Tag Archives: Rich Madaleno

MCDCC Sample Ballot Incompetence Spoils Dems Pre-Election Weekend

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) sends out a sample ballot before the state elections to urge Democrats to the polls and remind them of their party’s ticket. There were some major snafus this year.

I’ve been receiving a lot of reports, some conflicting, of problems, and have been attempting to sift out fact from fiction. This is why I’ve delayed posting on this topic.

Mix and Match Candidates

In District 19, incumbent Sen. Roger Manno‘s name has been replaced by that of Sen. Rich Madaleno–the candidate in District 18. As you can imagine, Sen. Manno–who donated money to help pay for the sample ballot–was understandably not happy about it.

I suppose one could view this as karma, since Rich Madaleno’s name appeared as Roger Madaleno on the Apple Ballot during the Democratic primary.  But at least the critical last name and first initial were right in that case. I hope Roger gets his donation back.

In District 16, Delegate Nominee Marc Korman‘s biography has been replaced with that of Aruna Miller. I am sure Marc was interested to learn that he worked for county since he was eight and has already served on a House committee before winning election.

Latino Outreach Fail

MCDCC has touted its efforts to reach out more strongly to the County’s fast-growing Latino community. Unfortunately, the sample ballot was a textbook example of how not to go about it.

First, the name of incumbent Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez (D-18) was misspelled on the sample ballot:

sample2

Second, accents and the tilde of ñ were often left out in Spanish text. The office titles are sometimes incorrect, even though they could have been directly copied from the official bilingual version. Even español has been written as espanol:

sample1

Finally, the sample ballot directs people on how to find a Spanish sample ballot online. Other than that it doesn’t exist, this is an excellent idea.

Small Mailing and Still Waiting?

Beyond the giant mistake in District 19, the real story may be how many sample ballots were sent out. I am told that elected Democrats were promised that hundreds of thousands would go out but that only around 90,000 were mailed. I am unable to confirm this. MCDCC has made clear that they will not respond to my requests for information, though I understand they are also being closed-mouthed with electeds on this issue too.

While many, including your gentle blogger, have received their Democratic sample ballot, I have heard that other Democrats who did not vote early have yet to receive them. No doubt this is due to the last minute mailing. On the other hand, I imagine Roger (or is it Rich?) Manno must be relieved that at least early voters did not get it before going to the polls.

Missing Signs on Bag Day

There were no signs for either Brown/Ulman or for Brian Frosh. In other words, there were no signs for the two statewide candidates who need strong visible support in Montgomery on Tuesday.

Rumor that Should be Ignored

Some told me that they were shocked that their congressman was left off the sample ballot. This is not an error but intentional in order to comply with federal campaign finance law. Advertising their names counts as a campaign contribution.

Why Did this Happen?

MCDCC Chair Kevin Walling personally managed the sample ballot with his inner circle (the Politburo? the Presidium?) of MCDCC. It arrived very late to the printers and few others were involved to review it and make sure that they got this complex task (different versions need to go to different areas of the County) right.

MCDCC staff has long been dedicated to the Democratic Party and helped with this task many times before. They should not be blamed and I hope no one tries to throw them under the bus in order to save their own reputation.

As in the past, MCDCC has many excellent members. But they need to address these issues squarely. The central problems with MCDCC remain the ones I outlined in a previous post: a lack of accountability, transparency, and inclusion. I should now add incompetence. Mistakes happen but both elected officials and ordinary Democrats are mad about the sample ballot snafu–and rightly so.

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MCGEO Paves the Way for Alcohol Reform

[UPDATE at the end of this post.]

During his campaign for the Democratic nomination in Montgomery County District 5, Evan Glass pushed hard for liberalization of Montgomery’s antiquated monopoly on the sale of alcohol in the County. Despite his narrow defeat, the next four years presents the best opportunity for reform in ages.

MCGEO, the union that represents the employees at County owned liquor stores, bet disastrously on the wrong candidates in the recent Democratic primary. The attempt by MCGEO under the leadership of Gino Renne to flex its muscle and become the leading force among unions and possibly in County politics backfired and earned the union far more enemies than friends.

Montgomery County Council
Let’s look first at County Council races. In District 1, MCGEO endorsed Duchy Trachtenberg’s bid to return to the Council in a challenge to incumbent Roger Berliner. Duchy even hired MCGEO’s former executive director as her campaign manager. Trachtenberg lost with 21% of the vote. MCGEO didn’t just lose; it looked puny and ineffectual.

The big race in District 3 went no better for MCGEO, Gaithersburg Mayor Sid Katz defeated their choice of Ryan Spiegel, who won less than one-quarter of the vote. In Districts 2 and 4, MCGEO did not endorse either incumbent in the primary even though they were unopposed. No relationships built there.

Tom Hucker, who was expected to win by more, limped home to the District 5 nomination in his battle against newcomer Evan Glass. While MCGEO should have a friend in Hucker, his narrow victory hardly impresses and its not clear yet how much weight this new member of the Council will carry with his colleagues.

In the at-large races, MCGEO supported incumbent Marc Elrich so a bright spot for them there. However, they also supported Beth Daly, the most serious challenger to the other incumbents, who all won reelection. No real reason for Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, or Hans Riemer to prioritize MCGEO’s interests. And Hans has already expressed public interest in alcohol reform.

General Assembly
MCGEO played it safer in the General Assembly but surely has teed off the three incumbents whose opponents it supported in District 18. It gave $1000 to Sen. Rich Madaleno’s opponent. Madaleno won despite being heavily outspent by his self-funding opponent who dumped over $300K in the attempt. Unfortunately for MCGEO, he is already one of the more influential insiders on the Budget and Taxation Committee.

While MCGEO supported Jeff Waldstreicher, it also gave $1000 to Natali Fani-Gonzalez, which certainly cannot especially please incumbents Al Carr and Ana Sol Gutierrez. The two incumbents romped home easily with Fani-Gonzalez placing sixth out of seven candidates.

The Results
MCGEO spent a lot of money and political capital in an effort to look strong but made its weakness apparent. Its ill-conceived campaign to plant friends on the Council and instill respect of its power has left it vulnerable. Montgomery officials can move ahead with alcohol reform. They know they have nothing to fear.

UPDATE: MCGEO made another terrible investment in the District 17 Senate race. They donated $6000 to Del. Lou Simmons, another heavy self-funder. Despite having a clear financial advantage, Lou lost the nomination to former Del. Cheryl Kagan by 9 points.

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MD-08 Tea Leaves

Chris Van Hollen probably ain’t going nowhere. He has a lot to lose and very little to gain by running for US Senate. In the House, he’s got a solid shot at the Speakership (if Team Blue ever regains control of the chamber). Even if he falls short, he’ll likely advance into some lower tier of leadership–and being Majority Leader or Caucus Chairman ain’t bad. Perhaps he ends up in some lofty post in a theoretically Biden Administration (the Vice President is very close to CVH). But hey, many a down county pol dreams of the day this seat will open up . . . so let’s speculate.

Here are some politicians, who without having asked them, I’d wager would seriously consider it:

State Senator Jamie Raskin (D-20): Jamie represents about 20% of MD-08 and would carry with him a rabid base of progressive activists. I believe he would be able to tap into a substantial network of national “net roots” small donors as MD-04 Congresswoman Donna Edwards was able to in 2006 and 2008. He’d also be able to raise money from national progressive donors. I think he could raise betwixt $1,000,000 and $1,600,000 for this bid.

State Senator Rich Madaleno (D-18): Rich would likely attract substantial backing from a large community of national LGBT donors. He also represents 1/5th of MD-08 currently and presents a more practical blend of progressivism than Senator Raskin. I believe he could raise between $700,000 and and a million dollars.

Delegate Bill Frick (D-16): I discussed Delegate Frick’s congressional fortunes in my post on MD-06. He represents a much larger portion of MD-08 than MD-06 so he might have a stronger showing here.

County Council Member At Large Hans Riemer: Hans has the distinct advantage that he represents the vast majority of Democratic Primary voters in this district. He’d also be a nice Obama spin off Congressional Candidate. Perhaps by the time MD-08 is open the President will be ready to stump for the alumni of his historic campaigns. I think Hans could put together $500,000-$650,000. He also has the opportunity to a great deal of constituency building due to his county wide position.

District 5 County Council Member Tom Hucker: It is my opinion that Tom Hucker espouses a slightly different brand of progressive rhetoric than Jamie Raskin. Jamie is the liberal law professor while Hucker is a fiery labor organizer. I believe Hucker would be labor’s choice and could come up with between $350,000 and $600,000.

Former Delegate Heather Mizeur (District 20): This is the seat Heather was born to run for. Unfortunately, I think Raskin would cut her electoral base out from under her. This is very different than her donor base and I believe she could rake in between two and three million dollars for her bid. Weirdly, I hear her mentioned more frequently for MD-01 (where she owns a vacation home, in Kent County).

My Analysis
In a field likely to be chock full of dynamic progressive elected officials (think Raskin, Hucker and Mizeur) vying to be the farthest of the far left a slightly more pragmatic liberal (think Madaleno, Frick or Riemer) could break through. It even opens the door for a real moderate (!) self funding businessman to flood the race with money and cruise to victory.

Outlook: Toss Up

Did I miss someone? Am I off base? Shoot me an email at johnga.ems@gmail.com.

 

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Raskin Supports Frosh, Madaleno

Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20) is fighting back against the misuse of quotations from him that give the sense that he has endorsed opponents of AG Candidate Brian Frosh and Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-18):

Politics can be a tough business because anybody can say anything, and before it’s all over, they probably will.  But the truth is important, and I want to be clear about something to any of my friends out there.  When all the dust settles on Tuesday, Brian Frosh better be the Democratic nominee for Attorney General and Rich Madaleno better be coming back as the Senator from District 18.  These two public servants—I do not use the term lightly–are indispensable to the people of Montgomery County and Maryland.   Indispensable.  We would not have the toughest gun safety law in America without Brian Frosh, and we would not have marriage equality without Rich Madaleno.  Go out and vote for them with pride in everything they have accomplished and confidence in both their public honor and their passionate commitment to our community.

The boldface is mine.

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Tick Tock and the Parrott Flies Away

fairness_MD_53114_blog263Del. Luke Clippinger, Sen. Rich Madaleno, EqMD’s President Carrie Evans, EqMD’s Advocacy Director Keith Thirion

From a blog post by Marty Rouse of the Human Rights Campaign:

The deadline to submit the first third of the required signatures to the Secretary of State was midnight last night, May 31.
Standing at the Secretary of State’s office in Annapolis at midnight key leaders in the effort to pass the law were overjoyed when no one appeared to submit signatures.  Therefore, the Fairness for All Marylanders Act will go into effect as planned on October 1.
HRC was proud to be a leader in the effort to pass the bill along with Equality Maryland and others.  We also recognize the strong and strategic support from Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegate Luke Clippinger.
P.S. On a personal note it was very special to be standing in Annapolis at midnight with others for whom the fight for LGBT equality is more than just politics; it is personal. Why else would we all be standing outside the Secretary of State’s office at midnight?  For years, it has been my pleasure and honor to get to know Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegate Luke Clippinger.  Their personal commitment to and leadership on marriage and transgender equality has helped make Maryland a national leader on equality.  They are dedicated public servants.
Carrie Evans, Executive Director of Equality Maryland, and a former colleague at HRC, has fought hard and smart for LGBT equality for well over a decade.  Her personal commitment and political savvy has helped make history in Maryland and beyond.  I’m honored to be standing alongside such leaders, no matter the hour.

 

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Updated Senate Majority Leader Short List

I’ve gotten a lot of interesting feedback on my post about who  might be the next Majority Leader of the State State. Several things have been made clear to me by our very impassioned readers:

The first is that Paul Pinsky is not on Mike Miller’s short list, long list or any other list for this position. Considering what a progressive, reform minded individual he is, I doubt this bothers him very much.

The second is that Rich Madaleno and Catherine Pugh are the clear front runners in the estimation of pretty much everybody. The smart money appears to be on Pugh, but the broad conventional wisdom leans towards Madaleno.

Both would be history making in their own way. As far as I can tell, Catherine Pugh would be the first female Majority Leader, and the first African American to serve in this role since Clarence Blount. Madaleno would be the first LGBT Individual to serve in the role.

Third,  If he is passed over the Chairmanship of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, Jamie Raskin may find himself pressing for the Majority Leader post.

Fourth, Roger Manno, Nancy King and Bobby Zirkin may each have an outside shot but they probably aren’t near the top of this list.

Fifth, several legislators facing reelections with varying degrees of competitiveness may have a bank shot at the Majority Leader post – specifically Ron Young, Lisa Gladden and Doug Peters . . . if they survive campaign season.

So, I’ve updated my list and split it into a “long” and “short” version.

Short

  • Rich Madaleno (Montgomery County)
  • Catherine Pugh (Baltimore City)

Long 

  • Roger Manno (Montgomery County)
  • Nancy King (Montgomery County)
  • Lisa Gladden (Baltimore City)
  • Ron Young (Frederick County)
  • Doug Peters (Prince George’s County)
  • Bobby Zirkin (Baltimore County)
  • Jamie Raskin (Montgomery County)

However, the most important factor in choosing the Majority Leader may well be who helps their colleagues with their campaigns. While not as high minded as the ability to eloquently defend the Democrats on the floor of the Senate, colleagues and the leadership really appreciate it. The reality is that campaigns cost money.

This handicaps Rich Madaleno who has historically shown little interest in fundraising. He also has a competitive primary where he needs to focus his resources until June 24th.

Lisa Gladden and Doug Peters both have historically been good fundraisers, but both have drawn opponents of substance in the primary to keep them busy. However, if they are victorious, they could certainly start laying the statewide ground work necessary to set themselves up as contenders to be Majority Leader.

Raskin doesn’t like to give campaign dollars that he raises to other campaigns and causes, though he is often generous with his own funds. That scruple undermines his ability to aid colleagues.

Ron Young will need to focus exclusively on his swingy Western Maryland District until November.

Zirkin, Manno and Pugh have the luxury to not have to fight in their home districts. Instead of catching up on Game of Thrones they should replicate the formidable efforts of Rob Garagiola during the 2010 election cycle. Rob spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting for leadership priorities around the state and was rewarded.

Am I still nuts? Missing a name? Let me know by dropping me a line directly at johnga.ems@gmail.com.

UPDATE: Pugh wouldn’t be the first female Majority Leader. That distinction is held by Rosalie Abrams. And the last African-American Majority Leader was McFadden in 2003-07. h/t Brian Bailey.

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Who is the Next Senate Majority Leader?

Trying to figure out who is the next person to obtain a particular leadership position in any legislature is often a pointless exercise in Kremlinology. However, pointless exercises in Kremlinology are great fun. So here we go.

After the 2010 elections, Senate Majority Leader Ed Kasemeyer was appointed Chairman of the powerful Budget and Taxation Committee. Senate President Mike Miller appointed Montgomery County Senator Rob Garagiola as his replacement. After the 2013 session, Senator Garagiola retired from the legislature. In his place, retiring Howard County Senator Jim Robey served as a placeholder Majority Leader for the 2014 Session.

Following the 2014 Elections, the position will be vacant and Mike Miller will need to appoint a new Majority Leader for the fourth time in four-ish years. I asked a panel of reporters at a forum on the 2014 session who they thought had the best shot at becoming Majority Leader. None had any idea who might be on the short list.

After consulting with my vast network of spies, the following would appear to be the short list –

  • Bobby Zirkin (Baltimore County)
  • Rich Madelano (Montgomery County)
  • Roger Manno (Montgomery County)
  • Nancy King (Montgomery County)
  • Paul Pinsky (Prince George’s County)

From 2011-2013, Montgomery County held to two leadership positions in the Senate (JPR Chair and Majority Leader). Montgomery County currently holds one (JPR Chair), but that is precarious as Frosh is running for Attorney General. For Maryland’s largest jurisdiction to hold no leadership positions in the upper chamber would be untenable, especially since all of Montgomery’s eight Senate seats are held by Democrats.

Most people I have talked to view Jamie Raskin as the heavy favorite for the JPR Chairmanship. However, if Raskin is not appointed–and considering how far to the left of Mike Miller he is, this does not seem unrealistic to me–it would seem to necessitate the appointment of Manno, Madaleno or King as Majority Leader.

However, Raskin’s main opponent for the JPR Chairmanship seems to be Bobby Zirkin of Baltimore County. If Raskin is appointed Chair, Zirkin could be appointed Majority Leader as a consolation prize. Conversely, if he is passed over for Chair, Raskin could find himself in contention to be Majority Leader

I personally think Manno (who would be entering his second term in the senate) probably lacks the requisite seniority to be Majority Leader. However, stranger things have happened.

Currently, Prince George’s County lacks a Committee Chairman, although Senate President Mike Miller represents a large chunk of the jurisdiction. This makes Pinsky somewhat more attractive.

Who am I missing? Who do you think has the edge? What’s your analysis? Email johnga.ems@gmail.com to let me know.

 

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FAMA Passes the House–Vote Tally

FAMA

Today, the House voted 82-57 to pass the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, the transgender equality bill. This day would not have come without the hard work of many people. The Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality along with Equality Maryland’s Carrie Evans and Keith Thirion worked indefatigably on this issue.

Of course, the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Rich Madaleno and Del. Luke Clippinger, also deserve much credit. While she was not the lead sponsor this year, Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk worked hard for many years on this issue, as did Sen. Jamie Raskin. I know Del. Bonnie Cullison did much to move the bill forward this year as well.

A total of twelve Democrats voted against the bill. No Republicans voted for the bill. Here is the vote tally in the House of Delegates (listed  by district):

YEA (all D): Busch, Clagett, Olszewski, Bromwell, Jones, Nathan-Pulliam, Cardin, Morhaim, Stein, Bobo, DeBoy, Mallone, Guzzone, Pendergrass, F. Turner, Kaiser, Luedtke, Zucker, Dumais, Fraser-Hidalgo, A. Miller, Frick, A. Kelly, Lee, Barve, Gilchrist, Simmons, Carr, Gutiérrez, Waldstreicher, Arora, Cullison, Kramer, Hixson, Hucker, Mizeur, Barnes, Frush, Peña-Melnyk, Gaines, Healy, A. Washington, Holmes, Hubbard, Valentino-Smith, Howard, Swain, Braveboy, Davis, Griffith, V. Turner, Valderrama, Proctor, Vallario, Murphy, Beidle, Love, Cane, Barkley, Reznik, S. Robinson, Conaway, B. Robinson, Tarrant, Carter, Oaks, Rosenberg, Lafferty, Anderson, McIntosh, M. Washington, Haynes, Mitchell, Stukes, Branch, Glenn, Clippinger, Hammen, McHale, Ivey, Niemann, Summers.

NAY (all R unless indicated): Beitzel, K. Kelly (D), Myers, Donoghue (D), Parrott, Serafini, Hogan, Hough, Afzali, Elliott, Schulz, Kach, Ready, Stocksdale, Minnick (D), Weir (D), Impallaria, McDonough, Szeliga, Boteler, Cluster, Bates, Krebs, W. Miller, Burns (D), Vaughn (D), Walker (D), Fisher, Jameson (D), Wilson (D), Bohanan (D), O’Donnell, Wood, George, McMillan, Dwyer, Kipke, Schuh, Sophocleus (D), Costa, McConkey, Vitale, Glass, James (D), Rudolph (D), McComas, Norman, Stifler, Arentz, Jacobs, Smigiel, Eckardt, Haddaway-Riccio, Conway (D), McDermott, Otto, Aumann.

NOT VOTING: Frank (R), Harper (D)

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