Facebook+MACO+Boozs = Fired Staffer

Maryland Politics Watch has a great post about partying and boozing at MACO involving numerous political staffers with PHOTOS

Check it out

We just wanted to pass it along. At a time when unemployment is rising and people are wondering what is being done by their government to help, these probably aren’t the best pictures to be surfacing…

O’MalleyWatch also has a post up “O’Malley Staffers Partying at MACO”

By the way, the staffer who posted those pictures on Facebook should be fired.

Rule of thumb for Facebook – NEVER POST PHOTOS OF YOU AND ALCOHOL!!!

Legislator/Bloggers

We have stumbled across a legislator/blogger – Delegate Mike Smigiel.

www.delegatemike.com

It is good to see legislators who aren’t afraid of the internet and who realize blogging is a good way to engage their constituents. You should take some time to check out his posts.

Do you know of any other legislators in the Maryland General Assembly that also blog? Let us know who they are and we will add them to our blog list.

Statewide and Federal Races Page

We here at MD Politics Blog will be keeping a close eye on the 2010 elections. We have begun creating a one stop shop for resources on all of the candidates and what they are running for in 2010.

The first page we have created lists all candidates running for statewide and federal offices in Maryland. As we move forward, we will be creating pages for Senate and Delegate candidates and maybe even some local races.

To do this effectively we need your help. If you know of a candidate running or have a link to a candidate’s website we don’t have on the site, please shoot us an email at marylandpoliticsblog at gmail dot com .

Thanks,

MDPoliticsBlog

Guest Post: Healthcare Hecklers: Grassroots or Harris & Ehrlich Proxy

Periodically we are going to have guest posts to this blog from all sides of the political spectrum. We give each guest the opportunity to write about anything they want and their posts are unedited by this blog. The first guest post is written by Steve Lebowitz also affectionately known as “justdafacts”. See his post below:

Healthcare Hecklers: Grassroots or Harris & Ehrlich Proxy

Professional and well funded Astroturf operations on both sides of the healthcare debate have attracted national attention, but little has been said about their presence in Maryland. Someone from the other team can ferret out pro-Democratic activity in the Free State; I’m after Republicans.

At least two Washington groups tied to the GOP have set up camp in Maryland with an emphasis on targeting Rep. Frank Kratovil:

Americans For Prosperity (AFP)

  • Consistent with its record of moving into states either during tight races or after Democrats win tight races, AFP appeared in Maryland, its 25th state, soon after Rep. Kratovil narrowly won a packed Republican district.
  • AFP hired Maryland state director Dave Schwartz, a longtime Ehrlich aide, straight from the Harris congressional campaign. Mr. Schwartz stayed on with the Harris campaign after the election, drawing his last paycheck on February 1, 2009; by March 2, 2009 he was blogging on the AFP website on behalf of “AFP Maryland.” From Harris to AFP—Same goal, new boss.
  • Another 1st CD GOP activist, Nick Loffer, appears to be on the AFP payroll. Nothing wrong with that [correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Loffer] but it underscores the absurdity of AFP’s claim to be a non-partisan organization.
  • AFP Maryland’s volunteer affiliate, AFP Lower Shore, has been a principle promoter of anti-Kratovil protests, although they were not responsible for the effigy incident as widely reported elsewhere.

AFP has been busy in Maryland with much more than drumming up opposition to Rep. Kratovil, but Mr. Schwartz or a spokesperson from AFP would be strained to deny that targeting the 1st CD incumbent isn’t high on the agenda. We won’t know for a long time how much money AFP is spending on its agenda right now, but in 2007, the most recent year for which I could get my hands on their returns, AFP and AFP Foundation spent $9.5 million in 20 states. That’s a lot of “change in a teabag.”

In 2007 the going rate for AFP state directors was $72,000 to $115,000 annually, and that year AFP reported a combined $2.3 million in payments for “consulting. Would someone please call the Ehrlichs’ WBAL radio show tomorrow morning and ask if AFP or any of its affiliates are paying his firm’s Strategic Communications Team or any other entity of his firm for any services. Gov. Ehrlich remains the Maryland GOP’s eight hundred pound elephant, and he forgot to mention his ties to Mr. Schwartz last week on his radio show (he has disclosed that in prior appearances) so it’s fair to ask what role he might be playing in Maryland’s take on the tea party/town hall craze.

Institute For Liberty

This boutique of a Washington conservative political operation is part think tank and part action center. Its prolific president, Queen Anne’s County resident and Maryland GOP central committee member Andrew Langer, is no stranger to these pages. By coincidence of residence if for no other reason, Mr. Langer has trained the resources of his organization on Rep. Kratovil. The Institute For Liberty ran an orderly picket of a Kratovil district office [notice the AFP sign in the photo], and somehow, Mr. Langer’s “personal press release” picking on Rep. Kratovil found its way onto the Institute For Liberty’s Scribd page, alongside lofty tomes like, “Property Rights: Twin Promises for Postwar Iraq” and “How to Brew a Tea Party.”

What if, after all the tea parties, tracking, and district office pickets, Andy Harris loses the GOP primary to Sen. Pipkin or another ambitious colleague? No matter; re-election might be a squeaker for Rep. Kratovil, but there’s more to the 1st C.D. electorate than tea partiers, and many of those attending his town hall meetings have been leaving very pleased with the way their new congressman handles his job. I predict his re-election.

– Steve Lebowitz, Annapolis

get justdafacts on twitter and Daily Kos

Cardin Town Hall

The news and blogosphere is being dominated by the town hall Senator Ben Cardin held last night at Towson University.

Here are some of the best links for info on the event:

Missed the town hall, no sweat (literally you would not have been sweating anywhere near as much as those present). You can watch the entire town hall on C-SPAN HERE

News Coverage:

WBAL Radio has audio quotes from people on both sides

Baltimore Sun says “Opponents Dominate Town Hall Meeting”

Towson Times has a great photo of the lined street and very neutral almost pro-reform “Scores turn out for Cardin Town Hall”

Fox News picked up the AP Story

ABC2News in Baltimore “Protestors Rally Against Health Care Reform”

Baltimore Business Journal “Cardin, public, spar over health reform”

Blogs Coverage:

Think Progress got in on it “Protests at Cardin Town Hall Feature AFP Book, ‘Death Panel’ Warnings, and Obama-Hitler Signs”

Michelle Malkin “Overflow Crowd at Cardin Town Hall”

RedMaryland has multiple posts: this one by Dr. Richard Vatz and this one by Mark Newgent

Joe Albero at SBYNews had lots of Photos

GA Harrison on Delmarva Dealings “Ben Cardin Recruits Help from ACORN SEIU”

The Jawa Report “Sire, the People are Revolting”

For those looking ahead, The Baltimore Sun is preparing an editorial criticizing the health care protesters.

The Sun confirms “Will the RNC Bailout the MDGOP” post

Monday our own TR McKeldin posted “Will the RNC Bailout the MDGOP” breaking the news that MDGOP Chairman Jim Pelura has asked the RNC for help (ie a bailout) to get out of its mountain of debt.

Today Laura Smitherman at the Baltimore Sun has a news story up with quotes from MDGOP Chairman Jim Pelura confirming he has asked the RNC for financial help.

Glad to see the Main Stream Media reads our blog.

O Rly? Real budget cutting?

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Wednesday he would cut $280 million from the state budget as he works to close a $700 million shortfall ripped open by declining tax revenues and increased spending.

The administration picked a number of easy targets — healthcare spending and higher education — but leave most of the hard calls — more job cuts and empoyee furloughs — to the next round of cutting sometime before Labor Day.

So how does O’Malley couch the budget trimming? “At least we ain’t California.”

Fact is the state’s budget problems are going to get worse for some time and the governor — and the General Assembly — is going to have to either raise taxes or start firing people. Or push those teacher pensions fully to the county, who get quite some coverage from Annapolis.

Now, the governor’s election is a cool 16 months off and O’Malley doesn’t look like he has any big-name challengers yet. Raising taxes again would draw some real challengers, but he’s unlikely to do that because winning that second term is too important.

So assume  he wins re-election to another four years: This time he doesn’t inherit Bob Ehrlich/Parris Glendening”s mess; this time he inherits Martin O’Malley’s.