Annapolis Top Five Young Guns

Part II in this continuing series of up and comers under 30 around the State.

1. Jake Weissmann. Don’t let Jake’s goofy style fool you: he has been the brains behind Mike Miller’s formable political operation for years. This cycle, he faces the greatest challenge of his career–guiding the Senate Caucus through what’s shaping up to be a 2010 style red wave nationally. Once he finishes law school, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as one of the top earning lobbyists in the state.

2. Sarah Elfreth is Government Affairs Director for the National Aquarium. The smartest, wittiest lobbyist walking the halls of the Lowe House Office Building, she is also one of the youngest young guns on these lists. Whether she remains behind the scenes or runs for office in the future–a distinct possibility–one thing is for sure: you’ll be sure to hear the name Sarah Elfreth for decades to come:

Anonymous: “Sarah Elfreth, a resident of Annapolis MD, is a true leader and an extraordinary example of a young woman who is both influential and impactful before State and local government.”

3. Cailey Locklair is the Deputy Director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. The following nomination is perhaps the highest praise any lobbyist could receive:

Anonymous: “One of the most persuasive people I’ve ever had a drink with in Annapolis. Completely dedicated to her client.”

4. Geoff Burgan. This guy is sharp and has fantastic people skills. Currently in O’Malley’s comms shop, I wouldn’t be surprised to  see Geoff as a key player in the Brown Administration or on a nascent O’Malley’s presidential campaign.

5. Andrew Friedson. Excepting his longtime handler Len Foxwell, no one is closer to Peter Franchot than Andrew Friedson. He currently serves as Communications Director in the Comptroller’s Office, where he was previously Deputy Chief of Staff. He managed Franchot’s reelection campaign in 2010.

Anonymous: “another no-brainer nominee.”

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NARAL Pro-Choice Final Endorsements

NARAL_logoI’m listing them by legislative district with non-incumbents highlighted in boldface. The one Republican endorsee in District 15 has an (R) after his name.

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland is also issuing qualified non-endorsees with their 100% Pro-Choice rating. This may devalue their endorsement, as voters will likely be oblivious to seeing one versus the other. Some incumbents who received the endorsement are less than thrilled by this tack by NARAL.

You can revisit the controversy over the non-endorsement of Natali Fani-Gonzalez for delegate in District 18 here and here.

District 3
House: Nicholas Bouquet (3A)

District 8
Senate: Kathy Klausmeier

District 9
Senate: Ryan Frederic
House: Tom Coale (9B)

District 10
Senate: Delores Kelley
House: Adrienne Jones, Robert Johnson

District 11
House: Dan Morhaim, Dana Stein

District 12
Senate: Ed Kasemeyer
House: Terri Hill, Clarence Lam, Adam Sachs

District 13
Senate: Guy Guzzone
House: Sane Pendergrass, Frank Turner

District 14
Senate: Karen Montgomery
House: Anne Kaiser, Eric Luedtke, Craig Zucker

District 15
Senate: Brian Feldman
House: Kathleen Dumais, Aruna Miller, David Fraser-Hidalgo, Ed Edmunson (R)

District 16
Senate: Susan Lee
House: Ariana Kelly, Bill Frick, Marc Korman

District 17
Senate: Cheryl Kagan
House: Kumar Barve, Jim Gilchrist, Andrew Platt

District 18
Senate: Rich Madaleno
House: Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutiérrez, Jeff Waldstreicher

District 19
Senate: Roger Manno
House: Bonnie Cullison, Ben Kramer, Marice Morales

District 20
Senate: Jamie Raskin
House: Sheila Hixson, David Moon, Jonathan Shurberg

District 21
House: Barbara Frush, Joseline Peña-Melnyk

District 22
Senate: Paul Pinsky
House: Tawanna Gaines

District 25
Senate: Ulysses Currie
House: Angela Angel, Stanley Onye

District 27
House: Sue Kullen (27C)

District 30
Senate: John Astle
House: Mike Busch (30A)

District 39
Senate: Nancy King
House: Charles Barkley, Kirill Reznik, Shane Robinson

District 40
House: Marvin “Doc” Cheatham

District 41
House: Sandy Rosenberg

District 42
Senate: Jim Brochin
House: Steve Lafferty (42A)

District 43
House: Maggie McIntosh, Mary Washington

District 46
Senate: Bill Ferguson
House: Pete Hammen, Luke Clippinger, Brooke Lierman

District 47
Senate: Victor Ramirez
House: James Tarlau (47A)

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MoCo Top Ten Young Guns

1. Dave Kunes & Nik Sushka. Dave is a smart, savvy operative with the heart of an activist. He revitalized the Montgomery County Young Dem’s into a force to be reckoned with within the County and beyond. That they helped carry a candidate the Virginia House Caucus had left for dead to victory–Mike Futrell–in 2013 was lost on none). Tom Hucker was lucky to have him and Anthony Brown is too. Labor’s favorite person–period. Future? Whatever he damn well pleases.

Nik, Dave’s fiancé and an all around nice person could have a future representing District 20 in the Legislature. She succeeded Dave as President of the Young Dems (which, in a strange twist of events, now seems to wield more clout than the Central Committee). She works for Montgomery College and is well versed on a number of policy issues.

2. Andrew Platt. If Andrew isn’t finishing up his first session as a delegate representing District 17 next year, I will donate $100 to a charity of his opponents’ choice. But between massive labor support, strong fundraising, and tremendous campaign vigor, I think my hundred bucks is safe. He’s sharp as anyone and has the spirit of a hustler. Future MD-06 Congressman?

3. Dan Reed. Land use aficionados have turned to Just Up The Pike for sharp policy analysis for years. In the last six months, Dan has shown versatility in taking on Josh Starr on a host of education issues for which he has dutifully taken heat. Future Planning Board Member? Or could a 2016 school board candidacy be in the offing?

4. Jonathan Jayes-Greene. Jonathan is charming, handsome and very bright. He combines a tremendous personal story with boundless political savvy to promote the issues important to him, which frequently involve immigration. Currently working in the governor’s office, maybe he’ll return there as First Panamanian-American governor?

5. Joel Sati. Joel isn’t just smart. He’s a genius. He brings the intellectual fire power of an Ivy League Department Chair to his advocacy which has often been based around the Dream Act. Currently in New York City for School, I (and many others) would love to see him run for office back home. With JD/PhD plans in his future, could he be the first African American AG?

6. Dan Campos. This Latino investment banker and former U.S. Senate staffer made a convincing 2010 bid for delegate in D17 as a Republican, earning the NARAL endorsement. He has since switched parties–and everyone should welcome him to Team Blue with open arms. Right now, he is leader of the opposition in Gaithersburg’s municipal affairs. When he runs for something, watch out. Nobody outworks Dan Campos.

7. Jonathan Sachs. A rare wunderkind made good.  Currently Director of Public Policy for Adventist Healthcare , I could see Jonathan as a successor to GiGi Godwin as CEO of the MoCo Chamber. A number of different people wrote in to nominate Jonathan for this list. Here is what two of them said:

“Probably the most notable thing about Jonathan—and it speaks to his character and intelligence—is that in a county where “progressives” rule, Jonathan is a centrist, pro-business Democrat. He thinks for himself and doesn’t fall in line with the local political dogma, so his input is all the more valuable because those who share his point of view can get drowned out in our local political conversations. But when Jonathan says something, people—included elected officials—pay attention.”

In a universe of newbies – most with slim credentials – Jonathan stands out as a star.  Rather than conjuring up bona fides, Jonathan is and has been in the trenches since his days at the University of Maryland.”

8. Kelly Blynn. Rockstar Organizer. No one does it better in Montgomery County. I dread the day I find myself on the opposite side of an issue from Kelly because that can be a very scary place to be. One nominator described her as:

“Coalition for Smarter Growth, transit advocate – a sophisticated and energetic organizer who played a central role in the BRT campaign.”

9. Kevin Walling. A well connected national operative who works at the top political phones firm in the country, Kevin traded an uphill fight for delegate for a safe shot at the MCDCC. Four years from now, he’ll have the local roots to compliment his national credentials. This will make him an even stronger candidate when he runs for office again. Rumor has it that he intends to make a play for MCDCC Chair this year.

Editor’s Note. Number 10 is the author, John Gallagher, nominated by just too many different people to leave out. Offered without comment except from the nominators:

“John Gallagher, Seventh State, mail/campaign operative – the youngest of the young guns, with a campaign resume that would be impressive for a 40-year-old.”
“You. You’re everywhere, you’re a beast, you deserve it.”

Honorable Mention: Marc Korman. Marc has aged out. However, due to his youthful good looks so many people mistakenly nominated him for the list as to necessitate his inclusion. He has an even shot at winning a delegate seat in Annapolis this year. Sidley Austin Attorney, Democratic Party stalwart and ex-Capitol Hill staffer. Anonymous comment:

candidate for delegate, former MPW – smooth edges and a good sense of humor, with broad and deep contacts across Montgomery politics and government.”

 

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Achieving Marriage Equality in Maryland

marriage winElection Night 2012

In a blog post today, Andrew Sullivan hails Freedom to Marry and attacks the Human Rights Campaign for their respective roles in the national fight for marriage equality. I’m not going to do the traditional snip from his post because you need to read the full argument to really do it justice and it’s made in the context of a scathing book review.

I have no interest in defending the book (haven’t read it, don’t plan to) in this post or the overall record of either F2M or HRC. But the record needs correction in terms of the roles that each organization played here in Maryland if only to show that the overall picture is far more nuanced than Andrew presents. I was President of Equality Maryland at the time and in a reasonable position to know much of the background, so here goes.

Freedom to Marry was a barrier to progress in Maryland. Its leader, Evan Wolfson, had absolutely no faith in our ability to win a referendum. Even after President Obama endorsed marriage equality and polls showed that support increased further in our state–strongly Democratic and with a large share of African-American voters–Evan still remained adamantly opposed.

Not only did Evan refuse to invest in Maryland but his gatekeeper role with major donors made it much harder to raise the needed funds (note: I am not the anonymous source in the linked article). Even more galling, F2M continued to send fundraising emails into Maryland but never mentioned its unwillingness to get behind the referendum effort.

In contrast, HRC played an absolutely essential role here in Maryland, providing money and people vital to support our media and organizational efforts. I know it’s not Andrew’s favorite group (understatement) but its critical role in Maryland should be acknowledged and applauded.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley also raised money and provided real leadership in the State. Of course, Equality Maryland had worked hard on this issue for a very long time and focused its efforts and resources virtually entirely on the referendum fight. Many others, such as the Maryland’s wonderful and large LGBT Caucus, the ACLU, NAACP, Latino organizations, and the unions also lent welcome and necessary support. It was a team effort.

marriage win2

We were all so happy and proud that night in 2012 when Maryland became the very first state to uphold marriage equality at the ballot box. I know Evan played a wonderfully positive role in other states and, more importantly, in building up organizational support for the overall movement. In short, he’s done a lot of good work.

But we won marriage in Maryland in spite of him.

 

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My Retirement

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

I wanted to let you know that I plan to step down from the Town Council this May at the end of my term. I feel very fortunate and honored to have received the trust of the people in the Town of Chevy Chase and to have had the opportunity to serve on the Council the past six years, including two as mayor.

I’m looking forward to remaining involved in the community. Thanks to Housing Unlimited, a wonderful organization that provides housing for people with psychiatric disabilities here in Montgomery County, for the privilege of letting me serve on their Board.

Though I didn’t file for reelection, I am very pleased to have been nominated for my professional association’s governing Council. I look forward to having more opportunity to focus on my research and to indulge my love of travel.

I’ve learned and gained so much from the experience–my respect for those of you who are running has increased all the more. I appreciate all of the friendship and support so many people in the Town have given me. The best part about serving on the Council is all of the great people that I have gotten to know.

Many thanks and all the best,
David

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SEIU Endorses Council Candidates

SEIU Local 500 has released their endorsements for Montgomery County Council Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4:

1: Roger Berliner
2: Craig Rice
3: Ryan Spiegel
4: Nancy Navarro (unopposed)

The most interesting endorsements are in Districts 1 and 3.

In District 3 (Rockville-Gaithersburg), Ryan Spiegel now has the endorsement of two major school system unions: MCEA and SEIU. Two nice endorsements in a hotly contested race with several high-quality candidates for this open seat.

In District 1, Roger Berliner has to be relieved to have received SEIU’s endorsement in his tough contest against Duchy Trachtenberg. So far, MCEA has not endorsed in that race.

The District 1 race could be shaping up as a proxy fight between the school system and county government employee unions. The latter have been mighty unhappy with the current Council and believe that the former have done comparatively well.

Roger Berliner looks among the more vulnerable Council incumbents. Duchy Trachtenberg is not labor’s ideal vehicle given her history but she is the only option if the government employee unions want to take out Berliner and exercise some muscle. Recently, Trachtenberg hired Robert Stewart, the just retired executive director of MCGEO, as her campaign manager.

High-income District 1–it includes Potomac, Bethesda and Chevy Chase–seems an unlikely locale for a labor proxy fight but stranger things have happened. Their divisions could also provide opportunities for other groups to have more influence.

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Thoughts on the Gansler-Ivey Poll

The Gansler-Ivey poll results are catnip for people like me who follow campaigns but also a good example of why outlets that try to estimate the current shape of election campaigns (e.g. 538, pollster.com) do not include them in their analyses.

The press release includes some interesting numbers. I was less interested in the top lines than in the report of Doug Gansler’s favorability ratings. If opinions of the AG have indeed improved since the spate of very bad press earlier this year, that would certainly be good news for the Gansler-Ivey campaign.

However, the press release was more telling for what it did not include than what it did. There is no information about the questions that were asked. One poster on Seventh State’s Facebook page claims that the questions were primed to elicit negative responses about Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

(Update: The Gansler campaign informs me this was not the case and that the questions about candidate ratings and horse race numbers were asked prior to the questions regarding the exchanges in any case.)

While the poll reported Gansler’s favorability ratings, it did not do the same for either Brown or Mizeur. Additionally, there are no demographic breakdowns. I’d be especially interested to know the gender, racial, and religious composition of the survey, as well as the results for these demographic groups.

This information would make it possible to answer several questions. For example, does the share of women estimated in the electorate correspond to past gubernatorial elections? Women routinely makeup a disproportionate share of Democratic primary voters in Maryland but do they in the polling sample? How strong does the poll state support is for candidates among groups whose support they might hope to consolidate?

So, while fun to read, I’ll be looking forward to the next poll reported by an outlet not associated with one of the campaigns.

Note: I’m supporting Gansler but I try to call it like I see it as is evident here.

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Gansler-Ivey Release Poll

I’ll try to provide more analysis later but thought I would just share the document now. It shows Brown with a 31% lead with 22% for Gansler, 8% for Mizeur, and a whopping 40% undecided–less than reported in past polls for the Post and the Sun.

The release from the campaign also highlights that Brown has a 37% positive-47% negative rating on handling the health care exchange. It also says that Gansler’s favorability ratings have increased 10 points from previous media polls to a net 46% favorable and 16% unfavorable.

Gubernatorial Poll from Gansler-Ivey Campaign

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