August 7, 2013

Back to the drawing board; more info added to campaign updates

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No good deed goes unpunished.

Our attempt this week to provide an overview of candidates and campaign activity from July generated a lot of email — mostly from candidates or their supporters who thought we had left them out inadvertently or, of course, on purpose.

MarylandReporter.com was trying to provide some comprehensive coverage that we thought people would find useful. But it became clear that relying principally on stories that we had included in our daily State Roundup in July was not comprehensive enough, and the July cut-off date was too arbitrary for the official filings with the state Board of Elections.

We have now spent some hours updating the two stories with more comprehensive information, particularly for the General Assembly, where we have added over three dozen candidates. We have included any district in which a candidate has filed or announced. We may have missed some announcements.

Still not included are districts in which no candidates have filed or announced. If we’ve missed some candidate who has announced or filed, please email Len@MarylandReporter.com.

This ultimately means that at some point in the coming year we will be listing 400 or more candidates for 188 seats in the General Assembly. But it strikes me that such a list, with links to their websites and articles, might really be useful to a good number of folks.

Statewide races present a problem   

The statewide races are more problematic, and it may not be worthwhile to continue what we tried to do Tuesday.

The campaigns have started way too early. At the moment, only insiders are paying attention. Regular readers of MarylandReporter.com are of course among those paying close attention.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown got the ball rolling in May, and followed that with his announcement of his choice of Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate. There were solid strategic reasons for Brown to preempt Attorney General Doug Gansler and shore up his fundraising and his ticket with the most qualified to be governor of the other potential rivals.

But still, as Gansler told a TV reporter two weeks ago, “I don’t think there’s an appetite in the public for a two-year campaign.”

Coverage goes on, news or no news   

There have always been years of quiet preparation that go into a major campaign to go to the next level, but announcing or filing creates the need for continued attention from the media if not the public. Political reporters assigned to the campaign beat will produce stories about the campaign whether there is real news or not. Editors will often start out phone calls, “Waddaya got?” — meaning what are you going to feed the daily news beast?

We don’t really need 15 months to make the decision about that next governor or attorney general, but that’s what we’ve been given. Political reporters will fill the void, and MarylandReporter.com will continue to round up what they produce. Let us know when we miss something worthwhile that has been produced elsewhere so we can pass it along to our readers.

–Len Lazarick

Len@MarylandReporter.com