Tag Archives: Washington Post

Montgomery County’s Invisible Candidates Deserve Consideration

classical courthouse

Barack Obama is president, Anthony Brown is running for governor of Maryland, and Ike Leggett has been County Executive in Montgomery County for two terms. However, political power and representation remain somewhat concentrated in America, to say the least. The wealthy and privileged still dominate American politics. It would be naive to think it will ever be much different. But we can try, here and there.

I’ve been following the news coverage and the interest group endorsements for Montgomery County candidates in the June 24 Democratic primary. It appears to me that several well-qualified African-American candidates who would speak for working people and the children of working people, both black and white, are not getting the attention they deserve. It’s probably a matter of lack of campaign contributions. Money rules in American politics, plain and simple. More so now than ever. Some misguided endorsements by The Washington Post also play a role.

Before you vote, you might want to consider a few candidates who have often been overlooked or too quickly dismissed in the run-up to the election.

Laurie-Anne Sayles in District 17

In my district, Gaithersburg and Rockville, District 17, please consider Laurie-Anne Sayles as one of three delegates to the Maryland General Assembly. She’s 32-years-old and has an MPA in health policy. The sky’s the limit for her in Maryland politics. But first she needs the support of a few voters. I think Ms. Sayles has a very real chance to win one of the three seats in District 17. She’s been endorsed by the Gazette and NOW, among others, but not by The Post. She’s young and untested in public office, but so is nearly every first-time candidate.

For reasons unclear to me, the Democratic establishment and many interest groups have lined up behind a District 17 candidate who’s even younger than Ms. Sayles, and not as well-educated. The young man with all the support is both personable and very smart, by all accounts. But he’s barely old enough to rent a car, and he has virtually no real-life work experience. Just my opinion. He’ll be a more worthy candidate four years hence.

You might be interested in the voter guide at http://voterguide.wamu.org/ You can compare Laurie-Anne Sayles side-by-side with Andrew Platt, and the contrast is eye-opening.

To be clear, the two District 17 incumbents, Del. Jim Gilchrist and Del. Kumar Barve, deserve re-election. Ms. Sayles would be an excellent choice for the open third seat formerly held by Luiz Simmons.

Vivian Malloy for County Council

For the four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council, please consider Olney resident  Vivian Malloy as one of your choices. She has more than 20 years experience in the Army Nurse Corps, many years as a progressive activist in Montgomery County, and two terms on the Democratic Central Committee. That’s the kind of life experience and dedication to community that impresses me. Among all the at-large candidates, she is the strongest advocate for affordable housing and jobs. Ms. Malloy has gained a number of endorsements from significant interest groups, such as the AFL-CIO, CASA, and NARAL. She also has the support of Kweisi Mfume, former Maryland congressman and president of the NAACP.

It’s a mystery to me why Ms. Malloy’s candidacy has gained little traction in Montgomery County. I suppose the obvious answer is that she’s running against four incumbents. However, the only other challenger, a woman with a good resume but no experience in public office, is getting lots of attention and endorsements. Go figure.

Christopher Barclay in Council District 5

For the Montgomery County Council in District 5, please consider voting for Christopher Barclay.

Mr. Barclay, a respected School Board member and former president of the School Board, has been unfairly pilloried for the moral equivalent of jaywalking while chewing gum.

It’s interesting that Mr. Barclay was poised to move up to higher office when a so-called “scandal” came out of left field and mildly tarnished his reputation. Mr. Barclay was a leading candidate for Montgomery County Council when information suddenly became public about minor credit card issues. The issues were rapidly resolved, but not before the Montgomery County Education Association and the SEIU rescinded endorsements of the candidate. These are two of the most highly prized endorsements in the county.

The MCEA also took pains NOT to endorse any of the alternative candidates in District 5. Draw your own conclusions. Here’s what MCEA had to say:

“We also believe that Chris Barclay has been – and we hope will continue to be – an important voice for our county’s neediest students, schools and neighborhoods …We believe Chris can have a good future in public service in the county. But in light of the recent news and financial disclosures, we cannot recommend him in this race at this time.”

Christopher Barclay was a respected public servant and a leading candidate for County Council before, and nothing of substance has changed. I believe he remains a viable candidate, worthy of even-handed consideration in District 5. If I lived in District 5, I believe I would vote for Mr. Barclay. Just my opinion.

Aisha Braveboy for Attorney General

For attorney general, Sen. Brian Frosh is clearly a candidate of distinction, and probably the most well-qualified candidate. However, Del. Aisha Braveboy is a qualified attorney and experienced member of the General Assembly. Ms. Braveboy would bring a new and different perspective to the important statewide office of Attorney General. She makes a strong case for diverting first-time offenders from the criminal justice system and helping them get on the path to employment. She was a strong supporter of the minimum wage increase. Ms. Braveboy deserves more consideration than she has received.

Disclaimer

My opinions about politics and candidates are no more valid than your own. Don’t consider the above opinions to be endorsements. Please make your own voting decisions.

The time may come when race, color, and ethnicity are no longer a big deal in America. Sadly, that day is somewhere down the road. I hope I haven’t ruffled too many feathers here.

The League of Women Voters Guide is a good source of candidate information.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

Your comments are welcome. Comments will be moderated before publication.

— John Hayden

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Democracy, Maryland

Gazette Endorses Phil Andrews For Montgomery County Executive

The Gazette this week endorsed Phil Andrews for Montgomery County executive in the June 24 Democratic primary, contradicting The Washington Post, which gave incumbent Ike Leggett a somewhat tepid endorsement for re-election on May 3. The Post and The Gazette are linked by ownership, but have independent editorial boards.

Doug Duncan’s failure to win either endorsement can hardly be considered a fatal blow. Both The Post and The Gazette had complimentary things to say about Duncan, and he appears to have wide name recognition.

What we have here, Montgomery County, is a down-to-the-wire three-way race for county executive. The Gazette endorsement certifies it as such, if ever there was any doubt. Who can win a majority in the Democratic primary? Probably none of the above. We’re most likely looking at a county executive chosen by plurality.

Turnout in early voting, June 12-19, and on Election Day, June 24, will be critical. The outcome might depend on which of the three has the most committed voters.

Here’s what the Gazette said about Andrews:

We pondered long on whom to endorse, because each provides a set of skills that could be useful over the next four years. Ultimately, we decided Andrews offers a better prescription as the county emerges from our economic hardships.

“For one, Andrews promises to be tight with our money. As we’re in the middle of a sputtering recovery, Montgomery County needs four years of that. In a March op-ed piece in The Gazette, he showed where he would trim $40 million from the recently passed budget, and where he would redirect the money: tax relief, infrastructure maintenance, expanded library hours and increased school resource officers. These are all tangible services, showing Andrews would be a wise steward of the taxes we pay.”

And here’s what The Post said about Leggett:

Mr. Leggett is a skilled, strategically savvy leader who is widely admired for his civility and political acuity. The caveat is that he is also at least in part the candidate of the status quo. And in Montgomery, the status quo is not quite right.

“In endorsing him in the June 24 primary, we are hoping that Mr. Leggett will intensify the challenge he has posed in recent years to the county’s entrenched interests. Chief among those interests are Montgomery’s public employee unions.”

I doubt that Ike Leggett is particularly worried at this point. He has TV ads scheduled. Duncan might be in trouble, unless he can match Leggett’s advertising budget. And Andrews is coming up strong on the outside.

You can read the Gazette’s endorsement of Andrews here.

The Post’s endorsement of Leggett is here.

I leave you with this reminder: The deadline for registering to vote, or for changing your party affiliation, is June 3. Is there an adult in your household who’s not a registered voter? Young adults who will turn 18 by the November election are eligible to register and vote in the June 24 primary.

— John Hayden

Leave a comment

Filed under Democracy, Maryland

Montgomery County Incumbents Endorsed By Washington Post

The Washington Post is showing a decided preference on its editorial page for incumbents. The newspaper’s endorsements all make sense, but the challengers deserve more thoughtful consideration.

In the Montgomery County Council and County Executive June 24 primary elections, The Post endorsed every incumbent in sight. The only incumbents not endorsed are two who aren’t running by their own choice.

County Executive

For Montgomery County Executive, The Post endorsed Isiah Leggett, with a caveat regarding government spending. You’ll have to read the May 3, 2014, editorial for the newspaper’s bloated, four-paragraph explanation of the caveat.

The Post was correct to point out that all three candidates for executive — Leggett, Doug Duncan, and Phil Andrews — are competent, committed and honest. To quote The Post, “Any one of them would make an able county executive in Montgomery, where one in six Marylanders live.” The newspaper had complimentary things to say about both Duncan and Andrews. Voters face a tough decision in the Democratic primary for County Executive.

County Council

This week, The Post endorsed all four at-large County Council members, in the following order:

  • Nancy Floreen, seeking a fourth term.
  • George Leventhal, also seeking a fourth term.
  • Marc Elrich, seeking a third term.
  • Hans Riemer, seeking only his second term.

I wonder if the order of the endorsements was based on seniority, or on the editorial board’s preference. It wasn’t alphabetical, and I doubt it was random.

The Post dismissed the two Democratic challengers for at-large council seats in a way that I thought was impolite. Just my opinion. The Post opined that Beth Daly is not only “misguided,” but also “dead wrong.” The editorial board failed to even mention at-large candidate Vivian Malloy by name.

It’s unfortunate that we have only two Democratic challengers running for four at-large seats. In my opinion, both Daly and Malloy appear ready and able to serve on the County Council, and both challengers would bring to the table a perspective that would add to, not diminish, the council.

In contests for the five district seats, The Post endorsed the following incumbents:

  • Roger Berliner in District 1.
  • Craig Rice in District 2.

In District 4, incumbent Nancy Navarro is running unopposed.

For the two districts that do not have an incumbent in the mix, The Post endorsed:

  • Tom Moore in District 3.
  • Evan Glass in District 5.

It would not be easy to rebut any of the above endorsements. All of the incumbents are indeed worthy of re-election, based on their records. But I am disappointed that The Post failed to adequately acknowledge the council challengers. For County Council as well as for Executive, the voters face difficult choices among serious candidates.

General Assembly

The Washington Post was nearly as respectful of Montgomery County incumbents running for re-election to State Senate and House of Delegates. Incumbents are not seeking re-election in a number of places, resulting in some spirited contests in several districts. If you live in District 17 (Rockville or Gaithersburg) or District 18 (Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, Wheaton) you might want to consult the voter guides and endorsements of your choice. You can read the Post’s views on all the MoCo General Assembly candidates here.

(Editor’s Note: I take exception to some of The Post’s endorsements in the competitive District 17 race for three seats in the House of Delegates. In my opinion, both Del. Kumar Barve (majority leader of the House) and Del. Jim Gilchrist (a member of the Environmental Matters Committee), are valued representatives for District 17, and should be re-elected. For the third seat, which is open, I voted for Laurie-Anne Sayles, who I believe is the most promising of the other candidates. I will withhold  comment on the nasty District 17 race for State Senate.)

Only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary and registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary. All voters may vote for candidates of any party in the November General Election.

Hardly anybody reads the MSM anymore. Few people would be aware of the newspaper endorsements if we didn’t announce them here in the blogosphere. You can read The Post’s endorsements for County Council here, and the endorsement for County Executive here.

You can find helpful links to several sources of objective information about the candidates, including the League of Women Voters Guide, the Gazette voter guide, and the WAMU.org voter guide right here.

— John Hayden

Leave a comment

Filed under Democracy, Maryland

Washington Post Partners With TRAVELZOO

Update on thecapitoldeal.com, an innovative new service brought to you by the formerly great newspaper, The Washington Post. Now owned by Jeff Bezos.

“Ramen and cocktails for two” is the featured Capitol Deal today. Usually $56; via Capitol Deal, only $29!

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Journalism 101

Stop The Presses! Forget About News! Advertising Delivered Direct To Your Inbox!

The Washington Post Business section for Sunday Jan. 12, 2014 was ALL BUSINESS, I’m happy to report.

After this blog’s unkind criticism of the Sunday business section last week, it’s only fair to note the impressive week-over-week improvement.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Journalism 101

A Homeless Guy, A Billionaire, And A Dumpster. Be Happy.

blue dumpster

So a rich guy and a homeless guy walk into a bar . . .

Sorry, let me start over. So a rich guy and a homeless guy walk into a dumpster . . .

One more time. A rich guy and a homeless guy walk into The Washington Post . . .

America is officially a “Tale of Two Cities,” as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says.

The grand canyon between extreme wealth and abject poverty has grown so wide and deep that we have lost all perspective. We have become indifferent and uncaring.

It’s common for the rich, especially, to believe that poor people choose to be poor. The rich imagine the poor are HAPPY.

Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Economy, Journalism 101, Life

Cartoonist Takes Over Business Section Of Newspaper

Of course you want to be happy in 2014! Doesn’t everybody?

Let me save you some time and eyestrain. Don’t bother reading the “happiness” story referred to in the previous post.

I won’t even name the formerly great newspaper. It’s too embarrassing. (Hint: The newspaper’s flag at one time included the words “And Times-Herald.” Jeff Bezos owns the paper now.)

To his credit, the author of the piece, Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip “Dilbert,” is totally, completely honest.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Journalism 101, Life

The David Petraeus scandal: Cast of characters is a slide show featuring 14 photos on the Washington Post Web site.

Leave a comment

November 16, 2012 · 12:23 pm