October 27, 2014

State Roundup, October 27, 2014

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CLINTON STUMPS FOR BROWN: Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to rally voters at the University of Maryland on Thursday afternoon to support the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Anthony Brown, according to his campaign. Jenna Johnson of the Post writes that this visit is a bit of raincheck.

HOGAN GAINS: Kevin Robillard writes in Politico Pro that Larry Hogan is spending a lot of time promising not to do things. He’s pledged not to restrict abortion rights, despite the fact he’s personally pro-life. A Hogan administration, he swears, will not work to roll back a gun-control bill he’s said he opposes. He says he’ll only make changes, more or less, to the state’s economic policies, not its progressive social stances. The promises seem to be working, and Maryland has a real race for governor now,  The story, however, is behind a paywall. 🙁

STANDS ON TAXES: If it comes out of your wallet it’s a tax, and the two major candidates for governor are keenly aware that pocketbook issues are of keen interest to voters. Bryan Sears of the Daily Record writes that after an early focus on social issues, Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has joined Republican Larry Hogan in a stretch-run debate on those concerns.

PAC ENDS BROWN ADS: A super PAC under investigation for coordinating with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial campaign committee transferred $250,000 from its campaign finance account in mid-October, and appears to have stopped running attack ads against Brown’s Republican rival, Larry Hogan, reports Glynis Kazanjian for MarylandReporter.com. However, state election officials will neither confirm nor deny that the PAC was required to temporarily halt campaign activities.

BROWN WARCHEST: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Anthony Brown said Friday that he and his running mate have raised $2.8 million since late August and have also been aided in the closing weeks of the campaign by an additional $1.3 million raised by the state Democratic Party, writes John Wagner for the Post.

BROWN BORROWS: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown has taken out a $500,000 loan from the Laborers International Union in a move the rival campaign of Republican Larry Hogan called a sign of desperation, reports Michael Dresser for the Sun. Brown campaign manager Justin Schall said Saturday that the borrowing was simply a matter of cash flow. He said it would be paid in full by Election Day.

POINT CONTRIBUTIONS: The new owners of Sparrows Point have made contributions to the Democratic gubernatorial ticket that a government watchdog group says raises concern, reports Adam Bednar for the Daily Record. The campaign contributions total $36,000 and do not violate state campaign finance law. But critics argue the contributions, which were all made on the same day in May, present an unflattering appearance.

RACE-BASED MAILERS: Jenna Johnson of the Post writes the Maryland Democratic Party has mailed out hundreds of thousands of pamphlets this week that connect the gubernatorial bid of Anthony Brown to the country’s sometimes painful struggle for civil rights — including Freedom Summer in 1963 and the recent racial tension in Ferguson, Mo.

SUN BACKS BROWN WITH MISGIVINGS: The editorial board for the Sun endorses Anthony Brown for governor, writing that Larry Hogan’s commitment to making Maryland more business friendly is beyond question, but his ability to deliver is untested — he has never held elective office — and his views on many of the other issues a governor must face are unformed or unknown. Brown is saying the right things about making Maryland’s business climate more competitive, but it’s hard to know how much faith to place in those promises of a new direction after his eight years as  O’Malley’s lieutenant governor and after the “strikingly dishonest campaign he has run.”

CARROLL CO. TIMES BACKS HOGAN: Republican Larry Hogan’s message of relieving the tax stresses on Maryland families, growing business and restoring our economy make him the Carroll County Times’ pick in the 2014 gubernatorial race. The Democratic advantage in the state legislature, combined with a Democratic governor, have limited dialogue on many important issues in recent years.

DISTORTIONS & FARCE: Are you sick yet of the political attack ads on television and radio? Me, too, writes columnist Robert McCartney for the Post. It’s bad enough that the poisonous tone in campaign commercials degrades our civic discourse. Even more galling is the degree to which both parties’ ads routinely distort and sometimes blatantly ignore the truth. McCartney first addresses Maryland’s gubernatorial campaign.

  • The editorial board of the Frederick News Post takes its review of the campaign even further, saying that the election for Maryland governor has officially descended into farce. Or if not farce — because Anthony Brown, the Democrat, and Larry Hogan, the Republican, both seem to be playing the straight men in this odd couple — then it’s become an excellent candidate for a reality TV show, something like “Jersey Shore,” but focused on 100 State Circle, Annapolis.

PROFILE OF RUTHERFORD: Boyd Rutherford was raised in a Democratic family in Democratic Northeast Washington, but the running mate of Republican Larry Hogan says he decided early on that the GOP was closer to his values, writes Michael Dresser in a profile of the candidate for the Sun. Rutherford, who is African-American, came to the conclusion that Democrats saw blacks as victims. “I’m not a political and social victim, and I don’t live my life that way,” he said. “They maintain poverty. They keep people in place.”

PROFILE OF ULMAN: Ken Ulman’s eight-year tenure as Howard County executive has been marked by exuberance and a hands-on approach to guiding the county where he’s lived for all but a few years of his life. Now he’s hoping to become Maryland’s lieutenant governor on Anthony Brown’s ticket — a position that for the first time would put the ambitious and indefatigable Ulman in the No. 2 position.

Ulman Watson Cummings Lewis rally Oct 25

Most of the Democratic candidates for state and local offices in Howard County showed up for a Saturday morning rally and pep talks. The crowd included the candidates for lieutenant governor, Howard County executive, the state party chair and two congressmen.

GOP’S EARLY VOTERS: Saturday was the third day of early voting. Nothing changed from the basic pattern of the first two days with the Republicans continuing to lead the Democrats narrowly in their rate of turnout – unlike in 2010, writes David Lublin in his Seventh State blog.

  • He follows up with an analysis of Sunday’s voting. “Any effort on Sunday to bring souls to the polls at African-American churches did not have a major impact. The state’s two majority-black jurisdictions–Baltimore City and Prince George’s–had turnout rates below the statewide level. Indeed, Prince George’s dropped one place in the county turnout rankings,” writes Lublin, who supplies a helpful chart ranking counties by turnout.

EARLY VOTING SLOWS: Cheryl Mattix of the Cecil Whig reports that there were no waiting lines during early voting hours over the weekend. Cecil County Election Office staff and volunteers reported slow, but steady voting Saturday and Sunday during the third and fourth days of early voting.

FEISTY W.MD RACE: Maryland’s western-most congressional district is once again emerging as the liveliest and most expensive U.S. House race in the state, pitting two dynamic political forces in an increasingly negative campaign, reports John Fritze for the Sun. Two years after Democratic Rep. John Delaney trounced a veteran incumbent in the newly redrawn 6th Congressional District, he is facing an aggressive challenge from Republican Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who has developed a national following with appearances on conservative media.

HARRIS BOOSTS GOP HOPEFULS: Rep. Andy Harris, the state’s top-elected Republican official, is attempting to boost GOP candidates running in Maryland legislative races by pumping money into a new organization made possible by relaxed federal campaign finance rules, reports John Fritze for the Sun. The novel approach comes less than two weeks before the Nov. 4 election and represents the latest effort by Harris to influence state politics.

HARRIS, VAN HOLLEN, FROSH & FRANCHOT: The editorial board for the Carroll County Times endorses U.S. Reps. Andy Harris and Chris Van Hollen for Congress, Brian Frosh for Attorney General and incumbent Peter Franchot for comptroller.

JUDGES ON THE BALLOT: Sun columnist Dan Rodricks writes that sitting judges once again are on ballots across the state, which means Marylanders once again will be asked to vote for or against men and women most of us know nothing about. Let’s face it, most of us only know or remember Circuit Court judges if: You went to high school with them. They set your bail. They preside over a big trial.

QUESTION J IN PRINCE GEORGE’S: During the only public forum on Question J — the ballot question that would allow Prince George’s officials to serve three terms instead of two — the measure’s strongest proponent was absent, Arelis Hernandez reports in the Post.

SCHUH BACKED FOR ARUNDEL EXEC: Two of Anne Arundel County’s largest public employee unions gave their endorsement to Steve Schuh Thursday in the race for Anne Arundel County executive, reports Rick Hutzell for the Annapolis Capital. The nod, which represents the support of some 800 county employees, is the latest sign that county employees are split between Schuh and his Democratic rival, George Johnson.

  • The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital also endorses Steve Schuh, writing that Republicans have occupied the county executive’s office for eight years. So in this year’s election, you would expect the Democratic candidate to have a blueprint for change. You’d expect the Republican to be objecting to those plans and talking instead about offering effective administration and making tweaks here and there.

TAXES TOP ARUNDEL CONCERNS: Elisha Sauers of the Capital Gazette writes that a semi-annual poll find that the issue most likely to influence Anne Arundel County residents’ votes is taxes, followed by concerns about the economy. The Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College conducted the survey over four days earlier this month. More than 400 residents were questioned in an attempt to gauge opinions on issues leading up to the November general election.

PEROUTKA’S CHANCE: Bill Turque of the Post writes about Michael Anthony Peroutka, who, until a few weeks ago, belonged to the League of the South, an Alabama-based group that decries the presence in this country of “hordes of non-white immigrants” and wants the South to secede from the union and return to its “Anglo-Celtic” roots. He is also the Republican candidate for a seat on the Anne Arundel County Council, facing an inexperienced and little-known Democratic challenger and widely believed to have a good chance of winning the GOP-leaning 5th District on Nov. 4.

O’MALLEY RETURNS TO N.H.: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is weighing a 2016 White House bid, is headed back to New Hampshire on Monday. It’s his fifth time in a year, writes John Wagner for the Post.

***TODAY The Open Society Institute-Baltimore brings Piper Kerman, author  of “Orange is the New Black” to present at Big Change Baltimore 2014 Monday, Oct. 27, 3:30-7 p.m. at Center Stage in Baltimore. Other speakers at this forum for business and civic leaders are Ian Haney López, author of “Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Wrecked the Middle Class;” Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times and editor-in-chief of the newly formed “The Marshall Project;” and Freeman Hrabowski III, president of UMBC and chair of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. For more information about tickets, visit bigchangebaltimore.org***

  • InGodWeTrust

    On ‘Peroutka widely believed to have a good chance of winning’: Yes, especially now that the word has gotten out to voters (no thanks to leftist/biased media) that Armstrong LIED about his driving record during Q&A at the Fireman HQ debate. When asked about speeding tickets he said he only had one – but driving record shows he has had five, with two since he was nominated. And since he was basically asking voters to ‘trust him for the job of councilman’, given his virtual lack of any job experience at all, he blew that one altogether. Voters now know he cannot be TRUSTED to tell the truth! (not to mention reckless & irresponsible driving indicate someone who needs to grow up, not seek office.). His campaign also indicates their desperate position of nothing to offer AACO, by shameful thievery of Peroutka signs this last week (eyewitnessed, by the way). This truly is a no-brainer race. AACO needs a proven leader with a business and debt management track record to address the $1.4 billion debt….not a deceitful, immature kid looking for his first real job.