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Election 2008

Donna Edwards Campaign Kickoff

by: Isaac Smith

Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 21:48:31 PM EDT

Donna 5, originally uploaded by Isaac Smith.

So I went to Watkins Park near Upper Marlboro today to see Donna Edwards start in earnest her campaign to defeat Rep. Al Wynn in 2008. At first, unable to find the gathering, I had thought it had been canceled, due to the intermittent rain. Then I found the right pavilion, and the weather cleared up, so all turned out well.

There were about 60 to 70 people there, with a large grill and a DJ playing R&B. But for the many t-shirts, stickers, and signs emblazoned with "Donna Edwards for Congress," one could have mistaken the event for one of the many other barbeques going on at the park today. The atmosphere was relaxed, but the people there were clearly enthusiastic about seeing Donna, who in her speech came off as personable and down-to-earth -- very unlike the stereotype of the aloof politician.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 566 words in story)


by: Isaac Smith

Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 19:39:01 PM EDT

Flip-Flops, originally uploaded by Isaac Smith.

A table of flip-flops at the campaign kickoff event for congressional candidate Donna Edwards earlier today. Each pair has attached a piece of paper with the present position on a given issue of opponent, Rep. Al Wynn, on the front, and his past position on the back, thus illustrating his many "flip-flops".

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Art Brodsky

by: Isaac Smith

Sat Jun 30, 2007 at 19:33:45 PM EDT

Art Brodsky, originally uploaded by Isaac Smith.

Art Brodsky, Communications Director for the technology and information advocacy group Public Knowledge (and occasional diarist for Free State Politics), seen here at the campaign kickoff event for Donna Edwards earlier today.

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MyDD Interview with Donna Edwards

by: Isaac Smith

Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 14:41:56 PM EDT

The folks at MyDD have an interview with netroots darling and local hero Donna Edwards; check it out.

Also, if you're in the neighborhood, head over to Donna's campaign kickoff in Upper Marlboro tomorrow.

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Letter from Donna Edwards

by: Isaac Smith

Wed Jun 27, 2007 at 19:24:59 PM EDT

Dear Friend,
 We know that this country faces very serious problems.  We are bogged down in Iraq, gas prices are high and we're ruining the world's environment.  Going to the doctor is a nightmare of paperwork and a lot of us cannot  even afford to make an appointment.  Our schools are rundown, our children are struggling, and  our teachers do  more testing than teaching.  Meanwhile, the television is full of unimportant stories about Paris Hilton and celebrity mishaps.

There's a sickness in our country today, a  slow, ill-at-ease feeling, a sense that the big things and the little things  have gone wrong, an understanding that where we need big leadership and  risk-taking, there isn't any, and where we need prudence and caution, we find only greed and a desire to take the easy way out.

Well, I'm not ready to  give up.  That's why I'm running for  Congress again, and that's why I'm asking you to help me change the  country.  It's not enough to elect Democrats, we need to elect  leaders.  Please consider a $100  contribution to help us reach our campaign goal for the quarter ending June  30.  I guarantee you that it will be the proudest investment you'll make  this year.  To reach our goal, we need 100 people to each make a $100  contribution.  I'm asking you to be one of them, and for a very  specific reason. Please contribute today -- and help us reach our 100 new donor goal!
There's More... :: (2 Comments, 1283 words in story)

Thursday Open Thread

by: Isaac Smith

Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 11:01:31 AM EDT


Jockey - Preakness 2003 originally uploaded by moondawg

Some news items for today:

  • Gov. Martin O'Malley is dispatching Labor Secretary Tom Perez to neighboring states to see how slot machines could help the racing industry. O'Malley is also talking with Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker Mike Busch about a possible compromise with respect to slot machines and closing the projected budget deficit.
  • Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger endorsed Hillary Clinton for president at an event in Baltimore County yesterday, joining Gov. O'Malley and Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
  • Speaking of Miksulski, she has written a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates calling for tougher action against sexual assault in the military, citing reports of 500 servicewomen in Iraq and Afghanistan having been attacked since 2002.
  • The head of the Port of Baltimore, Brooks Royster, is resigning, alluding to disagreements with the O'Malley administration.
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Al Wynn and Harold Ford Jr : DINOs Flock Together in Support of Endless War

by: Andrew Kujan

Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 16:34:38 PM EDT

(Welcome, Eschaton and MyDD readers. We'll be covering the Wynn-Edwards race in more detail in the months ahead, so we hope you'll stick around! - promoted by Isaac Smith)

So today, Al Wynn (MD-04, DINO) kicked off his congressional campaign in style, surrounded (disappointingly so) with progressives from around the state, including Doug Gansler, Jack Johnson, and Peter Franchot.

Figures that the least progressive person in attendance, failed Senatorial candidate, DLC shill, Clinton apologist, and Iraq War cheerleader Harold Ford Jr., was the keynote speaker.

What rousing message did Harold Ford Jr. have for the committed liberal democrats of MD-04?

Ford, meanwhile, offered scathing criticism of how President Bush has managed the war, but specifically noted "I don't think we can leave Iraq right away." Ford went on to say, "As much as didn't do it right, we have to get it right because there are people over there who want to do us harm."

Wynn, always a big fan of right wing talking points, ate this bullshit up with a spoon.  

In an interview, Wynn called Ford "a tremendous young talent in our party." Wynn said he believed Ford made it clear he wants the United States out of Iraq, but "he also made it very clear that we need to think beyond cliches. My race is not going to be a bunch of cliches...We're going to talk about issues, substance and policy. We're going to try to bring some depth to how we deal with the 21st century."

Thats right, all of you Democrats who have been trying to end the war in Iraq are dealing in "cliches."  Mr. Wynn has a real handle on this complicated situation, just leave it to him and Harold Ford to capitulate to the President on Iraq (and whatever terrible economic policy he proposes as well).

But hey, this is the real Al Wynn

There's More... :: (12 Comments, 393 words in story)

Follow-up to Kratovil Post

by: Isaac Smith

Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 00:02:32 AM EDT

Andy's post on the entry of Frank Kratovil into the MD-01 congressional race generated quite a bit of feedback, I see. Let me set out some points that I think are worth considering:

  • Dusty in comments is right to point out that the 2002 gerrymandering was designed with the intent of crowding out Republican representatives, most notably Connie Morella in Montgomery County. Thus, the 1st District in the Eastern Shore and the 6th District in Western Maryland are pretty solidly for the GOP. That said, demographics do change, and it remains to be seen how the shifts in Frederick County, for example, will influence congressional elections in the future there.
  • The median voter theorem applies here, as in other elections, so even in a conservative district, it's possible to find a Democrat who can win and hold the seat. Andrew Duck is to the right of many Democrats on several issues, I think, and I imagine Kratovil is as well; but for the districts they're running in, they're probably the Dems' best shot. Note, however, that this refers mainly to ideology; in practice, things like incumbency, personality, and tribal loyalty to one party or another play a role as well. And those things are harder to overcome; you can fine-tune your policy positions, but there's no real formula for getting people inclined by temperament to Republicans to vote for a Democrat, or vice versa. Kratovil's attempts to play down his party affiliation may make him more attractive to Eastern Shore voters, but I suspect they'll just make him look like he lacks convictions, which is a bad thing to do when you're trying to overcome tribal loyalties.
  • While there are some interesting primary contests coming up in 2008 -- Al Wynn v. Donna Edwards, Gilchrest v. Andrew Harris -- there are no big general elections fights to look forward to next year in Maryland. The only statewide race is for President, and of course, Maryland will go to the Democrat in that race. So as far as Maryland Democrats are concerned, it wouldn't be a massive diversion to provide more help to Duck and Kratovil than Democrats in the 1st and 6th Districts usually get. That's no garuantee they will get more help, but it's something to consider. 
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O'Malley on the Road

by: Isaac Smith

Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 13:20:53 PM EDT

Our Governor was out in New Hampshire this weekend pinch-hitting for Hillary Clinton -- and possibly raising his own prospects for higher office in the process:

"It's the worst-kept secret in Maryland that the governor has national ambitions," said House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell (R-Calvert), who, like some others, questions O'Malley's extracurricular activities, given a looming $1.5 billion budget shortfall and other challenges facing Maryland.

Shortly after becoming Baltimore's mayor in 1999, O'Malley became active in several groups with national reach, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, for which he has led efforts on homeland security, and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.

In some ways, O'Malley's networking is reminiscent of another charismatic Democratic governor from a small state, said Al From, founder of the leadership council, a think tank that served as an incubator for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential run.

O'Malley and his people are, of course, downplaying any presidential ambitions, but we know better.

As for HRC herself, she was also in New Hampshire, debating the other Democratic candidates for President. Did anyone see it? I missed it, unfortunately, but it sounds like Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden (!) emerged looking good, while John Edwards and Bill Richardson stumbled badly. Thoughts?

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Friday Open Thread

by: Isaac Smith

Fri May 25, 2007 at 14:28:04 PM EDT

  • File under Elections Have Consequences: Gov. O'Malley's Department of the Environment is fining Constellation Energy for failure to comply with air pollution rules for coal-fired power plants, rules that went unenforced in the Ehrlich administration.
  • The Maryland chapter of the ACLU turns 75 this year.
  • Wayne Gilchrest may get a primary opponent next year in the form of state Sen. Andrew Harris. It would be sad to lose one of the few sane Republicans left in Congress, but I won't be shedding tears if that happens; his vaunted opposition to the Iraq War, for example, has proven to be rather hollow. Besides, Gilchrest would have to screw up really badly for a primary challenge to be successful.
  • Shorter Maryland Conservatarian: Latinos can't govern themselves.
  • I've been meaning to link to this rather extraordinary interview with Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson in which he denies pretty much any responsibility for the problems of his administration, including rather egregious instances of corruption on his part. At some point I'll say more, but wow, what a lack of leadership.
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