Does this signal the end of Cultural Capitalism?
Friday, June 29, 2018
from The Dagger
From Congressman Andy Harris:
As we continue working towards victory in November, I thank all supporters and volunteers dedicated to ensuring my continued conservative leadership that has strengthened our economy, brought more funding to fight opioids, increased protection from crime, and improved our quality of life in the First Congressional District. We have done great things together, and I look forward to continuing to bring more jobs, lower taxes, and strong constituent service to the district for the next two years.
While working to make laws to benefit CD-01 families, I strive to be a role model in observing and obeying our laws. It is only appropriate that ALL candidates for Congress demonstrate the utmost ethical behavior and be held to the highest standards of abiding by the law.
As I welcome Jesse Colvin to the congressional race, perhaps now would be a good time for him to focus on upholding U.S. laws, starting with campaign regulations. According to public documents, Mr. Colvin failed to file the required Financial Disclosure Statement (under the Ethics in Government Act) that was due November 2017 to the U.S. federal government. I call on Mr. Colvin to file the required documents immediately and pay the penalties for violating the law.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Former NAACP chief Ben Jealous won Maryland’s Democratic primary for governor Tuesday, promising to deliver a progressive agenda that makes college free, legalizes marijuana and raises the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Bolstered by support in the Baltimore region, spending from outside groups and an aggressive union-backed turnout machine, Jealous emerged from the six-way primary as Democrats’ bet to take on popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November.
His victory over fellow front-runner Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who was backed by the state’s political establishment, demonstrated the growing influence of the progressive wing of the Maryland Democratic Party. His win was part of a wave of victories against establishment candidates in state government.
“Our goal is to not just win an election but to build a movement, which will allow us to lead into law the new agenda that this state so desperately needs,” Jealous told supporters at his Baltimore victory party.
“I know there is skepticism that Larry Hogan can be beaten. Well, we’ve got a message for those who think this race is already over. Larry Hogan will lose in November because he is not ready to run against someone who knows how to build a true people-powered grassroots campaign.”
Maryland has never elected an African-American governor, and Jealous’ victory is just the second time the state has nominated a black man for the job.
“I think he can get not just the state, but Baltimore City, back in line,” said Damon Lann, a 46-year-old corrections office from West Baltimore who supported Jealous.
Baker, in a concession speech in College Park, said he was going to return to life as a private citizen after two terms as county executive and two terms in the General Assembly. Supporters were passing out signs that said “Vote for Democrats.”
“I have nothing to be sad about. It is not a sad night for me,” Baker told them. “I’m going to walk out of here very pleased with the career I have had.”
In his victory speech, Jealous spoke of a young Baltimore boy who said he’s seen too many people die, a teenage girl from the Eastern Shore who said she’s buried three classmates from the opioid epidemic, immigrants whose children wake up in a cold sweat and workers with multiple jobs who fear economic insecurity.
“This campaign is about seizing the moment to build a movement to make sure that everyone moves forward, no matter what happens in Donald Trump’s Washington,” he said.
Jealous’ campaign will provide voters with a stark contrast from Hogan in November, both in policy and style.
Hogan’s enduring popularity makes him a formidable opponent, even in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one. Recent polls show as many as a quarter of Maryland Democrats intend to support the Republican governor regardless of who won Tuesday night.
Some Democrats who voted for Jealous said they were considering crossing party lines to vote for Hogan.
"Like several Democrats, I don't have any real problems with Hogan," said Jo Willman, a 69-year-old from Gaithersburg. "He's proven himself to work on the issues and not the politics. He works across the aisle. If that's what we want people to do, who cares if it's a Democrat or a Republican?"
Hogan’s campaign manager, Jim Barnett, took aim at Jealous’ platform, calling it “risky” and predicting the Democrat would usher in “bitter partisanship.”
“The choice before voters could not be clearer: In Governor Hogan, they find a steady hand who has worked in a bipartisan way to move Maryland in the right direction,” Barnett said.
Jealous and his running mate, former Democratic Party chairwoman Susie Turnbull, cast themselves as community organizers and promised to aggressively turn out voters in November. Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings joined the Jealous victory party.
The election caps an unusual political season in which many voters were undecided about the governor’s race until the final weeks of the campaign. The crowded field diffused interest in the race and ultimately splintered the vote.
Maryland primary 2018: Election results »
The contest attracted a diverse group of Democrats. In addition to Baker and Jealous, the race featured state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., the state’s first openly gay senator; Krish Vignarajah, an immigrant, new mother and former Michelle Obama policy aide; Baltimore lawyer Jim Shea, and tech entrepreneur Alec Ross.
One of the top contenders in the race, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, died suddenly of cardiac arrest on May 10. His name remained on the ballot, and Jealous remembered him fondly during his speech.
“We miss his wit and wisdom and we will never forget him,” Jealous said.
Democrats promised weeks ago to support whoever emerged from the primary and have planned a “unity rally” for this week outside the governor’s mansion in Annapolis.
Party leaders are planning an all-hands-on-deck effort to dislodge Hogan from office.
Analysts say they have reason for concern. Pollster Patrick Gonzales’s recent survey, for example, showed the Republican governor led all his Democratic challengers by double digits.
“Hogan starts off as extremely popular and the favorite but by no means has put this thing away,” Gonzales said.
Goucher College political scientist Mileah Kromer said the Jealous victory shows the more liberal wing of the party is ascendant. She said Jealous presents a challenge for Hogan because he can attract national attention and money.
“At a time when we’re talking about ‘resistance Democrats’ being energized, Jealous is not wrong when he says people want a civil rights leader to challenge Trump,” she said.
A decade ago, Jealous, at 35, became the youngest person to lead the national NAACP, reviving a moribund organization and reestablishing it as a national political force.
During his tenure, Jealous became a leading force behind referendums to uphold same-sex marriage and in-state college tuition for students who are in the country illegally. He helped persuade former Gov. Martin O’Malley to push to repeal Maryland’s death penalty.
On the campaign trail, Jealous reminds voters of his Baltimore roots — his mother grew up in West Baltimore housing projects — and that his biracial parents had to move from Maryland because it was illegal for them to marry here at the time.
Jealous, now 45, is a Rhodes scholar and, for the past several years, has worked as a venture capitalist at Kapor Capital.
He wants to make Maryland the first state to adopt its own single-payer health care system. He wants to reduce the state’s prison population by 30 percent, and wants tuition-free education at its public colleges and universities. He proposed a 29 percent pay increase for Maryland teachers — whose union endorsed him — plus legalizing marijuana and dramatically increasing spending on K-12 education.
His hefty list of expensive promises will be a key target of Hogan in November, analysts said. Hogan’s upset victory in 2014 was built on pocketbook issues and a promise to reign in spending.
Jealous, at his victory party, told supporters gathered at The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History & Culture that his win was a referendum on GOP leadership.
“Today we have come together, from all corners of Maryland, to send a message to the Republican administration in Annapolis -- that their time in power is coming to an end,” he said.
Nora King, 70, a city resident and retired special education teacher and administrator for Baltimore City Public Schools, said she’s “elated” Jealous won.
“I want to start dancing, I’m so happy,” she said.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Former NAACP president Ben Jealous, one of the two front-runners in the Democratic race for governor, released three years of his tax returns on Tuesday, showing he earned $1.3 million between 2015 and 2017.
The records show an average taxable income of $443,000 primarily for his work as a venture capitalist with California-based Kapor Capital. The firm invests in start-ups that work on social problems.
Jealous has been running as a progressive and embraced many policies of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign to help working families, including free college, universal health care and a $15 minimum wage.
His running mate, Susan Turnbull, also released her tax returns, showing that she and her husband, lawyer Bruce Turnbull, earned $2.14 million over the same period, an average of $725,000 per year.
Jealous paid an average of $18,000 a year in Maryland taxes, as well as paying some local taxes in New Jersey in 2016 and 2017. His 2017 tax returns show he was getting a federal credit for installing a geothermal heat pump.
He declined to release joint tax returns filed before 2015, when he got divorced from lawyer Lia Epperson. Instead, his campaign prepared a hypothetical tax record had Jealous filed as a single head-of-household for 2012-2014. The “demonstrative” document says Jealous earned $1.25 million over that period. The campaign said the actual tax returns “are not being exposed for public inspection” to protect Epperson’s “personal data.”
Three of Jealous’ competitors in the six-way Democratic primary have already released several years of tax returns, a disclosure they said promoted transparency and accountability.
The effort was led by state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno, who released his tax returns and called on his opponents to join him. Madaleno has been critical of President Donald J. Trump’s decision not to release his returns. Madaleno and his husband, Mark Hodge, earn about $180,000 a year, the records show.
Baltimore lawyer Jim Shea and his running mate Brandon Scott, a Baltimore city councilman, went next and became the first ticket to disclose five-years’ worth of tax returns. Shea’s returns show he and his wife Barbara earned $2.5 million a year, on average.
Without fanfare, tech entrepreneur and Alec Ross released two years of his tax returns on his website last week. They show that he and his wife, Felicity Ross, earned $775,000 last year — a drop from the almost $1.1 million he earned the year before.
Most of the couple’s income came from business sources, including royalties on his best-selling book. Wages accounted for only $29,000 in 2017 and almost $34,000 the year before.
In 2016, Ross ended up with a hefty federal tax due amount of nearly $90,000 despite paying $270,000 up front. But the next year he increased his quarterly federal tax payments despite a smaller income and claimed a refund of almost $80,000.
Ross paid $62,000 in state and local income taxes in 2017 and almost $90,000 the year before.
Two other major Democrats in the race have not released their returns and it appears unlikely they will do so before the June 26 primary.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker has said he has filed public disclosures annually during his eight years as county executive and believes those documents are sufficient.
Krish Vignarajah, a lawyer and former aide to Michelle Obama, said she will only release her tax returns if all the men in the field release theirs.
Jealous sure owes a lot of his success to Silicon Valley's Mitch Kapor. Him and the Jewish lobby. I would prefer that a more genuine and authentic candidate run against Hogan in November. And I don't trust the polls!
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Comparing early voting turnout with Maryland's last midterm primaryWho's voting? Democrat turnout is higher than Republican (2.85% of registered Democrats vs. 1.88% of Registered Republicans). Where are they voting? In outlying counties (Carolyn- 2.86%, Kent- 4.47%, Somerset- 3.29% & Talbot- 5.76%) more than Baltimore City-2.38% /Baltimore County-2.53%.
Like the previous midterm election in 2014, early voting in Maryland’s primary is open for eight days and starts and ends on a Thursday. Four years ago, there were hard-fought contests for governor in both the Democratic and Republican parties. This cycle there is a crowded Democratic primary while incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is running unopposed.
Early voting runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 14-21 at 78 locations. In 2014, early voting was at the same times June 12-19 at 63 locations.
Maryland primary early voting turnout:
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Registration Deadline: 9:00 PM on Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
Early Voting: Thursday, June 14th – Thursday, June 21st from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Election Day: Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Harford County (4 Early Voting centers)
McFaul Activity Center
525 W. MacPhail Road
Bel Air, MD 21014
629 Edgewood Road
Edgewood, MD 21040
*Aberdeen Fire Department
21 N. Rogers Street
Aberdeen, MD 21001
3722 Norrisville Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084