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Money is the devil in politics

MC DC The Best Money Can BuyProgramming my own music on YouTube is one the last pleasures a diehard rock n’roll fan has left to look forward to in this topsy-turvy world.
Miguel is fine, but I like my guitar solos, back beats and a signature rock lyric.
Yes, I know I’m dating myself, but Led Zeppelin, The Stones, The Who, The Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Reed and a few others really still get my blood flowing.
And let’s face it, us old farts need to keep our blood flowing.
Everyone grows older if they’re lucky, but there are some things from childhood I absolutely refuse to part with until they pull the shroud over my eyes that one last time.
Imagine my consternation then when the Jim Carroll Band’s “Those are people who died” is interrupted by a David Blair ad.

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Gubernatorial candidates Madaleno, Ross pick running mates

  • Published in State

Maryland FlagTwo of the Democrats who are vying for the chance to unseat Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in this year’s general election announced Lieutenant Governor picks this week in hopes of balancing ties to Montgomery County with the rest of the state in order to present an appealing choice to voters across Maryland.

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Public funding candidates are top fundraisers in County Council at-large race

  • Published in Local

MoCo LogoIn the race for the at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council, the County’s new public campaign financing system appears to be fulfilling its promise of eliminating the financial advantage of incumbency as most of the top fundraisers in the race are using the new system, according to the year’s first round of campaign finance disclosures.

Thirty-four candidates: 30 Democrats, three Republicans, and one member of the Green Party – are vying for three open at-large seats on the nine-member Council this year. Twenty-two of those new candidates have signed up for public financing, as well as incumbent Hans Riemer, who is running for re-election after his second term as an at-large Council member.

The primary election for all candidates in the race is Tuesday, June 26.

Last week candidates in the race filed state-required campaign finance reports for the first time in the primary election.

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Elrich and Berliner square off over public financing

  • Published in Local

Ehrlich BerlinerCounty Council members Marc Elrich (D-At Large) and Roger Berliner (D-1). COURTESY PHOTO  The new public finance laws in Montgomery County are leading to a war of words between two current council members running for County Executive.

Marc Elrich, (D-At-Large) is using public financing and claims Roger Berliner (D-1), who isn’t using public financing, is part of the problem with politics.

In the first required finance report of the 2018 campaign season, Berliner reports that real estate development businesses, and individuals associated with those firms, contributed approximately $266,000 - nearly half - of the funds his campaign raised from Jan. 10, 2017 to Jan. 10, 2018, according to the State Board of Elections.

These groups include local residential and commercial real estate developers, building contractors and financial investment firms associated with real estate.

“The business community is obviously a significant stakeholder in our county, and I’m proud to have the business community’s support,” Berliner said. “I’m proud that the business community believes that I am the best candidate to lead our county to a more prosperous future.”

“This is why we need public financing,” Elrich said. “The whole point behind public financing is to take special interests out of elections like this. In Montgomery County there’s never been a bigger special interest than real estate development. There is no rival to the real estate development industry. What they look for is people who will minimize the impact on them of the cost of doing business in Montgomery County. Clearly Roger is heavily dependent on them for money.”

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Let the record speak for itself

MadalenoState Senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rich Madaleno.          PHOTO BY PAUL K. SCHWARTZAs we approach Election Day 2018 next November as well as the primary in June it is important to understand all that is at stake in that more than likely transitional game-changing election. Certainly the Congressional elections across the country will be critical if there is any hope of undoing the damage to this country resulting from the Trump presidency.
Also critical to Maryland is who we place in the Governor's office to lead us in addressing many of the federal-level decisions that had direct impact on our state as well as implementing a long-term vision for our state.
I had the opportunity to sit down with State Senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rich Madaleno to discuss the challenges faced by Maryland and why he is confident that he is in the best position to lead us forward. I was more than pleased with what I heard.

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Chelsea Manning files to run for US Senate Maryland seat

  • Published in Local

Chelsea Manning.  COURTESY PHOTOChelsea Manning. COURTESY PHOTOChelsea Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking a trove of classified information to WikiLeaks in 2010, has filed for candidacy in the U.S. Senate race in Maryland, according to online Federal Election Commission records.

Manning, a controversial figure who is seen by some as a hero to the U.S. and as an enemy by others, served seven years of a 35-year sentence in a military prison before being granted clemency by then-President Barack Obama as one of his final acts before the end of his term in January 2017.

Conservative blog Red Maryland first reported on the FEC filing.

According to FEC online records, Manning filed candidacy paperwork on Jan. 11 at 3:02 p.m. under the committee name, “Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate.”

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Candidates make their case against Hogan

  • Published in State

NORTH BETHESDA – The eight Democratic candidates vying to replace Gov. Larry Hogan (R) got a chance on Thursday to “schmooze” with local politicians and in a limited rapid-fire format, make the case to voters that each of them should be the choice to replace a Republican governor in an election that pundits will surely see as a referendum on President Donald Trump.

The already-crowded Democratic field includes Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, former president and CEO of the NAACP Ben Jealous, State Senator Richard Madaleno, former State Department advisor and entrepreneur Alec Ross, former Michelle Obama policy director Krishanti Vignarajah, consultant Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and attorney James Shea, took to the stage in a gubernatorial forum hosted by Maryland Matters. The forum served as an opportunity for candidates to take turns teeing off on the current governor, as each tried to demonstrate why County resident should opt for someone else in 2018. 

Moderator Josh Kurtz from Maryland Matters said Hogan was invited, but decline the invitation to join.

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Two more candidates file for County Council

  • Published in Local

Chris Wilhelm (at-large)

Northwood High School teacher and Democrat Chris Wilhelm is one of the latest to file to run for County Council at-large.

Wilhelm who teaches at English as a Second Language at Northwood High School in Silver Spring and has previously worked for Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8) and Del.  David Moon (D-20).

Wilhelm said he is proposing on making Montgomery College tuition-free for County residents.

“I think this would make a huge difference for lower and middle income families in Montgomery County,” Wilhelm said.

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Hoeber announces bid for 6th Congressional District

  • Published in Local

Hoeber campaign kick offAmie Hoeber speaks at her campaign kick off in Potomac.   PHOTO BY GLYNIS KAZANJIAN Republican Amie Hoeber kicked off her 2018 campaign for Maryland's 6th Congressional District on Tuesday surrounded by enthusiastic supporters at the Normandie Farm Restaurant in Potomac.

Hoeber pledged to use her victory to work across the aisle to make Congress more productive and to help Republican Gov. Larry Hogan bring federal funding to the 6th District to tackle her priorities – transportation projects, creating and protecting jobs, stopping MS-13 gang crime from spreading and opioid addiction.

"Many people think the district is so diverse that it can't be brought together," Hoeber said. "Well I have spent the last two-and-a-half years working to learn the district and what does bring us together. These problems can only be solved by working together. I am willing and able to work across all lines to get things done."

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