2/13 I read the news today, oh boy…

Big news out today. Looks like Maryland will have two new faces in our Congressional delegation (unless Wayne Gilchrist and Albert Wynn choose to run as Independents and win).

What are your thoughts? This could be the first competitive general election the Eastern Shore has seen in a couple decades. Does a Democrat have a chance on the Shore or is state senator Andy Harris going to sweep into office? What about Republican challengers to Donna Edwards?And of course, Obama wins in Maryland. Did you vote yesterday? I am still registered in Worcester County. I tried to travel home yesterday to vote. I meant to get an absentee ballot, but in the craziness that was my life the past two weeks, I plumb forgot. So I set out for Ocean City at 3:30 yesterday. I hit a wall of traffic several miles from the Bay Bridge and sat there until 6 pm, at which point I realized there was no chance I was going to make it home in time to vote. I won’t make the same mistake in November!

This is what we had planned to be discussing for the noon hour on the Steiner Show today. Since we’re not there, give us your thoughts HERE.


20 Responses

  1. (Hey, Jessica. God I miss your work on the radio…..)

    I’ve never been so excited about a primary. I keep trying to chill my expectations. (The 2004 results got me so down)

    I was a little surprised at the congressional district shake-ups.
    I’ll stay tuned

  2. Jessica
    Make those Nov plans early! Plan for ice storms!
    Regret the loss of Wayne “the last Sane Republican” on the Shore. Wayne was too realistic having been to war on Iraq for his party, he should be wooed for job in upcoming Dem admin re veterans issues. Despite a big Dem yr, don’t expect to take that seat. Excited by the progressives and Donna Edwards taking out Wynn whose votes for Iraq war and esp on the bankrupcy were not in his constituents best interests. Edwards will win easily, as will Prez to be Barack Obama.
    Glad to see you with Marc’s new projects!

  3. These congressional primary results show that we are becoming more polarized, not less. Sure, the nation as a whole seems to be trending Democratic, but Republicans (and I know a LOT of them) are getting angrier and more polarized by the minute. Thus, Andy Harris wins his primary and is the likely general election winner, ousting the most moderate Republican in the House.

    On the other side, the hyper-energized Democrats have thrown out one of their bipartisan leaders, Al Wynn, in favor of another potentially polarizing figure. All of this, of course can be blamed on the excessive gerrymandering of congressional districts in Maryland and all over the nation – with so few competitive districts, moderate, bipatisan lawmakers are seen as “not conservative enough” or “not liberal enough.”

    I think the results are such a shame in both districts.

  4. Nick

    I agree with your analysis of Gilcrest’s fall, which can be attributed to those mad Repugs you know, That 30% of the country is fuming, cause their logic and “principles” have led them and the country into this horrendously undemocratic bushco cul de sac. That 30% thinks that if Wayne had been more of a lemming, iraq might have gone better. They refuse to place blame where it belongs, with the neocons and the Bush war planners.

    Disagree with the assessment of Al Wynn as bipartisan-his vote to make it much more difficult for his citizens to seek the legal use of bankrupcy than it will be for corporations is not an example of bipartisanship-I feel he sold out his own district for money. I don’t live there, but his constituents warned him with Ms Edwards last time around and he did not get the message and is being replaced. That is fair.

    Personally, I feel the same way regarding Senator Mikulski and her votes in support of retroactive immunity for telcos in the FISA bill. Immunity for actions no one will discuss in public is not bipartisan, it is a failure of core principles which will cost her my vote going forward. I discussed it dispassionately w her staff and told her staff it was violation of a core principle of the constitution in my view and I could not support her in the future. That can be seen as extreme polarization, but I see it as principled.

  5. In my opinion, we’ll be getting a better Democrat in Edwards and a worse Republican in the first district. That should be a pretty good indication of where my political views lie.

    I don’t even know the Democratic candidate in the first. It’s too bad. 2 years ago, Jim Corwin ran a good campaign against Gilchrist, seemed to be a pretty strong candidate. It would have been interesting; Corwin is a moderate Dem and Harris is a strikingly right wing Republican. I would have preferred to have the Democratic doc in the house, personally.

    I think an important question to ask, though, is how much Ehrlich’s endorsement of Harris, which he touted loudly, played a role in this.

    As for Wynn, prior to the 2006 election his voting record was frankly terrible. He did improve over the last two years, but for many/most of the voters clearly not enough. Donna Edwards will be a good representative. Hopefully she’ll be able to avoid falling into the trap Wynn did.

    It has long been my feeling that while Maryland is a Blue state, it isn’t necessarily a liberal state. It has seen itself as liberal I think in comparison with Virginia and perhaps with the Alabama part of Pennsylvania. But Virginia is certainly far more purple than it used to be. And with BRAC, the first district is becoming increasingly conservative.

    I agree with Joe about Mikulski; I’m very disappointed in her. I suspect she’s not planning to run again in 2010, though.

  6. On another topic, Vincent Warren of the Center for Constitutional Rights gave an interview today where he said that administration officials have interpreted the Military Commissions act to mean that they aren’t under any obligation to release the detainees even if they are found Not Guilty by Bush’s military tribunals. Has anyone else heard anything about this? I skimmed the Military Commissions Act, and while I couldn’t find anything that specifically says we _can_ keep people forever, it also doesn’t say we have to let them go if they are Not Guilty. And who are these administration officials? And why didn’t we hear bout this before?

  7. This is slightly off the subject, or maybe way off, but Donna Edwards has pledged (as of today on my new favorite station: WAMU) not to accept the junkets or gifts of any kind from lobbyists.

    A handful of local non-profits are throwing a bash on March 7 in support of PUBLIC-FUNDED CAMPAIGNS… This is an important next step in cleaning up MD’s politics.

    Marc – Would you like to MC? Talk about a love fest. It’d be like the second coming of OBAMA!

    Here’s the info:


    The 2006 elections in Maryland shattered 2002’s record for special interest money contributed to candidates, giving wealthy special interests undue influence in Annapolis — while education, the environment, and health care continued being shortchanged. The solution: voluntary, public funding of campaigns – clean elections. Come to the “DANCE FOR DEMOCRACY” & raise your consciousness about clean elections and other democracy issues: paper-based voting, universal voter registration, non-partisan elections and easy recounts with routine audits. Let’s make Maryland a leader in election integrity – and dance while we do it!


    What: Dance, Discussion & Rally for PUBLICLY-FUNDED CAMPAIGNS

    Where: (St. John’s Church) 2640 – The Cooperate Event Venue at 2640 St. Paul St.,
    Baltimore, MD, (Contact The 2640 Project, 2640@redemmas.org.)

    When: Friday, March 7, 2008 (6 – 10 pm)
    Doors open at 6:00 pm. Presentations and music begin at 7:00 pm.

    Presenters will include Progressive Maryland’s MATTHEW WEINSTEIN and True Vote Maryland’s (& ’06 Candidate for US SENATE) KEVIN ZEESE.

    Music will be provided by The Hula Monsters (dubbed by the Washington Post “One of the best bands in the world,” The (new) Swing States Road Show (singing ‘songs of peace love and understanding from Bob Wills to Bob Marley’) and introducing Barefoot Leroy (classic rock and originals).

    Sponsors: TrueVoteMaryland, Progressive Maryland, SAVE Our Votes, Maryland PIRG, Baltimore Climate Action Network, and Campaign for Fresh Air and Clean Politics

    Misc: $5 per person, no advance tix, ALL AGES, smoke- and alcohol-free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event. Venue is handicapped-accessible, but lacks handicapped restroom facilities.

    Our Website: http://www.DanceForDemocracy.org

    KEVIN ZEESE, True Vote Maryland:
    “Campaign finance reform is urgently needed in Maryland, where special interest money dominates politics. Maryland needs publicly funded campaigns so that political races will be based on ideas to improve the lives of Marylanders rather than on the quest to raise the most corporate money. Clean money campaigns are a critical next step toward building a democracy that represents the people.”

    MATTHEW WEINSTEIN, Progressive Maryland:
    “It has rightly been said that whoever pays for the politics owns the politicians. We have repeatedly seen the nation’s and Maryland’s policymaking processes distorted by the influence of money, recent examples including state electricity deregulation, federal Medicare privatization, and the recent defeat of efforts to make our state tax system less regressive. How will Maryland ever move ahead on challenges like universal health care if we can’t reduce the pervasive influence of money in politics? We believe that a voluntary system of public campaign funding for viable candidates is the answer. In other states, publicly-funded campaign legislation has freed up the policymaking process, allowing Maine to pass a universal health care law and Arizona to reduce prescription drug prices for seniors. We believe passage of Clean Money Campaign Finance Reform, currently pending before the Maryland General Assembly, will have a similar positive impact here in Maryland.”


    For interviews with PRESENTERS (Weinstein and Zeese): matthew@progressivemaryland.org; kzeese@earthlink.net

    For event info: LeaJones99@hotmail.com or call 443-413-6826 or visit our website:

  8. //I don’t even know the Democratic candidate in the first.//

    Theresa, it’s Frank Kratovil. http://frankkratovil.com/

    And while I agree that the 1st District has more than its share of extreme conservatives, check out the raw numbers from yesterday:

    Kratovil: 26,289 (all Democrats)
    Harris: 30,873 (all Republicans)

    And Gilchrest got 23,344 Republicans, to Pipkin’s 14,584.

    Gilchrest voters probably voted for him because he’s a moderate; while Harris will probably get most of Pipkin’s numbers, Kratovil will likely get more Dems and at least some of Gilchrest’s support. And Kratovil isn’t that far to the left of Gilchrest.

    In other words, don’t paint that district red just yet. 🙂

  9. Also, Jessica: It’s “I READ the news today, oh boy.” Don’t mess with the Beatles, yo!

  10. Chris: Hilarious. This song was in my head ALL DAY and I had the lyrics right. Somehow I messed it up when I typed it out.

    I do my best. I’m 25–aren’t you pleased I even KNOW the Beatles? =D

    Will fix! Too embarrassed! Let it be known here that history is thus rewritten!


  11. Jessica, I hate to break it to you, but I’m 25, too. :p

    OK, must stop with the emoticons.

  12. RATS! With the average age of our audience being generally somewhat elevated above mine, I’m used to being able to get away with so much by using my youth as an excuse. Boo-hoo. Better luck next time.

  13. Thanks for the information, Chris. I had actually looked up the candidate after I posted that, for another diary. But I hadn’t looked at the specific numbers; they are indeed interesting.

    Harris is from Harford/NoEBoCo and that’s where most of his support came from, along with AACo; Kratovil is from the Eastern Shore, I believe. I think it’s going to be an interesting contest in that it will not only put D v R but also the east side v west side of the Bay. My personal gut feeling is that the power in the first is with the Harford County region but I would love to be proven wrong.

    Also, looking at the numbers, and at some of the national blogs, much has been made of the fact that Hillary won the western part of the state, but she also won the first district as well as the sixth (and that could be an interesting race there, too.) I don’t know what that says about the first, and what it could portend for the Congressional race, but I thought it was interesting.

    Obviously, Obama won all the other districts in the state.

  14. Jessica – So… how many holes DOES it take to fill the YPR Board Meeting space? :^)

  15. I think Kratovil has a real chance. I wish Marc were still on the air so we could get an honest discussion between the two of them and the voters in the 1st could see how crazy Harris is. He is a medical doctor that is totally against women’s reproductive rights. That is insane.

  16. Kim-

    We can try and arrange the interview with them anyway–get the two of them together and then offer it as a podcast. Would you be interested if we did?


  17. New on the WYPR website:
    Board of Directors, Your Public Radio Corporation: The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for March 12, 2008 @ 3pm.

    Susquehanna Conference Room
    DLA Piper
    Marbury Building
    6225 Smith Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21209

    Please call (410) 235-1446 to RSVP if you plan to attend.

  18. Absolutely – great idea!

  19. Jessica —

    Looks like Barack Obama is generating real enthusiasm and hope in our democratic process. May it continue through November and beyond. But not to be overconfident, John McCain will be a formidable opponent in the fall, and the Republicans will raise negative advertising to a new level.

    At this moment, Obama is driving a fast train for change, and Hillary Clinton, whom I also admire, is driving a Volkswagen Microbus. This is an uncertain year. Anything could happen. Hillary could still come back in Texas or Ohio, tho it seems improbable.

    Could the Democratic candidate win in the 1st District? Absolutely, but it will not be easy.

    Could a Republican win against Donna Edwards? No.

    — Bernie

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