Tag Archives: Anne Arundel

To the Numbers: Pre-Election Turnout by Party & County

Today’s stats include both early voters and returned absentee ballots, so we can get an overall sense of who has already voted. There are some substantial changes in county rankings from when I ran these numbers just yesterday.

Specifically, Prince George’s has gone from being towards the bottom of the pack to virtually the same as the state average. St. Mary’s has fallen several places from being 14th to 20th in turnout out of the state’s 24 jurisdictions.

However, Talbot continues to lead the pack with just under 30% of its voters have done their civic duty compared to just 7.3% in placid Allegany. Overall, 15.3% of registered Marylanders have voted as of the end of the seventh day of early voting.

Next up are statistics by party and county:

Democrats have a 3.3% lead (difference from math based on the chart due to rounding) over Republicans in participation in early voting and returning absentees.

Montgomery Dems continue to lead the way for their party with Democrats out voting Republicans by 7.1%. One might attribute this to MCDCC having gotten their organizational act together and the weak organization of local Republicans.

Is there also a Ficker Factor? Ficker is a peripatetic one-man band but not well organized or supported. State Republicans seem unenthusiastic with Larry Hogan avoiding him at a recent rally and Kathy Szeliga failing to include him on a list of key races in her email blast. As Adam Pagnucco noted, Republican primary voters have repeatedly rejected Ficker when given the opportunity.

In Howard, it has gotten more imperative for Allen Kittleman to turn out election day voters as Democrats have out participated Republicans in by 6.3%. In Frederick, Democrats are 5.9% ahead of Republicans, which can’t hurt County Executive Jan Gardner and Sen. Ron Young’s reelection bids. Democrats are also notably ahead by 4.5% in Anne Arundel where Republican County Executive Steve Schuh is facing surprisingly strong competition and Sarah Elfreth hopes to win John Astle’s open seat.

Here is the share of Democrats and Republicans among people who have already voted sorted from most to least Democratic:

Among the state’s 24 jurisdictions, exactly one-half have more Democratic than Republican voters and vice-versa. Notice, however, that all of the state’s really large jurisdictions are in the top portion of the chart and have substantially heavier Dem turnout.


Why Does the Capital Publish this Guy?

Normally, I view the Annapolis Capital as a good paper with often a fine bead on state politics due to its location. But after reading Brian Griffiths’ column, you have to wonder about their judgement.

Griffiths, the editor-in-chief of the Republican blog Red Maryland, writes regular columns published in the Capital. In his latest oeuvre, he argues that Gov. Larry Hogan is unbeatable. OK, so far. That’s a matter of opinion–I happen to disagree–but a perfectly legitimate position.

The way Griffiths goes about making his case through a series of ad hominum attacks and utter falsehoods is not.

Regarding Ben Jealous, Griffiths writes the following:

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, darling of Bernie Sanders supporters, who has yet to propose a policy that would not be fully endorsed by the Communist Party.

It’s like Griffiths feels bad that that he missed out on the Red Scare of the 1950s or has watched Red Dawn far, far too many times. Reviving McCarthyism, however, is not a serious attack but a smear. Surprise, surprise but Jealous is not a Commie pinko who hates America and does not advocate for Leninism or gulags.

Instead of making a serious attack based on Jealous’s advocacy for policies he views as failed, reheated old-style liberalism, Griffiths goes for the reheated, old-style smear. No editor at the Capital saw this and said this is unserious and over the top?

Griffiths goes on to do the same to Rich Madaleno:

Ultra-left-wing state Sen. Rich Madaleno, infamous for being a flip-flopping fabulist — but most famous for personally insulting first lady Yumi Hogan.

The idea that Madaleno insulted Yumi Hogan is practically the definition of fake news. Madaleno wrote the Governor a letter asking him to ban travel to Indiana because of its endorsement of rank discrimination in its so-called Religious Freedom law. In the letter, Madaleno had the audacity to compare the Hogan’s family to his own by pointing out that the law would allow discrimination against Hogan’s family because of the First Lady’s divorce and against his own because he is married to man.

Griffiths can only think this an insult if he thinks either divorce is shameful and unmentionable in polite society or that Madaleno had no right to compare his own marriage to that of the Governor’s. In other words, Griffiths and others who mindlessly mouth this ridiculous, false attack are really just smearing Madaleno for being an uppity gay guy who thinks that he’s normal.

And I haven’t even gotten to “ultra” and “flip-flopping fabulist.” Again, why does the Capital turn itself into a smear machine?

Good debate and strong views are healthy in opinion columns. But what value is the Capital adding through publication of regurgitated smears? Are there no Republicans available who can make a positive argument for Republican policies and critique those of Democrats without basing it in lies and smears?

If you want a serious analysis of the unworkability and upper-class bias of Jealous’ free college proposal, go check out Barry Rascover because you won’t find it–or anything else that passes for thoughtful analysis–in Griffith’s column in the Capital.

If Griffiths wants to keep publishing this dreck on his blog, he should feel free. I suppose the Capital can too but they can do better and should be held to account for publishing lies and smears.


Is an Incumbent Delegate Getting Pushed Out?

By Adam Pagnucco.

In 2006, Senator P.J. Hogan and Delegates Nancy King and Charles Barkley became fed up with their District 39 colleague, Delegate Joan Stern.  Four months before the election, Hogan, King and Barkley announced that they would not be running with Stern for reelection.  Barkley told the Gazette, “She’s being dropped… I would say it just was not working as a team. I think the three of us [Hogan, King and Barkley] really work well as a team, but not the four of us.”  That left Stern vulnerable to challenger Saqib Ali, who later picked up the Apple Ballot and defeated her.

Is this happening again in Anne Arundel County?

Legislative District 32, which occupies the northern tip of Anne Arundel, is currently represented by four Democrats: Senator James “Ed” DeGrange (first elected in 1998), Delegate Ted Sophocleus (1998), Delegate Pam Beidle (2006) and Delegate Mark Chang (2014).  The Republicans have not come close to knocking out DeGrange in recent years, but they sometimes come within a thousand votes or so in the House races.  (Chang ran unsuccessfully as a Republican in 2006.)

Democratic Central Committee Member Sandy Bartlett is running for Delegate in District 32 and here’s where it gets interesting.  Since December, Bartlett’s campaign account has received contributions from DeGrange ($1,000), Beidle ($500), Senator Jim Rosapepe ($500) and Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk ($500).  Rosapepe and Pena-Melnyk represent a district that includes parts of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel.  Soon after Bartlett’s announcement, Beidle wrote on Facebook, “Sandy Bartlett for Delegate in District 32!  Happy to have her join Team 32.”

Wait a minute!  DeGrange, Beidle, Chang and Sophocleus are all members of the Team 32 Slate account.  Bartlett is not.

Unless a fourth House seat is magically created (it won’t be!), someone is on the outs.  The Capital Gazette notes that none of the incumbent Delegates has announced plans to retire, although it reports speculation that Sophocleus (who is 78) might leave.  Let’s remember that Sophocleus had bypass surgery in 2014.  Additionally, Bartlett (who is African American) brings diversity and gender balance to the delegation ticket.

All of this begs the obvious question.  Is Sophocleus getting pushed out the door?


Override Thursday: Voting Rights and Marriott

Voting Rights Restoration Override Vote Postponed

The Maryland Senate special ordered (i.e. postponed) the vote on the Governor’s veto of the bill to restore the voting rights of ex-felons to a later date. The House overrode the Governor’s veto yesterday. The lead sponsors are Sen. Joan Carter Conway and Del. Cory McCray.

The Senate President stated forthrightly on the floor that this was to allow time for the appointment of a replacement to former Sen. Karen Montgomery (D-14). Rumor has it that many General Assembly Democrats are not thrilled about the timing or handling of this appointment.

Keep Marriott in Maryland

The Maryland Senate took a major step toward keeping Marriott headquarters in Maryland by overriding the Governor’s veto of a bill that requires the same tax rate levied on hotel rooms sold by third-party hotel bookers as by the hotels themselves.

This seemingly obvious fairness–the major request of the Marriott Corporation whose headquarters Montgomery County is working hard to retain–had the Governor cowering in fear that it might be cast as a tax increase. It’s evidence that the Governor’s ideological passion exceeds his desire to keep major companies in Maryland.

As the tally sheet shows, the Senate achieved the 29 votes required to override a veto with one to spare despite Sen. Montgomery’s retirement. A real victory for Senate Budget and Taxation Vice Chair Rich Madaleno who pushed hard for the bill.

Marriott OverrideTwo vote switchers from the original bill are Sen. Addie Eckardt (R-Eastern Shore) and Sen. John Astle (D-Anne Arundel). Eckardt’s switch was not surprising, as Republicans tend to want to rally around the Governor to support a veto.

In contrast, Astle is a member of the Democratic leadership team, so his vote to support the Governor was a shock. Indeed, this Montgomery blogger wonders if Montgomery Senate Democrats might return the favor by voting to uphold the veto on funding for Anne Arundel–except that the Speaker wants it.

UPDATE: Sen. C. Anthony Muse also flipped, which is interesting since Gaylord Marriott, located at National Harbor in his district, in Prince George’s made it a top priority. Additionally. Sens. DeGrange and Peters–both Democrats–switched from red on the original bill to voting to green on this vote.


Override Wednesday

felonvotingrightsRoll-Call Board. Photo by Del. Maricé Morales

Restoration of Ex-Felon Voting Rights

Earlier today, the House of Delegates overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of Cory McCray’s bill to restore ex-felon voting rights by a vote of 85 to 56–the exact number of votes needed to achieve the 60% needed to override a gubernatorial veto.

Based on my quick scan of the board, six Democrats voted with the Governor: Del. Eric Bromwell (D-8, Baltimore County), Del. Ned Carey (D-31A, Anne Arundel), Del. Mark Chang (D-32, Anne Arundel), Del. Ted Sophocleus (D-32, Anne Arundel), Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-34A, Harford), and Del. C.T. Wilson (D-28, Charles). Wilson was the only member of the Legislative Black Caucus to oppose overriding the Governor’s veto.

One Republican, Del. Glen Glass (R-34A, Harford), voted with the Democrats.

Anne Arundel Capital Spending

The House also comfortably overrode the Governor’s petty veto of capital spending supported by Speaker Michael Busch for the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Anne Arundel County by 92-49. Here is the Baltimore Sun‘s report on how the members of the Anne Arundel delegation voted:

House Speaker Mike Busch and Dels. Pam Beidle, Ben Barnes, Herb McMillan, Ned Carey, Barbara Frush and Joseline Pena-Melnyk voted in favor of the override.

Dels. Nic Kipke, Tony McConkey, Ted Sophocleus, Seth Howard, Meagan Simonaire, Mark Chang, Sid Saab and Michael Malone voted against.

Republican Del. Herb McMillan (R-30A), who represents the same district as Speaker Busch, supported the override. Democratic Dels. Mark Chang (D-32) and Ted Sophocleus (D-32) voted to uphold the Governor’s veto.

UPDATE: I am told that Dels. Chang and Sophocleus changed their votes verbally after the recorded vote on this bill. As a result, no Anne Arundel Democrats voted against the Speaker in the final official vote count.


Top Four Southern Maryland Young Guns

1. Duwane Rager– Sue Kullen is one of three real pick up opportunities for Team Blue this year–the others are Nick Scarpelli and Patrick Murray. Duwane, her Campaign Manager, stands to benefit immensely, if she pulls it off. Duwane is also the President of the Southern Maryland Young Dems and a member of the Calvert Central Committee.

Anonymous The Southern Maryland Young Democrats President, a member of the Calvert County Democratic Central Committee and the Campaign Manager for Sue Kullen’s campaign for Delegate.  He is a great guy and someone who is really going places in the region.

2. Scott Moore – Scott’s a rare breed in Maryland Politics–a professional. He’s done work for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus and the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. I’ve always felt that out of state work is a signal of great talent.

3. Ben Goldstein-Smith – Super nice, solid dude. Currently managing Steny Hoyer’s reelection.  I think the quote speaks more to his talents than I ever could.

Anonymous: Four years ago, Ben was a field coordinator on Nancy King’s Senate re-election. This year, he is serving in his second year as Executive Director of Hoyer for Congress. Talk about moving quick.

4. Anne Klase – Anne is part of Comptroller Peter Franchot’s small, close knit circle (along with Andrew Friedson and Len Foxwell).

Anonymous: Anne is District 30’s go-to. Hardworking, balanced, and liked by everyone.

Anonymous – works for the Comptroller (floats between the campaign and the office) but don’t hold that against her. She’ll be elected to the AAC Central Committee in June. In a county with few strong Dems (and the strong ones can sometimes be divisive), Anne is universally liked and respected. She is young (23/4) and has a long career ahead in AA politics.


Dwyer’s Quiet Weekend and Simonaire Challenge

Now I know why Del. Don Dwyer didn’t vote on marijuana decriminalization. He’s unavailable on weekends:

Del. Don Dwyer Jr., spends weekends in the county jail in Glen Burnie, serving time for convictions last year on charges of drunken driving and drunken boating. His absence — he checks into jail on Friday evenings and is released on Sunday nights — means the Republican can’t vote on matters that are being decided on the final weekend of the 2014 General Assembly session.

He also has lost his committee assignments, which renders him even more ineffective than usual. Dwyer was not expelled because his offenses were misdemeanors unrelated to his work in the House. Besides his conviction after having caused injury to seven people in the boat accident, Dwyer is probably best known for his strident social conservatism and opposition to LGBT rights, as he believes that gays and lesbians are a “threat to children.”


He has filed for reelection from District 31B. House Minority Leader Nic Kipke is running as well in the two-seat district, as are six other Republicans. One of them is 24-year old Meagan Simonaire:

Simonaire, the daughter of state Sen. Bryan Simonaire, is a cosmetologist with a degree from Bob Jones University in South Carolina. She said she grew up in a political family and has a history of political activism.

If elected, the two Simonaires would be the only father-daughter Senate-House duo.