Hogan to Appear at Committee for Montgomery

The annual Committee for Montgomery Legislative Breakfast will host Governor-Elect Larry Hogan as its keynote speaker. A great chance to chat with local politicos–it’s all about the coffee before the meal–it should be interesting if only for the dynamics, as all of the officials from Montgomery are Democrats.

Here is the notice:

Committee for Montgomery welcomes Governor-Elect Larry Hogan as the keynote speaker at our 25th Annual Legislative Breakfast, which is set for Friday, December 12that 7 a.m. at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

This 20+ year old event is widely considered to be Montgomery County’s unofficial kickoff to the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session. Time is running out to become a sponsor and/or register. Sponsorship information is attached.

To register, go to Committee for Montgomery’s website: www.committeeformontgomery.org/events.


Miller Announces New Senate Leadership

Today, Senate President Mike Miller announced his new leadership team. Except for Sen. Ed DeGrange from Anne Arundel, all are from either Baltimore, Montgomery or Prince George’s–for the excellent reason that these jurisdictions provide the majority of the Democratic Caucus.

Committee Leadership

Much speculation surrounded who would take incoming AG Brian Frosh’s place as Chair of Judicial Proceedings, and the post has gone to Sen. Bobby Zirkin, who played leadership roles in efforts to decriminalize marijuana and tighten the responsibility of dog owners for attacks by unleashed dogs. Sen. Lisa Gladden will remain Vice Chair of this committee.

Sen. Jamie Raskin now heads the Executive Nominations Committee with Sen. Delores Kelley serving as Vice Chair. Less exciting during unified government, this committee will likely play a much stronger role–particularly in the next few months–with the Senate controlled by Democrats and the governorship by the Republicans.

Sen. Rich Madaleno also advances to Vice Chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee. Interestingly, he now holds the same posts as U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen did when he was in the MD Senate. Sen. Ed Kasemeyer, a comparatively moderate Democrat, will remain chair, which likely makes Madaleno a key progressive point person on budget issues.

Besides serving as Chair of the Montgomery County Senate delegation, Sen. Nancy King will now serve as Chair of the Education, Business and Administration Subcommittee of the Budget and Taxation Committee.

Another progressive, Sen. Paul Pinsky, advances to Vice Chair of Education, Health and Environmental Affairs. Sen. Joan Carter Conway remains the Chair of this Committee. This committee also remains a likely flashpoint between the Governor-Elect and the Democratic General Assembly.

Additional appointments, including a slew of new faces in the party leadership, including Sen. Catherine Pugh–a leader from Baltimore City–as Majority Leader are announced in the full press release:


ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. announced the first round of new leadership appointments effective for the new legislative session. “We are blessed in the Senate to have a wealth of talent and wisdom to help lead the state forward,” stated Senator Miller. “These members will provide the leadership to move our state and chamber forward.”

Senator Bobby Zirkin (Baltimore County, D-11) will become the Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee. Senator Zirkin has served on the Judicial Proceedings Committee during his time in the Senate, and served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee during his time in the House. “Senator Zirkin has been a key leader on judicial issues, and I know he is the right person to lead this committee,” stated Senator Miller. “His work in the legislature, and in his law practice provides him with the real-world experience that will allow him to lead the Judicial Proceedings Committee through the many difficult issues they will face.” Senator Lisa Gladden will remain Vice-Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Senator Jamie Raskin (Montgomery County, D-20) will serve as Chair of the Executive Nominations Committee, and Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics. Senator Raskin has served in the Senate since 2007, and has served as a member of many important committees including Legislative Ethics, and Judicial Proceedings. Since 2012, Senator Raskin has also served as Majority Whip. “Senator Raskin’s ability to lead on key issues, and knowledge of this state will serve well as Chair of the Executive Nominations Committee,” stated Senator Miller. “Additionally, his legal knowledge and strong moral compass will make him a perfect fit for the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.” Senator Delores Kelley will serve as Vice-Chair of the Executive Nominations Committee

Senator Richard S. Madaleno (Montgomery County, D-18) will serve as Vice-Chair of the Budget & Taxation Committee. Senator Madaleno has served in the Senate since 2007, all on the Budget & Taxation Committee. He will also serve as Chair of the Health and Human Services Subcommittee. “Senator Madaleno is one of the brightest budget minds in the Senate, and his leadership on a wide variety of budget issues will be critically important as we face looming deficits and difficult times ahead.” stated Senator Miller. “I am confident that Senator Madaleno will continue to be an effective advocate for the best interest of the entire state.” Senator Edward Kasemeyer will continue to serve as Chair of the Budget & Taxation Committee

Senator Paul G. Pinsky (Prince George’s County, D-22) will serve as Vice-Chair of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. Senator Pinsky has served on the Education, Health, & Environmental Affairs Committee in the Senate since 1994, and as the Chair of the Education Subcommittee since 2003. “Senator Pinsky has the depth of knowledge of the issues needed to help guide this committee,” stated Senator Miller. “His keen understanding of educational and environmental issues will be an asset to our state moving forward.” Senator Joan Carter Conway will continue to serve as Chair of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee.

Senator James “Ed” DeGrange (Anne Arundel County, D-32) will serve as Vice-Chair of the Rules Committee. Senator DeGrange has served in the Senate since 1998, and has formerly served as Vice-Chair of the Executive Nominations Committee, and currently serves as Chair of the Public Safety, Transportation, and Environment Subcommittee of the Budget and Taxation Committee, as well as Chair of the Capital Budget Subcommittee of the Budget and Taxation Committee. Senator DeGrange will continue in both these roles. Said Senator Miller: “Senator DeGrange is a true leader in the Senate and his longevity and leadership will ensure that the Rules Committee will have a strong voice as Vice-Chair.” Senator Katherine Klausmeier will continue to serve as Chair of the Committee on Rules.

Senator Nancy J. King (Montgomery County, D-39) will serve as Chair of the Education, Business and Administration Subcommittee, and will continue to serve as Assistant Deputy Majority Leader. “Senator King is a leader on budgetary issues in the Senate, and a key member of the Budget & Taxation committee,” stated Senator Miller. “As Education, Business and Administration Subcommittee Chair, Senator King will make certain we look out for the needs of all Marylanders.”

In addition to committee leadership, Senator Miller today announced Caucus leadership for the Senate Democratic Caucus. “We thank Senator Jim Robey for his service to our Caucus and our state. I am proud to announce the new Caucus leadership who will continue to make sure that as Democrats we continue to have a large tent that hears the views of all Democrats and all Marylanders.”

Senator Catherine Pugh (Baltimore City, D-40) will serve as Majority Leader. Senator Pugh has served in the Senate since 2007, has served as Deputy Majority Leader since 2011, and is the former Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “Senator Pugh has the respect and admiration of her colleagues throughout the Caucus and the Senate,” stated Senator Miller. “She has a strong grasp on the issues and will be a strong voice for the needs of all Marylanders.”

Senator Douglas J. J. Peters (Prince George’s County, D-23) will serve as Caucus Chair. Additionally, Senator Peters will serve as the Chair of the Pensions Subcommittee of the Budget & Taxation Committee. Senator Peters has served in the Senate since 2007, and has served as Chair of the Prince George’s County Delegation and Chair of the Veteran’s Caucus. “Senator Peters has been a strong leader in the Senate and will serve the Caucus well as its Chair,” stated Senator Miller. “His commitment and devotion to the State of Maryland and knowledge of budgetary issues will help to lead this state through the upcoming session.”

Senator Katherine Klausmeier (Baltimore County, D-8) will serve as the Deputy Majority Leader. Senator Klausmeier has served in the Senate since 2003, and the General Assembly since 1995. “Senator Klausmeier brings a unique perspective to our Caucus, and one that helps bind together and ensure that all areas and perspectives of our state continue to be heard,” stated Senate Miller. “I am excited to have her serve our Caucus in this key leadership role.” Senator Klausmeier will also continue to serve as Chair of the Senate Rules Committee.


Fountain Named for Chevy Chase Land Company Founder Source of Controversy

NewlandsFrom the Chevy Chase Land Company Home Page

The Chevy Chase ANC (Advisory Neighborhood Commission) in the District of Columbia will consider a resolution (see below) next Monday night to call for the renaming of the fountain in Chevy Chase Circle after someone other than U.S. Sen. Francis Newlands, who helped to found Chevy Chase, due to his long-time efforts to promote his negative views of Blacks, Jews, and Women.

The Chevy Chase Land Company still recalls Sen. Newlands with pride. When they unveiled their plans for Chevy Chase Lake at the Planning Board, then-President David Smith began his PowerPoint with a slide of Sen. Newlands. About as much time was spent telling us about Sen. Newlands’ role in founding the area as their actual plans for the area, though unsurprisingly no mention was made of his bigoted views.

Sen. Newlands still appears on the home page of the Land Company website (see above) with a biography on a linked page that–beyond crediting him for founding Chevy Chase–also informs the community that:

Because Senator Newlands was considered one of the fathers of modern irrigation, in the 1930s a fountain was built in Chevy Chase Circle (which was considered the gateway to the Federal City) memorializing his contributions in this area. To recognize the 100th anniversary of its founding, The Chevy Chase Land Company refurbished and repaired the Chevy Chase Circle Memorial Fountain in 1990, and held a rededication ceremony attended by members of the community. . . .

The Land Company to this day remains family owned and is proud of its long tradition of family leadership and its deep connections to the Chevy Chase community.

Here is the proposed resolution:

Resolution Calling for the Renaming of the Fountain at Chevy Chase Circle

WHEREAS, the fountain in Chevy Chase Circle is called the “Francis Griffith Newlands Memorial Fountain,” as evidenced by a plaque at the fountain dedicating it to the late U.S. Senator Francis G. Newlands (1846-1917), the fountain being listed on the National Registry of Historic Places;

WHEREAS, the Chevy Chase ANC desires that the fountain be renamed for a person that our community respects and honors, in accordance with all necessary approvals by any governmental agencies;

WHEREAS, the Chevy Chase ANC respectfully makes this request for the following reasons:

1. Senator Francis G. Newlands was instrumental in the creation of Chevy Chase D.C. & MD, but his vision was for Chevy Chase to be forever racially segregated. He included in most property deeds in Chevy Chase a racist covenant precluding land from ever being owned by African-Americans or Jews (these covenants have since been declared void but are still present in original deeds, usually lined out). He also used the formation of Rock Creek Park as a segregationist barrier in D.C. generally.

2. Senator Newlands was a lifelong outspoken racist and segregationist. He openly called (including in his 1912 campaign for U.S. President) for amending the constitution to prohibit the vote to African-Americans and limit immigration to whites-only.

3. During his political career, he fought to limit education for African-Americans to domestic and menial work only, and for other measures to suppress the rights of African-Americans.

4. He also opposed women’s suffrage.

5. The historic public record reveals his outdated beliefs. For example, he said: “I believe this should be a white man’s country, and that we should frankly express our determination that it shall be.” New York Times, June 17, 1912.

WHEREAS, Chevy Chase acknowledges the historic role played by Senator Newlands as the lead developer of Chevy Chase, but as we long ago progressed beyond his segregationist vision for our neighborhood, over the last many decades building a warm community that is open, tolerant, and inclusive in every respect;

WHEREAS, the primary purpose of this Resolution is to create a positive opportunity to name the fountain for a person that our current community (and the area and nation as a whole) respects and honors, leaving Senator Newlands to the annals of history;


The Chevy Chase ANC supports the renaming of the fountain at Chevy Chase Circle, and suggests the name [TBD, nominees include John J. Pershing (who lived in Chevy Chase) and Frederick Douglas (who lived in DC)]. The Chevy Chase ANC requests that the D.C. Council pass a Resolution supporting this Resolution, and forwarding both resolutions to the D.C. Historic Preservation Office for implementation through a name change on the National Register of Historic Places (which lists the fountain), a new plaque at the fountain itself, and such other measures to complete the renaming of the fountain.


Delegation Chairs from District 39

District 39

District 39 Sen. Nancy King will be the chair of the Montgomery County Senate delegation. Now, it appears as if the chair of the House delegation will also hail from D39, as it is said that Del. Shane Robinson has received assurances of support from a majority of Montgomery County delegates. Good news for residents of this part of the County–no worries that their concerns will fail to gain concern for the delegation.


Delegates Who Sought Other Offices

Fifteen Democratic delegates sought a range of other offices; only five were successful:

Tom Hucker, Elected to Montgomery County Council
Susan Lee, Elected to Senate
Veronica Turner, Defeated in Primary for Senate
Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, Elected to Senate
Jolene Ivey, Defeated in Primary for Lt. Governor
Melony Griffith, Defeated in Primary for Senate
Guy Guzzone, Elected to Senate
Heather Mizeur, Defeated in Primary for Governor
Aisha Braveboy, Defeated in Primary for Attorney General
Jon Cardin, Defeated in Primary for Attorney General
Luiz Simmons, Defeated in Primary for Senate
Peter Murphy, Elected Charles County Commission President
Johnny Olszewski, Defeated in General for Senate
Mary-Dulany James, Defeated in General for Senate
Doyle Niemann, Defeated in Primary for PG County Council

Five of eight Republican delegates who ran for higher office were successful in 2014:

Addie Eckardt, Elected to Senate
Steven Schuh, Elected Anne Arundel County Executive
Wade Kach, Elected to Baltimore County Council
Michael Hough, Elected to Senate
Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Defeated in Primary for Lt. Governor
Ron George, Defeated in Primary for Governor
Gail Bates, Elected to Senate
Mike McDermott, Defeated in General for Senate

If I am missing anyone, please let me know. Thanks to those who sent in corrections–the post has been updated.


Why Brown & KKT Lost

Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown did not lose because of poor Democratic turnout. Neither did Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. It is a dangerous myth in our party Montgomery and  Prince George’s Counties, combined with the City of Baltimore, are enough to win a statewide election.

The even more dangerous corollary to his theory is that, if the Big Three jurisdictions are enough to deliver victory statewide, the key is to nominate a candidate capable of driving turnout among the Democratic base voters in those three very progressive bastions. Sadly, this is not the case. Even if turnout in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore City had been 10 points higher, Larry Hogan would still be the Governor-Elect.

The truth of the matter is that Democrats cannot win a statewide election if they get killed in the Baltimore suburbs. Democrats still need to win some moderates to take the prize. For years, Martin O’Malley appealled to working class Democrats in places like Dundalk and Essex, as well as a certain number of wealthier suburb and exurbanites in places like Bel Air and Towson.

This–in addition to the D next to his name in Baltimore City, MoCo and Prince George’s County–gave him a winning statewide coalition in 2006 and 2010. O’Malley nearly won Baltimore County in 2006 before taking the prize outright in 2010. In 2010, O’Malley received 35% of the vote in Harford County, while Brown barely cracked 20% four years later. Barbara Mikulski frequently wins counties in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore.

Interestingly, Mikulski, O’Malley, Brown and Townsend are all center left to progressive Democrats with little policy disagreement of any true substance among them. So, why the difference in performance in these key areas?

As the legendary Virginia operative Mudcat Saunders oft moans, people vote based on culture not the issues. A guitar playing, Catholic school educated Irishmen with a disarming charm like O’Malley went a long way towards making gay marriage and the Dream Act–and progressive taxation–palatable to swing voters from Easton to Essex. A grandmotherly, Polish-American social worker like Mikulski can do the same.

But a stiff, Harvard-educated, former DC lawyer originally from Long Island, who happens to be black, like Anthony Brown has limited appeal outside of the polyglot Washington suburbs and Baltimore City. Likewise, a Kennedy from Greenwich, CT had limited appeal outside of Bethesda and Roland Park in 2002.

Right now, we don’t need someone to drive out mythical hard core progressives, who came out and voted for Anthony Brown anyway. We need someone who is as comfortable at Dundalk’s Fourth of July parade as at Takoma Park’s.


Who are the Most Progressive Members of the House of Delegates?


Blue Indicates Reelected Delegate

The above table contains a list of the 84, or 60 percent, most progressive delegates going into the 2014 elections, according to Boris Shor and Nolan McCarty’s measure of state legislator ideology. Remember that the lower the score (i.e. the more negative or left on the number line), the more progressive the legislator.

Interpreting the Scores

Two key caveats need to be remembered when interpreting the table. First, two legislators–David Fraser-Hidalgo and Steven Arentz–were appointed too recently to have scores and are not included. (Unlike for the Senate, scores are also unavailable for newly elected legislators; most new senators were former delegates.)

Second, the the tradition of the House is that legislators vote with their committee on the key second reading of bills that have emerged from their committee. The basic rationale is that legislators should not have a second bite at the apple and go along with the results of their committee. Adherence to this tradition would alter a legislator’s score if they would have otherwise voted differently.

As a rough cut, the top four deciles, or 40% of the House, are all solid progressives or liberals (pick your favorite) on most issues. The fifth and sixth deciles, who formed the middle 20% ideologically of the old House, were more center left with legislators becoming more moderate as the scores get closer to zero.

Departure of Moderate Democrats

Liberalism appears somewhat related to the likelihood that a legislator from the old House will return in the new one. Consider that 11, or 26%, of the 42 most progressive legislators (i.e. the top three deciles) will not return in 2015. But among the 42 next most progressive legislators (i.e. the fourth through sixth deciles), 17, or 40%, will not serve in the new House.

(The numbers indicate the same conclusion if one divides the two groups between the third and fourth deciles. In the top four deciles, 29% of the 56 won’t return, as compared to 43% of the 28 delegates in the fifth and sixth most progressive deciles.)

The 13 most moderate Democrats are not shown in the table. Perhaps most tellingly, 8 or 62% of them will not be coming back. And none left because they moved to the Senate. As detailed in Friday’s post, many lost reelection to Republicans in the “Massacre of the Moderates.”

The Speaker and His Caucus

Notice that Speaker Michael Busch was slightly left of center in his old caucus (remember 13 Democrats are not in the tables). He seems likely to be slightly right of the center in his new caucus, as more moderates were defeated. Moreover, it seems quite possible that newly elected legislators will be more left wing than the delegates who preceded them in office.

The Most Progressive Returning Legislators

Interestingly, the three most progressive returning legislators according to the Shor-McCarty measure sat in the Senate: (1) Rich Madaleno, (2) Paul Pinsky, and (3) Roger Manno. However, the next two were members of the House: (4) Susan Lee, and (5) Bonnie Cullison, though Lee is moving from the House to the Senate when the new General Assembly convenes.


Massacre of the Moderates

Moderates in the House of Delegates did not have a good election. The following is a list of the 21 most moderate delegates going into the 2014 elections, according to Boris Shor and Nolan McCarty’s measure of state legislator ideology:


Among the 21 moderates, only six ran and won reelection. All but one seat that flipped parties was held by a moderate. Seven moderate incumbents went down to defeat: six Democrats and one Republican. Additionally, three seats vacated by Democratic incumbents were picked up Republicans.

The replacement of nine moderate Democratic incumbents by Republicans will push the Democratic Caucus to the Left. It may also make the Republican Caucus more conservative; junior members of both parties have tended to be less moderate than senior members of their party in Congress.

All of the nine seats picked up by Republicans were in territory that leans Republican in other elections, which should make it easier for the GOP to hold them in the future and for their delegates to take conservative positions. In safe seats, candidates fear primaries more than general elections.

Five moderates were replaced by new members of the same party. In three cases (Districts 4, 33, and 37B), these seats are safe for the Republicans. One more district also leans strongly, if slightly less securely, toward the Democrats. As a result, it would not surprise if the four new members were less moderate than their predecessors. (Only District 34A, previously held by Democratic Del. Mary-Dulany James, is tough territory for their party.)

Previously, the ideological distance between the most moderate Democrat and Republican was only 0.164. Based on who is left, that gap would rise to 0.598, leaving the two parties more clearly divided into clean camps than before the election.


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