Category Archives: Jonathan Shurberg

Council Members Circle the Wagons on Term Limits

By Adam Pagnucco.

The No on B Committee, the ballot question committee opposing Montgomery County term limits, has filed its first campaign finance report with the State Board of Elections.  There are no surprises here: most of the contributions it has raised have come from incumbent members of the Montgomery County Council.

The committee reported raising $9,125 through October 9.  Of that amount, $6,000 (66%) has come from the campaign accounts of Council Members.  George Leventhal  was the lead contributor, donating $1,500.  Roger Berliner, Sidney Katz, Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer contributed $1,000 each while Marc Elrich contributed $500.  Other contributions of note came from George Leventhal’s father, Carl ($500), Marc Elrich’s Chief of Staff, Dale Tibbitts ($500) and Casa de Maryland ($1,000).  In total, contributions from Council Members and their staff accounted for 72% of money raised by the committee.

After paying attorney Jonathan Shurberg $5,000 for his work on the unsuccessful court case to get term limits thrown off the ballot, and paying other minor expenses, the committee reported a final balance of $4,024.49.

Another committee formed to support term limits, Voters for Montgomery County Term Limits, reported raising $2,890 and finishing with $2,683.27 in the bank.  Developer Charles K. Nulsen III contributed $1,000.  There have been rumors of developer support for term limits, which would be interesting considering that the anti-development Montgomery County Civic Federation also supports term limits.  But Nulsen’s lone contribution signals that so far the real estate community is not fully engaged.

In 2012, 460,885 MoCo residents voted in the general election.  A similar number could be voting this year.  What’s clear is that neither committee has the resources to get its message out to the electorate.  Since many underlying factors favor the passage of term limits, the failure of both sides to raise money is a net benefit for supporters.

Shurberg Represents Niemann

Former District 20 Delegate Candidate Jonathan Shurberg has moved on quickly and is already back in the news. He is representing Del. Doyle Niemann, who was defeated by Deni Taveras by six votes for the Prince George’s District 2 Council seat.

Jonathan’s choice to represent Niemann is interesting in light of  criticism of Niemann’s lack of support for progressive positions on affordable housing in the General Assembly and alliance with anti-LGBT pastors in this hotly contested primary (“Progressive Democrats Turned Bad“).

During his campaign, Jonathan promised to be a leader in the fight for LGBT equality on his walk lit. He also promised to be an advocate for tenants’ rights:

Although renters make up almost half of our community — live here, shop here, and send their children to school here – their needs and interests are not adequately represented. Renters are not currently protected by fair legislation that would stabilize rent increases, protect against unjust evictions and other unfair business practices by landlords, and ensure other rights and resources to make a level playing field in their dealings with landlords and well-financed industry organizations.

I imagine that lawyers, like everyone, need to earn a living and can’t always be picky about their clients. Jonathan just spent at least $240,000 on his delegate campaign.

For more on the District 2 recount and Jonathan’s comments on behalf of his client on the case, read the excellent coverage in the Life and Times of Hyattsville.