Category Archives: News

Election 2014 Wrap-up

The bad news

Yes, the Republicans won big last Tuesday. The strength of their wave was unanticipated, and it even spread to Maryland. Republican Larry Hogan will become Governor of Maryland in January. Republicans grabbed nine seats in the House of Delegates and two in the Senate. In Anne Arundel County, Steve Schuh held the county executive position for the GOP, and ultraconservative Michael Peroutka held on to the District 5 council seat. In Baltimore County, Todd Crandell picked up the 7th District council seat for the Republicans.

Seats that changed parties:

Location Incumbent Senator-elect
District 6 (Dundalk, Essex) OPEN (D) Johnny Ray Salling (R)
District 29 (St. Mary’s County) Roy Dyson (D) Steve Waugh (R)

 

Location Incumbent Delegate-elect
District 1B (Cumberland, Frostburg) Kevin Kelly (D) Jason Buckel (R)
District 2B (Hagerstown) John Donoghue (D) Brett Wilson (R)
District 3A (Frederick) OPEN (R) Carol Krimm (D)
District 6 (Dundalk, Essex) Mike Weir (D) Robert Long (R)
District 6 (Dundalk, Essex) OPEN (D) Robin Grammer (R)
District 6 (Dundalk, Essex) OPEN (D) Ric Metzgar (R)
District 29A (Leonardtown, Mechanicsburg) OPEN (D) Matt Morgan (R)
District 29B (Lexington Park) John Bohanan (D) Deb Rey (R)
District 31A (Brooklyn Park, Glen Burnie) OPEN (R) Ned Carey (D)
District 35A (Elkton, Port Deposit) David Rudolph (D) Kevin Hornberger (R)
District 38B (Salisbury) Norman Conway (D) Carl Anderton (R)

 

Maryland Democrats suffered from an unpopular outgoing governor decried by opponents for his numerous tax increases, a distant and impersonal gubernatorial campaign by Anthony Brown, low turnout levels, and a national Republican wave.

Through superior organization, we can come from behind to win, as the Republicans have done over the past decade. Democrats need to work together more effectively across all levels, as Larry Hogan did in District 6, where Republicans swept the Senate seat and all three seats in the House this year. We need to mobilize a force to turn out voters, and register new voters when they move. And we need to adopt policies popular with the people of Maryland, rather than resorting to increasing our tax burden. Many voters are still looking for a Democrat they can believe in. They didn’t find many in 2014.

The good news

There were some bright spots on Election Day:

  1. Democrats gained two House seats from Republicans: one open seat in District 3A in Frederick County and one in the northern Anne Arundel district 31A.
  2. Democratic Congressman John Delaney held on in MD-06 against Republican Dan Bongino, 49.7-48.2%.
  3. Democrats retook control of the Kent County legislature.
  4. The first Frederick County Executive will be Democrat Jan Gardner. Democrats also won three out of seven county council seats.

Transgender Rights Bill SB 212 Passes House and Senate

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 is a huge step forward for equal rights in Maryland, prohibiting many types of discrimination such as housing and employment, explicitly including transgender citizens for the first time.

We have used the roll calls from the House and Senate to compile a list and map of the yeas and nays. The bill passed the Senate with a 32-15 vote; 31 Democrats and 1 Republican voted for it, while 4 Democrats and 11 Republicans voted against it. Two weeks later, the bill passed in the House with a vote of 82-57. All 82 of the yea votes came from Democrats, and 15 Democrats and 40 Republicans voted against it. Two Delegates, one from each party, were recorded as “absent.” The full table of votes is available at the General Assembly website, as well as below.

State Senate

Unsurprisingly, the votes in favor of the law came from Baltimore City and the DC suburbs in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Normally conservative Senator Norm Stone from District 6 (Dundalk/Essex) voted for equality, as did Republican Senator Allan Kittleman (Ellicott City/Eldersburg). Kittleman was also the only Republican senator to vote for marriage equality for gay couples. The four Democrats to vote against the measure are from historically conservative Anne Arundel County (Astle and DeGrange) and socially conservative districts in southern Maryland (Dyson) and the Eastern Shore (Mathias).

Senate votes - Click to enlarge

Senate votes – Click to enlarge

SB212ListSHouse of Delegates

 

House votes - Click to enlarge.

House votes – Click to enlarge.

SB212ListH

Who Voted Against Equal Marriage in MD: Senate Edition

This is a continuation of our earlier post, listing all the Maryland Delegates and how they voted on the Civil Marriage Protection Act. Now, we have the list (and map) of the state Senators.

In this map, blue indicates a vote for the marriage equality bill, and red means that Senator voted against it.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Support in the Senate seems much more geographically concentrated than support in the House. The ayes are limited to the Montgomery/Howard/Baltimore City corridor.

cmpaSenateList

Only one Republican broke ranks and voted for the bill: Senator Allan Kittleman of District 9, which covers northern Howard and southern Carroll counties. Democrats who opposed the bill came from traditionally socially-conservative places. Norman Stone represents Dundalk and Essex in eastern Baltimore County. Senators Douglas Peters, Joanne C. Benson, Ulysses Currie, and Anthony Muse are from Prince George’s County. Senators Mike Miller, Thomas Middleton, and Roy Dyson represent southern Maryland. John Astle and Jim “Ed” DeGrange are from Anne Arundel County,  and Senator Jim Mathias is from the Eastern Shore.

Precinct Results: State Ballot Questions 4 and 6 – Anne Arundel County

In November 2012, citizens in Maryland voted on several laws passed by the General Assembly. Among them were Question 4, which provides tuition at the in-state level for immigrants who pay Maryland taxes, and Question 6, which allows equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Here, we have mapped the results by precinct in Anne Arundel County.

Question 4. Click to view full-size version.

Question 4. Click to view full-size version.

Question 6. Click to view full-size version.

Question 6. Click to view full-size version.

The biggest thing that stands out is the stark difference between the Severna Park/Arnold area vs. the Pasadana/Lake Shore area. While both capes vote reliably Republican, Lake Shore is far more socially conservative than Arnold. Nearly every precinct between the Severn and Magothy rivers voted in favor of marriage equality, while there were only three between the Magothy and the Patapsco.

Another noticeable fact from the maps was that Crofton is very similar in this way to Severna Park and Arnold. Every single Crofton precinct voted in favor of question 6, even though the town is a toss-up politically (49% Obama in 2012). In addition, no Crofton precinct voted for question 4 by less than 48%.

Voters in Maryland’s 33rd legislative district and the 5th councilmanic district should take note. For a pretty socially liberal electorate, their elected officials are currently very conservative.

The same cannot be said for Crofton’s more reliably Democratic neighbor, Odenton. Over 57% of Odenton went for Obama in 2012, but it appears to be more socially conservative than Crofton. The Maple Ridge precinct (04-003) voted against question 6, and they were joined by King’s Ransom (04-012) and East Piney Orchard (04-023) in their opposition to question 4.

Other than that, everything was as expected. West county and Annapolis vote liberal, south and northeast county vote conservative. The south continues its leftward trend, due to “spillover” from PG county and trends towards Democrats in Shady Side. However it will be quite some time before the south turns “blue.”

Data file (CSV) from Maryland Board of Elections

CAA Moves Hoops Tournament to Baltimore

This was exciting to see:

caahoops

The tournament has been hosted in Richmond, VA since 1990. Not only will this move probably increase the attendance from northern CAA schools, but it will have a positive impact on business in Baltimore, as well as increasing the city’s prestige.

Read the full article by Jack Lambert at the Baltimore Business Journal.

Who Voted Against Equal Marriage in MD?

The Civil Marriage Protection Act was ratified in February 2012, finally legalizing gay marriage in Maryland after a long political battle. The final vote was 72-67 in favor, which begs the question, which delegates voted against this bill? The Democrats have much more than 72 seats in the House of Delegates.

The information is readily available on the Maryland General Assembly site. We have gone one step further (actually, two steps) and created a colored list by party, as well as a map showing where their districts are.

First, the map. This shows where in the state the votes for and against equality came from.

Click to enlarge.

Finally, the list of votes:

From that list, we see members of both parties crossing the line and voting against the majority of their party, mostly socially-conservative Democrats voting against gay marriage. However we also see two Republicans voting for the Act: Bob Costa and Wade Kach.

 

President Obama’s Economic Record

Perhaps you’ve heard news that the U.S. economy is showing signs of recovery.

Maybe you thought these were just rumors. Possibly, they were lies from the liberal media. It’s hard to know who to trust these days.

But then you see information from many sources, saying things like:

That’s when you realize that unless all the major news outlets in the world are part of a giant conspiracy to destroy the U.S. economy, they might just be telling the truth.

But you’re skeptical. And that’s good. It means you are smart enough to not believe everything you hear.

 

All that graphic does is put all the major economic indicators in one chart.

The numbers you see are from the most recent data as of February 23, 2012.

The rest of this page shows exactly where those numbers came from:

“Obamacare” Proves A Success

The defining moment of Obama’s presidency thus far has been his passage of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act in 2010, also known as “Obamacare” or simply the health care law.

Many groups, funded by special interest groups and pharmaceutical companies, have aired commercials and ads claiming that it is “socialism” and will somehow cause America’s demise.

However, the numbers coming in simply do not support their claim. Click the image below to enlarge:

 

In addition, Forbes Magazine, a prestigious business publication, reported in January that more small businesses are offering health care to their employees thanks to the new law.

In fact, Forbes columnist Rick Ungar sums everything up very nicely with this closing comment:

If you’re all about beating up on President Obama, you can conveniently forget this bit of data as if it never really happened. However, if your interest is to make health care available to more Americans, this should be a happy day for you – no matter what your ideological beliefs.

-Rick Ungar

More Jobs and Less Crime in 2011

Last year was a great year for progress in Maryland. Nearly 27,000 new jobs were created. Crime dropped to its lowest levels since 1975. And our schools are still ranked first in the nation.

Last week, Governor O’Malley gave a briefing, which showed just how much progress was made.

Click any image to enlarge. Images are directly from the briefing.

Maryland has enjoyed better economic growth compared to Virginia, and it is part of a trend of national economic recovery. The US economy creates about 200,000 new jobs every month, suggesting that President Obama’s policies are beginning to see effect. The national unemployment rate has now dropped to 8.5%, the lowest in almost three years.

Maryland’s recovery rate is actually better than the national average.

According to the FBI uniform crime reports, the total amount of violent crimes has fallen every year since O’Malley was elected in 2006. The crime rate in Baltimore City has also decreased each year.

On top of these statistics, Maryland is also one of eight states to still have a triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies. And as a result of the new health care law, 300,000 more Marylanders are insured than last year.

Click here to see the Governor’s presentation and even more information about the progress our state has made this past year.

We will be working together to make 2012 an even better year than 2011. Thanks for all your support!

Iraq War Is Over

President Obama fulfilled yet another campaign promise by ending the eight-year war in Iraq, pulling the last troops out this month.

Click to watch Obama's video address, thanking our troops for their sacrifice

They don’t see themselves or each other as Democrats first or Republicans first. They see themselves as Americans first.

-Barack Obama

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

-John F. Kennedy