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Election 2014: Howard County

February 27th, 2014

Well the filing date for candidates to file to run in Maryland has come and gone this week in Maryland. So we now know who is running in what districts and whether they will have a contested primary or contested general election. Since I am a Howard County resident, I have decided to provide a somewhat in depth look at the candidates in each of Howard’s 3 (or 4) legislative districts.

District 9

Senate

2 Democratic Candidates, so there will be a primary.

1 Republican Candidate, so no primary

Delegate 9A – 2 Seats

2 Democratic Candidates (Primary)

5 Republican Candidate (Primary)

Delegate 9B – 1 Seat

2 Democratic Candidates (Primary)

2 Republican Candidate (Primary)

District 12

(Portions in both Howard and Baltimore Counties)

Senate

1 Democratic Candidate (no primary)

1 Republican Candidate (no primary)

Delegate – 3 Seats

10 Democratic Candidates (Primary)

3 Republican Candidate (no primary)

District 13

Senate

1 Democratic Candidate (no primary)

1 Republican Candidate (no primary)

  • Jody Venkatesan

Delegate – 3 Seats

5 Democratic Candidates (Primary)

  • Frank Turner, Incumbent
  • Shane Pendergrass, Incumbent
  • Vanessa Atterbeary
  • Fred Eiland
  • Nayab Siddiqui – Husband of Janet Siddiqui
  • Janet Siddiqui – Dropped her candidacy, will remain on HoCo School Board

3 Republican Candidate (no primary)

2nd Amendment (2A) Tuesday on Feb. 4th, 2014

January 15th, 2014

Several prominent Maryland gun owners groups have announced plans for the inaugural 2A Tuesday to take place on February 4th, 2014. The event will be primarily from 11:30-1:30PM on Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis. The groups are asking for as many concerned citizens to attend this event as possible to send a message to the 2014 General Assembly session that gun owners and 2A supporters are paying attention.

You may remember but there were several events in 2013 which drew large crowds to Lawyer’s Mall in protest of the so-called Firearm Safety Act of 2013. Due to the all of the pressure brought by 2A activists and supporters, the Act was only able to pass into law by using questionable tactics, and sneaky overnight changes to the bill.

Spread the word about this important demonstration to all of your Maryland friends. Show these legislators that you are in fact paying attention, and that they cannot proceed with their business-as-usual liberal agendas.

This is a peaceful assembly of concerned citizens, and everyone is asked to leave your firearms at home, cleanup after yourself, and carpool or join one of the buses that are being arranged. For more information please visit the following for more information:

Maryland Shall Issue
Maryland State Rifle & Pistol Association
Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association
Maryland Citizens Action Network (MDCAN)

Marylanders are also asked to let your representatives know how you feel about your 2A rights. Visit MDElect.net and put in your address to see who your local representatives are.

Outlook: Maryland General Assembly’s 90 Day 2014 Session

January 8th, 2014

The Maryland General Assembly reports to work today to start off a 90 day legislative session for 2014. Democratic leaders are hoping to raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, and spend more money on school construction and other projects. Republican leaders are hoping to cut taxes, including the highly controversial “Rain Tax”, and will also take major issue with Maryland’s fumbled Healthcare Exchange and website. Below are some expanded highlights of what we can expect in the upcoming session.

Minimum Wage
Currently the minimum wage in Maryland is $7.25. There have been some proposals to raise it over $10 per hour. Gov. Martin O’Malley, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller have all stated that they would like to make this a priority for this year. Despite Republican opposition this will be likely to pass, the question is will it effect the whole state, and how much will it go up.

Rain Tax
There are possible changes to the “Rain Tax” storm water management fees in this session. Republicans plan to bring this issue to light given angry backlash from in some parts of Maryland. Republicans will likely call for a full repeal. Most likely there will only be small tweaks to the law, and they will likely only help non-profits. Will the citizens in the most effected counties make this a big issue for the Democrats?

Fracking
There is already a sort of moratorium on “fracking” in Maryland, which is the process of using hydraulics to fracture the ground deep below the surface to mine for natural gas. Governor O’Malley already has ordered an environmental study of the relatively new technique. Pennsylvania and other nearby states are already working hard on fracking, but environmental groups are expected to try to get legislation passed barring fracking in this state.

Legalizing Pot
Senate President Miller is likely to support marijuana legislation to keep up with Colorado and Washington’s new legalization. Hopefully they will follow House Speaker Busch’s suggestion to wait and see how the new laws effect Colorado and Washington.

Early Education
From the campaign trail, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown has been pushing for pre-Kindergarten in Maryland. You can expect to see some legislation toward creating a pre-K program that may be voluntary and would be half day.

Other Issues
The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Assembly may also debate increased school new construction and building a new jail in Baltimore to replace the current scandal plague detention center.

Problems Still Plague Maryland’s Healthcare Exchange Website

December 13th, 2013

For several weeks Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration hasn’t been ready to address the public on Maryland’s beleaguered healthcare exchange website. This week we were treated to not one but two press conferences, the first by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, and yesterday by Governor O’Malley. O’Malley tried to put a positive spin on the problems by saying “Bottom line. We’ve made progress.”

The state has installed new leadership over the health care exchange after the Executive Director Rebecca Pierce resigned December 6th. O’Malley acknowledged that while 6 of the 9 identified “glitches” in the website exchange were resolved, 3 issues remained unresolved. O’Malley was not able to give a timeline as to when these problems could be overcome. The remaining issues include frozen screens and incorrect tax credit amounts being displayed.

O’Malley said that just under 22,000 people had enrolled in either private insurance or Medicaid through the Maryland Health Connection, which is about 7,000 more than 2 weeks ago. Maryland’s goal is by March 1st to have 260,000 people enrolled in health plans through the website. The goal is to have 150,000 people in private plans and 110,000 people to Medicaid. As of now they have about 5,200 enrolled in private plans and 16,000 in Medicaid. So the website is currently enrolling 3,500 people per week, and with 11 weeks until the March 1st deadline, they will need to boost those numbers up to about 22,000 people per week.

Also of note is that O’Malley hopes to enroll more people into private plans than into Medicaid. But right now Medicaid signups are trumping private signups by a 3 to 1 margin.

The Capital Gazette is reporting that the state has spent about $70 Million of the budgeted $107 Million for the exchange.

Sources:
Baltimore Business Journal
Capital Gazette

Larry Hogan To Announce Candidacy for MD Governor Tonight?

November 22nd, 2013

Update: Larry Hogan told a crowd of about 1,100 people that he would announce his intentions in January. In other words he announced that he will announce.

Tonight kicks off the two day Maryland GOP Fall Convention. Among the highlights for the evening is an announcement from Larry Hogan on whether he will be running for the Republican nomination for Governor. Larry Hogan is the founder of Change Maryland which is a non-partisan grassroots organization comprising of over 65,000 concerned Marylanders. Change Maryland notes that they added 40,000 new members to their grassroots army just this year.

Hogan, who is expected to announce his run for governor tonight, will be joining the gubernatorial race after some of his supporters have urged him to run. Apparently many of his supporters are not happy with the current crop of GOP candidates for Governor, which includes David Craig, Ron George, and Charles Lollar.

There are several receptions tonight we can be attended for free without purchasing a ticket to the convention.

There are also tickets still available for the MD GOP Convention:
http://www.mdgop.org/2013FallConvention/

For those who can’t make the convention, you should be able to listen to the live stream brought to you by Red Maryland: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redmaryland

“We Have To Pass The Law To See What’s In The Law” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D)

November 19th, 2013

Remember when then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) said we had to pass Obamacare to find out what’s in it? Well she should ask the now over 5 Million newly uninsured what’s in it. This law is a disaster and will only get worse.

Government is just not effective or efficient enough to manage a massive takeover of the healthcare system. We could have changed some of the rules (like being on your parents insurance until your 26, and requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions, etc.) without this government takeover. It is just a shame, and people are finally seeing what we have been talking about for the last 3 years.

They had 3 years to set up a website for the Affordable Care Act, and they couldn’t even get that right.

How Much Would O’Malley Pay To Get 1,000 New Jobs?

October 24th, 2013

Officials from the State of Maryland and Baltimore City have been in talks with Amazon to locate a new distribution center for over a year. According to the Baltimore Sun, the plant would be at the site of the old General Motors site. That site has been determined to be an impoverished area.

The deal, will bring Amazon and the landlord of the former GM plant site over $43 Million in tax credits, loans, and incentives. The Sun article says that the incentive package will be worth $35.3 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits, $5.5 million in One Maryland tax credits, and $1.7 million in brownfield (previously contaminated) tax credits. The state will also loan Amazon $1.25 million, most of which will be forgiven if Amazon employs 1,000 people for 10 years. Also once the site opens, Marylanders will have to start paying the 6% sales tax on Amazon purchases, since it will have a physical presence in the state.

As you may remember Texas Governor Rick Perry put egg on Governor O’Malley’s face highlighting how unfriendly Maryland is to business. Governor Perry released an ad campaign touting Texas’s #1 Business rating.

So how much would Governor O’Malley pay for 1,000 new jobs? $43 million. Guess who foots the bill for these jobs? We do.

Source: Baltimore Sun

Joe Cluster in as New MD GOP Executive Director

October 8th, 2013

Maryland GOP Chairman Diana Waterman announced on Monday that Joe Cluster has been hired as the new Executive Director. Cluster is the replacement for David Ferguson, who left suddenly in late August. Chairman Waterman said in a statement:

“Joe has extensive experience in Maryland politics, he knows the people and the places very well. He came with great recommendations and I believe he will be a great asset to our team. I look forward to working with him and have full confidence he will help me build a better and stronger Maryland Republican Party.”

According to the release, Cluster has worked for former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele as his Director of External Affairs from 2004-2007, and prior to that in former Governor Ehrlich’s Appointments Office. Cluster has also worked for GOPAC, the Republican National Committee, and twice for the Maryland state party. In 2002 he ran the MDGOP’s Field Operation which helped elect Governor Ehrlich, and in 2004 he was the Politcal Director.

Joe Cluster said the following in a statement:

“As a Marylander, I am truly grateful for this opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of the Maryland Republican Party. I look forward to working with Chairman Waterman as we fight for Marylanders against the ever-encroaching government in Annapolis. I love this state and will work tirelessly to make Maryland a competitive place for Republicans to run and win.”

Cluster told the Washington Post in an interview that he plans to make fundraising his priority. He specifically hopes to target corporations who currently only donate to the Maryland Democratic Party. He indicated that he hopes to steer resources toward picking up Republican seats in the General Assembly.

If you want to learn more you can tune into Jackie Wellfonder’s radio show “Raging Against the Rhetoric” tonight as she interviews Joe Cluster at 8PM.

Source: MD GOP Press Release
Washington Post

MD GOP Executive Director David Ferguson Out

August 21st, 2013

David Ferguson is out as the Executive Director for the Maryland GOP. Here is a copy of an email from Diana Waterman to all Executive Committee members.

Dear Executive Committee Member:

David Ferguson is no longer working as Executive Director of the Maryland Republican Party. We thank Mr. Ferguson for his twenty-one months of service to the Party and wish him the best in the future. Del. Justin Ready, who has been working closely with the Party on our Pathfinder’s Program and candidate recruitment, will be assisting me and the rest of the Board in the coming days. We will be conducting a search to fill this position quickly. Interested parties may submit their resume to info@mdgop.org

The Annapolis Pathfinders training schedule for this Saturday will still be taking place.

Thank you,
Diana

Diana Waterman
Chairman, Maryland Republican Party

Jeff Quinton, of the QuintonReport, is reporting that on Monday Ferguson left in a huff. According to multiple sources of Quinton’s, Ferguson threw his office belongings out of the window, stormed into a meeting Diana Waterman was having and told her he was leaving. She was heard coming out of the conference room saying “What the hell just happened?” and found that Ferguson’s office was cleared out.

Ferguson also is Principal at Ferguson & Associates, which is a marketing, advertising, and public relations firm.

Regret Your Obama Vote? Get the Obama Bumper Sticker Removal Kit

August 6th, 2013

Did you experience voter regret after voting Obama/Biden into office? Well you can’t take back your vote, but you can at least remove the embarassment of having the Obama/Biden bumper sticker on your car. Watch this ad, and order your Obama Bumper Sticker Removal Kit.

I know this video has been around for a little while, but 2.6 Million views later, it is still funny.

2016 Elections

Primary - 4/5/2016
General - 11/8/2016

Races to Watch

U.S. Senate

Barbara Mikulski (D) is retiring.

Top (D) Candidates
Donna Edwards
Chris Van Hollen

All 8 House Seats are up for election.

Current Representatives
1st - Andy Harris (R)

2nd - Dutch Reppersberger (D)

3rd - John Sarbanes (D)
Top candidates Dr. Mark Plaster (R).

4th - Donna Edwards (D) - running for Senate
Top candidates Anthony Brown (D), Glenn Ivey (D), George McDermott (?)

5th - Steny Hoyer (D)

6th - John Delaney (D) - may run for Senate
Top (R) candidates David Vogt (R), Kathy Afzali (R), Neil Parrott (R), Mike McKay (R).

7th - Elijah Cummings (D) - may run for Senate
Top candidates Calvin Ball (D), Corrogan Vaughn (R).

8th - Chris Van Hollen (D) - running for Senate
Top (D) candidates Kumar Barve, Valerie Ervin, Kathleen Mattews, Jamie Raskin
Top (R) candidates Frank Howard - potential