Muse protests endorsements at Democratic unity luncheon

Muse protests endorsements at Democratic unity luncheon

Anthony Muse

Anthony Muse

Anthony Muse

As the annual Maryland Democratic Party luncheon before the legislative session broke up Tuesday, state Sen. Anthony Muse took the podium to loudly protest the endorsement of incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin by Gov. Martin O’Malley and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House minority whip.

“We don’t use this kind of venue to endorse one Democrat over another,” bellowed Muse, who had just filed that morning to run against Cardin in the primary. Much of the crowd had left as the speeches had droned on, and most of those still present were not paying much attention to Muse’s protest.

“This violates our own rules of the Democratic Party,” Muse said to reporters. “It is the party’s position that they wait till after the primary.”

This is “wrong and disingenuous,” Muse said. “All we ask is fairness in the process.”

Muse said this treatment was typical of the way party bosses had treated other African-Americans who had challenged the white establishment, including President Barack Obama and Kweisi Mfume, who ran against Cardin in 2006. Muse has been a critic of the redistricting process, which he says has not given enough representation to black constituents.

David Sloan, executive director of the state party, who is also black, tried to mollify Muse as reporters looked on. He said the lunch had followed the usual format with speeches by Democratic members of Congress and the governor, and the endorsements were personal statements by O’Malley and Hoyer.

“They were speaking for themselves,” Sloan said.

Muse wasn’t buying it. “I have raised money for this party,” he said, calling the praise for Cardin “endorsement intimidation.”

Party Chair Yvette Lewis, who is also African-American, did not hear Muse’s remarks, but agreed with Sloan.

“During the primary, the party does not take a stand,” Lewis said, calling the endorsements of Cardin “a personal thing.”

“We’re neutral ‘till the primary victor emerges,” she said.

Hoyer, who gave one of the longest speeches at the luncheon, has served more than 40 years in public office with Cardin, a former congressman and speaker of the House of Delegates. He called Cardin was one of his closest friends and one of the best members of the U.S. Senate.

Interviewed briefly after the event, Hoyer seemed puzzled by Muse’s protest.

“He shouldn’t expect other than that,” Hoyer said. Cardin is the incumbent Democrat, Hoyer said, and had already been endorsed by President Obama.

The party should get behind Cardin, and focus on programs that create jobs.

–Len Lazarick

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. Beth White

    Muse is wasted on the Senatorial contest.  He should have challenged Steny Hoyer to be the nominee for the Maryland 5 district congressional seat.  Steny quietly stabs Democrats in the back by the dozen and does nothing for his constituents.  The Republicans never put much effort behind his challengers in the general elections because he is so effective at destroying up and coming Democrats who aren’t Pelosi clones.

    Muse is a good guy, but needs to reassess his loyalties within the Democratic Party.

  2. Stoneylov

    Maryland Democratic Party is taking The Black Vote for Granted, and disrespecting Women but having all Male Statewide Officials, This must end.

    I plan to join other  Obama Democrats in working for Sen Anthony Muse for US Senate, In 2012 their are No African American US Senators and we provide constant votes for the Maryland Democratic Party, after we get President Obama Re-Elected and Sen Muse Elected, we will reaccess our
    relationship with the MDP, In the Words of Former DC Delegate to Congress, Walter Fauntroy” We have No permanite friends in politics, just permanite interest”

  3. Kanewberry

    Cardin is AWFUL!


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