few.  When wealthy special interests have a major influence over the policy discussions — even around common sense bills to create tax equity — our communities suffer. The county faces a huge budget shortfall, a severe housing crisis, income inequality, and education and opportunity gaps in our schools, to name a few of the pressing issues. Yet, the arguments made by those opposing the bill fail to address these needs. Instead, the country club lobbyist gave lawmakers an ultimatum: kill this bill or workers lose their jobs. All too often, hourly and low wage workers are the first to suffer when management says they need to tighten their belt.   Our policymaking should be focused on the common good. Lawmakers need to hear the voices of everyday people over corporate and big money interests. Our voices — the voices of everyday people — must be central in our policymaking, otherwise we further divide the county into the haves and have nots.

Hoan Dang (Council At-Large)

I strongly backed Delegate Moon’s bill to phase out the special property tax break for Montgomery County country clubs. I was disappointed that this bill was killed by special interests in this County.   This action is another example of why we need more efforts to take money out of politics, such as the public financing of all candidates in Montgomery County from School Board to the General Assembly.

Seth Grimes (Council At-Large)

I support ending special tax treatment for country clubs. Thanks to David Moon for taking a shot. We’ll try again in 2019.

Ben Shnider (Council District 3)

It’s common sense that clubs with annual dues in the tens of thousands of dollars should pay their fair share in taxes when we’re struggling to keep up with vital investments in transportation, school facilities, and other critical infrastructure. It’s not sustainable to keep raising taxes on working families in the County to meet our budgetary needs.

Vaughn Stewart (House D-19)

It’s a shame that this proposal to bring the taxes paid by country clubs in line with the far higher taxes paid by working families and seniors failed to generate wide support. The extra $10 million of revenue per year would be especially beneficial at a time when the county is cutting school funding to address a $120 million budget shortfall caused in part by wealthy residents strategically withholding capital gains. If we can’t afford to pay teachers and staff what they deserve, we can’t afford tax breaks for Montgomery County’s Mar-a-Lagos. I’ve spoken to thousands of District 19 residents since starting this campaign, and they want to know how I’m going to reduce their healthcare costs, create alternatives to traffic congestion, and fully fund their kids’ schools. Not one of them has asked me to continue subsidizing the golf games of our county’s wealthiest few. I look forward to helping Delegate Moon revive this bill next session.

Editor’s Note: All three District 19 Delegates – Bonnie Cullison, Ben Kramer and Marice Morales – voted against the bill.

Chris Wilhelm (Council At-Large)

I’m disappointed that our County and State representatives weren’t willing to stare down the country club lobbyists on this bill, especially when the County is getting ready to balance the budget by cutting from education and other important services. I see this issue through a racial equity lens: how can we claim to “resist” and stand up for our diverse community when so many of our officials were unwilling in this instance to help shift the tax burden from lower and moderate income residents to the ultra wealthy? This is why Montgomery County needs to stop patting itself on the back for being the most progressive place in the world; we aren’t.

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Additionally, institutional supporters of Moon’s bill include SEIU Local 500, MCGEO, National Nurses United, Montgomery County Young Democrats and the Sligo Creek Golf Association (which advocates for a public golf course).

Moon’s statewide bill, which limits but does not abolish the country club tax break, is headed to a hearing before the Ways and Means Committee tomorrow (February 27).  The Chair of the Committee, Delegate Anne Kaiser (D-14), voted against the local version of the bill.

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Moon Explains Failure of Country Club Tax Break Bill

By Adam Pagnucco.

In the wake of the failure of his bill that would have phased out a special property tax break for MoCo country clubs, the Facebook page of Delegate David Moon (D-20) saw an eruption of commenters expressing outrage, disbelief and mockery.  (Some raised the prospect of starting country clubs in their back yards to get similar tax breaks.)  In response to repeated requests, Moon analyzed the arguments against his bill and told the story of how it died.  Moon’s account contains references to a well-intended amendment by Delegate Eric Luedtke (D-14), who tried to narrow the bill to allow it to pass.  But he also describes the tactics used by a lobbyist hired by the clubs to kill the bill which demonstrate just how far some special interests will go to protect what they have been granted by government.  We intend to find out what that lobbyist was paid when reports come due.

We reprint Moon’s breakdown of the arguments against his bill below.

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Let me finally try and add some detail to this bill.

Argument 1 – Treating MoCo Differently Than Other Counties: The bill as originally introduced repealed these tax breaks for all of Montgomery County’s golf courses. State law doesn’t allow counties to asses property differently from one another, so the bill needed a constitutional amendment (subject to approval by voters), to give MoCo permission to repeal the Country Club tax breaks. Some people (including Ike Leggett) argued that MoCo shouldn’t be taxing country clubs differently from other counties. I found that argument unpersuasive, as MoCo has a majority of the state’s country clubs receiving this tax break. Additionally, MoCo loses far more money from this tax break than other counties. This is because in 2002, state law created a flat fee for country club assessments at $1,000 an acre. The problem with that is that in MoCo, many of our country clubs are sitting on land worth between $300,000 and $1 million per acre. You will not find that scenario in any other county, as their land is worth far less. So the flat fee seriously harms counties with valuable land. I offered one amendment to change the bill to simply say the county should decide the country club tax assessments, since they are the ones losing money from this. That amendment failed narrowly. But even still, some people simply had a problem with amending the state constitution to fix this problem. I honestly don’t care what the mechanism is to address the issue (we inserted slot machines into our state constitution, for example). I also have a statewide bill (HB 1340) that addresses this issue by changing the $1,000/acre assessment to 1% of market value, to account for the different land values in Maryland. A few of my colleagues suggested this issue should be taken up as a statewide measure and didn’t think it made sense as a local bill. But to be honest, one of the reasons I did both a local bill and a statewide bill is that it will likely be far more difficult to persuade lawmakers from around the state to fix this broken system. It now remains to be seen whether lawmakers who opposed my MoCo bill on the grounds of treating all the counties the same will now support the statewide bill. I will forward the state bill to the County Executive to see if it now addresses his stated concerns.

Argument 2 – Some Country Clubs Are In Poor Financial Shape: A common argument made against my bill is that of the 15 or 16 MoCo golf courses receiving this tax break, not all had wealthy members. Some argued that they were teetering on the brink of closure and would shut down if this bill passed. The country club lobbyist got all the janitors and service staff from the clubs to come to Annapolis and tell lawmakers they would all be fired if the bill passed. It was a true spectacle. I tried to counter this argument with amendments to make the bill more need-based. I proposed that we cap the tax discount at the first $400,000 per acre of market value, so that almost all of the clubs would be unaffected except for the super wealthy ones that charge huge initiation fees ($40,000 to $70,000 just to join). The country club lobbyist opposed this and other amendments. Basically, they were saying this would put courses out of business, but when we proposed amendments to make that not the case, the lobbyist opposed those fixes, too. Nice move! To be fair to my House colleagues, they never had an opportunity to vote for this version of the bill, because we didn’t adopt the narrowing amendments in subcommittee.

Argument 3 – Country Clubs Provide Jobs & Do Charitable Work: Another routine argument during this debate was that the country clubs employ people and let charities use their facilities. My response here is that plenty of entities employ people and do charitable work AND pay their taxes. But what this argument really turns on, is the idea that passing this bill would put the clubs out of business. As I noted above, I had an amendment to address that issue, but the country club lobbyist (who was formerly a State Senator who sponsored the bill for country club tax cuts) opposed the amendment. Come on now.

Argument 4 – Open Space & Those Evil Developers!: Yet another frequently cited argument against my bill was that the country clubs would close and lead to rampant development. The Sierra Club ought to go do a membership drive at country clubs, because apparently there are hundreds of open space conservation activists at country clubs, and we didn’t know it! Kidding aside, there are a number of reasons why this is a flawed argument. First, it assumes that country clubs will close BECAUSE OF this bill. As I noted above, I offered to amend the bill to exclude clubs that are not wealthy. Second, you would have to believe that a wealthy club with hundreds of acres of land worth $1 million/acre and waiting list to join would shut the entire club over a tax bill increase in the thousands. As some have noted, the wealthy clubs could simply add some members or sell a tiny piece of their land IF this was really an issue (and I doubt it is, with the amendments I offered). Moreover, the teetering country clubs are in trouble because there is a generational shift away from golf being a popular hobby. We didn’t throw money at Blockbuster or Tower Records to keep those businesses open when the market shifted on them, but then again, their customers were not wealthy and politically influential people. Additionally, nothing would stop the county from exercising its zoning and staging authority over a failed country club, and I would be willing to bet that’s exactly what would happen if one of these clubs failed. Let’s also be clear that even if you don’t like development, only ONE of these clubs was in the Ag Reserve, and Eric Luedtke offered an amendment which I supported to exclude that club (it was rejected). Many of the clubs inside the beltway are in areas of the county that are zoned for development (not open space), per the master plans that guide county development. If people have a problem with that, they should argue for extending the Ag Reserve to the DC border, near highway exits and transit (an absurd policy proposition). Given that many of these inside-the-beltway clubs are located in highly desirable school districts, this amounts to an argument for residents who are privileged enough to live in the W cluster keeping out others who also want the privilege to live there. The tax implications of this de facto development moratorium are far greater than $10 million a year for the county. Moreover, a supermajority of MoCo lawmakers also cosponsored the bill to drop 50,000 Amazon workers onto the county without worrying about the development implications. But remember once again, that there were amendments offered to take this development issue off the table.

When I first embarked on this effort to rein in country club tax breaks, I thought this would be a simple bill. Boy was I wrong! I now know more than I could’ve imagined about this issue, and the more I learn the more I’m convinced that this situation is seriously messed up. I’ll be back with more legislation on this issue next year, including looking at how we enforce the anti-discrimination provisions regarding country clubs and pesticide restrictions for clubs receiving these tax breaks (since the environmental, open space argument is being made!).

In the meantime, I encourage everyone to listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating podcast on this topic.

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MoCo Delegates Kill Moon Country Club Bill

By Adam Pagnucco.

Montgomery County’s Delegates have killed a local bill proposed by Delegate David Moon (D-20) that would have eliminated a special tax break for country clubs contained in state law.  Seventeen Delegates voted to kill the bill while seven voted in its favor.

Under current state law, the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) is permitted to enter into agreements with country clubs possessing golf courses that would set the assessed value of their land at $1,000 per acre.  Moon’s bill would have phased out these agreements in Montgomery County subject to approval by voters.  The fiscal note on the bill indicated that the state government would have received an extra $1 million a year in tax revenue and the county government would have received an extra $10 million a year once the agreements were ended.  Despite the fact that the county just reported a $120 million shortfall, neither the County Executive nor the County Council supported the bill.

Since it was a local bill, the bill needed to clear Montgomery County’s House delegation before advancing to further votes by the county’s Senators and the full General Assembly.  That vote took place this morning.  After two unsuccessful attempts were made to amend the bill, Delegate Kathleen Dumais (D-15) made an unfavorable motion on it, which is tantamount to a no vote.  Delegate Sheila Hixson (D-20) seconded the motion.  Seventeen Delegates voted in favor of that motion and seven voted against.  The seven Delegates who voted in support of Moon’s bill were Moon, Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-18), Aruna Miller (D-15), Andrew Platt (D-17), Jeff Waldstreicher (D-18), Shane Robinson (D-39) and Jheanelle Wilkins (D-20).  We reprint the vote tally below.  In reading it, remember that a “Yea” vote is a vote to kill the bill.

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Campaign Finance Reports: Districts 20 and 39, January 2018

By Adam Pagnucco.

District 20

Everybody in this district is broke, including the incumbents.  Gone are the days when Jamie Raskin, Sheila Hixson, Heather Mizeur and Tom Hucker were raising money hand over fist and Jonathan Shurberg was writing himself six-digit checks!

If money is not a differentiator, the landscape will favor the three incumbents: Senator Will Smith and Delegates David Moon and Jheanelle Wilkins.  We anticipate that the three will team up, combine resources, get most if not all of the institutional endorsements and be reelected.  That leaves a contest for the open seat being vacated by the Queen of District 20, long-time Delegate Sheila Hixson.  Lorig Charkoudian, who runs a community mediation non-profit, has deep roots in Takoma Park and has been an advocate on progressive legislation at the state level (including abolishing the death penalty).  She finished second for last year’s Delegate appointment to Wilkins.  Howard University professor and volunteer fire fighter Darian Unger ran for the House in 2014 and finished fifth.  In that race, Unger was endorsed by the Washington Post, the Gazette, the Volunteer Fire Fighters, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.

The Big Question: will there be a mixed slate featuring the incumbents and either Charkoudian or Unger?  Such an event would be a repeat of 2014, when incumbents Raskin and Hixson teamed up with newcomers Moon and Smith to sweep the primary.

District 39

We should run a poll of Seventh State readers on whether this district is messier than District 17.  Last time, the four incumbents – Senator Nancy King and Delegates Charles Barkley, Kirill Reznik and Shane Robinson – had no primary opponents and cruised to reelection.  This year, Barkley’s decision to run for County Council At-Large has opened a seat.  MCGEO President Gino Renne threatened to defeat Reznik last May a month after Renne’s employee, Gabe Acevero, began his campaign for the House.  Shortly thereafter, the incumbents chose to slate with newcomer Lesley Lopez and it was Game On.  Just last week, County Executive Ike Leggett piled on, endorsing Acevero and accusing the incumbents of slating with Lopez in a “smoke-filled room.”  That’s an ironic comment from Leggett considering that he was first elected in 1986 as a new candidate invited by incumbents onto a mixed slate.

Putting aside the admittedly fun political food fight, the data above shows one salient fact: no one has any money except the incumbents.  That’s a big deal for Lopez as she can benefit from pooled resources with the rest of her slate.  Acevero’s path to victory necessitates rolling up lots of labor support – and not just from MCGEO and its affiliates – and raising enough money to break through.  That’s not easy to do in this district, which lacks the legions of liberal activists of District 20 and the wealthy neighborhoods of Districts 15, 16 and 18.

The Big Question: will the tumult over the incumbents’ mixed slate filter down to the voters or is it just something that the chattering class (and obsessive bloggers) will yap about?  If it’s the latter, the slate strategy could pay off.

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Moon Country Club Bill Could Generate $10 Million for MoCo

By Adam Pagnucco.

A local bill introduced by Delegate David Moon (D-20) that would end property tax breaks for country clubs would eventually generate $10 million a year for Montgomery County Government according to General Assembly analysts.  That’s welcome news for the county, especially considering its current budgetary difficulties.

Under current state law, the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) is allowed to strike agreements with country clubs having golf courses to cap the assessed value of their land.  To be eligible for such agreements, the clubs must have at least 100 members who pay dues averaging $50 or more annually for each member; restrict use of their facilities primarily to members, families, and guests; have at least 50 acres of land; and have a golf course with at least 9 holes and a clubhouse.  In practice, the agreements limit assessed land values to $1,000 an acre.  In return for the assessed rate, a club with an SDAT agreement must agree not to sell its land for subdivision and to not discriminate on race, color, creed, sex or national origin.  If a club with an agreement does sell its land for subdivision, it must pay back taxes equivalent to what it would have been paying without an agreement.

Not long ago, your author asked SDAT for all of its agreements with country clubs in Montgomery County.  SDAT sent us ten of them but we later learned that there are actually fifteen of them in the county.  One of them was signed in 1980 and three more were signed in 1981; all four of these are fifty year agreements.  Two more were transferred from prior owners.  One agreement, for the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, was signed in 2017.  In tax year 2016, when the agreement was not effective, the club’s 175 acres had an assessed land value of $1.94 million.  Once the agreement takes effect, the club’s assessed land value will be $175,000 – a 91% reduction.

Moon’s local bill would abolish such agreements with country clubs in Montgomery County as of their expiration or June 30, 2029, whichever date is earlier.  Because Maryland’s state constitution requires uniform rules for the assessment of land, Moon’s bill takes the form of a constitutional amendment carving out MoCo country clubs and golf courses from that requirement.  The amendment would have to be approved by voters.  We understand that Moon may also introduce a statewide bill to deal with SDAT agreements everywhere.

The fiscal note on Moon’s bill indicates that MoCo country clubs with SDAT agreements have a combined 3,000 acres currently assessed at $3 million.  In the absence of the agreements, the fiscal note estimates that the club’s assessed land value would be $983.3 million.  So once the agreements are all gone by Fiscal Year 2030, the fiscal note estimates that the state would collect an additional $1 million a year in property taxes from the clubs and the county would get an additional $10 million annually.

That’s right, folks – if the country clubs simply pay property taxes at the same rate the rest of us do, the Montgomery County Government would get an extra $10 million a year.

Delegate Moon’s country club bill is the biggest no-brainer of all time.  There is no justification for the richest of the very rich to get a property tax break that no one else does.  And if they are required to pay the same as everybody else, the county government would get a nice revenue bump to help it deal with our significant and increasing needs.

We hope every single MoCo Senator and Delegate will join David Moon and support his bill.

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David Moon for Senate


By Adam Pagnucco. (Editor’s Note: As always, this post–and endorsement–reflects the views of the author. No broader support or opposition to David Moon is meant by this post or note.)

I still remember the day I first met one of the great masterminds of MoCo politics.

It was March 2008.  A group of us gathered at SEIU Local 500’s headquarters to discuss how to help Nancy Navarro win the upcoming Council District 4 special election.  The room was full of progressive activists, ace operatives and labor people, most of whom had lots to say.  Your author, not being shy, ranted and raved with the best of them.  Off at the end of the table sat a quiet, scrawny little guy who looked like he weighed about 80 pounds.  He stared into his computer and said almost nothing during the two hour meeting.  I elbowed the attendee next to me and asked, “Who’s that?”  “Oh, that’s David Moon.”

Moon was already a household name among MoCo activists at that point, having been the campaign manager behind Jamie Raskin’s 33-point State Senate victory two years before.  But he was just getting started.  Moon’s skills were put to the test during the two special elections that followed as he endured a close loss by Navarro the first time, followed by an even closer win the next year.  I had been involved with union organizing and political campaigns during my time in the labor movement, but I had not met many campaigners of his caliber before.  Moon was simultaneously creative and disciplined – a rare combination for anyone.  He would do the tedious, mind-numbing work of producing the walk sheets and handling the follow-up data entry, and then turn around and come up with something new on the fly.  He could think big picture and then slap Apple Ballot stickers on lit all night.  He seemed to live on Diet Coke and junk food.  If you wanted to find him, the best way was to locate the largest pile of empty cans and wrappers and see who was sitting in the middle of it.  Most remarkable of all, Moon was almost without pretense.  All campaign managers have egos and some are unbearable.  But Moon would meet any suggestion, whether brilliant or stupid, with a shrug and grab the good ones while quietly disposing of the clunkers.

The David Moon of today was still evolving in the 2008-2010 period, but even then you could see where he was headed.  Most operatives are motivated by some combination of the thrill of winning, wanting a job with the victorious candidate, wanting to run for office themselves or just the fun of the game.  None of that was enough for Moon.  He had a Plan, and it was wildly ambitious.  He wanted to build a base for true progressivism in Montgomery County.  And by that I don’t mean just electing people who toss goodies to liberal interest groups while trying to move up the ladder.  Moon’s vision was to combine the political and economic forces of new residents, economic development, labor rights, people of color, environmentalism, smart growth and political reform into a movement for real change.  For a while, he did that through running other candidates’ campaigns and working with organizations like Action Committee for Transit, Communities for Transit, Casa de Maryland and FairVote.  But like most good quarterbacks, he eventually called his own number and ran for office himself.  He outwitted, outlasted and outplayed a number of capable opponents on his way to Annapolis.

As a Delegate, Moon has not backed away from any of the causes he supported early in his career, but he picked a focus: social justice.  Most freshman Delegates regard the House Judiciary Committee as a backwater.  They have to deal with the dominance of crusty old committee chair Joe Vallario and they can’t get the fundraising connections that members of other committees can (especially Economic Matters).  But Moon wanted to be on Judiciary; in fact, he actively lobbied for it because it is the place where criminal justice issues are decided.  And that’s where Moon has planted his flag.

Moon has been nothing less than a prophet on unfairness in the criminal justice system.  When he was running for Delegate, he wrote:

It’s time for a grown-up conversation about our criminal justice system. Maryland leads the nation in marijuana arrests, and black residents of Montgomery County are over 3 times more likely to be arrested for possession than white residents. This costs us between $100-$200 million a year and ruins the lives of young people by barring them from employment, student loan eligibility and more. Let’s look at the evidence and start rolling back the failed “War on Drugs” in Maryland.

Months later, the Baltimore riots erupted partly as a result of these issues.  Moon has been advocating on them ever since.  He has introduced numerous bills to rein in justice system excesses.  In 2015, he passed a bill through the House that would have excluded possession of a small amount of pot as a reason for parole violation.  (It died in the Senate.)  He has proposed letting voters decide whether to legalize marijuana and fought against efforts to recriminalize it.  Slowly but surely he is helping criminal justice reform advance, and in the years to come, the work of Moon and his allies will pay off.

Moon also returned to his political reform roots by teaming up with Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga on a bill that would stream live video of General Assembly sessions, something that the Montgomery County Council has been doing for years.  He opposed tens of millions of dollars of corporate welfare given to Northrop Grumman even while many Democrats (including some from Montgomery County) supported it.  His greatest triumph was passing a constitutional amendment that would allow special elections for U.S. Senate, Comptroller and Attorney General vacancies.  (This is subject to approval by voters.)

Moon’s work on criminal justice has produced something that’s uncommon for MoCo legislators: growing collaboration on a key priority with lawmakers from the City of Baltimore and Prince George’s County, who often co-sponsor his bills.  Moon has also helped create an informal group of cooperating progressives who resist reactionary bills no matter their source – even including the Democratic leadership.  A progressive caucus is a long-time dream of the left, but Annapolis leaders have always prevented it through a combination of pressure and cooptation.  Such tactics do not work on the indefatigable Moon.  He will not and cannot be deterred.

David Moon is an unusual elected official.  His experience as one of MoCo’s top campaigners has given him the ability to pursue big picture goals through patience, methodical assemblage of leverage and the implementation of tactics designed to build momentum.  He has demonstrated that capacity throughout his entire career, both in office and out.  He has worked on nearly the entire spectrum of progressive issues.  His priorities are perfectly in line with District 20 Democrats, who are probably the most progressive constituency in the entire state.  He is the natural heir to Jamie Raskin.  While I can appreciate the perspective of those who would like to appoint a caretaker to serve out the rest of Senator Raskin’s term and there are other good people available, the prospect of sending Moon to the upper chamber has too much upside to resist.

David Moon for Senate.

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