Tag Archives: John Delaney

Delaney Endorses Baker

Here is the press release from the Baker campaign:


Baltimore County, MD – Today, U.S. Congressman John Delaney (D-6) announced his support for Rushern L. Baker III, Democratic nominee for governor of Maryland. The announcement comes a day after Valerie Ervin announced she would be joining the Baker/Embry ticket. Over the weekend, Rushern Baker announced a wave of Baltimore County and Baltimore City support, including Julian Jones, the Chair of the Baltimore County Council; Delegate Adrienne Jones, Speaker Pro Tem of the Maryland House of Delegates; and two former Baltimore County Executives: Dennis Rasmussen and Ted Venetoulis.

Congressman Delaney will join Rushern Baker for an event next week. Time and location are TBD.

“I’m proud to endorse my friend Rushern Baker for Governor of Maryland. Rushern is a deeply good man and brings the perfect combination of experience, vision, optimism, grit, and decency to the job. I am particularly impressed with Rushern’s unwavering commitment to improve public education and he has a track record of working to do just that in Prince George’s County.  There is nothing more important to the future of a country than a strong and innovative public education system focused on maximizing the amazing potential inherent in our children and Rushern is committed to that mission, which is why he has my full support,” said U.S. Congressman John Delaney.

“I am proud to have the support of my good friend, Congressman Delaney. Congressman Delaney is deeply respected as an advocate for his constituents and a leader in promoting environmental progress and job growth. I look forward to working with Congressman Delaney to improve education and create economic opportunities in Maryland’s 6th district and across the state,” Rushern Baker said in a statement.

Congressman Delaney joins a growing list of Maryland elected officials in endorsing Rushern Baker, including former governor Martin O’Malley, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, U.S. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Governor Parris Glendening, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and over 50 state senators, delegates, mayors and sheriffs. Additionally, The Baltimore Afro, Jmore Baltimore Jewish Living and The Washington Post endorsed Rushern Baker. The Washington Post calling him, “by a wide margin, the strongest candidate in the primary field.”


Self-Financing by MoCo Candidates

By Adam Pagnucco.

Businessman David Blair is being criticized for contributing $1.9 million to his campaign for County Executive.  Council Member Marc Elrich, who is also running for Executive, told the Post, “David Blair can use money to commission polls and then create an image of himself based on poll results… We’ve had enough of buying images and elections.”  That leads us to a question.

How have other big self-funders done in MoCo?

The chart below shows all MoCo-based candidates since the 2006 cycle who have self-financed at least $200,000 in an election.

Notice something?  Only one of these folks won the election in which they self-financed at least $200,000: Congressman John Delaney.

Why did so many of these self-funders lose?  Here are a few reasons applying to various races.

They ran in the wrong district.

This might be the biggest reason Total Wine co-owner David Trone lost the Congressional District 8 race despite massively outspending the winner, Jamie Raskin.  The odds were long that CD8, with its dark blue enclaves of Takoma Park, Downtown Silver Spring, Kensington and Chevy Chase, would elect an alcohol salesman over a progressive, brainy and likeable college professor.  Trone is much better off in CD6 with its more moderate voters.  Similarly, real estate developer Josh Rales was no match for long-time Congressman Ben Cardin and former Congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume in a statewide U.S. Senate primary.

They challenged an incumbent.

Dana Beyer and Amie Hoeber had uphill battles running against incumbents.  Hoeber’s entry on this list deserves an asterisk because her committee funding did not include $3.8 million in outside spending by her husband.

Their message wasn’t great.

CD8 candidate Kathleen Matthews had a very generic message primarily targeted at women.  District 20 House candidate Jonathan Shurberg’s message was indistinguishable from the other candidates in his race, some of whom were endorsed by Raskin and had the Apple Ballot.  District 19 Senator Mike Lenett ran one of the most negative campaigns in MoCo history against the man who went on to defeat him, Delegate Roger Manno.  Lenett’s Holocaust mailer was a killer mistake in the last days of the race.

They motivated the other side.

One veteran of Raskin’s congressional campaign told us, “We had a motto.  You can outspend us but you will not outwork us!”  Raskin’s door-knockers were dwarfed by Trone’s army but they were well-trained and highly motivated on his behalf.  (This was evident by their comparative performances at your author’s door!)  In the end, true-believer volunteers proved more effective than more numerous hirelings.

Delaney was the exception because he ran in a district that fit a center-left businessman, his main Democratic opponent took the election for granted, Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett was on his last legs and the district was gerrymandered to elect a Democrat.  But there was more: in addition to his self-funding, Delaney raised $2 million in outside money during his first win in 2012.  Most of his fundraising in his next two wins came from others and not himself.

There is no question that self-financing capacity is an advantage.  But little in MoCo’s recent political history supports the notion that elections here can be outright bought.  If Blair wins, it won’t just be because of money.  As one of the wisest MoCo election observers we know told us recently, “You know, the reason self-funders usually lose is because they have a crappy (or no) message.  But when they have a concise message… look out!”

Disclosure: The Executive candidate we are supporting, Roger Berliner, is not self-funding his race.  If he did that, his wife would kill him!


John Delaney Endorses Gabe Albornoz

John Delaney has now taken a break from the House and traipsing around Iowa to endorse two people for at-large county council seats. Besides Bill Conway, he has also endorsed Gabe Albornoz, a candidate with local roots who has been Director of the County Recreation Department for over a decade:

I am proud to endorse Gabe Albornoz for Montgomery County Council At-Large,” Cong. Delaney said. “Through his leadership as the Director of the Department of Recreation for the past decade—he has created programs to engage seniors in activities, increase health fitness for residents, and to help close the opportunity gap among our children and youth. Gabe’s commitment to our community proves that he is the type of leader that Montgomery County needs on the County Council.


Delaney Dominoes

By Adam Pagnucco.

From the perspective of political blogging (which we all know matters most!), Congressman John Delaney is the greatest Maryland politician of all time.  That’s not because of anything he has done in Congress.  (No one does anything in Congress these days!)  It’s because his decision-making has affected the races for Governor, Congress District 6, County Executive, County Council and several State Senate and House of Delegates seats.  This is an enormous bonanza for political junkies and will keep us VERY busy.  We love you, John Delaney!

Here’s a quick and dirty take on how the Delaney Dominoes are falling.


None of the Democratic candidates for Governor fit Delaney’s ideological center-left positioning.  Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who can claim that his jurisdiction has not increased either property or income taxes in twenty-five years, might come closest.  But the biggest impact of Delaney’s absence may be geographic.  With the Congressman out and former Attorney General Doug Gansler not showing signs of serious activity, Senator Rich Madaleno might be the only MoCo candidate in the race.  That’s a big deal.  If Madaleno consolidates MoCo while three African American candidates run hard in the City and Prince George’s, this race becomes very unpredictable.  (Disclosure: your author has done work for Madaleno.)

Congress District 6

Total Wine co-owner David Trone has been interviewing elected officials, activists, operatives and other local players for months as he figures out his options.  Our hunch is that he will see Delaney’s congressional district as his best play and run there.  He will join Delegates Bill Frick and Aruna Miller, Senator Roger Manno and former Democratic nominee Andrew Duck on the Democratic side.  The Republicans should have a vigorous primary too as they have a real shot at the open seat.

County Executive

If Trone runs for Congress, that will leave three term-limited Council Members – Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal – as the only Democrats running for Executive at this moment.  But given the fact that most Democrats voted for term limits and anti-tax sentiment continues to linger, it’s hard to believe that a non-Council Member will not get in.  Trone’s absence creates a void that could very well get filled.

County Council

County Council candidates will all sigh in relief if Trone runs for Congress.  That’s because there have been rumors of a Trone Slate for months in which Trone would deposit his own money in a slate account to be drawn on by allied council candidates.  With that possibility off the table, the at-large candidates are on their own.   Since most are in public financing, it’s unlikely that very many of them will accumulate large financial advantages of 3-to-1 to 4-to-1 over their nearest rivals.  That makes for very competitive races in District 1 and at-large.

State Legislative Districts

If Miller, Frick and Manno stay in the race for Congress until the end, that means there will be open seats in Districts 15, 16 and 19.  In District 15, the recent custom has been for the incumbents to pick a new candidate to fill out their slate.  (That is a big reason why Miller originally won her seat in 2010.)  The question is whether any new candidate merits such a selection.  A District 16 open seat race is like an Italian Sunday dinner: everyone shows up.  An open seat in 2010 attracted thirteen candidates and an open seat in 2014 attracted eight candidates.  There will be no rest for Delegates Ariana Kelly and Marc Korman!  Manno’s Senate seat will draw the interest of at least one Delegate, thereby creating at least one House opening.  There are already three non-incumbents who have filed for the District 19 House seats with more probably on the way.

Add the above to actual or possible races in Council District 3, Legislative District 17 (House and maybe Senate), Legislative District 18 (House and Senate), Legislative District 20 (maybe House) and Legislative District 39 (House) and that makes 2018 the most politically active year in MoCo in decades.  Enjoy folks, and remember to thank John Delaney the next time you see him!


Blogs Were Right About “Ridiculous” Delaney Story

By Adam Pagnucco.

The John Delaney for President story was started by a blog.  It was kept alive by blogs.  And now the bloggers, irresponsible rascals that they are, have been proven right.

Ryan Miner of A Miner Detail kicked off the Delaney for President story on May 3.  He had two pieces of information: a prediction by former Attorney General Doug Gansler that Delaney would be running for President and a claim by MSNBC host Chris Matthews that Delaney had opened an office in Iowa.  That was enough to get The Daily Record’s Bryan Sears to investigate.  Sears wrote:

Will McDonald, a spokesman for Delaney’s campaign, said Delaney is not considering a run for president or opening an office in Iowa.

“Congressman Delaney does not have an office in Iowa or any other place other than Maryland and Washington, D.C.,” McDonald said in an email. “As he has said before, the Congressman and his wife plan to make an announcement regarding a possible run for Maryland’s governor by the end of June.”

The Sun followed up:

Rumors have swirled recently that Delaney is also taking a look at a run for president in 2020 — talk that was amplified when MSNBC host Chris Matthews, Kathleen’s husband, said during his program last week the congressman was setting up an office in Iowa. A Delaney spokesman denied that his boss had office space in the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus state.

On May 11, MCM asked Delaney directly if he was running for President.  Delaney said, “It was as ridiculous then as it is now… I’m not running for President.”

So the story was dead, yeah?  The problem was that the blogs wouldn’t let it die.

Right after Miner’s story, Seventh State noted that Delaney had three federal fundraisers scheduled in May and June.  If Delaney were running for Governor, why was he still raising federal money?  It did not seem necessary for a Congressional run as he could self-fund such a race.  Miner followed up on May 8 with a statement from Delaney’s spokesman shooting down speculation about his wife running for office and emphasizing his consideration of a race for Governor.  And on June 15, Seventh State noted even more federal fundraising by Delaney.

And now we have it: John Delaney ‘s Washington Post op-ed Why I’m Running for President.

Hail to the Great Big Mouths of Doug Gansler and Chris Matthews.  Hail to Ryan Miner for being first and sticking with his scoop even though few other outlets bothered to link to his work.  Hail to John Delaney for saying it was “ridiculous” that he was running for President and then confirming the rumor in his own words in the Washington Post.  And above all, hail to irresponsible rogue blogs.  Where would we be without them?


Delaney Continues to Raise Money for Congress

By Adam Pagnucco.

Congressman John Delaney, who is mulling a run for Governor, is continuing to raise money for Congress.  On June 15, he sent out the email below asking donors to contribute $3 or more per month to his federal account.  As of this writing, Delaney has not yet opened a state account.  This comes on top of three recent federal fundraisers for Delaney, including one held at his home in Rehoboth Beach.

The obvious question is: if Delaney indeed plans to run for Governor, why is he still raising money for his federal account?


Is John Delaney Running for President?

By Adam Pagnucco.


A Delaney spokesman told the Daily Record’s Bryan Sears, “Congressman Delaney does not have an office in Iowa or any other place other than Maryland and Washington, D.C… As he has said before, the Congressman and his wife plan to make an announcement regarding a possible run for Maryland’s governor by the end of June.”  Note that while this statement denies opening an Iowa office, it does not specifically deny an interest in the Presidency.

Also, Delaney’s campaign sent out a blast email excoriating the Republicans’ plan for health care today.  The email was titled, “TrumpCare – It’s Back!”  It began by saying, “They’re at it again. Any minute now, Donald Trump and House Republicans could force a vote to eliminate healthcare for 24 million Americans. This time they made the bill even worse. They’re trying to rally enough votes to weaken protections for pre-existing conditions, those that prevent discrimination against women, seniors, and middle-class families. We need to tell them enough is enough.”

Original Post:

Western Maryland blogger Ryan Miner had an interesting post on Congressional District 6 Congressman John Delaney yesterday.  Miner quoted former Attorney General Doug Gansler predicting that Delaney will be announcing for President.  He also posted a short Twitter video in which MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews (the husband of the current Maryland Democratic Party chair) alleged that Delaney is opening an office in Iowa.

Is this just a crazy rumor or is there something to this?

Consider the following.

  1. Delaney has been involved in Iowa politics before.

In 2013, Delaney visited Iowa to campaign for Jim Mowrer, an Iraq War veteran and Democratic candidate for Congress against arch-conservative incumbent Steve King.  Delaney also made two separate contributions to Mowrer of $2,600 each on 9/5/13 and 9/8/13.  Mowrer lost the 2014 general election to King by 12 points.  Mowrer challenged a different Republican incumbent two years later and lost again.

  1. Delaney has played in other places too.

Delaney does not have a leadership PAC to send money to other politicians like many Members of Congress do, but he has made several individual contributions to other candidates since being elected.  Recipients include former Florida Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy ($2,700 in 2016), Virginia Senator Mark Warner ($2,600 in 2013), California Congressman Raul Ruiz ($1,000 in 2013) and former Illinois Congressman William Enyart ($1,000 in 2013).  In addition, Delaney’s wife has contributed to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker ($2,600 in 2013) and Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell ($1,000 in 2014).

  1. Delaney is continuing to raise federal money.

Delaney’s fundraising schedule includes at least three near-term events.  A May 2nd event in D.C. was hosted by lawyers Bert Pena and Joseph A. Muldoon III.  A May 18th event will be held at the Delaneys’ Capitol Hill townhouse.  And a June 9-11 event is scheduled at the Delaneys’ home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Look carefully at the language of the solicitation for this last event.  It is an “inaugural beach weekend,” implying that there will be similar events in the future.

What does all this add up to?  Maybe not much, but none of this is consistent with a run for Governor.  It is especially interesting that Delaney is continuing to raise money for his federal account but, as of this writing, has no state-level account for a gubernatorial run.  And if Delaney runs for President, what does that mean for his Congressional seat?  Would he give it up to run full-time?  Or would it be smarter to hold onto it as a platform going into the 2020 election?  One thing is for sure – a risky run for Governor would make no sense in a Presidential scenario.  A candidate who loses in his own state has little potential as a national prospect.

No doubt, more will be coming out soon!


Delaney Votes No on Syrian Refugees

Earlier today, Rep. John Delaney (D-6) voted in favor of Republican sponsored American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act. Passed by the U.S. House. that would make it make it significantly harder for Syrian refugees to gain admittance to the United States:

The Republican bill would require the FBI director to certify the background investigation for each Syrian or Iraqi refugee admitted to the United States, and Homeland Security and intelligence officials would have to certify that they are not security threats.

Delaney’s office issued a press release explaining his vote:

WASHINGTON- Congressman John K. Delaney voted for the American SAFE Act (H.R. 4038), which would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and relevant national security agencies to ensure that each refugee receives a thorough background investigation before U.S. refugee admission.  This legislation does not prevent the U.S. from safely accepting refugees that have been carefully screened

Delaney releases the following statement:

“Regarding Syrian refugees, we should not have an arbitrary cap of 10,000, we should expedite the screening of women and children, and the screening process should be of the highest standard. My vote today reflects that belief.”

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2) did not cast a vote on the legislation. The other five Democrats in the Maryland delegation voted no, while the sole Republican voted in favor.


John Delaney for Senate?


John Delaney is a two-term U.S. representative who founded two publicly traded companies focused on financial services. He may well be the only candidate able to point to significant private sector experience. While he not always the most charismatic, he’s very, very smart and is well-versed in economic policy in a way that is rare for an elected official.

Money, Money, Money

John Delaney is worth a cool nine figures and over the last few years has spent around $5 million dollars of his own funds on his U.S. House bids. Always nice to be able to drop more than most will see in a lifetime like it’s buying a nice meal out.

In contrast, Chris Van Hollen and all other candidates will need to spend months locked in windowless rooms begging lobbyists and national donors for $2,600 checks in hopes of funding broadcast media buys in the extremely expensive DC and Baltimore Markets.

For the record, DC Broadcast at saturation costs $450,000 per week. Delaney can put $10 million, $15 million, perhaps even $20 million dollars in his campaign account in five minutes,  freeing up his time for extensive retail politicking in far flung corners of the state.

Moreover, his money will buy a vast army of top tier hired guns and mercenary political consultants. As his campaign against Sen. Rob Garagiola showed in 2012, John Delaney knows how to hire good people and run an effective campaign.

John Delaney will bombard a microtargeted universe of likely Democratic Primary voters with glossy mailers and online advertisements. His (paid) canvassers will be at their doors daily. And, months before anyone else can afford to do so, his TV ads will flood living rooms from Silver Spring to Severna Park.

And frankly, that stuff works.

But Money Can’t Buy You Love

Chris Van Hollen will likely retain the loyalties of the northwestern Montgomery County residents he represented prior to redistricting (and are now) in the Sixth District–a real problem for Delaney as he  needs those voters.

Moreover, John Delaney doesn’t have CVH’s massive base of volunteers and true believers. Donna Edwards also has the potential to attract a lot of ground support. These canvassers tend to be more effective than those in it for the (small) paycheck because they actually believe in the candidate.

Delaney’s opponents may argue that he made a fortune as a predatory lender. Moreover, ss dozens of other self funders have taught us, all the money in the world can’t buy enough advertising to make voters change their minds if they decide they don’t like you or just prefer someone else even if you’re a good candidate.


Labor Unions across the board united to oppose John Delaney’s first congressional bid. He’s since returned the animosity through numerous votes on infrastructure issues, which has angered the more traditionalist factions like the building trades and the AFL-CIO. He has also cast pro-Wall Street votes on the Financial Services committee, which has angered the more movement progressive type unions like SEIU. It can be expected that they will put whatever clout they have into denying him a promotion to the Senate.

Overlap and Niche

As a white Montgomery County congressmen, Delaney and CVH share the most base overlap.

Delaney will also be the most centrist candidate. He has repeatedly touted his moderate proposals and ability to work with Republicans–an approach that looks better in general than primary elections. To the extent a centrist bloc exists in a statewide Maryland Democratic Primary, he largely has that lane to himself. This may give Delaney room for expansion in the Baltimore suburbs, the Eastern Shore, and Southern Maryland.

Delaney also shares several political advisors such as pollster Fred Yang, media firm SKDKnickerbocker and Chief of Staff Justin Schall who work with other potential candidates. They will have to pick a side when their clients challenge each other for higher office.


Analysis: Decisive Van Hollen Jumps In the Race

Chris Van Hollen Takes on FOX News

I had wondered if Chris Van Hollen might play Hamlet and have a tough time making a decision on whether or not to enter the Senate race. After all, he ranks high in the House Leadership and was tipped as a strong candidate for Speaker. But I didn’t have to wonder for long. Rep. Van Hollen acted decisively and entered the race.

He brings a lot of major advantages to his candidacy.

Strong Montgomery Base

Chris Van Hollen’s base in Montgomery is strong and large. Thanks to redistricting, he has represented most of it at one time or another. While we have many well-liked pols, Chris is the most widely popular and respected. Put another way, his is the endorsement that most state legislative candidates in the County want on their mailers.

He will have a large army of loyal and excited volunteers, including many who worked on his congressional campaign. Equally important, he already has very smart advisers such as Joan Kleinman and Karen MacManus. Like so many originally from Louisiana, Karen has very quick political sense and a formidable ability to organize and get things done.


Van Hollen’s campaign will be very well funded. The Sun reported that he already has $1.7 million cash-on-hand. As a former head of the DCCC, his network could hardly be more extensive. Having raised so much money for many his colleagues, he may benefit from their support is well.

Record and Skill Set

But the most important advantage held by Van Hollen is that many see him as the full package: a policy wonk who can also strategize and communicate. He has always been fast on his feet challenging Republicans on the floor or on television. Equally important, he conveys the Democratic message in an appealing and completely understandable way.

And Rep. Van Hollen doesn’t do this by temporizing. He is unafraid to stand up for progressive priorities, such as when he opposed the CROmnibus. Just watch one of many examples in the above clips in which he wins the debate not just intellectually but in terms of communication even on FOX.

Like Sen. Barbara Mikulski, he is good at looking after the home team as well. For example, he worked to secure at $15 million federal grant that allowed 14 Maryland community colleges to train workers in cyber security. Another $300K federal grant helped to provide “technical training to veteran-owned businesses seeking federal procurement opportunities.”

Challenges and Overlap with Other Candidates

Some fear that he may suffer from the same problem as Mike Barnes did when he ran for Senate in 1986. Rep. Barnes carried Montgomery handily but failed to make inroads elsewhere. A key difference from 1986 is that Mikulski had already run for Senate in a general election. Though she lost that uphill race against Sen. Mac Mathias, she gained both credibility and name recognition. No sitting representative in Maryland has that advantage.

Nonetheless, Chris will have to break out of Montgomery. He has represented portions of other counties. His connections from his days in the state legislature may also help these efforts. It will also aid the Van Hollen campaign if other Montgomery based candidates like John Delaney and Heather Mizeur stay out of the race.