The following is a recording of Sen. Rich Madaleno’s speech on the Senate floor yesterday during the debate on increasing the size of estates exempt from the estate tax to $4 million in 2018 and to the federal level in 2019:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.