Bradbury Drops Out, Resigns from MCDCC

Central Committee Member Chris Bradbury has dropped his bid to fill the delegate vacancy in District 14. He has also resigned from the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC):

This email is to officially retract my application for delegate in district 14.

It’s is further more to be considered my official resignation from the MCDCC effective immediately.

Christopher D. Bradbury

Looks like MCDCC will have yet another vacancy to fill.


MD NARAL PAC Endorses Queen for Delegate

Maryland NARAL PAC has endorsed Central Committee Member Pam Queen for the delegate vacancy in District 14. While they also commend Central Committee Member Chris Bradbury for his support for choice, MD NARAL has less than kind words for former Del. Herman Taylor:

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC believes there are far better choices to represent District Fourteen than Mr. Herman Taylor. Any representations by him or his supporters that we have ‘resolved’ our differences over his anti-choice legislative record are false. Mr. Taylor’s legislative record and any subsequent claims of settlement reinforce the fears we have for peril of transparency and choice in Maryland.


The Liquor Monopoly’s Preposterous Claims of Improvement

Today, I’m pleased to present a guest post by Adam Pagnucco:

On February 4, representatives of Montgomery County’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC) headed to Annapolis to brief the county’s state legislators on their operations. The stakes were high. DLC’s Executive Director had abruptly left his position six days before and legislation was pending on whether to allow voters to decide on opening up the monopoly to private sector competition. As of this writing, 2000 people have signed a petition in support of that legislation.

DLC’s message to the legislators is that improvements were underway, but they would take two months to take effect. As Delegate Charles Barkley (D-39) noted, that coincides with the end of the General Assembly’s session. Barkley said, “If we’re going to do anything, we have to do it before we get out of here—and of course, after a two-month period, it’s too late.”

DLC also claimed to have a 98.5% delivery accuracy rate. Delegate Kirill Reznik (D-39) replied, “If all of what the DLC does is comparable to or better than private industry . . . why does every restaurant manager I talk with beg me to get rid of this system?”

DLC has had problems and has been promising to make improvements for a long, LONG time. Consider the following.

  1. In 2005, then-DLC Executive Director George Griffin (who just recently left) outlined his improvement efforts to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association:

In a department-wide project called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), the DLC is upgrading its systems in all areas, with an emphasis on integration. “POS (point of sale), inventory control, accounting, the warehouse, licensee ordering, buyers: they’ll all be tied together,” said Griffin, “from the retail stores, which will have running inventories, to our drivers, who will be equipped with handhelds.”

Ten years later, the county’s Inspector General found that DLC’s warehouse was being run with sticky notes. The Inspector General found that the warehouse was missing as many as 154 cases a day without anyone investigating why.

  1. A 2007 article in the Washington City Paper noted extensive problems with DLC’s special order system. The article contains this quote:

When Griffin took over the DLC, he inherited a department with low morale and little motivation. “The department had not been operating well and was sort of seen as an outcast from the rest of the county government in a way,” the director says. “I used to joke around and say, ‘This department was like, in a family, the crazy aunt who lives upstairs. None of us talk about her. You’re kind of embarrassed to admit that she exists, but everyone wants her money.”

The same problems persist a decade later. Many licensees would not refer to the DLC as “a crazy aunt” because that characterization is far too kind.

  1. A year ago, DLC launched a new inventory system to catalog, order and deliver its products. Griffin said, “It was a little rough getting started, but it’s gradually getting better.” But NBC4 found that the new system made ordering and delivery worse. American Tap Room owner Mike Jones said, “It’s getting increasingly worse. . . . This has been one of the most frustrating processes I’ve ever been involved in, where you’re almost pleading and begging with officials to get something done.”
  1. In late November, the County Executive said that complaints about DLC were “overblown.” One month later, DLC suffered a historic delivery meltdown in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
  1. Last June, DLC developed an “Improvement Action Plan” to improve its operations. The Restaurant Association of Maryland surveyed its members about how DLC was doing eight months after this plan was adopted. Here are a few survey responses from restaurant owners and managers on a number of issues.

On Special Orders

What frustrates me the most is the lack of care/regard for special order items. After waiting 15 days for certain cases of wine, I get a camera shot from my vendor who is at the warehouse staring at all the missing cases just sitting in my designated space. Infuriating!

Not been able to speak to someone who knows what is going on with my order 2) If you run out of product, good luck getting it back in stock at a reasonable time with a once a week delivery and order system is impossible to keep availability. 3) For weeks I was out of several wines and after waiting and talking to the sales rep. I was informed that the wines were delivered to the county. Called them and talked to several people without a clear answer so I decided to go to DLC and find out what they had there for me. They were surprised that the wines were there because they could not find them on the computer as being delivered and in my cubicle waiting for weeks to be delivered.

On Regular Stock

The DLC constantly runs out of inventory, delivers late and never apologizes. Also, anytime you go to the DLC to pick stuff up, all you see are guys standing around by the ‘no smoking’ sign, and smoking. They are lazy and many of them do nothing.

Products that should be widely available are out of stock – Blue Moon six pack bottles, Corona 24 oz. cans, Sierra Nevada six pack bottles.

On Billing

I was charged for 6 cases of stock wine that NEVER CAME! I spent hours on the phone trying to resolve the issue. They sent the 6 cases . . . of the WRONG wine 2 weeks after the fact. Never refunded the money and wouldn’t take the order back.

It is impossible to know track on the DLC website how much will be pulled out of your bank account and when. The amounts directly debited from our bank account never match the invoices.

On Delivery

The DLC doesn’t care for or understand the products they are delivering. It’s why we receive wrong boxes, out of date items, improperly handled merchandise and a general sense lacking of any genuine appreciation for their jobs.

Over all there is no sense of urgency or organization with the DLC. Paying 20%+ for product over what we pay in DC is just insane. Recently we did not get product in for a wine dinner we were having and we placed the order 3 weeks prior and they even showed it as an in stock!

The above history makes it obvious that DLC’s promises to improve cannot be believed. Delegate Barkley is right; they are trying to run out the clock and prevent anything positive from getting done. And what should get done?

Thousands of people know the answer: End the Monopoly.


MoCo Delegation Protests Hogan’s Effort to Shift Money from Higher Ed to Corrections

The following is an excerpt from a letter sent by the Montgomery County legislative delegation to Governor Larry Hogan. Emphasis added.

Dear Governor Hogan:

As you know, your unilateral decision to spend $480 million on a new jail will result in unreasonable delays in funding for major projects at numerous universities. One of the projects that will be delayed by your decision to redirect funding from higher education to the Baltimore City jail is a long-planned expansion of the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Montgomery County. . . .

It is a sad, unfortunate and startling fact that Maryland spends more on corrections than it does on higher education. This is exacerbated by your decision to fund the Baltimore City jail over higher education. Again, we understand there is a clear need for a new correctional facility in Baltimore. However, there is a capital improvement plan already in place for such a new facility. Note that many of us would support expediting the plan given the deplorable conditions of the facility. But, expediting the entirety of the new jail facility at the expense of higher education is pure folly. Respectfully, if Maryland is “open for business,” then we must invest in higher education for many reasons, including providing an educated workforce for current and future Maryland businesses.

You can download the full letter here:


Three Strategies for Winning CD8

Today, I am pleased to present a guest post from Adam Pagnucco:

With roughly ten weeks until early voting begins in the 2016 primary, candidates for Congress in District 8 are entering the home stretch. Three candidates are leading the field, and each of them has a different strategy for winning. Whichever one of these strategies is best suited for the race will play a major role in determining the winner.

And these strategies are:


Roll Call recently reported that Total Wine co-owner David Trone made a $900,000 ten-day TV and radio ad buy in early February. Bethesda Magazine’s Lou Peck wrote, “The Trone campaign is making what is known in TV ad lingo as a 600-point buy: The aim is to ensure that 80 percent of adult viewers see an ad seven times or more.” And since Trone has nearly limitless resources and has vowed to spend “whatever it takes” to win, we should expect to see more of this.

Let’s put Trone’s opening bid in context. First, in ten days, he spent more than Senator Jamie Raskin’s entire cash on hand ($869,000) and almost as much as Kathleen Matthews’ entire cash on hand ($1.1 million). Second, this one expenditure is almost equal to Chris Van Hollen’s total spending in the 2002 primary ($1.1 million). Third, it’s more than half of what Congressional District 6 candidate John Delaney paid SKD Knickerbocker for media production and ad buys ($1.7 million) in the entire 2012 primary. And there’s still three months to go.

Trone must find Delaney’s success encouraging. And he certainly has a success story to share. But this year’s CD8 race is different in many respects from the CD6 race in 2012.

  1. CD8 is jam-packed with liberal Democrats in Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington and Wheaton, while half of CD6 is located in considerably less liberal Western Maryland. The latter district is indisputably more hospitable to self-made businessmen like Trone and Delaney.
  1. Delaney’s principal rival, then-State Senator Rob Garagiola, did not have an aggressive grassroots operation as does Senator Jamie Raskin.
  1. The 2012 campaign did not feature a prominent female candidate like Kathleen Matthews.
  1. Delaney was endorsed by Bill Clinton and the Washington Post. Trone has no obvious connection to the Clintons and we will see what the Post chooses to do.

Trone definitely has the attention of the other candidates, with Delegate Kumar Barve sending out an email titled “Fighting Big Bullies” and Raskin stating, “Public office is something you earn, not something you buy.” Trone seems likely to break local race spending records. The big question is how CD8 Democratic primary voters will respond.


Jamie Raskin has built what is probably the biggest grassroots organizing operation in the county since Van Hollen’s 2002 race. Unlike most candidates who hide their internal campaign measures, Raskin puts them out for all to see. He has adeptly grown from his Takoma Park/Silver Spring base and tapped into activist networks all over the district, aided by his legions of local elected endorsers. He has responded to Kathleen Matthews by assembling a voluminous “Women for Jamie” group. And there is little question that a huge majority of the precinct-level liberal activists are with him.

The big question about Raskin is whether the time he is spending in Annapolis will impede his campaign’s ability to grow. Raskin is a superb one-on-one and small group campaigner. No one is better in a backyard full of progressives. Unlike many people with his level of intellect, Raskin comes across as both smart AND likable – a great talent for a politician. But with Raskin tied up in the Mike Miller Senate Office Building through early April, those assets are not as deployable and they don’t transfer quite as well to television or mail.

Another question about Raskin’s network is how far it penetrates into the community. He definitely has the activist liberals who are critical for winning State Senate and Delegate races. But what about PTA officers and volunteers, civic association leaders, faith leaders and small business people? Raskin is going to be outspent by both Trone and Matthews and his network must be big enough to offset that. If it is, Raskin can corral the progressive vote and win.

Stand Out

Three, maybe four, candidates will have the resources to compete. All of them will have a progressive message. All of them will talk about standard Democratic issues that are also being raised in the presidential campaign. But only one of them is a woman and only one of them has 25 years of experience on television. That’s Kathleen Matthews.

Let’s understand that nearly 60% of Montgomery County’s electorate is female no matter how you cut the data. The Matthews campaign certainly gets that. Below is the cover of the eight-page foldout lit piece that is currently being distributed by their field operation. You don’t need to see the rest of it; the cover says it all.

Matthews Door Cover

Here’s the reaction of the regular female voter who received that piece. “It’s a nice brochure. I haven’t thought about the race. But she is certainly hitting all the right marks for me as a female Dem. I have to admit that the thought of getting another woman in Congress, particularly someone with her knowledge and high profile, is tempting.”

That’s music to the ears of the Matthews campaign.

Matthews has a quiet, but growing field operation that is now roaming the district. Unlike Raskin, the campaign does not advertise its statistics. Her real strength is going to be on television. Trone can run all the ads he wants, but none of these candidates can match Matthews’ abilities on camera. Her campaign’s weakness is that it has not had much of a local dimension to this point. But one TV ad on a hot local issue like Metro could go a long way towards remedying that. No one is better equipped than Matthews to do a film shot at a Metro station with frustrated riders, and then pivot to the camera declaring, “Metro riders deserve better. When I am elected to Congress, I’ll fight to fix Metro!” Then the riders will shout, “We’re Metro riders and we approve this message!

Folks, these are all competent campaigns and this race is turning into one for the ages. It’s going to be a great three months until the end. Enjoy the ride!


Founder of Failed DC Charter School Enters Board of Education Race

Republican Gwendolyn Love Kimbrough is one of five candidates to have filed for the at-large Montgomery County School Board seat held by incumbent Phil Kaufman, who is seeking reelection. According to the Washington Post, Kimbrough founded a special education charter closed by the DC School Board in 2006:

D.C. school board members said last night that they will immediately take over the Jos-Arz Therapeutic Public Charter School after school leaders failed to introduce required improvements — including obtaining accreditation and providing a proper curriculum — at the special education facility. . . .

Despite the school’s early support from the council, Jos-Arz founders Rollie and Gwendolyn Kimbrough became embroiled in a longstanding dispute with the school board.

School board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz became suspicious of what she considered unusually high rent payments from the school to the nonprofit organization that owned the building and on whose board Rollie Kimbrough served. She also complained about contracts the school awarded to Gwendolyn Kimbrough’s company, American Therapeutic Services.

The Kimbroughs asserted that Cafritz and the school board sabotaged Jos-Arz by failing to refer the required number of special needs students that the school needed to survive. After losing thousands of dollars, Gwendolyn Kimbrough left her position as the school’s executive director in 2003.

As the operator of a charter school, Kimbrough has an unusual background for someone who wants to oversee MCPS. The failure of the charter school she founded does not bode well if she wants to be an effective advocate for new charters in Montgomery.


Chris Bradbury’s Fake Official Webpage Gone

chrisbraburymcdccScreenshot of Bradbury’s Fake Official-Looking Webpage

UPDATE: Chris Bradbury has defended his creation of the fake official-looking webpage because:

David’s claim that competing candidates are not allowed to decide how to represent their opponents is factually incorrect. For example attack ads and other political advertisements used during a regular campaign to promote a candidate. This is protected by the bill of rights. Also, it should be mentioned that I have not “attacked” any of the candidates in this race.

Misses the point entirely, as the problem is that he cast the page as a “Montgomery County Democratic Party” page. Looks like MCDCC agreed with me, as Chris has had to take down the page. Chris also claims falsely that I wrote my post “at the direction of the Annapolis power brokers.” My words in posts that appear under my name are my own unless otherwise indicated.


Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) Member Chris Bradbury, a candidate for the vacant delegate seat in District 14, has now removed the fake official-looking Montgomery County Democratic Party webpage he created on his own website. The page solicited opinion on behalf of MCDCC as to who should be appointed to the vacancy.

The page was created without authorization from MCDCC. Yesterday, Bradbury’s response had been solely to correct his misspelling of “Caldwell Banking” to “Coldwell Banking” but the page was entirely gone by this morning. I imagine that MCDCC demanded that the unauthorized page be taken down.

Obviously, Bradbury did not understand that an MCDCC Member who is also a candidate should not go rogue and create an unauthorized official-looking page that presented information about his opponents as well as himself.

As of now, Bradbury is still listed as a Central Committee Member on the MCDCC website. I do not know whether Bradbury plans to remain a candidate for the vacancy or a member of the Central Committee in the wake of these disqualifying actions demonstrating astonishing poor judgement.


Bradbury Launches Bid for Delegate Vacancy, Creates Official Looking Form on His Website

chrisbraburyfbScreenshot from Facebook

The selection of Del. Craig Zucker to fill the Senate vacancy caused by the retirement of Sen. Karen Montgomery (D-14) has opened up a vacancy in the House of Delegates. The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) will select Zucker’s replacement.

Four candidates are in the race. Pam Queen is Professor of Business at Morgan State and a MCDCC Member. Herman Taylor is a former delegate as well as President and CEO of Deskmate Office Products. Mark Feinroth is the Director of Regulatory Affairs at the Maryland Association of Realtors and worked previously at the Maryland Department of Labor.

MCDCC Member Chris Bradbury has also jumped into the race–a surprise as he had previously said he was going to support Queen, who also has the backing of the D14 legislative delegation. While Bradbury’s Facebook page says he is a real estate broker at Magnolia Realty, that fact is oddly not mentioned on his bio created specially for the race.

MCDCC Form is on Bradbury Webpage

Even more strangely, Bradbury appears to have placed what is designed to look like an official MCDCC form on his personal webpage. The form links to bios of the candidates, and looks like an official place for voters to give their recommendations for who should fill the delegate vacancy:


Why is this form on Bradbury’s website? I cannot imagine that MCDCC sanctioned the bad judgement of placing a form that asks voters for input on the website bearing the name of one the candidates–and mentioned on his Facebook page. Indeed, his website redirects to the delegate selection form.

This decision alone should disqualify Bradbury from being on the MCDCC let alone the House of Delegates.

Bradbury’s Bio

Here is Bradbury’s bio from the same “official” MCDCC webpage:


Under work experience, Bradbury says impressively that he specialized in “preventing foreclosures” as an asset manager of $30,000,000 for an unnamed (!) private equity firm. Bradbury, who graduated from Blake HS in 2001, also reports that he is “enrolled” in Business Administration at Thomas Edison State College, located in Trenton, New Jersey.

Though his bio doesn’t mention his work in real estate, Bradbury states he attended the Caldwell (sic) Banker School of Real Estate last year. In the past, he sold cars at Koons Ford and worked as an organizer for Impact Silver Spring.


Cummings Filed for Reelection this Morning

CummingsScreenshot from Maryland State Board of Elections

As of 10am this morning, the Maryland State Board of Elections reports that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-7) has filed for reelection. Cummings, a respected senior representative, had considered running for the U.S. Senate. He would have been a formidable candidate.

Despite his late decision, a Cummings bid seemed increasingly unlikely as time passed and other candidates raised money, campaigned and organized. His decision will free up people who had waited and would have supported Cummings to join the Edwards or Van Hollen camps.

Rep. Cummings would have had to give up his position as the leading Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee where he made a name for himself in defending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration against the endless highly partisan Benghazi investigations.