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Endorsement Stalemate


Maryland's largest teachers union deadlocked yesterday over endorsing a candidate for governor, denying both Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley a coveted prize in the Democratic primary.

Representatives of the 64,000-member Maryland State Teachers Association voted instead to back whichever Democrat prevails in September and faces off two months later against Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who did not seek the group's blessing.
"Both candidates had very strong supporters and did a great job reaching out to teachers across the state," said Daniel Kaufman, an MSTA spokesman.

Convening yesterday in Columbia, the group reached agreement on Maryland's other marquee race this year, voting to back Kweisi Mfume, a former congressman and NAACP leader, for U.S. Senate. Mfume faces a half-dozen other Democrats, including Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of Baltimore, in the primary. The winner will likely face Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R).
After several hours of closed-door deliberations, the MSTA also announced its backing of Montgomery County Council member Tom Perez (D)Ö in the open race for attorney general and Del. Peter Franchot (D-Montgomery), who is seeking to upset sitting Comptroller William Donald Schaefer (D).

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  May 20, 2006; 7:37 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Interesting that the frontrunner couldn't pull this off. Guess they don't have much faith in the Mayor of Baltimore's electibility.

Posted by: But it's MY turn! | May 20, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the frontrunner couldn't pull this off. Guess they don't have much faith in the Mayor of Baltimore's electibility.

Posted by: But it's MY turn! | May 20, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the self-designated, so-called "education candidate" couldn't get the support of the teachers.

Posted by: cooked | May 20, 2006 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow, is anyone else surprised by the endorsement of Mfume over Cardin? That has to be a major blow to Cardin.

Posted by: Fred | May 20, 2006 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Interesting point, Fred. These teachers, some have known Cardin since he was Speaker of the House of Delegates, and you'd kindof this he'd have an established rapport enough with them to guarantee an endorsement.

In response to "But it's MY turn!," I'd like to point out that Baltimore teachers are not members of the MSTA, so the fact that O'Malley didn't crush Duncan makes perfect sense. Duncan had tons of his backers from MoCo in the membership to sway their friends and colleagues from other jurisdictions, so it really is not surprising to me that he did that well. And 55% of the vote when he talks about nothing but education, that's not impressive.

What I am glad about was that the teachers chose the right candidates for Comptroller and Attorney General. Peter Franchot is one of the true progressive warriors that Democrats have in our state, and it was great to see the teachers didn't make the grievous error of endorsing Schaefer (who advised Ehrlich to threaten legislators who opposed slots with cutting school construction money) or Owens (who hasn't had the foresight to keep up school construction). Franchot has always been there for teachers and for making sure we keep building new schools and have good facilities.

And for Attorney General, Tom Perez is great. Another true progressive warrior, we need someone like him to carry on the great legacy of Joe Curran.

Posted by: Kenneth | May 20, 2006 11:46 PM | Report abuse

The Sun article said Montgomery makes up about 20% of the vote. So, if you took away their votes (since Baltimore City has no votes) then Duncan would have only recieved 41% of the vote and lost the endorsement.

Duncan must be really upset that he can't catch a break. This guy needed a win really bad. He needed MSTA. He is almost broke. He needed these ground troops to step in when he has to lay off his staff in the next few months.

Posted by: MoCo is 20% | May 21, 2006 6:21 AM | Report abuse

If Duncan, the so called "Education First" Candidate, cannot secure the MSTA endorsement, then there really is no reason to remain in the race. He should have had a lock on it since Baltimore teachers do not vote in this organization and Montgomery teachers are a large percent of the vote. He failed, nevertheless. It's time to hang it up, Doug.

Posted by: Face reality, Doug. | May 21, 2006 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I was there and listened to the speaches by both Martin and Mr. Duncen. Martin was on his game and gave an exccellent speech. Mr. Duncan also spoke passionately. After all that and the serious lobbying he has done with the MSTA, to only garner 42% is to me, a bellweather issue. Even if you consider a margin of error of 3-5%, Mr. Duncan handily won.

The biggest buzz seemed to be that the issue of "electibility" that has made Martin the presumed winner is fading. People have been looking a lot closer at the facts. And they are starting to see the differences in leadership a lot more clearly and more importantly, that in an Ehrlich-O'Malley race, Ehrlich will parade O'Malley's failings everywhere he goes. And while Ehrlich certainly has nothing to gloat about, he will claim that in a race between the two, he is the only one focused on the affairs of Maryland; while Martin ahs made it clear that he has loftier goals and this is but a stepping stone.

Posted by: Chris | May 21, 2006 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I've got to agree with Chris on this one. The "coronation" seems to be slipping away from Mr. O'Malley. I've said it before and I'll say it again - substance over style. That should become the mantra for all voters in Maryland. Let's elect someone who can do the job.

Posted by: Nancy in Ocean City | May 21, 2006 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Ok, even if Baltimore City teachers were included, would they really make up the difference in percentages between Duncan and O'Malley? I think that's a cop-out argument. O'Malley could've sealed the deal by gaining their endorsement, but he has a weak record on education. Duncan's smartly pointing out that O'Malley endorsed spending more money on a convention center hotel than on schools (he claims via a bond status so it is different, but wait, didn't he give the city schools a loan too--so it wasn't really spending more on them?).

Anyway, O'Malley's hope that he'd be able to pull of the front-runner mentality and cling to victory in that manner are quickly slipping from him. He has a money advantage and a slight name-recognition advantage, but yet he is sliding in the polls. Then again, this spring has been horrible for O'Malley--started with the crime stats debacle and culminated in the city schools takeover fight.

The Mfume endorsement definitely changes the dynamics of that race. I think this locks Mfume into the race for the long haul and should culminate in a 5-10 point gain in the polls. Suddenly Cardin finds himself in a tight position as well.

Posted by: Bryan | May 21, 2006 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Duncan wanted this endorsement. Duncan needed this endorsement. And Duncan was denied this endorsement even though Baltimore teachers can't vote in the process.

Yet again, something major happens in this race that makes Duncan look extremely weak and The Washington Post seems incapable of reporting about these weaknesses in Duncan's campaign.

Come on Post, enough with all that Duncan love -- your guy is going to lose and after he loses, you guys presumably still want to be journalists, right?

Posted by: Don't believe Duncan's Spin -- This is a disaster for Duncan. | May 21, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

This story by the Post is a joke, right?

O'Malley participates in an endorsement process that prevents any teachers in Baltimore from taking part in the vote and manages to come out with a no endorsement.

Anyone who analyzes this can only conclude that this is an unbelievable victory for O'Malley -- Duncan's spin is laughable -- would the result have been the same if Montgomery County's teachers had been prevented from voting instead of Baltimore's teachers?

I don't think so -- O'Malley would have won it.

Come on Washington Post -- give the kid his due -- O'Malley was able to prevent Duncan from winning the endorsement without ANY Baltimore teachers participating in the vote -- pretty impressive.

Please Post reporters -- stop deep sixing the truth in every story that portrays the Duncan campaign in a negative light --

Enough of the Duncan bias already -- enough!

Posted by: Duncan's Disaster | May 21, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

It's great to see O'Malley staffers posting on the blog.

Keep up the good work. If you keep telling a lie long enough, people might start to believe you.

Posted by: The Truth | May 21, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

You know, Peter Franchot is the only statewide candidate that has both the MSTA and AFL-CIO endorsement. Even with Janet Owens in the race it's looking like he is going to be our next Comptroller.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Duncan got 55 percent. Post--will you please report to us what O'Malley received? Am I correct to assume that a fair percentage voted not to endorse anyone. In which case, Duncan would have beaten O'Malley by a relatively large margin.

Phyllis and John--can you give us the breakdown? And the breakdown in the other races as well?


Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing that the coverage in the print edition says to little about the endorsements for the AG and Comptroller races.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Schaefer would be nearly 90 years old at the end of his term if re-elected. I'm waiting for him to show me and other voters that he has the energy to do this job.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the post that more coverage needs to be given to the AG and Comptroller races.

To be fair -- the Gov's race is more competitive than people thought it was going to be, but in the Comptrollers race, let's not forget that a Maryland legend is in for the political fight of his life. Schaefer's primary opponent, Franchot has raked up some rather significant endorsements and appears to be raising quite a bit of money. Combine these successes with the fact that Schaefer is WAY too old, and has successfully alienated just about every democrat constituency in the party in the last 3 years, and you have a real horse race. But since this race is not as "important" as the govs race, we aren't reading much about it...

The AG race I can't complain about too much because it literally JUST started. But hopefully this race will get some notice, like when one of the most influential groups in the state endorses one candidate over the other, and maybe a mention as to why they did that... just a thought!

Posted by: Dem Primary Voter | May 21, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Duncan got 55%, Martin got 42%

As I said, even with a healthy 5% margin of error, the fact that Martin was unable to get more than 42% after making a bag full of promises and being the favorite of the MSTA President, speaks very poorly about his record and volumes about how Ehrlich will play it in the general if Martin emerges as the candidate.

Posted by: Chris | May 21, 2006 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to see that the hard working men and women who are continuously taken for granted endorsed the candidate for US Senate that has felt the same sentiments! Congratulations to Mr. Mfume and kudos to the teachers for embracing TRUE change!

Posted by: The People's Champ | May 22, 2006 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Lol, the O'Malley staffers that post here are pretty funny. Would the Baltimore City school teachers represent a 13% difference in the vote? C'mon, that is just a ridiculously stupid argument. So Duncan had an advantage of what 3-5%. Ok then say he got 50% and Martin got 42%. He still won out the support Martin didn't get. And like I've said a dozen times, I don't like Duncan either. If I were O'Malley I'd call Duncan a regulating big government, big taxes kind of guy.

Posted by: Bryan | May 22, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The city teachers that I know would have endorsed George Wallace before they endorsed O'Malley - he's probably lucky they weren't voting for the MSTA endorsement.

Posted by: Marc Nelson Jr. | May 22, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

It'll be good having a real Democrat as Comptroller for a change. Kudos to Franchot!

Posted by: All about Franchot | May 22, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Last I checked, more likely voters were thinking that a declining Schaefer was the choice over your progressive Franchot. So, don't be celebrating your new Comptroller yet.

Posted by: Not all about Franchot | May 22, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I saw that poll....

Schaefer has 40% of the vote that SCREAMS safe incumbent to me. Franchot is going to win this thing hands down.

Posted by: All about Franchot | May 22, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Does the fact that Allan Lichtman did not even come close to getting the teachers endorsement effectively mean his campaign is over? I haven't heard much from the guys campaign in a while, but i know he was running on his status of being the only lifetime teacher in the Senate. Im assuming the teachers didnt see that as viable

Posted by: Kaiser | May 22, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

For a campaign to be over it first has to start and Lichtmans never did. He is also running on the fact that his book convinced Bill Clinton to run for President.

Posted by: The Truth | May 22, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

So where was Josh Rales in this whole thing, does he think he can just buy his way into a Senate Seate

Posted by: What about Rales | May 22, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I understand. I just thought if he had a shot with gaining momentum from anywhere, it would have been from the support of teachers.

Posted by: To the Truth | May 22, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

You guys are good; I want in. Riddle me this: if the dems will take back the House as Hoyer says, why is it such a good thing that high ranking dem Cardin is giving up seniority in the House (for Maryland) to run (and lose) in a Senate race. Whatis the most flattering answer and what is the flattering answer?

Posted by: Aaron | May 23, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, what is the most flattering answer and what is the least flattering answer?

Posted by: Aaron | May 23, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't see the problem with Cardin moving up. First off, the idea he is going to lose because of race or any of the other preconcieved notions on African American voters is just speculation.

Second, Maryland is poised to have a GREAT run if Dems take back the house. Hoyer will end up the uncontested Majority Leader in the house, Ruppersberger as Assistant Whip could move up to Whip (But would surely have a fight from Crowley) and Wynn as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and Deputy Whip is in a clear position to move up. Not to meantion the clout Cummings still has a immiedate past chair of the CBC.

I'd say our congressional delegation is in good shape

Posted by: Senority | May 23, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Could All About Franchot please explain what a "real Democrat" is?

Posted by: mercury | May 23, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Black voters know not to vote for Uncle Tom Steele. We can count on them in the end.

Posted by: Jimmy | May 23, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse


A Real Democrat isn't going to back Ehrlich's attempts to sell off our public lands to his developer allies. A real Democrat is going to protect our public lands and fight overdevelopment.

A Real Democrat isn't going to screw up the revenue estimation by over a billion dollars causing cuts in education and healthcare. A real Democrat is going to make sure that the highly professionalized staff at the Comptroller's office can do their jobs correctly.

A Real Democrat isn't going to sit by while the Governor raids the University System's budget.

A Real Democrat is going to support Minority Business Enterprise and work with small businesses to help them grow.

A Real Democrat isn't going to look at slot machines and user fees to bring money into the economy and is, instead, going to plug some corporate tax loopholes so they pay their fair share

A Real Democrat is going to watch the state pension fund like a hawk so that our teachers, police and fire fighters have a livable amount of money to retire on

Thats what a real Democrat is to me, and that's all I've heard from Franchot...I'm proud to back someone like him.

Posted by: All about Franchot | May 23, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I guess Nancy Kopp isn't a real Democrat by your definition either, All Up Franchot. And little Peter has defined her as a good progressive Democrat! Go figure. Did you forget (stupid question) the fact that Nancy Kopp supported cuts to higher ed., etc. on the Board of Public Works which were necessitated by the recession? Furthermore, she was involved in the consensus--involving the Comptroller, the Treasurer and the Department of Budget and Management--revenue estimates that you criticize. Do you have any idea how the revenue estimates are put together? Do you know what consensus means? Neither does Peter Franchot. Do you also blame Louie Goldstein for blowing the estimates in the early 90's, which forced Governor Schaefer to make serious cuts in the budget? Nobody blamed Louie of course, because he was a real Democrat, whatever that means. Speaking of Louie, I don't remember him being ridiculed for being friendly to the Republican Governors he served with. By the way, All Up Franchot, did you know that Comptroller Schaefer has closed the Delaware holding company loopholes? It's been in all the newspapers, even the ones you probably read.

Posted by: mercury | May 23, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey mercury, Nancy Kopp did vote to cut money from the USM budget, and that vote was WRONG! Ask Franchot what he thinks, and I'm sure he'd agree. 99% of the time she does the right thing, the only time she made a mistake was that one vote, as far as I can tell, and I'm sure she was just going along with the Guv and Willie Don since they had the votes anyway, and she didn't want a hugely contentious start to their term in 2003. And Schaefer supported closing corporate tax loopholes? That's great, I've never heard of that. What he thinks is irrelevant because he has used his office as a pulpit to give Ehrlich free reign to do whatever he wants without reprisal. When Ehrlich said no to closing loopholes, shouldn't a real Democrat who actually cares about having fair tax laws speak out and criticize the governor? YES! Instead, Schaefer just sat idly by and did nothing. We need a fighter, not a failure.

Posted by: Kenneth | May 23, 2006 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Kenneth, your ignorance of the Delaware Holding loophole story is astounding. It's frightening to think people like you have the right to vote. You really ought to pay attention and research the issues before you spout off like your hero, Little Peter. Personally, I really don't care what Franchot thinks because I don't believe he's capable of an original thought. He's never demonstrated any ability in the past.

Posted by: mercury | May 23, 2006 8:16 PM | Report abuse


I decided to take some time this afternoon during my lunch break to do some research, as you fondly point out, most liberals don't take the time to actually delve into the issues.

Here is what I found: William Donald Schaefer doesn't like children, the elderly, the poor or the sick.

Lets go through it:

5/5/99: Schaefer Voted Against Juvenile Justice Center For Baltimore City

9/29/99: Schaefer Voted Against Renovating a Hospital Center

10/13/99: Schaefer didn't vote on a Service Contract To Provide management for a program called "Reach Independence Through Self-Employment Program" which helps poor people elevate themselves

5/10/00: Schaefer didn't vote on Two Votes for polution prevention in Prince George County Drinking Water

That SAME BPW meeting he voted against SIX different important University of Maryland Projects

8/30/00 Schaefer Voted Against Three Projects Commemorating African-American History and then voted AGAINST three health and human services programs

And thats all over the span of my hour lunch. I can't WAIT to go back tomorrow and see what I can find for 2001-2002, will report back to you then

Sure hope the Franchot staff is reading.

Posted by: All about Franchot | May 24, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Seniority. Your rhetoric on Cardin giving up seniority was good but not convincing. I got an email re the "power" of the Maryland delegation and the people other than Cardin don't really rank that high. They are in the bottom half; see the list below from

Sorry, I just can't think of a flattering reason for Cardin to give up seniority in the House given Hoyer remarks re taking back the House.

Name Rank in State Score Rank in Senate
Sen. Mikulski (D-MD) 67
Sen. Sarbanes (D-MD) 73

Name Rank in State Score Rank in House
Rep. Hoyer (D-MD-5) 15
Rep. Gilchrest (R-MD-1) 119
Rep. Bartlett (R-MD-6) 135
Rep. Cardin (D-MD-3) 212
Rep. Cummings (D-MD-7) 346
Rep. Wynn (D-MD-4) 373
Rep. Van Hollen (D-MD-8) 381
Rep. Ruppersberger (D-MD-2) 416

Posted by: Aaron | May 24, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations All In Franchot, you found some source material to trash the Comptroller, but a real researcher would not just look at the votes, but actuallu check the transcripts to find out why he voted the way he did. Could it be that he voted against those projects because--as the state's fiscal "watchdog"--he felt the money was not being spent wisely? Perhaps there were problems with the way the contracts were bid? Hmmm? No, don't give that a second thought. Why really check the record when half the story serves your narrow-minded purpose: to elevate the effete. In effect, I guess what you are saying is that Schaefer should vote yes on every item on the Board of Public Works agenda. But, wait a minute. If he votes yes to everything, then he would be voting with Governor Ehrlich. But if he doesn't vote for all the items, he'll be accused of thumbing his nose at the Democratic-controlled legislature, which passed the appropriations. I'm sure little Peter won't have a problem approving any expenditure. Heck, he and his colleagues did a fine job of figuring out the economic impact the 1999 deregulation bill would have on Maryland utility customers. That's the kind of watchdog Marylanders need: a dopey cur who'll let the burglars in and show them where the money is hidden. Little Peter is the right guy for that job.

Posted by: mercury | May 24, 2006 11:00 PM | Report abuse

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