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Sun Mar 6, 2016, 03:32 PM

Maryland House Race a ‘Caldron of Power Couples and Washington, D.C., Politics’

CHEVY CHASE, Md. — What happens when a coveted House seat opens up a quick subway ride from the Capitol? A hugely expensive free-for-all, studded with celebrities (or what passes for celebrities in Washington) — with a whiff of dirty tricks.

This affluent D.C. suburb, along with surrounding Montgomery County, is home to countless politicos, journalists, lobbyists and policy wonks — not to mention cabinet secretaries, White House officials, retired members of Congress and the chief justice of the Supreme Court — who bump into each other at grocery stores and on the sidelines of their children’s soccer games.

But the raucous nine-candidate race for the Democratic nomination to replace Representative Chris Van Hollen in the Eighth District — likely to become the costliest House primary in the nation — is holding up a mirror to life inside the Beltway. The reflection is not pretty.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Josh Kurtz, a journalist who writes a weekly political column for Center Maryland, a news website. “It’s just obscene amounts of money, and it’s all in the shadows of the nation’s capital.

“Even the political novices are political insiders; it shows how many would-be, wannabe politicians are here.”

The candidate roster looks like the pages of one of those glossy, D.C. name-dropping magazines. It includes the Democratic whip of the Maryland Senate, whose wife is President Obama’s deputy Treasury secretary; a former television reporter whose husband, Chris Matthews, hosts “Hardball” on MSNBC; and two former Obama administration officials, one with a biography eerily similar to the president’s. His father is African (from Nigeria), his mother is from Kansas and his wife is named Michele.

And that is not even counting the latest entry: a deep-pocketed Democratic donor and businessman who jumped in vowing to spend “whatever it takes” of his own money to win — and was promptly forced to fire campaign workers for spying on other candidates. In six weeks, he has spent $3 million on television ads. Analysts say total spending in the race could exceed $10 million.

“Isn’t it crazy?” asked one candidate, Joel Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of state.'


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Reply Maryland House Race a ‘Caldron of Power Couples and Washington, D.C., Politics’ (Original post)
elleng Mar 2016 OP
tularetom Mar 2016 #1
elleng Mar 2016 #2
tularetom Mar 2016 #3
elleng Mar 2016 #4
kwassa Mar 2016 #5
Chathamization Mar 2016 #6
elleng Mar 2016 #7

Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 04:11 PM

1. My brother lives right outside the ass end of this district in Fredneck County MD

According to him there is an enormous amount of resentment built up on the part of his neighbors toward the poseurs, dilettantes, and snobs who populate the Montgomery County portion of the district. But I can imagine, the Democratic nomination in a place like this is tantamount to election, because the boundaries of the district have been drawn to ensure that the rural voters are a minority.

I'm always glad to see Democrats win contested house races, but I'm not sure I'd agree on a lot of issues with the type of Dems who are likely to win this election.

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Response to tularetom (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 04:24 PM

2. There was resentment when redistricting took place, and happiness too.

Fortunately it enabled us to remove a many-term 'conservative' repug, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Bartlett, and got us John Delaney, a pretty substantial Democrat. van hollen retained a portion of the District, and he is now running for the Senate against Donna Edwards (whom I support.) I lived north of Frederick County MD at the time.

It is a large, weird-shaped salamander of a district now. I object to being referred to a poseur, dilletante and snob, as I reside in Montgomery County (part-time) now, and most of my neighbors are not such. Gerrymandering did it.

This is Van Hollen's district:


This is Delaney's district:



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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 06:04 PM

3. I apologize for the generalization

I'm sure you are none of those things. According to my brother, a 70-year old disgruntled Vietnam vet with a masters degree and a spotty employment history, that is a somewhat stereotyped view of Montgomery County common among residents of the boonier parts of the state.

That's OK. You should hear the things he says about Baltimore City.

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Response to tularetom (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 6, 2016, 06:41 PM

4. NO THANKS about what he says about Baltimore City!

It's an interesting state, lots of variety, and some of the best strawberries I've ever had I found in a farm stand in Boonsboro.

I lived nw of Frederick in Hagerstown for a few years, and occasionally traveled further nw to WVa where my daughter attended school. I'm often in MontCo now, but my permanent home is in southern MD, near 'California' which you can see se, on the District 6/Delaney map.

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Response to tularetom (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 12:16 AM

5. Frederick is old Maryland ...

And is changing rapidly with development, with a big influx of new people.

Montgomery County is a DC suburb, huge, affluent and almost a million residents.

Very blue state and county, and very progressive.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 11:37 PM

6. A lot of progressives seem to be supporting Jamie Raskin

Including a lot of progressive activists I respect a lot. He sounds good from what I've been reading:

- Daily Kos entry on him.

- Nation article on him.

- Time magazine article mentioning him.

I'd be interested in hearing other people's thoughts.

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Response to Chathamization (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 7, 2016, 11:50 PM

7. Thanks for encouraging me to look into this.

Raskin sounds good.

'If elected to Congress, the number one priority for Raskin will be climate change. "It's the whole context within which we've got to decide everything else," he says. "We need a green deal in America. We need to realign national priorities so we're investing in alternative, renewable technologies and disengaging from the fossil fuels."

Fighting back against wealth inequality in America is his next priority. If elected, he promises to defend the right of working people to organize and engage in collective bargaining. He'll fight for a living wage, and for pay equity for women. He'll fight for the struggling small businesses that never get the billion dollar bailouts from the federal government. He'll fight for debt-free college education, and he'll fight for a progressive tax system that does not allow the country's biggest corporations to dodge taxes by shipping their profits off to tax havens all over the world.

The other big issue for Raskin is the role of money in politics.'>>>

Will keep looking.

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