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A honking endorsement

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce's endorsement of its hometown candidate in the Democratic primary came as no surprise yesterday. But it was an opportunity for supporters to remind voters of Doug Duncan's accomplishments during his 12-year-tenure as the county's chief executive.

The location - the Silver Spring Metro hub of buses and trains - was intended to reinforce Duncan's transportation credentials. But perhaps someone should have checked the train schedule.

Chamber president Richard Parsons lengthy praise for Duncan was muffled by the roar of buses and a honking freight train. Even Duncan chuckled as his one-time campaign manager tried in vain to project through the din.

Parsons wrapped up his remarks just as the last train car pulled away. At which point, Duncan approached Parsons and said, "Rich, we didn't hear you. Could you repeat that?"

By Ann Marimow  |  June 22, 2006; 5:00 AM ET
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Duncan's Honking Gridlock

Traffic gridlock is Duncan's stellar accomplishment during his 12-year-tenure as County Executive. Although he ran on an "end traffic gridlock" platform in his last election, he failed to solve the problem. Now he claims to be the "inventor" of the Purple line!!

Once you are stuck in Montgomery traffic, you immediately know Duncan's achievements. Duncan failed to end gridlock because he was bought and paid for by Developers and busy hobnobbing with Abramoff and cronies.

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce's endorsement in the Democratic primary is not a surprise as this is the cabal that benefited the most during Duncan's reign.

The Chamber's prominent members have lived or are still living on county largesse and corporate "welfare." Be it the Marriott Corporation, Sunrise Conglomerate, "no-bid" contract beneficiaries, non-profits syndicates, business interests associated with Abramoff, most of these players benefited handsomely while the average citizen was saddled with skyrocketing property taxes.

Privatization or lease deals such as the $100 million Strathmore Hall or Round House Theatres are skeletons in Duncan's closet. What is needed is a "honking" inquiry by the Montgomery County Inspector General into the County Executive's real estate portfolio, kickbacks, and misuse of county resources--staff and service facilities--for political purposes.

Posted by: Merlin | June 22, 2006 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Do not talk about is sickening.

Posted by: Melissa | June 22, 2006 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I see the Martin O'Malley staff are out in force today in their usual sad and pathetic arguments.

Let's here it for Barcoding Inc, Duane Taylor, and the countless others given amazing land deals in Baltimore.

Posted by: Bryan | June 22, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Although I get a chance to read this blog only once a week at most, every time I do, I'm struck by the obvious contributions by partisans of either Malley or Duncan, especially the former. FWIW, this campaigning masquerading as comments on a Washington Post discussion board is a huge turn-off and negatively affects your candidates, at least in my mind. You should be more subtle, or better yet leave.

Posted by: John | June 22, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Duncan has accomplished a lot on the ground in Montgomery County. If anyone doubts that, just go there. But the main reason he has my vote is that he has taken the most forward-looking approach to the problem of global warming of any local leader in the country. I'm not just an enviro. I'm someone who wants politicians that are actually leaders, and Duncan is one.

Posted by: Silver Spring, MD | June 22, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

>> For Immediate Release
>> Thursday, June 22, 2006
>> Media Contact:
>> Jody Couser (240) 671-2819 or
>> Duncan to Hold Press Conference
>> Will Discuss Future of His Gubernatorial Campaign
>> Rockville > -> Today, Doug Duncan will hold a press conference to
>> discuss the future of his gubernatorial campaign.
>> WHO: Doug Duncan
>> WHAT: Press Conference
>> WHEN: Thursday, June 22, 2006, 2:00 p.m.
>> WHERE: Second Floor Conference Room
>> Executive Office Building
>> 101 Monroe Street, Rockville

Posted by: Is Duncan leaving the race? | June 22, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

It's true...Duncan is exiting from the race.

Posted by: Merlin | June 22, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

A lot of people are wondering whether Merlin's message blogs are the cause of Duncan exiting the race for governor.

Posted by: Did Merlin cause Duncan to exit the race? | June 22, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Al Wynn is saying that Duncan is dropping out.

Guess O'Malley's going to be MD's new Gov.

Posted by: Rufus | June 22, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I have been reading Merlin's blogs regularly and recall his blog in the "Duncan Dancing for Dollars" and "Arrested Developments" topical headings.

The blog remained on the Post cite for three days, then it mysteriously vanished on Wednesday evening. Is it because the blogger predicted that "Duncan would exit the race?"

The Post's action was premature.

Posted by: Rachael | June 22, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Merlin, I must say, "You are the best!!!

Your blogs made me your fan. Some mean folks attitudes turned me into an activist, so I chose to become an O'Malley volunteer.

I wish a speedy recovery for Doug Duncan and hope you will not quit writing the Post blogs regularly, despite their censorship.

Posted by: Julia Anderson | June 22, 2006 7:30 PM | Report abuse

OK, Doug Duncan is out of the race. We all should sincerely wish him and his family well. He should be in our prayers.
Let's not plow old ground. Let all Democrats get behind Martin O'Malley. By the way for those of you who recognize the Alpah Code GAI you know that I am in the transportation business.
Governor Ehrlich has really done nothing...that's right nothing. What has gone on was all in the can so to speak before he became Governor. Ehrlich should have been talking about adding a third track to the Brunswick and Camden MARC lines and a third track on the portions of the Amtrak NEC where MARC trains run and it is only 3 tracks. This isn't rail-geek speak...this is sound transportation planning and construction for ever incresing ridership and the need for additional passenger trains and seperation of freight and passenger trains during prime hours. Yeah Bobby Hair Cut it takes real talented cabinet appointees to do rail planning...not conservative politcal hacks.

Posted by: Mike S from GAI | June 22, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse

What Duncan is really suffering is the public's growing perception of his abysmal corruption. He has favored the construction industry (including home-building), which contributes bountifully to his political campaigns, over the rights of home purchasers and other individuals in his electorate; and he has corrupted his entire administration to follow suit (including the Department of Inspection and Permitting Services, the Office of Consumer Affairs, and his entire personal administrative staff. The facts behind such charges were just beginning to be exposed, at some of the public meetings featuring Duncan and Councilman Silverman; and a major effort was underway for further exposure at future meetings. That sort of outing would depress anyone.

Posted by: Diogenes | June 24, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

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