More on Duchy, Roger, DFA and Ten Mile Creek

First off, I am informed by Alan Hyman that Duchy Trachtenberg was endorsed by DFA on May 8th. No idea if Alan is associated with Duchy’s campaign but it really doesn’t matter because he’s correct. DFA has also changed its website today and Duchy is now listed as an endorsed candidate in Maryland. Of course, this still leaves unanswered where DFA got its inaccurate information on Ten Mile Creek or why they are investing in the race.

I received an email from local activist Molly Hauck who was strongly offended by DFA’s email blast. Below is her email to other people in Kensington as well as her letter to DFA.

This email is offensive and you can see my response below. If anyone else is a member of DFA or knows members of DFA, please contact them with your response. . . .

Roger said that Duchy worked for Howard Dean and her campaign manager, Joe Trippi, worked for Howard Dean, so they are paying her back. What a way to do it! They should have someone do some fact checking before sending out something like this.

Dear Franco Caliz,

I live in Kensington, part of Montgomery County, and I follow what is going on in the Montgomery County Council. This is an unfair and dangerous attack on Roger Berliner. Whoever wrote this hasn’t followed what is going on in the Montg. Co. Council and doesn’t understand the facts. Roger Berliner was one of the three people on the Montgomery County Council who worked hard to protect Ten Mile Creek. He is an environmental lawyer who loves to do trout fishing. He successfully fought the development project that was proposed near Ten Mile Creek. Water has to be clean for trout to live in it. So he worked with two other Council members, Marc Elrich and Phil Andrews, to protect Ten Mile Creek. Environmentalists were happy with the results and just celebrated last week at the Audubon Society. He has also introduced and passed a lot of environmental legislation in the Montg. Co. Council. Your email describes him as a developer. This is totally inaccurate.Duchy had nothing to do with fighting the developers who wanted to ruin Ten Mile Creek. She isn’t on the Montg. Co. Council, so how could she “push back?”

After reading this, I am afraid of Duchy’s judgment and that of the people running her campaign. I don’t understand why Democracy for America  would perpetrate such lies. This will definitely impel me to work to reelect Roger Berliner. It also makes me wonder if I want to contribute to Democracy for America in the future.

Democracy for America should apologize to Roger Berliner and send an email retracting this to all the people who just received it.

Molly Hauck

I am told by someone in the know that Hans Riemer was also active in the effort to preserve Ten Mile Creek.

 

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Campaign Finance Aggregate Report

Over the next few days, pre primary campaign finance reports will appear on the Maryland Campaign Reporting Information System Websites. Instead of breathlessly hitting refresh, you can simply check out this public, crowd sourced google doc I put together (just like I did in January and April).

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OyeuTrFuRlp_4qtqRPw9JSKcW29e6Z-yVjmRXcyWWyM/edit#gid=0

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AFL-CIO and Gazette Endorse in MoCo At-Large Council Race

In the at-large race for Montgomery County Council, the Gazette has endorsed newcomer Beth Daly along with incumbents Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, and George Leventhal, leaving incumbent Hans Riemer and challenger Vivian Malloy out in the cold.

The Maryland AFL-CIO has endorsed both challengers, Beth Daly and Vivian Malloy. Marc Elrich was the only endorsed incumbent and the AFL-CIO did not endorse for the fourth seat. They AFL declined to endorse in the contested Sheriff’s race.

Bad day for Hans Riemer who received neither endorsement. Great day for Beth Daly and Marc Elrich won gained both of them.

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Duchy Trachtenberg, Joe Trippi and DFA

Democracy for America (DFA), a PAC founded by Howard Dean to advance progressive causes, has sent out an email attacking Roger Berliner and trying to raise funds for Duchy Trachtenberg. The email is reproduced at the end of this post.

So why did DFA send out the email?

Though DFA endorses at virtually all levels of office, it has not endorsed Duchy Trachtenberg as of May 20th based on my search of their online list of endorsed candidates. Indeed, they have endorsed no one in the State of Maryland.

The answer could be Joe Trippi. Duchy hired Trippi as her consultant according to her January campaign finance report:

DuchyFinance

Duchy January 2014 Campaign Finance Filing

Trippi received national attention for his success as Campaign Manager at catapulting Howard Dean to the front of the Democratic pack for awhile in 2004. That campaign was the first to grasp the importance of social media. DFA started out as Dean for America and pioneered attracting small donors via social media.

The email was funded by DFA as an independent expenditure rather than by Duchy’s campaign. So it would be illegal for Trippi to contact DFA to ask them to spend money on Duchy’s behalf. Since he works for Duchy, coordination between Trippi and DFA would turn this legally from an independent expenditure into a contribution that should appear under Duchy’s own authority line. But if Trippi didn’t contact DFA and get them to do this for Duchy, who did?

Inaccurate, Bizarre Attack

The attack on Roger in the email for promoting development at Ten Mile Creek is particularly strange as Roger helped protect it. Moreover, Duchy has received strong support from the developer who is angry with Roger over his efforts.

Ironically, the email starts to wrap up with “When politicians focus on their own political gains and corporate interests, everyone else suffers.”

Indeed.

 

Democracy for American Email:

We don’t need to tell you: Roger Berliner is bad news. He’s consistently undermined the needs of working families in Montgomery County, despite the fact that he calls himself a Democrat. How’s that for a betrayal?

Berliner has voted to strip bargaining rights from county employees, to remove indexing from any minimum wage bills, and to approve a construction project right by Ten Mile Creek. After hearing Ten Mile Creek — one of the last clean creeks in the area — would be polluted by storm runoff from his construction project, a progressive voice pushed back.

Duchy Trachtenberg won’t stand for this failed leadership and that’s why she’s running for Mongtomery County Council in District 1.

Montgomery County needs a bold progressive leader. Click here to help elect Duchy Trachtenberg to office!

As a former at-large councilmember and a longtime resident of Montgomery County, Duchy understands the needs and priorities of its residents. As a councilmember, she oversaw the creation of the Family Justice Center, which brings coordinated and effective services to domestic violence victims. She passed a landmark civil rights measure extending protection in employment and housing for transgender persons, and worked to protect pay equity for women.

Her background in grassroots organizing for women’s equity, mental health concerns and public health issues shows her ability to put people-powered policies first. Going forward, Duchy will fight for public employees’ job security and collective bargaining rights, affordable housing for families, and fully funded youth service programs.

Sign up to help Duchy Trachtenberg ensure that progressive voices are heard in Rockville!

When politicians focus on their own political gains and corporate interests, everyone else suffers. Let’s make sure that instead, we have forward-looking, compassionate leadership.

Thank you for all that you do,

– Franco

Franco Caliz, Electoral Campaigns Manager
Democracy for America

Paid for by Democracy for America, http://www.democracyforamerica.com/?t=3&akid=4786.2643726.fr7nXK and not authorized by any candidate. Contributions to Democracy for America are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

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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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WaPo Picks Up the Story

WaPo Logo

I’m naturally pleased that the Washington Post picked up the story on the controversy over Aisha Braveboy and her lack of support for LGBT rights in the General Assembly, including a lengthy quote from the post on this blog.

At the same time, it’s frustrating that they linked to Del. Braveboy’s defense of her position and missed the actual controversy. Specifically, Del. Braveboy’s story over her change of heart is not credible because the incident that she describes as the “defining moment” in her “evolution” occurred 11 months after the marriage equality referendum in which she claims to have voted yes.

Moreover, now Del. Braveboy is claiming that she really supported marriage equality but just not this bill:

“I look at nearly every bill and I make judgments based on the policy and they way the bill was drafted and written,” Braveboy said Tuesday. “While I may have supported the concept, I didn’t support the bill.”

Odd since she was viewed as a leader of opponents in the House of Delegates and certainly had no interest in passing a pro-marriage bill, or even milder pro-LGBT legislation in earlier sessions. If she “supported the concept,” she hid it well.

So while I am grateful to the Washington Post for giving the issue more coverage, it feels like a swing and a miss.

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UPDATE on Leventhal Post

Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal gave me a call because he wanted to set the record straight on two things regarding my earlier post today. They’re not about the video of the budget hearing at the top of the post but two other issues mentioned in the final paragraph.

SEIU Endorsement Interview

George says it’s categorically untrue that he was asked to leave his interview with SEIU. In his view, all of the endorsement conversations with the unions were tough but this just didn’t happen. Based on additional information, I have little reason to doubt George’s word. Even Lou Peck’s highly negative reportage does not say George was ejected.

CASA Criticism

Additionally, George also says he was being very careful not to criticize CASA during the budget hearings and that also didn’t happen. The hearing mentioned here occurred on April 10th in advance of CASA’s endorsement . Rather than debate or assess its contents, I thought I’d post it here so anyone reading can make their own judgement. It was a hearing for the Health and Human Services Committee on the FY15 Operating Budget held on April 10th.

Source: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/OnDemand/index.html and click on committee worksessions and then click on “video” for the one of HHS on April 10th starting around 1:08.

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MoCo At-Large County Council Forum

Incumbents
Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, Hans Reimer (Democrats)

Challengers
Beth Daly and Vivian Malloy (Democrats) Robert Dyer (Republican) Tim Willard (Green Party)

Wednesday, May 21, 7 p.m.

4-H Center
7100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase

Cosponsors: Chevy Chase View, Chevy Chase Village, Chevy Chase West, Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, Edgemoor Citizens Association, Garrett Park, Rollingwood Citizens Association, Town of Chevy Chase, Town of Somerset, Village of Chevy Chase Section 3, Village of Chevy Chase Section 5, Village of Martin’s Additions, Village of North Chevy Chase

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