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Where's Duncan?


A half dozen state and local lawmakers from Montgomery County gathered in a steaming hot field yesterday to help Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) celebrate the federal government's stamp of approval on the intercounty connector.

Noticeably absent from the event in his own backyard was Doug Duncan, a longtime champion of the 18-mile highway, and Democratic candidate for governor.

The county executive and other elected officials were not told about the noon event until 9 a.m. yesterday. Duncan sent his public works director in his place.

"That's a little short notice for us to get out there," said David Weaver, a spokesman for Duncan. "We're involved in a lot of things, and we weren't able to make it."

He didn't say just what Duncan had on his schedule.

Ann Marimow

By Phyllis Jordan  |  May 31, 2006; 6:54 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Next: The Montgomery Campaign Trail


The governor is such a baby. He did the same thing to Sen. Paul Pinsky a couple of years ago. Pinsky fought for years for an improved railroad crossing in his district. When it was finally approved, the governor held a big ground breaking event, and didn't invite the Senator.

How is it that we elected a governor who has the maturity of a five year old hoarding the toys in the sand box?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2006 7:31 AM | Report abuse

This is so typical of the spoiled brat , Gov Bobby Hairspray. It seems highly unlikely that his staff only found out about federal approval of the ICC yesterday morning. They probably got word no later than last Friday. I am sure had they tried, they could have contacted Doug Duncan over the weekend, but no, Bobby wanted all the attention for himself. What a little loser !

Posted by: jmsbh | May 31, 2006 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Dougie didn't want to attend. 9 am would have been plenty of notice to meet with a campaign donor or a real estate developer. Why is it not enough notice for Dougie to celebrate the ICC he supports?

Posted by: Steve | May 31, 2006 9:42 AM | Report abuse


off subject, I know. But, is there going to be any reporting on the Franchot fundraiser last night? When is there going to be any update on the Comptroller race?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I blame cott Arceneaux. He should have taken Duncan off whatever event he was schedulde for to attend this ground breaking. This has been his issue for years and his campaign just truned it over to Ehrlich on a silver platter.

I better not find out he missed it for some fundraiser. If so, Arceneaux should be fired.

Posted by: Fred | May 31, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Fred and Steve need to get a life. Those schedules are set a week in advance and Ehrlich knew exactly what he was doing. If Duncan had cancelled an appearance somewhere they were attending at the last minute to attend this, they'd be complaining he stood them up to suck up to special interests.

Posted by: George | May 31, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Eh, doesn't matter - Gov Bobby is toast come November anyway. Either Doug or Martin is a good choice over Bobby butthead.

Posted by: Paul | May 31, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Doug had to meet with developers to get a head start on the houses to be built around the ICC.

Posted by: PGKens | May 31, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Can someone from the WaPo clean up Che's spam?

Anyway, what's with calling the Governor 'Bobby Hairspray." I haven't seen anyone on here calling O'Malley as O'Mouthy or Duncan as 'Dunkin Doughnuts'. I'm sure people could, but it seems like the name-calling is coming from one-side (what's new?).

Duncan should've attended flat and simple. His lack of attendance was political. He was wrong not to attend.

With that said, did anyone notice that our usual Mayor O'Malley posters are behind yet another political trick?
It looks like the O'Malley campaign is going to blame the rumors of Duncan's leaving the race on bloggers.

Is anyone noticing the pattern there? They did this here on the Washington Post and then linked it over to the Baltimore Sun forums about a month ago. They being the Martin O'Malley campaign.

I'd call that dirty tricks campaigning--something O'Malley claims he's against (said with the most sarcasm possible). How about you just come clean Mayor O'Malley?

Posted by: Bryan | May 31, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Don't a majority of people support the ICC and think that's it's long overdue?

Posted by: Zogzilla | May 31, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The majority of people support the ICC, just not the majority of people that live near where the ICC will run.

Posted by: Noir | May 31, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the ICC is such a wonderful idea. I'm glad something is being done about traffic, but for 2.4 billion dollars there was real opportunity to come up with a unique solution. If we had a really cutting edge transit system it would not only draw people to the city, but help with job creation among other things. Big ideas and new solutions can help a metropolitan area more than more slabs of road. I guess something is better than nothing...

To be on topic, I think it was a mistake for Duncan not to attend. If this is something he's been a huge proponent for, it would have been a good opportunity for him to get up there and steal the show from Ehrlich for being a jerk for making people scramble to get there on such short notice. That's really classy Erlich, real classy. I love me some partisanship.

And for the record Bryan, "O'Mouthy" and "Dunkin Doughnuts" is just not as funny as "Bobby Hairspray." If you can think of better names for the Dems, do share b/c I would love a good laugh. Please don't give creedence to the stereo-type of rigid humorless Republicans ;).

Posted by: Mr. K | May 31, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Mr. K, FYI, Duncan's own running mate -- Stuart Simms -- called Duncan the Duncan Heinz cakeman at his acceptance speech, talk about disrespecting your own boss, geez. But I do prefer Duncan Donuts, he'd be a great salesman for Dunkin Donuts after he loses to O'Malley.

Posted by: tania | May 31, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

You know, these missteps by the Duncan campaign are really beginning to make me think that O'Malley is going to win Montgomery County.

The phone call was received at 9 am by the Duncan campaign that Ehrlich was coming to Montgomery County to celebrate the ICC.

Unless Duncan was busy on the toilet or huddling with some of his developer friends, he should have been at the Ehrlich event.

Then again, here's an alternate possiblity:

Duncan is now seeing the same poll numbers in Montgomery County that O'Malley is seeing:

More and more of Duncan's voter base is pulling their support for the fat man because of his close ties to developers and like it or not, the ICC has become a symbol for out of control development in Montgomery County.

Therefore, Duncan is now downplaying his ICC credentials.

That David Weaver response will go down as one of the dumbest responses to a reporter in a generation of Maryland politics.

Posted by: Duncan's campaign stinks worse than an Out-House | May 31, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I have seen maps of the ICC area and there are 2 golf courses nearby. Argyle Country Club and Leisure World Golf Course. If the membership and greens fees had been higher, attracting more rich people, to play golf at either of these two courses as at Columbia Country Club and a bike trail crossed either one or connected both with nearby neighborhoods like the Georgetown Branch trail crosses Columbia Club then ICC opponents could have disguised themselves as bike trail advocates. They could have gotten Argyle or Leisure World Club sponsorship for a lobbyist (like COST-GB/ SMARTPAC/GBCCC and now Friends of Rock Creek's Environment encouraged and/or funded by Columbia Club) and used the 'save the trail' slogan so effectively used to block (or confuse) people about the purple line. The founding of Friends of Rock Creek's Environment FORCE was announced in the Montgomery Sentinel by purple line opponent and 2003-2005 GBCCC president John Warnock one week in the column. A bike trail was planned to be placed alongside the ICC but dropped due to cost and width of 'footprint' (human building area on natural environment). Where were the Chevy Chase/Bethesda 'save the trail' people (some of whom also oppose the ICC for a stronger environmental mask to cover their base nimby exclusionism) when the ICC trail was dropped?
The 2.4 Billion ICC cost (3 Billion with Garvee bond interest assuming the anticipated grants are won- if not it's higher taxes or service cuts) is more than the 1.5 Billion purple line cost even from Bethesda to New Carrollton. But thanks to Columbia Club laundering their lobbying through nimbys acting like environmentalists pitting public transit against bike trails the study process was slowed, not expedited as in the ICC study's case, by combining 2 purple line segments into one study. The effect was to let the cost rise due to pure inflation over time if nothing else. More time for opposition comments by starting a new study, heard mostly in BCCHS with some opposition at selectively packed Silver Spring sessions, was given to the purple line study. This is in contrast to the release of ICC DEIS and FEIS with 45 day comment periods coinciding with 2004 and 2005 Xmas holidays when people aren't paying attention to local politics.
Thankfully, the Mont County Council is now studying 3 elevators to be built near the Regal theater at Elm and rt 355 to at least improve access to the Bethesda metro station to mitigate traffic in the Bethesda Row area south of the metro station. The elevators would also be the access point for the western terminus of the purple line.

Posted by: jon | May 31, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

To me, Duncan is a far superior executive than O'Malley is and would be a much better challenge to Ehrlich. I just think his campaign is being run by a bunch of dolts, like Arceneaux, who have absolutely no clue what they are doing and have destroyed what should have been an easy victory with Duncan into what is fast becoming an easy victory for O'Malley. Duncan should have been at this event, period. He would have gotten quite a bit of press. Duncan needs more days where he is in the press and O'Malley is not. Yesterday would have been a prime opportunity and his campaign staff blew it.

As of now, whatever Duncan was supposedly doing that was so important yesterday gave him zero news coverage. Hence the reason why we are all wondering what in the heck he was doing that prevented him from making this event.

Posted by: Fred | May 31, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I am just back from Iraq and one year of active duty as a recalled from retirement Civil Affairs Officer. I have been watching the Duncan antics from afar via the internet...but now that I am back "in CONUS" will join with fellow Democrats who want to send Doug to politcal retirement. He should have been at the ICC event. He also should never have leased the two school properties...but why am I not surprised by any of his antics. Doug Duncan if my fellow Democratic party members make the mistake of voting for him in the primary will hand the election to GOV Ehrlich just as KKT did.
Mike S from GAI
PS, if you don't know what GAI stands for and what industry uses that code then you lack some of the credentials to attack my "PRO" stand on the ICC or other people moving issues!

Posted by: Mike S from GAI | May 31, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley will eat Duncan alive, get it?

Posted by: tim | May 31, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse


Any more word on what Duncan was supposedly doing yesterday that made him so busy? I can't believe there isn't someone in the Duncan campaign that doesn't know where he was or what he was doing. There is something fishy about their silence on the matter.

Posted by: Fred | May 31, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm off today, but checking in from home. We'll post something more on Duncan's whereabouts if we find out. He had a presser today.
Meanwhile, as to the earlier inquiry, didn't know about the comptroller fundraiser and can't cover them all, but we will be covering that race. Wouldn't miss it.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | May 31, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

To the people who say that Duncan should have been at the event yesterday: No where does it say that he was INVITED to the event. This was the governor's event, the governor's press op, a campaign stop masquerading as a gubernatorial event. The governor made that clear when he didn't inform folks until three hours before the event.

The governor would not have given Duncan a second of airtime, or even allowed him on stage.

Duncan at this thing would be like Duncan at an Ehrlich campaign stop.

Rather than ask "where was Doug" the better question would be "when did Ehrlich and his campaign know about the event?" and why would the governor hog the stage when others have been fighting for this for years?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Good lord. I know the Duncan people probably have someone watching this site. Can any of you people tell us where Doug Duncan was yesertday morning? This isn't the most difficult question to answer. Doug Duncan was somewhere. Where was he?

This is just mind boggling to me. Not only did Duncan's campaign screw up by not sending Duncan to this event, they have also now created a mini-scandal trying to hide from the public whatever Doug Duncan was doing yesetrday. What are they trying to hide?

Posted by: Fred | May 31, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Hello everybody, the world is calling, your life just came in.

So a lot of you think the big issue in the Governor's race is whether or not Doug Duncan went to an announcement about the ICC? Do you think that Doug Duncan has any interest in having his picture taken with Gov. Ehrlich?
Go to the website and see if you can find any pictures of Bob Ehrlich with his old buddy George W. Bush. Couldn't find any? They were all removed because Bob, who created his career as a little George Bush clone, now is ashamed to be seen with his former hero. Now in Bob's office, where the Republican donors visit, there are still some pictures of the happy couple for the faithful to fawn over. Aren't they the cutest?

Posted by: jim preston | May 31, 2006 8:25 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley appears to be one of the most untrustworthy pols to come along in MD in a long time not just in his job but apparently in his personal life also. Regardless of whether the well-publicized allegations about his marital infidelity and his well publicized denials about those allegations are true or fales, why risk sending him to slaughter by Ehrlich's kill team, let's just go with Duncan. It's the easier rode.

Posted by: cliff | May 31, 2006 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Well my bigggest gripe with the ICC is that it does not conenct to Northern Virginia. For it to really be an effective bypass it would have to cross Western Montgomery County, dump into Loudoun County, and merge with VA-28 or the Toll Road. If they had been really smart or ambitious they could have proposed that it extend all the way to I-81. Then it would truly be a bypass that avoids the inner suburbs of DC.

As traffic still has to cross the America Legion Bridge to go to Virginia, I don't think this highway is going to benefit the area as much as it claims. I agree that the most logical outcome is that this highway is going to lead to more sprawl on the exits and to more development in the county. And pretty soon Montgomery County's traffic will rival the horrible mess that exists in Fairfax County.

I don't hate highways. I just think that for the ICC to be effective, the planners should have worked with Virginia and built a third crossing across the river. The way it is now traffic bound for fast-growing parts of Virginia will still have to cross the American Legion Bridge. Traffic headed to western Fairfax and eastern Loudoun counties will still have to negotiate Tysons Corner and the Toll Road.

I support the Purple Line, but Ehrlich and his transportation secretary, Robert Flanagan, are hostile to any form of rail transportation. They are extremely pro-highway and bus. And that's because their base constituents--exurban voters out in the outer fringes of the Baltimore/Washington area--don't want public transportation making it easier for "undesirables" from closer suburbs and Baltimore City and DC proper to come into their communities.

It is a shame because the Purple Line also needs to be built. Unfortunately, though, the ICC will probably suck out funds for the forseeable future. So, for Ehrlich, building the ICC probably also kills the Purple Line.

Posted by: NW Washington | June 1, 2006 12:59 AM | Report abuse

It has now been two days since this event and we still have no idea where Doug Duncan was on Tuesday morning. What is the Duncan campaign trying to hide?

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2006 6:52 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if you all will have the same obsession with where Steele was last night.

Posted by: John | June 1, 2006 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Michael Steele was in Nevada, according to what The Washington Post reported. Steele isn;t hiding where he was.

Doug Duncan is refusing to say where he was. My question is why is the Duncan campaign ducking such a simple question as "Where was Doug"? He isn't being asked to state a public policy position. All that is being asked is where was he. A very simple question requiring a very simple answer.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2006 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Duncan was busy with a group of developers who are making plans to develop dozens and dozens of new housing projects and shopping centers along the entire route of the ICC . . .

Sort of defeats the idea of reducing traffic congestion doesn't it?

Way to go Doug and by the way, wipe the smirk from your face, you're losing this campaign.

As your developer friends have told you over and over, assume the position!

Posted by: Just found out where Duncan was . . . | June 1, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

looks like Duncan will be having some chopped O'Malley for dinner.

Posted by: tom | June 1, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

To NW Washington: How the does that benefit the State of Maryland and Montgomery County?

It would be highly dubious to build another river crossing to feed into Virginias growth.

I got a better idea why don't we build more offices and Jobs in Montgomery and Prince Georges counties so no one has to cross a river to go to work?

The only way we will reduce traffic is get more jobs on the eastern half of the region, that along with the economic benefits.

Posted by: Tiredoftechwayidiots | June 1, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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