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Democrats assail Governor Hogan in Sentinel debate

  • Published in Local

From left to right, Elizabeth Embry, Krishanti Vignarajah, Ben Jealous, Richard Madaleno, Alec Ross and Brandon Scott at the Sentinel Newspapers sponsored Democratic candidate debate Monday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHFrom left to right, Elizabeth Embry, Krishanti Vignarajah, Ben Jealous, Richard Madaleno, Alec Ross and Brandon Scott at the Sentinel Newspapers sponsored Democratic candidate debate Monday.         PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — According to State Senator Richard Madaleno, Governor Larry Hogan’s popularity boils down to one thing; “He’s running on my record,” Madaleno said in a Democratic candidate debate sponsored by The Sentinel Newspapers Monday night.

Former NAACP CEO Ben Jealous, Madaleno (D-18), former U.S. State Department official Alec Ross and former Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama Krishanti Vignarajah all participated in the debate. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Baltimore businessman Jim Shea sent their running mates, prosecutor Elizabeth Embry and Baltimore City Council member Brandon Scott, respectively.

The debate, like most Democratic primary forums, began and ended with attempts at knocking Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) record on jobs, schools and lack of opposition to President Donald J. Trump.

“This thing you read about that ‘Maryland is open for business’ that is total and complete bullshit,” Ross said.

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Raskin, Hoyer, warn of potential future election interference

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE — As the 2018 primary election approaches, foreign election interference could be at play, Congressman Jamie Raskin warned.

“It’s been nearly two years since Russia’s sweeping and unprecedented assault on the country’s elections in 2016,” Raskin said to an audience of about 70 people at Richard Montgomery High School on Tuesday evening. “Although there’s no evidence that vote counts were altered … actors were able to gain access to and could have deleted voter registration records or altered poll books.”

Raskin (MD-8), who was joined by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Election Assistance Commission Chairman Tom Hicks, Center for American Progress Voting Rights Manager Danielle Root, and Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program Liz Howard, warned that, much as in 2016, the 2018 midterm elections could be targeted by foreign adversaries such as Russia.

Hoyer explained that the issues have previously plagued elections in the United States, including in 2000, when butterfly ballots resulted in the "hanging chads," causing confusion about votes cast in Florida. He added that election machine manufacturers need to be held to “high standard of security.”

“I think we’re moving in a very positive direction resulting from a negative event,” Hoyer added.

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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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