Tag Archives: Roger Manno

Possible CD6 Candidates Gather in Western Maryland

By Adam Pagnucco.

With District 6 Congressman John Delaney telling the Sun he is considering a race for Governor and Delegate Bill Frick (D-16) starting a Congressional campaign account, the chatter around CD6 is picking up.  And that chatter is going to reach a fever pitch at the end of the month.

That’s because the Western Maryland Democratic PAC is holding a “summit” event in Flintstone on April 28 and 29.  The event (which requires registration) is described as “charting a progressive course in Western Maryland.”  And top billing in the email announcement goes to two familiar names: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Total Wine co-owner David Trone.

Kamenetz, of course, is running for Governor.  But what of Trone?  His website says he is considering a run for Montgomery County Executive.  But his attendance at the Western Maryland event (and the money he must have contributed to be listed as a “Presenting Sponsor”) suggests that he is keeping a CD6 option open.  Trone’s self-funding capacity allows him significant timetable flexibility.

But that’s not all.  The solicitation states that Delegate Frick and Senator Roger Manno (D-19) will also be attending.  Manno is a labor favorite and is known to be interested in the CD6 seat.

Congratulations to the Western Maryland Democratic PAC for setting up such a juicy event.  Get your tickets here, folks!

Hogan Throws Commerce Secretary Under the Bus

gill with hoganNo longer all smiles between Governor Larry Hogan (center) and Secretary of Commerce Michael Gill (right)

From the Daily Record:

A proposal to create a tax incentive for manufacturers to relocate to Maryland represents a change of course for at least some in Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration.

The governor’s announcement earlier this month reverses a position expressed less than a year ago when Michael Gill, Hogan’s recently appointed secretary of what is now the state Department of Commerce, penned a letter urging lawmakers to focus on existing manufacturing in the state.

But late Friday, after The Daily Record posted online a story referencing Gill’s letter, a Hogan spokesman said the governor was unaware of the letter and that it was not authorized.

“It does not represent the views of the governor,” said Douglass Mayer. “The governor has been a long-time supporter of Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s effort and program in New York.”

In the words of Cool Hand Luke, “what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

I hope to have more assessment of this tax proposal shortly and look forward to hearing from the Governor what he plans to cut in the budget to fund this proposal. Sen. Roger Manno (D-19) had already planned to introduce a similar idea this session.

Changing the State Budget Process?

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Black is the New Orange: Hogan’s Budget is on the Right

Over at the Free Stater, Todd Eberly has a great post that unpacks exactly why governors of Maryland are considered the most powerful in the nation:

According to the constitution of Maryland, the Assembly cannot increase spending in the governor’s budget and it cannot move funds around in an effort to increase funding in one area by reducing it elsewhere. All the Assembly can really do is reduce the amount of spending proposed by the governor.  The Assembly can introduce legislation to provide funding for programs – but only if the legislation identifies a funding source (e.g. raising taxes). Certainly, members of the Assembly can work with Hogan and try to convince him to introduce a supplemental budget that provides more funding for programs they value, but failing that, Hogan’s budget will stand.

Senators Rich Madaleno, Guy Guzzone, and Roger Manno have introduced a constitutional amendment to give the General Assembly more power vis-a-vis the governor. As we approach the 100th anniversary of the amendment that established this system, it seems a good time revisit our choice.

 

Ten Most Progressive Senators

ProgSen

In the Maryland Senate, all of the incoming Democrats will be more liberal than all of the Republicans. But who are currently the most progressive of the 47 state senators?

Using the same dataset provided by Boris Shor and Nolan McCarty of state legislator ideology mentioned in previous posts, the above table lists the most progressive senators. Remember that a more negative score indicates a more progressive senator. These scores are for the legislator’s entire career in the General Assembly and include House as well as Senate service.

The most consistently progressive member of the Maryland Senate is Rich Madaleno, who represents District 18 (Chevy Chase, Kensington and Wheaton) in Montgomery County. Indeed, six of the most liberal senators represent MoCo–Madaleno (#1), Manno (#3), Lee, (#4) Montgomery (#5), King (#7), and Raskin (#10).

Three of the others on the list are African-American women from Prince George’s or Baltimore: Conway (#6), Nathan Pulliam (#8), and Benson (#9). The final member of the list is Paul Pinsky, who hails from Prince George’s and is the second most progressive member of the Senate after Madaleno.

MCDCC Sample Ballot Incompetence Spoils Dems Pre-Election Weekend

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) sends out a sample ballot before the state elections to urge Democrats to the polls and remind them of their party’s ticket. There were some major snafus this year.

I’ve been receiving a lot of reports, some conflicting, of problems, and have been attempting to sift out fact from fiction. This is why I’ve delayed posting on this topic.

Mix and Match Candidates

In District 19, incumbent Sen. Roger Manno‘s name has been replaced by that of Sen. Rich Madaleno–the candidate in District 18. As you can imagine, Sen. Manno–who donated money to help pay for the sample ballot–was understandably not happy about it.

I suppose one could view this as karma, since Rich Madaleno’s name appeared as Roger Madaleno on the Apple Ballot during the Democratic primary.  But at least the critical last name and first initial were right in that case. I hope Roger gets his donation back.

In District 16, Delegate Nominee Marc Korman‘s biography has been replaced with that of Aruna Miller. I am sure Marc was interested to learn that he worked for county since he was eight and has already served on a House committee before winning election.

Latino Outreach Fail

MCDCC has touted its efforts to reach out more strongly to the County’s fast-growing Latino community. Unfortunately, the sample ballot was a textbook example of how not to go about it.

First, the name of incumbent Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez (D-18) was misspelled on the sample ballot:

sample2

Second, accents and the tilde of ñ were often left out in Spanish text. The office titles are sometimes incorrect, even though they could have been directly copied from the official bilingual version. Even español has been written as espanol:

sample1

Finally, the sample ballot directs people on how to find a Spanish sample ballot online. Other than that it doesn’t exist, this is an excellent idea.

Small Mailing and Still Waiting?

Beyond the giant mistake in District 19, the real story may be how many sample ballots were sent out. I am told that elected Democrats were promised that hundreds of thousands would go out but that only around 90,000 were mailed. I am unable to confirm this. MCDCC has made clear that they will not respond to my requests for information, though I understand they are also being closed-mouthed with electeds on this issue too.

While many, including your gentle blogger, have received their Democratic sample ballot, I have heard that other Democrats who did not vote early have yet to receive them. No doubt this is due to the last minute mailing. On the other hand, I imagine Roger (or is it Rich?) Manno must be relieved that at least early voters did not get it before going to the polls.

Missing Signs on Bag Day

There were no signs for either Brown/Ulman or for Brian Frosh. In other words, there were no signs for the two statewide candidates who need strong visible support in Montgomery on Tuesday.

Rumor that Should be Ignored

Some told me that they were shocked that their congressman was left off the sample ballot. This is not an error but intentional in order to comply with federal campaign finance law. Advertising their names counts as a campaign contribution.

Why Did this Happen?

MCDCC Chair Kevin Walling personally managed the sample ballot with his inner circle (the Politburo? the Presidium?) of MCDCC. It arrived very late to the printers and few others were involved to review it and make sure that they got this complex task (different versions need to go to different areas of the County) right.

MCDCC staff has long been dedicated to the Democratic Party and helped with this task many times before. They should not be blamed and I hope no one tries to throw them under the bus in order to save their own reputation.

As in the past, MCDCC has many excellent members. But they need to address these issues squarely. The central problems with MCDCC remain the ones I outlined in a previous post: a lack of accountability, transparency, and inclusion. I should now add incompetence. Mistakes happen but both elected officials and ordinary Democrats are mad about the sample ballot snafu–and rightly so.

MD-06 Tea Leaves

If John Delaney left office for unforeseen reasons, it would kick off something Maryland hasn’t seen since 2006: a Democratic primary for an open seat in the US House. In 2012, the battle for the Democratic nomination was a clear fight between State Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola and multimillionaire banker John Delaney. The nuances of the next race are likely to be more subtle. In my estimation, there are three people I am sure would run:

  • State House Majority Leader Kumar Barve (District 17)
  • State Senator Roger Manno (District 19)
  • State Delegate Bill Frick (District 16)

Del. Barve would start out as the clear favorite and would be able to tap into significant sources of funding that might not be available to other candidates: Annapolis economic donors, K Street Economic donors and National Indian American donors. He also represents a larger portion of the District than Sen. Manno or Del. Frick. I believe Del. Barve could raise upwards of $1,500,000-$2,500,000 for this campaign.

Sen. Manno might be able to consolidate the progressive community in general and the labor movement specifically around his candidacy. He has the potential  to raise $400,000-$800,000 for this campaign.

Del. Frick is a highly talented politician and would make a dynamic, attractive (in both senses) congressional candidate. His challenge in his aborted AG Campaign was fundraising. The word on the streets of Annapolis and DC has always been that he lacks the intestinal fortitude for call time.

However, Del. Frick also has an amazing network spanning from B-CC High School to Northwestern University to Harvard Law to a decade at Akin Gump. He could raise substantial sums by tapping into hat network and carve out a constituency by going on Broadcast TV. Del. Frick could raise up to $1,500,000–if he puts in the work.

I’ve also heard rumors that current District 39 Del. Kirill Reznik and former (2006-2010) District 39 Del. Saqib Ali might be interest in throwing their hats in the ring. I think Mr. Ali (who has raised up to a quarter million dollars for his bids for state and local office) would be capable of raising money nationally from the Muslim community. Mr Reznik has an appealing immigrant story that could play well in a Democratic Primary.

I also have heard rumors that Attorney General Doug Gansler could view this as a comeback bid. Doug raised over $6 million dollars in his gubernatorial bid (almost entirely from his personal rolodex). I believe he would be enormously formidable in a congressional bid. Outlook with Gansler in the Race: Lean Gansler. Outlook without Gansler in the race: Lean Barve

Dueling Delegate Endorsements

Crutchfiled

Maricé Morales has the support of incumbent Senator Roger Manno and Del. Bonnie Cullison for the delegate seat in District 19 being vacated by Sam Arora after one term. However, incumbent Del. Ben Kramer just endorsed Charlotte Crutchfield, which is all the more interesting because the incumbents also support each other.

From the Crutchfield campaign press release:

MD State Delegate Ben Kramer Endorses Charlotte Crutchfield for Delegate
District 19 Team Will Continue to Represent Children, Families, and Seniors in Annapolis

June 12, 2014 (Silver Spring, MD). The incumbent Democratic District 19 Team of longtime local leaders, Senior State Delegate Ben Kramer and Montgomery County Central Committee member Charlotte Crutchfield, has done much for District 19 residents and looks forward to doing even more in the future. At a crowded meeting with their supporters, the Honorable Ben Kramer and the Honorable Charlotte Crutchfield vowed to keep fighting for the citizens of District 19 and Montgomery County to make sure that every dollar possible will be returned to local improvements in this region.

“It is my pleasure to run with Charlotte Crutchfield and I know she will be a great voice in Annapolis of our friends and neighbors in District 19. She has my full support and I look forward to working side-by-side with her in the Maryland House of Delegates,” said Kramer.

Echoing the sentiment, Crutchfield said “it is an honor and privilege to stand with Ben Kramer. He is the most respected leader in our delegation, and is trusted by the people in both District 19 and Annapolis.” Continuing to assert their long and strong relationship, they both said that integrity is the most important quality in an elected official. “Anyone can tell you what you want to hear, but real leadership means standing by your word,” said Kramer.

“It has been a great campaign and I am proud to stand with Delegate Ben Kramer,” Crutchfield said. Ben Kramer has represented District 19 for eight years and is a known and trusted neighbor and friend. Both the Kramer and Crutchfield families have deep roots in Montgomery County. Ben Kramer’s father Sid was County Executive and Rona Kramer, Ben’s sister, was a two-term State Senator from Olney. Similarly, the Crutchfields have lived in Montgomery County for more than 100 years. “No other candidate in this race have ties that strong to this community. Some just moved here recently,” Crutchfield pointed out.

With a policy agenda that reflects the need to create jobs, promote equality, strengthen education, and protect the environment, both Kramer and Crutchfield have the strongest records and broadest endorsements in this race. Their team vows to keep pushing the progressive agenda forward and will work to bring a stronger economic base to the County and the State.

Ben Kramer was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2006, and serves on the Economic Matter Committee. He has served on the Judiciary Committee and has passed more bills than any other member of the District 19 delegation. Kramer’s important legislative achievements have literally saved the lives of seniors through his “Silver Alert” and enhanced the quality of education for our state’s children, invested in the environment through off shore wind powered generators, and strengthened laws to punish drunk drivers. As the proud father of one daughter and two University of Maryland sons, Ben understands what families hope and sacrifice for our children. Learn more about Ben Kramer at www.BenKramer.org

Charlotte Crutchfield is the only District 19 non-incumbent to receive the coveted Sierra Club endorsement, and is endorsed by Montgomery County Council Member George Leventhal and our States Attorney John McCarthy. Elected to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee in 2010, Charlotte has also served as President of the Glenallan ES PTA, and on the Board of Directors of Tivoli Home Owners Association. She is a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association, obtaining her BA from Howard University and her JD from Boston College Law School. She is most proud of her college Sophomore daughter and Kennedy High School son. For more information, visit www.CrutchfieldforDelegate.com

Who is the Next Senate Majority Leader?

Trying to figure out who is the next person to obtain a particular leadership position in any legislature is often a pointless exercise in Kremlinology. However, pointless exercises in Kremlinology are great fun. So here we go.

After the 2010 elections, Senate Majority Leader Ed Kasemeyer was appointed Chairman of the powerful Budget and Taxation Committee. Senate President Mike Miller appointed Montgomery County Senator Rob Garagiola as his replacement. After the 2013 session, Senator Garagiola retired from the legislature. In his place, retiring Howard County Senator Jim Robey served as a placeholder Majority Leader for the 2014 Session.

Following the 2014 Elections, the position will be vacant and Mike Miller will need to appoint a new Majority Leader for the fourth time in four-ish years. I asked a panel of reporters at a forum on the 2014 session who they thought had the best shot at becoming Majority Leader. None had any idea who might be on the short list.

After consulting with my vast network of spies, the following would appear to be the short list –

  • Bobby Zirkin (Baltimore County)
  • Rich Madelano (Montgomery County)
  • Roger Manno (Montgomery County)
  • Nancy King (Montgomery County)
  • Paul Pinsky (Prince George’s County)

From 2011-2013, Montgomery County held to two leadership positions in the Senate (JPR Chair and Majority Leader). Montgomery County currently holds one (JPR Chair), but that is precarious as Frosh is running for Attorney General. For Maryland’s largest jurisdiction to hold no leadership positions in the upper chamber would be untenable, especially since all of Montgomery’s eight Senate seats are held by Democrats.

Most people I have talked to view Jamie Raskin as the heavy favorite for the JPR Chairmanship. However, if Raskin is not appointed–and considering how far to the left of Mike Miller he is, this does not seem unrealistic to me–it would seem to necessitate the appointment of Manno, Madaleno or King as Majority Leader.

However, Raskin’s main opponent for the JPR Chairmanship seems to be Bobby Zirkin of Baltimore County. If Raskin is appointed Chair, Zirkin could be appointed Majority Leader as a consolation prize. Conversely, if he is passed over for Chair, Raskin could find himself in contention to be Majority Leader

I personally think Manno (who would be entering his second term in the senate) probably lacks the requisite seniority to be Majority Leader. However, stranger things have happened.

Currently, Prince George’s County lacks a Committee Chairman, although Senate President Mike Miller represents a large chunk of the jurisdiction. This makes Pinsky somewhat more attractive.

Who am I missing? Who do you think has the edge? What’s your analysis? Email johnga.ems@gmail.com to let me know.

 

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.