Tag Archives: Frederick County

Marc Elrich: “I Prefer to Put Jobs in Frederick”

By Adam Pagnucco.

Yesterday, Greater Greater Washington (GGW) wrote a long essay about Council Member Marc Elrich, who is running for Executive.  GGW has many disagreements with Elrich about smart growth and housing and mostly concentrated on those issues.  But the essay contained this quote from an interview with Elrich.

Broadly, Elrich isn’t convinced Montgomery County needs to add many new homes or residents, or jobs. Many people with jobs in Bethesda or DC are now living in Frederick County and other outlying areas and driving through Montgomery to get to work. We asked Elrich what he’d do for these folks, and his answer was, “I prefer to put jobs in Frederick.” He’d encourage the growth of both households and jobs to happen there, and in Prince George’s County, and elsewhere.

Elrich has disputed quotes before and we will see if he disputes this one.  But if the quote is accurate… well.

The chart below uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to compare growth in total employment in Frederick and MoCo from 2001 through 2016.

Frederick’s job creation record is clearly better than MoCo’s in both absolute and relative terms.

Now let’s use BLS data to compare growth in establishment counts in the two counties.

Frederick beats MoCo in growth rate and, over the last decade, in net new establishment count too.

Let’s bear in mind the relative size of the two counties.  Frederick has about a quarter of MoCo’s population.  Yet, Frederick has created a larger absolute number of jobs over the last fifteen years than MoCo and had a net gain since 2006 while MoCo had a net loss.  In terms of establishments, Frederick created more than double what MoCo did over the last decade despite being much smaller.

Now let’s recall the research we did three weeks ago on taxpayer migration.  MoCo is often compared to Fairfax, but the truth is that we have lost more taxpayer income to Frederick than to Fairfax over the last decade.

Between 2006 and 2016, MoCo had a net outmigration of $582 million in real adjusted gross income to Frederick.

The greatest losses to Frederick occurred during MoCo’s home price boom of 2002 through 2007.  MoCo home prices are rising again so let’s connect the economic dots.  Suppose we cut off housing construction in the ways Elrich described to Greater Greater Washington.  Unless there is a recession – which would bring a different set of problems – a housing shutdown in MoCo would cause more home price and rent hikes, exacerbating our already oppressive cost of living and pushing some folks into Frederick.  Once in Frederick, some of those people would start businesses, hire people and create more economic activity there.  That’s great for Frederick and it’s part of the explanation for the growth they have seen in the last fifteen years.  But what exactly does that do for us?

Look, folks – with surging needs in schools, transportation and everything else and with maxed out county debt, we have a lot of bills to pay.  There are two ways to do it.  Option one is to grow our commercial tax base and create jobs, thereby generating more tax revenue.  Option two is more big tax hikes which will further strain the cost of living.

If we have a County Executive who is fighting to put jobs in Frederick and NOT in MoCo, which option do you think our county will pick?

Disclosure: the author supports Roger Berliner for Executive.

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Delauter Responds to Seventh State

By Adam Pagnucco.

After our post on Frederick County Council Member Kirby Delauter’s views on the Civil War, Delauter reached out to your author on Facebook and requested an interview.  Your author agreed, but when I stipulated that the interview be on the record, Delauter balked.

Below is the exchange with Delauter on the Western Maryland Politics Facebook page.

We have often gone off the record with sources in the past.  But Delauter is different.  He is the only local elected official we know of who has threatened to sue a news publication for “unauthorized” use of his name.  We remind Delauter (and any like-minded politicians) that truth is an absolute defense to libel and defamation lawsuits, and that includes citing public statements made by public figures.  Accordingly, while we are happy to communicate with Delauter, we will only do it on the record because of his history of threatening litigation.

One more thing.  While Delauter may have been mocked by some for his threat against the Frederick News-Post, we take him very seriously.  He has enthusiastic supporters, is an able fundraiser and represents a red district that is a good base for a GOP candidate running county-wide.  Delauter may very well be Frederick County’s next Executive.

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Delauter Says Civil War Was About “True Freedom,” Not Race

By Adam Pagnucco.

Frederick County Council Member Kirby Delauter once threatened to sue the Frederick News-Post for using his name without permission.  That statement wound up spreading all over the country, making Delauter by far the most well-known politician in Frederick.  But now, Delauter has accomplished an almost impossible feat by topping that quote.  On Facebook, he has declared that the Civil War and current social disruptions were not about race, but “about true freedom.”

In a Facebook post yesterday, Delauter wrote, “Growing up I never really understood how Americans could fight each other in a civil war…….. I’m starting to understand how that happened…….and how close we are to repeating history.”  Many people might agree with that statement.  But then he followed up with, “And it wasn’t about race then and it’s not about race now. It’s always been about true freedom.”

Actually, the Civil War was all about race since the primary reason the Southern states seceded was to protect slavery.  This is a proven fact given what the Confederate states themselves said in their declarations of secession.  States’ rights, the argument for the war which was subsequently made up in an attempt to whitewash history decades later, does not appear in the declarations but slavery is mentioned over and over.  Georgia and South Carolina specifically criticized the federal government for not forcing Northern states to send back escaped slaves and punish those who aided them.  This is an argument AGAINST states’ rights and certainly against “true freedom.”  Here’s a sample from the declarations.

Mississippi

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

Texas

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.

Georgia

The faithless conduct of our adversaries is not confined to such acts as might aggrandize themselves or their section of the Union. They are content if they can only injure us. The Constitution declares that persons charged with crimes in one State and fleeing to another shall be delivered up on the demand of the executive authority of the State from which they may flee, to be tried in the jurisdiction where the crime was committed. It would appear difficult to employ language freer from ambiguity, yet for above twenty years the non-slave-holding States generally have wholly refused to deliver up to us persons charged with crimes affecting slave property. Our confederates, with punic faith, shield and give sanctuary to all criminals who seek to deprive us of this property or who use it to destroy us. This clause of the Constitution has no other sanction than their good faith; that is withheld from us; we are remediless in the Union; out of it we are remitted to the laws of nations.

South Carolina

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

As for what is happening now, it’s all about race.  Anyone who doubts that should watch this video made by a reporter who embedded herself with the racists and anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville.  Listen to what they say and what their intentions are.  They leave little doubt about their agenda.

It’s hard to commit a bigger gaffe than Delauter’s threat to sue a newspaper for “unauthorized” use of his name.  But Delauter has accomplished the impossible by claiming that the Civil War and current social disruptions are about “true freedom” and not race.  Delauter is currently running for County Executive.  Frederick County voters will have several choices for that office in both parties who are vastly superior to Delauter.  Hopefully they will end his political career once and for all.

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UPDATE: Carroll County GOP Frazier Follies

Over at Free State Notes, Walter Olson has a valuable update on the Carroll County Republican Central Committee’s (CCRCC) appointment of whackadoodle Robin Frazier to fill the vacancy caused by Sen. Joe Getty’s acceptance of a position in the Hogan administration:

(1) Although I wrote that “nobody puts crazy in the corner,” I had not realized that Frazier had ran a write-in campaign for County Commissioner against her own party’s nominee after losing the primary that garnered a whopping 9% of the vote. Makes her a doubly news of the weird choice by CCRCC.

(2) One of the people who voted on the vacancy was an employee of outgoing Commissioner Frazier.

(3) 2000 people have already signed an online petition against the appointment–more than voted for Frazier in the Republican primary–and they have gained support from one member of the Carroll County Commission.

(4) Michael Stewart over at Red Maryland has inveighed against both the secret process (the vote and who was considered were secret) and the decision to appoint this person twice rejected by the voters at the polls. Republicans are livid over this travesty.

(5) Frederick County Councilmember Kirby Delauter must be eternally grateful that Robin Frazier has distracted attention from his own stupidity and public humiliation.

Gov. Martin O’Malley found a way out of having the follow through with a disastrous appointment by the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee. Let’s hope that Gov. Elect Larry Hogan can do the same.

Question: Will this help inspire bipartisan support for reform of the appointment process?

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Frederick County Exec Battle

FredCtyPartisanshipFrederick County Political Leanings

In 2014, voters in Frederick County will be electing their leaders under charter government for the first time. Previously, Frederick had been governed by a board of County Commissioners elected at-large. In 2014, they will elect a County Council with five members elected from districts and two at-large.

They will also be electing a County Executive for the first time. Blaine Young should be able to dispatch his Mark Sweadner, who was the Frederick County Budget Director for a long stretch in the 1990s, and David Gray–a sitting County Commissioner.

Young had $185,000 left over from his aborted gubernatorial Campaign in January. Jan Gardner, a Barbara Mikulski staffer and former County Commissioner had $43,000 in January. Young has money and a famous surname on his side. Frederick’s rapidly changing demographics favor Gardner.

Frederick County was once reliably rock ribbed Republican territory However, an influx of migrants from Montgomery County has turned the southern party of the County Purple. Combined with the increasingly Democratic City of Frederick nearly outweighs the dark Red, rural precincts in the northern part of the County. Frederick is perhaps the most swingy county in Maryland.

Gardner needs to turn out base Democratic Voters in Frederick City while also winning independents and Republican crossover votes in the southern part of the county. Young will need to super charge rural turnout and get as many Republican’s as possible in the rest of the County to vote. Someone as hard right as Young is unlikely to get many Democrat or Independent crossover votes.

This is one of the most competitive county general elections in Maryland this cycle.

Republican Primary Rating: Likely Young
General Election Rating: Toss Up

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Can SNCF Derail the Purple and Red Lines?

Maryland wants to create a public-private partnership (P3) to build and operate the Purple Line. Keolis North America, 70% owned by La Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF) is one of the finalists selected by the State.

Keolis’s proposal has run into trouble because of SNCF’s role in transporting Jews from France to Nazi death camps. Lea Lieberman who lost her father in the Holocaust gave moving testimony yesterday to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee yesterday:

When the Nazis occupied Paris, my parents fled to Vichy France. Subsequently, the Gestapo arrested my father and left my mother to tend to a three year old child alone. . . .

Shortly after his arrest in Vichy France, he was taken to Drancy (the notorious holding camp in the outskirts of Paris) and subsequently shipped to Sobibor concentration camp via the French National Railroad, where he was murdered. . . .

Three days ago, a representative for SNCF, the French National Railroad, shirked any moral or legal responsibility by stating and I am paraphrasing, we were an occupied country, the trains were operated under Nazi command, there was nothing we could do except to obey our Nazi occupiers.

Ironically, this is similar to what the German soldiers stated in the Nuremburg trials after the War. Following orders is not a moral excuse to murder. I find that prototypical statement of helplessness to be even in and of itself. SNCF was complicit with the Nazi regime in the murder of innocent Jews, including my father. Indeed, it has been reported that the company has acknowledged guilt in France and paid out for than $6 billion in reparations, but only to French citizens and certain deportees.

Holocaust Survivor Leo Bretholz vociferously disputed SNCF’s rationale that it had no choice but to obey he occupiers in a commentary in the Baltimore Sun:

SNCF carried out its transports with precision, cruelty and deception. On each convoy, we were packed into 20 cattle cars, 50 people each. For the entire multi-day trip, we were given only one piece of triangular cheese, one stale piece of bread and no water. There was hardly room to stand or sit, and in the middle of the train was a single bucket to relieve ourselves. . . .

I even have a copy of an invoice SNCF sent the French government, seeking payment for the services it provided. They pursued payment on this after the liberation of Paris, after the Nazis were gone. They even charged interest for late payments. This was not coercion, this was business.

SNCF was not coerced into using cattle cars. It was not coerced into sending bills after the war. It was not coerced into serving no water on the trains. Had SNCF resisted, the number of those killed from France would have been greatly reduced. Had SNCF not imposed horrific conditions on its trains, many additional lives could have been saved.

Instead of taking responsibility for its actions during the past 70-plus years, the company has spent millions of dollars on a lobbying and public relations campaign to rewrite history and avoid accountability for its pivotal role in one of history’s greatest atrocities.

Leo Bretholz died earlier this month before he could testify on the bill.

Regardless of one’s views on SNCF’s guilt, one need not wrestle with SNCF’s excuse of having to comply with the Nazi German occupiers for the simple reason that SNCF has already admitted guilt and paid reparations in France.

If that’s the case in France, it ought to be the case in Maryland. There is something deeply grotesque about a willingness to pay lobbyists to avoid accountability here when it has already admitted liability in its home country.

In response to SNCF’s refusal to pay reparations to American survivors of the Holocaust, Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-43, Baltimore City) and Del. Kirill Reznick (D-39, Montgomery) have filed legislation to require SNCF to pay reparations if it wants to bid for the project.

The bill has been complicated by claims that any interference with the bidding process could derail federal funding. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) sent a letter to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) stating that the bills “raise legal concerns regarding the ability of MTA to comply with federal full and open competition requirements” and thus “jeopardize federal funding” for the Purple and the Red Line.

MTA and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) have unsurprisingly lobbied hard against the bills. However, the letter from FTA was unusually artful and carefully couched to avoid any firm determination of the impact of the bills on federal funding.

Presumably, the State of Maryland could request a more definitive answer from FTA. Is the Obama Administration really not going to fund transportation projects because the State wants to use its leverage from this $6 billion contract–one of the largest it has ever awarded–to aid Holocaust victims?

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has testified in favor of the bill. And some legislators have stated that they feel more strongly about the principle than the $900 million in funding recommended by FTA. As the Washington Post reported:

“We want the Purple Line, but is this the price we pay — to do business with these guys?” Sen. Roger Manno (D-Montgomery) said Thursday after a Budget and Taxation Committee hearing. “Maybe if that’s the case, maybe we can’t build it.”

Others feel differently. Del. Kirill Reznick is willing to modify his legislation to avoid the loss of federal funds.

It’s in SNCF’s power to resolve this issue and bid for the project. Doing so would bring honor to SNCF and to France.

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Two Fredericks: D3 and D4

In the not too distant past, Republicans looked at counties like Frederick and got excited. Fast growing exurbs like this and the loss of population in places like Baltimore City would gradually shift Maryland in their direction.

Frederick has indeed grown but disappointed the GOP bitterly by becoming much more Democratic in the process. President Obama received 49% in 2008 and 47% in 2012 of Frederick votes. A marked increase compared to the 39% received by Al Gore in 2000.

Under the old legislative district plan, Frederick had all but a tiny piece of District 3. Frederick and Carroll Counties shared District 4 with 4A located in Frederick electing two delegates. District 4B, situated entirely in Carroll except a small bit around Mt. Airy, elected the remaining delegate.

FredCtyDistsOld

The 2010 Frederick Districts

Redistricting has been  good to Frederick. As shown below, Frederick nearly has all of two full districts under the new plan–less than 10% of District 4 remains in Carroll and its subdistricts have accordingly been eliminated.

FredCtyDistsNew

The 2014 Frederick Districts

The new districts follow Frederick’s partisan divisions more closely than the old map. As the map below from Dave’s Redistricting shows, District 3 takes in the most Democratic portions–the City of Frederick and areas to the south–with the remaining much more Republican areas in the County composing District 4.

Additionally, Del. Michael Hough’s (R-3B) home was moved to District 4. Altogether, the changes help Democrats as it strengthens their position in swingy District 3. Meanwhile, District 4 remains a little piece of Republican heaven.

FredCtyPartisanship

Partisan Composition of Frederick (Blue is D and Red is R)

District 3

In District 3, former Frederick Mayor Ron Young toppled shrill right-wing gadlfly Sen. Alex Mooney in 2010. He moved on to running the State GOP into the ground before fleeing to West Virginia for redder pastures where he is now a congressional candidate. Even Maryland Republicans don’t seem to miss him.

Sen. Ron Young has taken liberal stands–he was a strong supporter of marriage equality while Mooney was one of its most vocal opponents–but no one can touch him. He is unopposed in the primary and general election.

All three delegate seats are open. In 3A, neither Del. Patrick Hogan (R) nor Del. Galen Clagett (D) will seek reelection with Hogan’s decision at least partly influenced by the more Democratic version of this Frederick City district. The new redistricting plan placed Del. Michael Hough’s (R-3A) home in District 4.

In District 31A, Sen Ron Young’s wife, Karen Lewis Young has filed for one of the two delegate seats but has not filed a campaign finance report (or at least one doesn’t come up when I search for it). She has a website for her unsuccessful run for the Frederick mayoralty as the Democratic nominee in 2013. In that contest, Young came in second with 32% behind Republican Randy McClement who won with 49%. If elected, Sen. Young and Del. Young would be the only husband and wife team in the General Assembly.

The other potentially strong candidate appears to be Frederick Alderman Carol Krimm. Though she has just $1700 in her campaign account, she has held office and aldermen run citywide, so she is already known throughout a fair portion of the district.

Young and Krimm seems well positioned to win the two seats, if only due to the weakness of the other competition that has filed so far. Candidate Nicholas Bouquet just moved to Frederick one year ago and has also filed no campaign finance report (or again, it just doesn’t appear when I search for it). Roger Wilson has raised no money. The two Republican candidates are poorly funded.

In 3B, Frederick County Democratic Central Committee Vice Chair Stephen Slater is the only filed candidate. Of course, the filing deadline has not yet arrived.

District 4

All four seats in District 4 are safe for the Republicans. Though Del. Michael Hough’s website still solicits support for running in 3B, his home is now in District 4  and plans to run for the Senate against incumbent Sen. Minority Leader David Brinkley. Hough’s very active twitter feed of anti-Obamacare, anti-tax. anti-union, global warming denying posts sure has the look of a Republican straining to endear himself to tea-party voters.

Brinkley has a reputation in the Senate of a smart and cordial staunch–but not certifiable–conservative. Which means, of course, that he could be in trouble with the wing of his party that demands total purity and legislative ineffectiveness to gain election.

Brinkley has just $21K in his campaign account and has not yet filed for reelection. Along with Del. Kathy Afzali (R-4A), Brinkley sought unsuccessfully to defeat Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the Republican primary. Bartlett limped home with 44% to 20% for Brinkley and 10% for Afzali. Some may speculate that Brinkley may be getting tired of the General Assembly, though he gives every sign of planning to run for reelection.

Michael Hough has a more robust $115K in his campaign account and will make it a humdinger of a primary. Neither Brinkley nor Hough can raise funds during the session, leaving little time before the primary and giving Hough an edge. On the other hand, Hough will need to get known in a lot of new territory that Brinkley has  represented in the House or Senate since the 1994 election. Hough will try to beat Brinkley by running to his right and presenting himself as a more authentic conservative.

Only one Democrat has bothered to file for delegate in District 4 while the Republicans have three filed candidates so far: Del. Kathy Afzali ($66K on hand) and Del. Kelly Schulz ($45K) along with Mt. Airy Councilwoman Wendi Peters ($13K). David Vogt and Ken Timmerman also plan to run but has yet to file. Gaffe-prone Vogt ran for Congress but dropped out before the primary. Timmerman is moving to the district to run for the seat.

The Quinton Report sees Afzali, Schulz and Peters as the front runners, and Vogt and Timmerman as sad cases: “With Vogt getting into the race, it guarantees he will be battling it out with Ken Timmerman to see who finishes last.”

 

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