the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
Judging by Google News search results, journalists seeking a name for the February 12 primary in DC, Maryland, and Virginia are breaking in favor of alliteration:
I prefer “Chesapeake primary” myself, because it covers the widest area. The vast majority of voters in tomorrow’s primary are not in the DC area. Besides, I don’t want my brother’s head to explode.
At least the odious name “Beltway primary” is losing badly.
Regardless of what you call it, if you’re a registered Democrat in DC or Maryland, or a registered voter of any sort in Virginia, make sure you get to the polls tomorrow. It’s not often that those of us outside the early states actually get a say in who our presidential candidate is, so let’s make the most of it. And if you’re having trouble deciding, the correct answer is Barack Obama!
I should have posted this last week, but for local residents not yet registered to vote, time is running out if you want to participate in the presidential primary. In both Virginia and DC, Monday, January 14, is the deadline for registering to vote in the February 12 presidential primary election. For information, see the Virginia State Board of Elections or the DC Board of Elections and Ethics.
Maryland residents have until Tuesday, January 22, to register for their primary, which is also February 12 (see the Maryland State Board of Elections). The Maryland primary covers other races in addition to president. For example, Democrats in the 4th Congressional District will be deciding whether the progressive Donna Edwards will unseat the more conservative Rep. Al Wynn, so if you live in that district make sure you’re registered even if you think the presidential nomination will already have been decided by the time you get a chance to vote.
Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings (one of several nonliberal blogs I read frequently) lives in Silver Spring and got himself quoted in the Baltimore Sun endorsing the Democratic Senate candidate in Maryland:
Silver Spring resident James Henley, 45, is a Libertarian who said he planned to vote for Cardin to balance power in Washington. It’s nothing personal against Steele, he said.
“At the national level, the Republican Party has become such a repugnant institution that I would like to take as much of the control of Congress away from the Republicans as possible,” said Henley, who works in finance for a telecommunications company.
The Bush administration is having unusual effects on political alliances. Maybe Henley will be showing up at DC Drinking Liberally some Thursday next. After all, David Weigel did show up once, but that may just have been an anthropological investigation.
I think Henley may actually be a libertarian, though, not a Libertarian.
I just got this email from the Donna Edwards campaign.
By now you are aware of the multiple layers of problems that occurred in the Tuesday, September 12, election in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District. Whether these flaws are attributable to incompetence, inefficiency, or fraud — we may never know. Votes are still being tabulated in Maryland’s 4th District — provisional ballots arriving as late as Tuesday, September 19, a truckload of machines and memory cards arriving 21 hours after the polls closed on September 12, changing estimates of absentee ballots to be counted, etc.
Needless to say, the system is deeply flawed — leaving voters with little reason to be confident. In the midst of all of this system failure and uncertainty, I wanted to share with you the transcript of an exchange that took place on Tuesday, September 19, between my opponent, Albert Wynn, and his colleague on the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee:
BARTON: Down in Texas, we had a Democratic primary about 50 years ago that Lyndon Johnson won by 54 votes. And he got the nickname “Landslide Lyndon.” We have Mr. Wynn next. He had a little bit of a tussle last week, but he did win. And so, I want to recognize “Landslide Wynn” for any opening statement that he wishes…
WYNN: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. In fact, they’re still counting, but we’re quite optimistic. And I did take a couple pages out of Lyndon’s book, so if I win, it can be attributed to Texas know-how.
(UNKNOWN): Did you (inaudible)?
BARTON: I hope not. I hope you win fair and square.
WYNN: A win is a win.
P.S. Just within the last couple of hours, the Board of Elections in Prince George’s County opened up a machine with no tamper tape (so much for security), and at least one other machine that recorded votes for other offices but none for U.S. Congress.
And from the comments:
Re: Al Wynn Brags of Stealing the Election (3.00 / 1)
I can’t stream audio presently but I think this is the hearing where this exchange occured. Can anyone listen to the webcast & verify this?
by pragmatic adjustable hed on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 02:27:41 PM EST
Re: Al Wynn Brags of Stealing the Election (3.00 / 1)
Yep that’s it. The comment start at 27:36.
by miguel on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 03:39:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One bright spot: the more the gloves come off and politicians are publically seen discussing how the government actually works, the more likely it is to be changed.
Note to K&K - WordPress’ editor doesn’t like nested blockquotes. :D
I don’t normally say much good about Republicans, but I’m having trouble seeing this move by Maryland’s Gov. Bob Ehrlich as a bad thing:
A week after the primary election was plagued by human error and technical glitches, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) called yesterday for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and revert to a paper ballot system for the November election.
“When in doubt, go paper, go low-tech,” he said.
Ehrlich is most interested in abandoning the Diebold electronic poll books used to check in voters, which featured prominently in e-voting critic Avi Rubin’s account of chaos at one Maryland polling place. The idea would be to go back to a paper-based system of printouts of voters that are manually checked off, like what we use in DC. But Ehrlich also wants to get rid of the electronic voting machines, if possible by November. He’s willing to call a special session of the Maryland General Assembly if necessary.
Unfortunately, Democratic leaders in the General Assembly want to keep the electronic system and throw good money after bad:
But [Senate President Mike] Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) dismissed the idea of a special session, saying elections officials should focus instead on fixing the current system.
“We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines,” said Miller, who called Ehrlich’s announcement a political ploy to energize his Republican supporters.
I don’t care how much money has been spent already. When you’ve instituted a poorly designed system that disenfranchises votes and undermines people’s faith that votes are counted correctly, you need to recognize that you’ve made a mistake and move immediately to fix the problem.
Via the Maryland blog Crablaw, I see that supporters of Maryland 4th District congressional candidate Donna Edwards will hold a rally Monday morning, September 18, at 9:30 at the Montgomery County Board of Elections (751 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville) “to coincide with the counting of the large number of uncounted Montgomery County ballots of all sorts for Edwards and all candidates running within that county.”
I don’t want to compare the rally to the Brooks Brothers Riot of 2000, but it’s time progressives started standing up for themselves. The events of September 12 in Montgomery County may very well have resulted only from incompetence (and the unnecessary complication of introducing electronic voting machines into the process), but regardless of the cause, people were disenfranchised, and that must not be allowed to recur in November. I’m distressed that the election-day chaos in Maryland hasn’t gotten much coverage in the national media.
Since the Maryland primary is also coming up on September 12, and since some DCDL folks live in Maryland, I thought I’d put together a list of candidates like the one I did for DC. But things in Maryland are a lot more complicated. This year Marylanders can vote for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, comptroller, attorney general, state senators, state delegates (usually three of those for each legislative district), circuit court judges, county executives, county council members or commissioners, county treasurers, state’s attorneys, clerks of the circuit courts, registers of wills, judges of the orphans’ court, sheriffs, members of the board of education, members of the party central committees, city offices, US senator, and US representative, and your ballot depends on which of the overlapping counties, congressional districts, and state legislative districts you live in (mdelect.net can tell you if you’re not sure).
Given all that, I’m going to stick with a rundown of the candidates for statewide office that all registered Democrats in Maryland have the opportunity to vote for. I may post something later about candidates in some of the districts near DC (for now, see the Maryland State Board of Elections for more information).
If you live in Maryland and want to participate in choosing your party’s candidate for the November election, you have until 9pm Tuesday, August 22, to register to vote in the September 12 primary. The Democratic ballot includes lots of important contests (with several challenges to long-serving Democratic incumbents):
Update (August 26): I’ve posted a list of statewide candidates for the Democratic primary.
Jamin “Jamie” Raskin is a professor of constitutional law at American University, and I’ve heard his name many times, especially in connection with attempts to obtain DC voting rights through the courts. But I only recently became aware that he’s running for state senate in Maryland’s 20th district, the area around Takoma Park and Silver Spring. He’s been getting some attention in the left-leaning neighborhoods of the Internet because of this March 1 exchange he had with a Republican state senator at a hearing about a bill banning same-sex marriage (the story has circulated so much that it’s made it to Snopes, the urban legend reference site):
“As I read Biblical principles, marriage was intended, ordained and started by God — that is my belief,” [Nancy Jacobs] said. “For me, this is an issue solely based on religious principles.”
Raskin shot back that the Bible was also used to uphold now-outlawed statutes banning interracial marriage, and that the constitution should instead be lawmakers’ guiding principle.
“People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don’t put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible,” he said.
Some in the room applauded, which led committee chairman Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Democrat from Montgomery County, to call for order. “This isn’t a football game,” he said.
Sounds like our kind of guy.
Now I see that populist humorist Jim Hightower is going to be at a fundraiser for Raskin tomorrow, March 24, in Silver Spring. There’ll be “fine grub from the Texas Chuck Wagon and the Dominican Kitchen (including vegetarian selections)”, as well as “a Bush-blastin’, Cheney-apprehendin’, Democrat-transformin’ revival”, and “square and salsa dancing for the whole family”. Could be fun (assuming you can spare $50 for a progressive candidate). Anyone up for a field trip to the wilds of Silver Spring?
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