Tag Archives: Rich Madaleno

Chicken Out

Sen. Rich Madaleno and Del. Shane Robinson sponsored bills titled the “Poultry Fair Share Act” to tax chickens at 5 cents apiece. The estimated $15 million raised would help the State pay for the dealing with the environmental consequences of poultry farming. As the Baltimore Sun explained in its editorial:

[P]oultry waste is an enormous problem in this state because of the harm it does when it runs off land and into streams, rivers and eventually, the Chesapeake Bay. It’s a major source of nitrogen and phosphorus, particularly in Eastern Shore tributaries.

A hysterical Eastern Shore Republican has tossed around the threat of hundreds of thousands of feral chickens roaming the State when the industry closes down due to the proposed tax:

When you think you’re a statesman in Maryland, you decide to write an environmental bill that taxes chickens. When you tax chickens, you close down the chicken industry on the Eastern Shore. When the chicken industry closes down, 300,000 feral chickens attack nursing homes in your district, feeding on your parents.

Less frothing at the mouth opponents express concern about how the new tax would impact farmers and the 15,000 jobs related to chicken farming in the State. Gov. O’Malley said he’d veto the bill if it reached his desk. Del. Robinson has now withdrawn his bill, so one assumes it’s dead for the year.

But the bill nonetheless raises an important concern. Republicans believe that business should respond to market forces and oppose new taxes as anti-business in general. Fine. But when farmers or companies allow so much chicken poop to find its way into the Bay, they’re dumping their costs on everyone.

In effect, this industry wants us to tax everyone else to clean up their mess or just allow the problem to continue. The real tax is not on the farmers but on the rest of us who subsidize this profitable business by letting them dump this waste on the public at no cost. And that should generate far more outrage than the proposed tax.

The State may have chickened out this year but this isn’t just a chicken shit problem.

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Brown Comes to Gansler’s Backyard

This Wednesday night from 6-7pm, District 18 Delegate Candidate Natali Fani-González is hosting a meet-and-greet (not a fundraiser) for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

Attorney General Doug Gansler, one of Brown’s competitors, went to elementary school in the district. Much of it should be considered his home turf, as he is well-known and has deep roots in the area, though he now lives in adjoining District 16.

Sen. Rich Madaleno, Del. Al Carr, and Del. Ana Sol Gutiérrez have endorsed Gansler. Del. Jeff Waldstreicher originally planned to support Gansler but shifted his support to Brown–a step that received more attention than usual as Gansler included him on a list of supporters because he thought he still had his support.

While Fani-González has not announced an endorsement from Brown, it would not be at odds with talk of competing slates allied with either Brown or Gansler in other districts. This could be a tad awkward for Waldstreicher as he is on a team with the other incumbents who have endorsed Gansler.

For Brown, it could be a promising way to build alliances and support in District 18 and also with Fani-González, who is active and works in politics and a variety of Democratic causes. She has the potential to continue to rise regardless of the outcome of this race.

On the other hand, if Brown expects to become Governor, he wants to maintain good relations with legislators who might not appreciate his support for a challenger. Of course, they will also need to repair relationships if he wins, so it’s a complicated relationship that works both ways, especially since Maryland’s governor is very powerful.

There is also some risk attached for Fani-González because her link with Brown might not thrill Gansler supporters. Nevertheless, she has far more to gain from an endorsement from a statewide figure of Brown’s stature even if two incumbents have been endorsed by Gansler who should do well in D18.

On a similar note, Candidate Liz Matory has received support from former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. Both are major figures with Wilder holding a particular place of honor as the first African-American governor in modern times. I am not sure how much weight either carry in District 18, though they could help her gain African-American support if communicated to voters.

And the value and the communication of endorsements are really the keys. They just don’t matter if the voters don’t know about them. And, of course, the voter has to value the endorser’s opinion in order for it work as a signal or cue to voters.

No doubt more to come as the session comes to end and primaries continue to heat up.

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Gutiérrez Entices Competition in District 18

D18Montgomery County District 18

This is the first of a two part post on the delegate race in District 18. This morning, I profile the incumbents in the race. In the afternoon, I’ll take a look at the challengers and make an overall assessment.

District 18, centered on Chevy Chase, Kensington, Wheaton and part of Silver Spring, is economically and racially diverse. Redistricting moved it a bit west, dropping a couple of Silver Spring precincts and picking up Garrett Park and areas around White Flint. D18 includes many of Montgomery’s mini municipalities.

The Senate race is not a top primary to watch, so I’ll focus on the more interesting delegate race. All three incumbents, Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutiérrez, and Jeff Waldstriecher are seeking reelection. Ana’s repeated public musings about retirement enticed other good candidates into the race and made it more competitive.

The fundamental question about this race is whether any challenger can pick off one of the incumbents if they run as a united slate. The challengers will likely pick off some votes from each of them. But will enough come from any single incumbent or go to any single challenger to cause an incumbent to fail to win reelection?

I review the incumbents first before turning to the challengers. They are discussed in descending order of funds raised.

INCUMBENTS

Jeff Waldstreicher has $114K in his campaign account. In the last fundraising report, Jeff reported $14K in PAC donations, including big donations from MCGEO ($2K), the Firefighters ($2.5K) and the Trial Lawyers ($5K).

Jeff also received $33K in contributions in the past year. The largest is from Big Boyz Bail Bonds in Baltimore for $1K. However, most are from individuals, many of whom are local residents and activists whose names I recognize. He also received a donation from Joe Vallario, his committee chair.

Jeff is seeking his third term in the legislature and sits on the Judiciary Committee. His strength is that he is a disciplined and focused campaigner. Jeff is just relentless about knocking on doors and has substantial funds to aid his efforts at voter contact.

Al Carr has $42K in his campaign account. Al raised $20K over the past year. (Note: I am listed as one of the donors.) His donors generally gave smaller amounts than Jeff’s. Many are local names that I recognize with a particular accent on environmental activists.

Kensington Mayor Pete Fosselman was Al’s most generous donor, giving over $1K. Before serving in the House, Al was a Kensington Town Councilman. Al also loaned his campaign $29K. Only $200 came from a single PAC donation.

Al’s great strength is that he has a core base of strong supporters among environmentalists and municipalities in the district. He is very attentive to neighborhood concerns, which gives him a very nice base of volunteers and local advocates.

Ana Sol Gutiérrez has $28K in her campaign account. She raised close to $5K in individual contributions. She has more donors with Latino surnames and fewer from Kensington or Chevy Chase than Jeff or Al. I also noticed $50 from at-large County Councilmember George Leventhal.

Ana received $1600 in in-state PAC donations–$1K from AFSCME and $600 from the United Food and Commercial Workers. And another $4K from out-of-state PACs–$3K from the Laborers International Union and $1K from SEIU NY/NJ. Ana had to pay a $500 fine for accidentally continuing to solicit contributions on her web site during the session when fundraising is banned.

Ana’s great strength is simply that she has appeared on the ballot in every state election in this area since 1990, first for School Board and then for the House of Delegates. The senior Latino elected official in Maryland, she has a strong Latino base.

The real question for the incumbents is whether they will slate together. They dissolved the District 18 Democratic Team campaign account at Ana’s insistence. It seems clear that Jeff and Al will join incumbent Sen. Rich Madaleno on a common ticket. Despite reluctance, I suspect Ana will also slate with the other incumbents, as the advantages, particularly for a candidate with little money facing a strong challenge, are just too great to ignore.

This afternoon, I look at the challengers.

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Fairness for All Marylanders Act Passes Senate

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act (FAMA) easily passed the Senate on a 32-15. Sponsored by Sen. Rich Madaleno (D 18) and strongly supported by floor leader Sen. Jamie Raskin (D 20), the bill protects the rights of transgender Marylanders.

The bill was earlier amended by the Senate to strengthen it after it had been weakened, though passed, by the Judicial Proceedings Committee. The bill now heads over to the House of Delegates, which has passed versions of this legislation in previous sessions.

The passage of marriage equality and then the referendum vote by the people of Maryland in favor of it seems to have taken the sting out of LGBT legislation. There is a lot lest angst about voting for this relatively straightforward anti-discrimination bill now that the tide has turned on the LGBT issue which attracts the most press.

Sen. Kittleman (R 9, Howard) was the only Republican to vote yes. Four Democrats voted no: Sens. Astle (D 30, Anne Arundel), De Grange (D 32, Anne Arundel), Dyson (D 29, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s), and Mathias (D 38, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester).

Kittleman voted for the marriage bill and is probably the Republican who represents the most pro-marriage Republican district, as Howard voted strongly for marriage equality. More surprising are the no votes by two Anne Arundel Democrats. Anne Arundel also voted for marriage equality, and presumably more strongly in areas prone to elect Democrats.

The no votes by two Democrats hailing from southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore shock less. Marriage equality lost in both of their districts, though with more support than one might expect. Here is how the Senate voted:

YEA: Miller, Benson, Brochin, Conway, Currie, Feldman, Ferguson, Forehand, Frosh, Gladden, Jones-Rodwell, Kasemeyer, Kelley, King, Kittleman (R), Klausmeier, Madaleno, Manno, McFadden, Middleton, Montgomery, Muse, Peters, Pinsky, Pugh, Ramirez, Raskin, Robey, Rosapepe, Stone, Young, Zirkin.

NAY: Astle (D), Brinkley, Colburn, De Grange (D), Dyson (D), Edwards, Getty, Glassman, Hershey, Jacobs, Jennings, Mathias (D), Reilly, Shank, Simonaire.

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Senate Strengthens Trans Equality Bill

MCTE-corrected-logo-300x111Logo for the Coalition of 44 Members

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014, also known as the Transgender Equality bill, passed second reader in the Senate today by a voice vote. Sen. Rich Madaleno (D 18-Montgomery) is the lead sponsor and Sen. Jamie Raskin (D 20-Montgomery) is the floor leader, as he is on the Judicial Proceedings Committee and a strong supporter of the bill.

The bill was strengthened by an amendment thanks to the hard work of a number of senators, including Sen. Catherine Pugh (D 40-Baltimore City) and Sen. Joseph Getty (R 5-Baltimore and Carroll) as well as Madaleno and Raskin. The Senate adopted an amendment sponsored by Getty that adopts a broader definition of gender identity so it includes individuals beyond those who have chosen to have and can afford gender reassignment surgery.

The Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality has strongly advocated for the bill. Its members include Equality Maryland, ACLU of Maryland, CASA of Maryland, SEIU, Jews United for Justice, Baltimore Black Pride, and Maryland NOW among the many groups who have allied to support the bill.

 

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Hoskins Confirmed to PSC 43-3

Powerupmoco reports that the Maryland Senate voted to confirm Anne Hoskins to the Public Service Commission. Unusually, the nominee attracted opposition from the Governor’s own party with Sen. Rich Madaleno (D 18, Montgomery), who special ordered the nomination, voting no along with Sen. Karen Montgomery (D 14, Montgomery) and Sen. Ron Young (D 4, Frederick). All are strong progressives. See here for more information on why the nomination was controversial.

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Madaleno Special Orders Hoskins

Commissioner Hoskins_REVAnne Hoskins

Montgomery Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-18) has special ordered the controversial nomination of Anne Hoskins to the Public Services Commission. In English, this means that the nomination will be discussed separately on the Senate floor.

The purpose appears to be to highlight the problematic approval of trackers by the PSC, which allow utilities to receive rate increases before they make investments rather than the more traditional practice of requesting them afterward.

Concern regarding Hoskins centers on how strongly she will lean toward the utilities– she favors trackers–rather than her past work in industry. After all, industry experience may give her knowledge that strengthens her ability to serve as a good commissioner. And experience in industry is no guarantee of views–the PSC Commissioner who wrote the dissenting opinion opposing trackers came from industry.

I expect that the nomination will pass easily but the special order will usefully highlight the use of trackers and the continuing concern of many Marylanders regarding power reliability and PSC supervision of power utilities.

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