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MoCo Dems begin the Summer of Resistance and Renewal

  • Published in Local

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee launched its “Summer of Resistance and Renewal in Montgomery County” in mid-July, but the canvassing that makes up those efforts began in earnest this past weekend. Those canvassing efforts are aimed at drop-off voters with the hope of ensuring a Gov. Larry Hogan loss in 2018.

“There’s good turnout for general elections, for presidential elections, more of a drop-off with midterms,” said Jackie Coolidge, a precinct official in District 18. “This is going to be a very exciting year leading up to the election.”

Before the canvassing started, the small group of canvassers gathered in the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, and one of the organizers, Marie Mapes, posed an important question: “What are the barriers to (drop-off voters) feeling engaged in the Democratic Party?”

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Democrats look for opportunity in healthcare

  • Published in State

One week ago Republican Senator John McCain stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate floor and with a thumbs-down gesture and a firm and loud “no,” killed the last Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The possible end of Republicans’ “Obamacare” repeals now opens a bipartisan window for some healthcare reforms according to congressional Democrats.

“I am of the view that we just closed the door on these repeal and ravage campaigns,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8).

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Two more candidates file for at-large seats

  • Published in Local

After a term-limit referendum passed in November keeping County Council members to three consecutive terms, a new crop of candidates have filed to run for County Council.

With three of the four of the atlarge Council members – George Leventhal, Nancy Floreen and Marc Elrich – term limited, new candidates have declared their candidacy to fill the soon-to-be vacant seats for the June 2018 primary.

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Bernie supports a Jealous vote

  • Published in State

Though Gov. Larry Hogan says he did not vote for President Trump, Ben Jealous, a progressive candidate and former NAACP president, is trying to turn his campaign for governor in 2018 into a referendum on the two Republicans.

“We are a great state with a great future with great people, but our children will not be able to realize their full potential if we continue to tolerate the status quo,” said Jealous.

Hogan is popular in the state, but certainly not among progressive voters in Takoma Park, many of whom were drawn to Bernie Sanders’ appearance at the rally. Trump, however, is not as popular in Maryland, and Jealous is ready to capitalize on that.

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Democrats hold rallies as GOP health care bill crashes and burns on the Hill

  • Published in News

CAPITOL HILL – Healthcare is the hot topic of the moment in the U.S. Senate, and last Wednesday, Democrats brought out their heavy hitters to rally opposition to the Republican plan. Several prominent senators made appearances at a rally in front of the Senate chambers held June 21, attended by several left-wing groups, including Ultraviolet and Progressive Maryland, the day before Republican leaders in the chamber unveiled their proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Although details of the bill were not known at the time, senators said the House version offered a good idea of what it would contain – and they did not like it.

“President (Donald) Trump may have actually said it best. He said that Trumpcare is ‘mean,’” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wa.). “President Trump may not know much about healthcare – he sort of admitted it – and he’s certainly not the person I’d go to for policy on women’s care, but let me tell you, President Trump is our country’s top expert on mean.”

The bill text, released the next day, includes and even strengthens many portions of the House bill. It cuts Medicaid beginning in 2021 and lowers taxes for corporations and higher-earning individuals. It retains the House repeal of an ACA provision that keeps costs lower for seniors and allows them to be charged up to five times more than younger patients for insurance. Mental health coverage would no longer be required under Medicaid and states could apply for a waiver from essential health benefits, the minimum coverage standards under the ACA.

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Rebuilding the Democratic Party

Rep. John SarbanesRep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.)  COURTESY PHOTO  It seems almost unimaginable that the Republican Party can be in control of both chambers of Congress as well as the White House especially when you consider that registered Democrats significantly outnumber registered Republicans. It becomes a good deal less unimaginable when you factor in the impact of the gerrymandering of our district lines, the widespread voter suppression efforts by Republican state governments and the gullibility of the American voter.

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Promises, promises and the Dionne Warwick lament

Trump face

Oh, promises, their kind of promises, can just destroy a life
Oh, promises, those kind of promises, take all the joy from life
– by Burt Bacharach and Hal David

Elections, as we have all recently learned, have consequences. No one should be surprised that promises made by the elected candidate during the campaign run the risk of being implemented after the winner takes office.

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In farewell, Mikulski urges bipartisanship and a warning

  • Published in News

Barbara Mikulski at DNCRetiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski addresses the audience earlier this year at the Democratic National Convention. FILE PHOTO  

WASHINGTON - Since the 1990s, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski has periodically organized dinners with the rest of the women in the Senate, no matter the party affiliation.

The women call these dinners their “zone of civility,” in which they talk about things ranging from their personal lives to political matters. Everything is off the record, their mantra being “no staff, no memos, and no leaks."

During her farewell remarks Wednesday, which she called a "summing up" speech, Democrat Mikulski recalled the first time Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican, reached out to work together. Both women’s staff responded negatively.

“‘Ew, she wants to work with you on something,’” Mikulski recalled her staff saying. “‘She’s a conservative from Texas and she wants to do something for women.’”

To which Mikulski responded, “How about if we listen?”

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