Dan Reed for Planning Board

By Adam Pagnucco.

One of Montgomery County’s most remarkable activist careers was started when a bus failed to show up on Route 29.  Yes, it’s true.  Most of us would simply grouse about it for a few minutes, call a cab and move on with our lives.  But Dan Reed wrote about it on the Internet and wondered, “Why is Route 29 the only road across the Northwest Branch? A ‘Route 29 spur’ was proposed as part of the County’s Master Plan for roads that would have connected University Boulevard to 29 north of Lockwood Drive, bypassing Four Corners and the Burnt Mills Dam. Of course, this was forty years ago. The Right-Of-Way probably no longer exists – but, boy, would it have saved a lot of trouble this morning.”  And so began one of MoCo’s greatest creative endeavors, Just Up the Pike.

Most people in MoCo who start out as transportation or land use activists begin local and stay local – very local.  They’re concerned with something that impacts their neighborhood.  That’s how Dan started, as someone who cared about his native East County and wanted to chronicle it, champion it and make sure it got the attention and respect it deserves.  But he didn’t stop there.  He wrote and wrote and grew and grew.  In his exploration of East County, he learned both about the technical aspects of transportation and land use planning as well as the differing views held by the many people who lived there.  He combined this with his education in architecture and planning at U-Maryland and the University of Pennsylvania to become one of MoCo’s preeminent story tellers, advocates and experts.  He also branched out to take on subjects including local history, education, demography and politics.  All of this has come to form a vision of MoCo combining the transit-oriented development and multi-modal priorities of the smart growth movement with the cultural sensibilities of millennials.  Very few people have accomplished such a body of work in this county as has Dan Reed.

Now Dan is applying for the Planning Board.  This is an immensely powerful position.  The five board members recommend master plans for the county’s communities to the council.  They also have input into the county’s budgetary and transportation priorities.  Finally, they approve specific plans for individual development projects that collectively and continuously transform the county.

Planning Board members, who are selected by the County Council, have been a diverse lot over the years.  They have included developers, attorneys, community activists, planning professionals and people of many other backgrounds.  But there has never been a Planning Board applicant quite like Dan.  It’s rare that one person would have a comparable background in leadership, vision, advocacy, writing and professional expertise all in one package – and to have those characteristics developed, not regionally or nationally, but right here in MoCo.  And from the perspective of diversity, few would argue that our county would benefit from the engagement of more young people and more African Americans, both groups of which Dan is a member.

As a blogger for more than a decade, Dan has a point of view.  But like all points of view, both its content and its expression are not universally appealing.  David Lublin identified several things Dan has said over the years about residents in the western parts of the county that they would understandably find to be displeasing.  Let’s consider Dan’s writing in context.  First, he began writing Just Up the Pike at the age of 18 and he wrote many of his posts in his early 20s.  Males of that age are not known for their judiciousness, discretion and restraint but Dan was better than most.  Dear reader – what were YOU doing at that age?  Your author admits nothing, and if my fraternity brothers post pictures here, they will be promptly deleted!  Second, Dan and I (and David Lublin) have written well over a thousand blog posts each over the last decade.  Surely there are a few things in such a vast body of work that we might look back on and think, “Hmmmm.  Maybe I would write that differently today, or maybe not at all.”  Does that invalidate the other 99% of content that might contain merit, and in Dan’s case, significant merit?  Reasonable people could disagree on that, but I would argue that with Dan, the 99% overwhelms the 1%.  And third, on those occasions when Dan has pointed out differences in education, income, school performance and other factors between the county’s regions, he was not wrong to do so.  Might there have been more tactful ways to express such perspectives?  Perhaps, but there is not a single one of us who has a perfect record of doing so.  Dan may have some work to do on this, but so do I – and in our current benighted era of incivility, so do we all.

What all of this means is that Dan Reed is a human being – highly educated, ridiculously qualified and gifted, but human nonetheless.  Those of us who have read Just Up the Pike over the last decade have watched Dan grow up – a process that for the rest of us has mercifully occurred away from the Internet.  The person Dan is now is an ideal candidate for public service.  Few people combine his insight, vision, passion, knowledge and readiness.  MoCo is lucky to have him.

Dan Reed for Planning Board.


Planning Board Candidate Dan Reed Doesn’t Like Bethesdans Much

Dan Reed has applied for the Montgomery County Planning Board. Besides being a trained architect (B.S. from UMD), planner (Masters in City Planning from Penn), and former employee of Councilmember George Leventhal, he is also a prolific writer and very active in development and transportation issues.  All of this is great. What is not great are his views towards a large bloc of people whom he’d like to govern.

Specifically, he sure doesn’t think much of people who live or hang out in Bethesda. Even though Dan stated “I don’t go to Bethesda Row often,” that did not prevent him from expressing very strong opinions about people who live in the area. Here is his pitch to B-CC students that Silver Spring is a better place for them to hang out than Bethesda:

You and I both know [your parents have] been taught to fear everything east of Rock Creek Park, so you’ll earn major street cred by hanging out in a place where the kids don’t all wear private or Catholic school hoodies with Timbs. (This is also an effective way to avoid your date’s ex from the Landon School who lurks outside the Barnes and Noble in Bethesda Row.)…

Once you get a little older, you’ll discover that there aren’t many bars here, and those we do have cater to an older demographic than what you’ll want on a Friday night out. Of course, by then you’ll probably be going to a prestigious liberal arts college in some leafy New England town that those of us who came from lesser public high schools could only dream of…

So, while you’re still in Bethesda, why not take a walk on the wild side and make some pubescent memories this weekend in Silver Spring. You can tell your incredulous friends on Monday how you went slummin’…

This screed was not a one-off for Dan and his contemptuous view of those who live in Bethesda.  In a response on his blog to a piece published by Bethesda Magazine, he wrote:

How many fine [Bethesda] individuals think of Silver Spring primarily as an exporter of black kids? How many Bethesda youth are unaware of the glorious Friday nights to be had in Silver Spring?…

Alas, Bethesda Magazine must feel some kind of inferiority complex about their town’s parking garages, where each weekend so many midlife-crisis Mercedes coupés and tricked-out swagger wagons are trapped that the streets ring with the screams of Montgomery County’s frustrated suburban élite…

Sometimes, I wonder why their staff of Bethesda Magazine doesn’t just pour all of their money and effort into something constructive, like battling illiteracy in DC, rather than giving a two-hundred-page-long pat on the back to people with the money and taste to live west of Rock Creek Park…

And, on yet another occasion, Dan wrote:

… I claim all of Bethesda as ours, so long as they stay on their own side of Rock Creek Park so we can remember “normal people” still live in Montgomery County.

Apparently, in Dan’s eyes, Bethesdans are elitist racists who think that Silver Spring is, to paraphrase Neville Chamberlain, a far-off land of which we know nothing.  As someone whose parents moved to Silver Spring before he was born and has since spent many a day and night there (I guess we are brave enough to sometimes leave the land of “shitty Irish bars and middle-aged-trendy clothing stores”), I think the tone and underlying animosity toward the people who live in Bethesda as expressed in Dan’s blog posts are disturbing.

Yes, there are major differences between Silver Spring and Bethesda, just as there are between many other areas of the County.  But, as a planning board member, Dan will make major decisions that will have an influence on the future of all of Montgomery County.  The County’s future should not be entrusted to someone with such blatant animosity towards a major portion of the community he will supposedly serve.


New Estimates of Turnout Changes by Race

In an piece for The Monkey Cage, Bernard Fraga, present new estimates from Catalist of changes in turnout by race from 2012 to 2016.

Nationally, African-American turnout declined by 4.7%. In contrast, white turnout was up 2.4%, Asian-American turnout increased by 3.0%, and Latino turnout rose by 3.8%. In Maryland, white turnout rates increased by 1.8%, while black turnout fell by 3.3%. Data for other groups were unavailable.

The blog post suggests that Clinton might have won if she had been able to keep black turnout as high as 2012 by taking Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, albeit the latter two by razor thin margins. Of course, it was never likely that she would inspire as high an African-American turnout as the first black president.


Could Anyone Stop David Trone in CD6?

By Adam Pagnucco.

The future plans of Congressman John Delaney remain unclear, but that has not stopped some potential candidates from expressing interest in his seat.  Two have filed paperwork to start raising money – Delegates Bill Frick (D-16) and Aruna Miller (D-15).  It’s time to examine what a potential open seat race in Congressional District 6 might look like.

Let’s begin by asking the obvious question: could anyone stop David Trone?

Trone, a co-owner of Total Wine and second-place finisher in the 2016 CD8 Democratic primary, is known to be looking at races for both Montgomery County Executive and CD6.  Trone shares certain characteristics with Delaney: both are successful, center-left businessmen who live in Potomac and have been active political contributors at the national level before running for office.  Delaney’s 25-point victory in 2012 over establishment favorite Senator Rob Garagiola (D-15) is no doubt encouraging to Trone because it provides a model for his own potential candidacy.  So far, five Montgomery County state legislators – Frick, Miller, Delegates Kirill Reznik (D-19) and Andrew Platt (D-17) and Senator Roger Manno (D-19) – have told the Sun that they would consider running in CD6.  There may be others as well as several Republicans.  But let’s start with the MoCo Five.  How do they compare to Trone?


This is the elephant in the room.  Trone set a record for a self-funding candidate for Congress last year.  Here is how his potential MoCo rivals stack up to him in lifetime campaign receipts.

Money doesn’t make Trone invincible.  Senator Jamie Raskin (D-20) raised $2 million in the CD8 primary, was outspent by Trone by more than 6-1 and still defeated him by 7 points.  But money is a big advantage for Trone and none of these MoCo legislators has proven that they can raise anywhere near as much money as Raskin.


Unlike Trone, the five MoCo legislators represent legislative districts and presumably have relationships with their constituents.  Here is the number of Democratic voters in the portions of their districts that overlapped with CD6 during the last mid-term primary, which occurred in 2014.

None of these legislators represents a dominant share of CD6’s Democratic electorate.  Two of them – Miller (20%) and Reznik (16%) – represent a larger share of CD6 than Raskin did of CD8 (14%).  But Raskin’s in-district supporters were intensely invested in him and he was able to reach into other districts through many surrogates.  These legislators would have to do something similar in order to acquire an advantage over the others.

Now, what of the 43% of CD6 Democratic voters who do not live in any of these districts?  Aside from the handful who reside in four precincts in Legislative District 14, they live in the district’s four Western Maryland counties.  In the CD8 primary, Trone won absolute majorities of the vote in both Carroll and Frederick Counties.  Trone also won pluralities in Damascus, Gaithersburg, Glenmont/Norbeck, Potomac and Rockville.  The implication is clear: if each of these legislators gets in and holds most of their home territory, Trone could still win by running up big margins in Western Maryland and picking up pockets of votes in UpCounty MoCo.  Let’s remember that MANY of these residents were exposed to Trone’s millions of dollars in broadcast TV commercials last year.

Electoral Experience

Most of Trone’s potential rivals have not won an intense, hard-fought election like last year’s race in CD8.  Frick and Reznik were originally appointed to their seats.  Miller was inducted onto the District 15 incumbents’ slate in 2010 prior to winning an open Delegate seat.  The exception is Manno, who withstood some of the most depraved political attacks in recent MoCo history when he took out incumbent Senator Mike Lenett (D-19).  But CD6 is much larger than D19 and the potential reach of Manno’s prodigious door knocking – his favorite campaign tactic – is in question.

And then there is Trone himself.  After three months of all-out campaigning, Trone eclipsed a field of initially better-known candidates to finish on the brink of victory.  Our interview with Trone last year is instructive.  As a self-made man, Trone has a swagger that is off-putting to some who meet him.  But he has also endured significant tragedy and failure in his life that was key to his later triumphs.  Trone has an almost preternatural ability to reflect, learn and adapt.  His cover picture on Twitter even advises visitors to “Try Things… Get Comfortable with Failure.”

The thought of a wiser, more experienced and more strategic Trone should inspire dread in potential opponents.

And yet, Trone can be beaten.  Let’s look at the man who did it.  Jamie Raskin started out as one of MoCo’s best-ever challengers when he defeated twenty-year incumbent District 20 Senator Ida Ruben.  He spent the next ten years building progressive networks at both the national and local levels.  The former helped him raise millions of dollars; the latter gave him a grass-roots army that has been seldom seen in this county.  No prospective CD6 candidate checks all those boxes.

It will take two things to stop Trone if he runs for an open seat in CD6.  First, most of the MoCo legislators mentioned in the Sun would have to not run, thereby giving the remaining candidates room for electoral growth.  And second, one of Trone’s rivals would have to run the race of his or her life, far exceeding previous performances.

Raskin proved that it can be done.  But can it be done again?


Town of Chevy Chase Election Results

All was quiet for a change in the Town of Chevy Chase this year, as two candidates filed for the two seats:

Cecily Baskir (appointed incumbent), 260
Joel Rubin, 233

Cecily Baskir was appointed to fill the vacancy created by John Bickerman’s resignation last year. Bickerman was best known for his involvement in an unethical stealth write-in campaign to get himself Fred Cecere elected as well as his antics on the Council. He has sold his house in order to move out of town.

Fred Cecere had vowed to step down after one term, though was rumored to be hoping for calls for his reelection that did not materialize. In short, everyone is more than ready to move on from the extremely divisive 2015 election.

Cecily Baskir, an active attorney, is well known for her leadership in organizing people in Bethesda and Chevy Chase to get actively involved in the sector plan. Specifically, she has fought to maintain the graduation in heights between residential neighborhoods and downtown Bethesda, even as the latter continues to grow.

Joel Rubin served previously as the citizen chair of the Public Services Committee and is a former State Department official. He sought election to the open Eighth Congressional District last year. Though he ran a vigorous and positive campaign, Joel won just 1.1% of the Democratic primary vote in his underdog effort against much better known and financed candidates.

Congratulations to both candidates.


Glenarden Election Results


Edward Estes, 323
Dennis Smith (incumbent), 283

Councilmembers (Seven At-Large)
Deborah Eason (incumbent), 351
Carolyn Smallwood (incumbent), 327
James Herring (incumbent), 317
Robin Jones, 317
Celestine Wilson, 305
Angela Ferguson, 294
Donjuan Williams, 273
George W. Reid, 272
Judy Diggs (incumbent), 268
Mark Coulter, 264
Jennifer Jenkins (incumbent), 256
Maxine Phifer (incumbent), 237

Glenarden experienced major turnover as it unseated its mayor and turfed out three councilmembers. However, three other incumbent councilmembers came in first, second and third for the seven available at-large seats, despite controversy reported in the Washington Post:

The election in Glenarden, in central Prince George’s County, was marred by controversy after three council members were censured over allegations that they used city money to promote a petition campaign. The council retained an attorney and has requested an investigation by the state prosecutor.

All three of the council members — Carolyn Smallwood, James Herring and Deborah Eason — retained their seats Monday, according to early returns.


Mt. Rainier, Hyattsville and Cheverly Election Results

Mount Rainier

Malinda Miles (incumbent), 486
Jesse Christopherson, 416

Ward 1 – Two Years
Celina Benitez, 331
Charnette Robinson, 155

Ward 1 – Four Years
Luke Chesek, 339
Tyrese Robinson, 143

Ward 2
Bryan Knedler (incumbent), 353

The election was hard fought and exhibited tensions related to issues of change, class, and gentrification. In recent years, the African-American share of the population has fallen while many Latino immigrants and Whites have moved to the town.

Essentially, two slates competed. Mayor Malinda Miles along with Charnette Robinson and Tyrese Robinson represented the views of longer term residents. All are African-American women. Councilmember Jesse Christopherson was allied with Celina Benitez and Luke Chesek. Christopherson and Chesek are white while Benitez is a Salvadoran immigrant.

Though Mayor Miles eked out a win in the marquee race, she will now have to grapple with two newcomers she opposed on the Council, as Benitez and Chesek easily won their races. White incumbent Bryan Knedler was also reelected.

The mayoral campaign was clearly hard fought and not always pretty. After the election, one resident bizarrely wrote losing Mayoral Candidate Jesse Christopherson’s wife what can best be described as an intentionally hurtful nastygram.

UPDATE: Luke Chesek explained via email that he did not run on a slate or endorse either mayoral candidate. Thanks for the much appreciated feedback.


Ward 1
Bart Lawrence (incumbent), 467
Talib Karim, 165
Ian Herron, 50

Ward 2
Robert Croslin (incumbent), 356
Write-Ins, 20

Ward 3
Carrianna Suiter, 136
Ayanna D. Shivers, 85
Vinni Anandham, 19
Write-In, 1

Ward 4
Edouard Haba (incumbent), 106
Shirley Ann Bender, 18

Ward 5
Erica Spell, 75
Ben Zeitler, 51
Derrika Durant, 4

A group of Catholic Hyattsville residents who have formed a tight community were recently featured in a profile of Ron Dreher in the New Yorker. Councilmember Shani Warner reports on Facebook that the election was at least somewhat bitter:

Amusing excerpt from a “concession” email to the neighborhood listserv: “Also, I extend my gratitude to all the people who made false and hurtful statements about me and my supporters, as I am told that every act of wrong that one experiences wipes away sin.”

The concession email was authored by Talib Karim, who lost an appeal against a Civil Protection Order requested by his wife. The basis for Karim’s appeal was that the judge denied his request for a continuance to seek counsel in the middle of the trial–Karim is a lawyer and decided to go pro se.

Controversies also included campaign finance. Herron and Karim filed their reports after the deadline. Karim failed to submit required receipts for campaign expenditures and may have accepted illegal donations from businesses. Others also had problems with their reports.

You may wonder why such reports are required in such a small town but candidates have raised thousands of dollars. Karim, for example, raised over $12,000 in 2015, and had raised over $8000 in 2017. Mayor Hollingsworth also raised over $11,000 in 2015.


Ward 1
Laila Riazi, 71

Ward 2
Robert Julian Ivey, 220
Nicholas D’Angelo, 133

Ward 3
Roswell Eldridge, 59

Ward 4
Maurielle Stewart, 127
Fred Price, Jr., 36

Ward 5
Jenny Garcia, 6
Lucille Gaither, 3
Melissa Turner, 1

Ward 6
Elizabeth MacKenzie, 56
Monica Megan Daly, 34

Julian Ivey is the son of former Del. and Lt. Gov. Candidate Jolene Ivey and former State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey. They must be very proud of his election. I have no idea what happened in Ward 5, which only had ten voters.

UPDATE: A reader explained why the turnout is so abysmal in Ward 5:

Ward 5 turnout is a perennial issue. Ward 5 encompasses a large complex of apartments on the edge of Town with predominately minority renters.  When District maps were drawn, the apartments were all put in Ward 5 to help assure that an African American would be represented on Council.  But the apartments have never been really fully integrated into the Town. Consequently, few candidates run for Council and only a handful vote in Town elections (turnout in presidential elections is relatively good.) The good intentions have never materialized.

Thanks for the information and local perspective.



Is John Delaney Running for President?

By Adam Pagnucco.


A Delaney spokesman told the Daily Record’s Bryan Sears, “Congressman Delaney does not have an office in Iowa or any other place other than Maryland and Washington, D.C… As he has said before, the Congressman and his wife plan to make an announcement regarding a possible run for Maryland’s governor by the end of June.”  Note that while this statement denies opening an Iowa office, it does not specifically deny an interest in the Presidency.

Also, Delaney’s campaign sent out a blast email excoriating the Republicans’ plan for health care today.  The email was titled, “TrumpCare – It’s Back!”  It began by saying, “They’re at it again. Any minute now, Donald Trump and House Republicans could force a vote to eliminate healthcare for 24 million Americans. This time they made the bill even worse. They’re trying to rally enough votes to weaken protections for pre-existing conditions, those that prevent discrimination against women, seniors, and middle-class families. We need to tell them enough is enough.”

Original Post:

Western Maryland blogger Ryan Miner had an interesting post on Congressional District 6 Congressman John Delaney yesterday.  Miner quoted former Attorney General Doug Gansler predicting that Delaney will be announcing for President.  He also posted a short Twitter video in which MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews (the husband of the current Maryland Democratic Party chair) alleged that Delaney is opening an office in Iowa.

Is this just a crazy rumor or is there something to this?

Consider the following.

  1. Delaney has been involved in Iowa politics before.

In 2013, Delaney visited Iowa to campaign for Jim Mowrer, an Iraq War veteran and Democratic candidate for Congress against arch-conservative incumbent Steve King.  Delaney also made two separate contributions to Mowrer of $2,600 each on 9/5/13 and 9/8/13.  Mowrer lost the 2014 general election to King by 12 points.  Mowrer challenged a different Republican incumbent two years later and lost again.

  1. Delaney has played in other places too.

Delaney does not have a leadership PAC to send money to other politicians like many Members of Congress do, but he has made several individual contributions to other candidates since being elected.  Recipients include former Florida Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy ($2,700 in 2016), Virginia Senator Mark Warner ($2,600 in 2013), California Congressman Raul Ruiz ($1,000 in 2013) and former Illinois Congressman William Enyart ($1,000 in 2013).  In addition, Delaney’s wife has contributed to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker ($2,600 in 2013) and Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell ($1,000 in 2014).

  1. Delaney is continuing to raise federal money.

Delaney’s fundraising schedule includes at least three near-term events.  A May 2nd event in D.C. was hosted by lawyers Bert Pena and Joseph A. Muldoon III.  A May 18th event will be held at the Delaneys’ Capitol Hill townhouse.  And a June 9-11 event is scheduled at the Delaneys’ home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Look carefully at the language of the solicitation for this last event.  It is an “inaugural beach weekend,” implying that there will be similar events in the future.

What does all this add up to?  Maybe not much, but none of this is consistent with a run for Governor.  It is especially interesting that Delaney is continuing to raise money for his federal account but, as of this writing, has no state-level account for a gubernatorial run.  And if Delaney runs for President, what does that mean for his Congressional seat?  Would he give it up to run full-time?  Or would it be smarter to hold onto it as a platform going into the 2020 election?  One thing is for sure – a risky run for Governor would make no sense in a Presidential scenario.  A candidate who loses in his own state has little potential as a national prospect.

No doubt, more will be coming out soon!


Poll Launched in CD6

By Adam Pagnucco.

A poll has been commissioned in Congressional District 6.  Congressman John Delaney currently represents the district, but he is considering a run for Governor and many potential candidates are mulling a run for what would be his open seat.  The pollster called Merry Eisner Heidorn, a former General Assembly staffer and school board candidate, and she kindly provided details of the call.

The call was made by a live caller and lasted twenty minutes.  The first three minutes collected demographic information, including age, gender, zip code, county and party.  This was followed by questions on voting tendency, including whether the respondent understood what primaries were, voted for candidates or only on party label, had voted in gubernatorial as well as presidential elections, intended to vote in the 2018 primary and had voted in past primaries.  Then the caller asked about the respondent’s opinions on Donald Trump, Larry Hogan, the economy and other issues.

Next, the caller asked, “So if John Delaney runs for Governor, would you support his run for Governor?”  This was followed by five to seven minutes of favorability questions on three potential candidates to succeed him – Total Wine co-owner David Trone, State Senator Roger Manno (D-19) and Delegate Bill Frick (D-16).  The caller then zeroed in on Trone, asking about a series of issues pertaining to him and then asking how each impacted the respondent’s favorability towards Trone and the likelihood to vote for him.  The specific issues raised about Trone included the fact that he had never held office, had contributed money on behalf of his business to politicians of both parties, had run for office before and was a “successful businessman from Potomac.”  At the conclusion of the call, the pollster asked, “Now that we have talked about David Trone, has your desire to vote for him changed?”

This is a fairly standard bio- and message-testing poll.  The pollster is attempting to gauge support for a possible run in CD6 both across the entire sample and among a number of key sub-groups.  Trone is known to be considering a run in CD6 and has polled previously on the Montgomery County Executive race.  This poll along with Trone’s establishment of campaign office space will fuel further speculation on what race, if any, he will enter.  The entire Montgomery County political class is watching.


Worst Reason Not to Run

In the Washington Post, Arelis Hernández reports that Rep. Donna Edwards is receiving encouragement from progressive Prince George’s activists to run for County Executive. However, the possible entry of Sen. C. Anthony Muse is giving her pause:

Longtime state Sen. C. Anthony Muse, who is close to Edwards and has his own deep base of political support, has also been considering a run — one factor that could dissuade Edwards from getting into the race.

Like Edwards, Muse is touting his outsider credentials:

Although Muse has been in Annapolis since 2007, he is known for his independence from the Democratic leadership there and would also likely try to claim the outsider label.

“Muse is the only one who has built his career on standing up to the establishment,” said Wayne Clarke, a veteran political operative who is close to the senator.

Except that Muse has stood up to the Democratic establishment by opposing it from the right, not the left. In contrast to State’s Attorney Alsobrooks, a leading candidate for County Executive, Muse was a leader in the effort to fight bail reform this year:

Alsobrooks was the only state’s attorney in Maryland to publicly oppose a bill sponsored by Muse to revive the state’s cash-bail program. The legislation was denounced by progressives who had worked for years to eliminate bail for poor defendants. It passed in the Senate but died in the House.

Muse also opposed marriage equality. According to political science estimates, Muse has been the seventh most conservative Democrat in the Maryland Senate. Unlike other more conservative Democrats, Muse does not represent a swing district. Other Prince George’s Democrats are among the most liberal in the Senate.

Muse’s financial past also raises eyebrows. He led two Prince George’s churches into bankruptcy. Muse’s own financial situation looks much happier. At the time of the second bankruptcy, he owned four properties–his own home, a vacation home, a rental property in Silver Spring, and a vacant lot in Fort Washington.

Todd Eberly sees an Edwards bid as a good way to wreck revenge on the Democratic establishment, which doesn’t support her:

[t]he former congresswoman might consider it “wonderful revenge” against party leaders who embraced then-Rep. Chris Van Hollen instead of her during the Senate primary.

But Sen. Chris Van Hollen has been a progressive leader. A big part of the reason Edwards lost was that there was just not enough daylight on issues between the two candidates.

For someone who is a progressive champion, the idea that  Anthony Muse could become county executive should be seen as a reason to run–not to hit the pause button.