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Betting the House


As Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley picked up about three dozen endorsements from the Montgomery County political establishment yesterday, one person grinning especially broadly.

O'Malley's running mate, Del. Anthony G. Brown, has come to Rockville in May to rally supporters and make the bold prediction that their ticket would "win Montgomery County, and I guarantee it." This despite the fact that O'Malley's rival in the Democratic primary, County Executive Doug Duncan, had sewn up most of the local endorsements and was counting on heavy support from an electorate that had put him in executive's seat for three terms.

At the time, local columnist Blair Lee dismissed Brown's prediction as "wacky" and jokingly challenged the Prince George's delegate to a wager, suggesting their houses and his car as collateral.

Then Duncan dropped out of the race two weeks ago, citing problems with clinical depression. Yesterday, a gaggle of state lawmakers, local council members and political leaders (see list below)--many of whom had previously backed Duncan--appeared in Rockville with O'Malley and Brown.

When the event wrapped up, Brown said as an aside, "I guess I won't be losing my car or my house to Blair Lee."

Ann E. Marimow

o Congressman Chris Van Hollen*, District 8
General Assembly:
o Senator Jennie M. Forehand, District 17
o Senator Brian E. Frosh, District 16
o Senator Patrick .J. Hogan, District 39
o Senator Ida G. Ruben*, District 20
o Senator Leonard H. Teitelbaum, District 19
o Delegate Charles E. Barkley, District 39
o Delegate Kumar P. Barve, District 17
o Delegate William A. Bronrott, District 16
o Delegate Brian J. Feldman, District 15
o Delegate Peter Franchot, District 20
o Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez, District 18
o Delegate Henry B.Heller*, District 19
o Delegate Sheila E. Hixson, District 20
o Delegate Nancy J. King, District 39
o Delegate Jane E. Lawton, District 18
o Delegate Susan C. Lee, District 6
o Delegate Richard S. Madaleno, Jr., District 18
o Delegate Adrienne A. Mandel*, District 19
o Delegate Karen S. Montgomery*, District 14
o Delegate Gareth E. Murray*, District 20
o Delegate Carol S. Petzold, District 19
o Delegate Luis R. S. Simmons, District 20
o Delegate Joan F. Stern, District 39
o Delegate Herman L. Taylor, Jr.*, District 14
o Former Delegate John Hurson*
Ø County Council:
o County Councilman Phil Andrews
o County Councilwoman Nancy Floreen*, At-Large
o County Councilman George L. Leventhal, At-Large
o County Councilman Tom Perez,
o County Councilwoman Marilyn Praisner*, At-Large
o County Councilman Steve Silverman*, At-Large
o Former County Councilmember Blair Ewing
Courthouse (Row Officers):o
State's Attorney Douglas Gansler
o John McCarthy, State's Attorney Office
o Sheriff Raymond Kight
o Clerk of Circuit Court Molly Ruhl
o Loretta Knight, Clerk of Court Office
o Joe Griffin, Register of Wills

o Mayor Peter Fosselman, Kensington
o Mayor Larry Giammo, Rockville
o Mayor Sidney Katz, Gaithersburg
o Mayor Kathryn H. Porter, Takoma Park
o Mayor Carolyn Shawaker, Garrett Park
o Councilman Alfred Carr*, Kensington
o Councilman Bob Dorsey, Rockville
o Councilman Mark Elrich, Takoma Park
o Councilwoman Anne Robbins, Rockville
o Former Mayor Steven Van Grack, Rockville
Montgomery County Board of Education:
o Valerie Ervin
o Patricia O'Neill
o Nancy Navarro

Ø Former County Executive Sid Kramer
Ø Ike Leggett, Former County Council President and Former MD State Party Chairman
Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee
o Karen Britto, Chairwoman
o Tracey Terrell, Central Committee Member
o Vivian Malloy, Candidate At-Large Democratic Central Committee

**NOTE** Due to prior commitments, those elected officials with asterisks will not be in attendance, but are allowing their name to be used in press releases and other media purposes.

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 7, 2006; 9:03 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Next: Ehrlich the Prognosticator


Why doesn't the Post use its blog space to write about such issues of concern to the voters as campaign contributions from developers, what taxes candidates plan to increase after the election,waiver of requirements for low income housing set-asides, GM-like underfunding of county employee benefits, the need for a new Potomac Bridge, the immediate need for a link between Silver Spring and Bethesda Metro stops, the need to extend Metro to Germantown ,the need for Saturday English classes, public safety,spending priorities, the sale of Belt Jr. High to Yeshiva High at Jack Abramhoff's behest,Montgomery County's fair share of State funds, and the financial burden of property taxes and Pepco rates and energy taxes, etc. Why doesn't the Post write about the agreement between Leggett and Silverman to debate only one person--each other, since the first of the year.Aren't these matters more important friendly bets between those in the politicfal arena?

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Independent for Montgomery County Executive | July 7, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Robin Ficker, Independent for Montgomery County Executive. This seems a tad of the "fluff" side. There are more interesting and important topics that can and should be covered.

Posted by: Mr. K | July 7, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I think that this blog is not the best place to post "more informative issues" stories. I regard the full articles published in the print and online editions as serving that purpose. I turn to this blog to get more "color" commentary about the campaign. Basically, the amusing or interstings sights and sounds found at the various events on the trail.

Posted by: Baltimore voter | July 7, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The political chatter tends to generate more comments than serious issues (e.g. electricity rates)but i'd be interested in what people want from the blog.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | July 7, 2006 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Ficker,

Why should Leggett or Silverman debate you at this time? They are both focused on winning the Democratic primary and are campaigning to the Democratic electorate that will be turning out in the primary in September. Isn't your soup-box whining slightly premature? If the Democratic nominee won't debate you, then you will have a valid complaint. Until then, shut up about the debate - it's as obnoxious as your antics behind the Bullets bench.

Posted by: Mike | July 7, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

There are 950,000 people in Montgomery County. Only five of them have filed to run for County Executive. This seat is open for the first time in l2 years. Since January, seven and a half months ago, Mr. Leggett and Mr. Silverman have made a pact with each other that they will debate only one other person, themselves.
They have told the sponsors of forums ranging from the County Chamber of Commerce to the Jewish Community Relations Council, about twelve in all, that they would participate only if they could debate only each other. It has been a public relations gimmick since January. Their "debates" sound like debates between the plaintiff and the plaintiff's attorney not debates between the plaintiff and the defendant. As a result the truth never comes out. They never criticize each other.You need a microscope to see the distinctions without a difference. And there are many subjects they never discuss. For instance the biggest planning scandal in fifty years, Clarksburg. They won't tell why they are perrenially developer-financed and controlled candidates. They won't discuss the sale of the Belt Jr. High to Jack Abramhoff's Yeshive High. They won't mention any tax they don't want to increase. They won't talk about $650 million in unfunded county employee benefits. They won't talk about why they are both in favor of overriding the charter property tax limit(in the past and after the election}. They won't talk about county employee contract negotiations coming up soon. They won't talk about a new Potomac Bridge or about extending Metro to Germantown or why they have accomplished nothing in so far as connecting the Bethesda and Silver Spring Metro stops is concerned in the past 25 years.They won't talk about why they supported allowing overrides of low income housing set asides or why the number of low income housing units has declined on their watch or why 70% of the people on the MPDU waiting list are not Montgomery County residents. They won't talk about why Montgomery County has to have the fastest growing big county budget in America compared to population growth So please don't suggest to the cheated Montgomery County voters that these two guys can be mallard ducks to benefit the l5% of the electorate that will pick the Democratic Primary winner. Please don't suggest that a County Executive who will have to debate other county executives, the county coucil, the Governor, Senators and Congressmen, and maybe even the President can debate one other look-alike for 9 and l/2 months and then generously debate a different point of view once or twice during a seven week time when everything is drowned out by TV ads.Leggett and Silverman have shown a contempt for the 85% of the electorate that will not pick the Democratic Primary winner. They have shown a contempt for the Montgomery County voters (2/3 of them college graduates) who expect a robust discussion of the issues. They have shown a disgust with our political system. And a blog a day about betting a house or about a candidate's spouse criticizing another candidate is not going to paper over or cover up what is happening in the county in which I have lived my life.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Independent for Montgomery County Executive | July 8, 2006 12:03 AM | Report abuse

it seems to me that most of the strong support for O'Malley in Montgomery County was really from the minority of people who didn't like Duncan. Now that Duncan has dropped out, it will be interesting to see if the Democrats who oppose him actually care at all about working for O'Malley, or whether they were just supporting O'Malley to spite Duncan.

Posted by: Old Geezer | July 8, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Ficker, you keep talking about the "majority of voters in Montgomery County" and how you are watching out for them. Aren't those the same voters who have who have refused to elect you in all but one of the campaigns in which you have been a candidate over the past 35 years? Please don't make the mistake of thinking that the desire for lower taxes equates to support for you and your annoying tactics.

Posted by: Pepe le moco | July 8, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Pepe le moco? Is that your real name? Does Moco stand for Montgomery County? I'm Angelina and I work for Mr. Ficker. Is it his penchant for collecting l5,000 names to place charter amendments on the ballot or his call for open debates that you find annoying? Are you one of those lost souls in the Montgomery County government who has repeatedly and unsuccessfully had introduced into the state legislature an amendment to the state constitution to make it oh so difficult for Mr. Ficker and his supporters to place charter amendments on the ballot? Smoking has been banned in many places in Montgomery County, Pepe, but it sounds like you are still a proponent of smoke-filled rooms.

Posted by: angelina | July 8, 2006 11:12 PM | Report abuse

So your answer is "yes", these are the same voters who have rejected Ficker over and over and over again? How many elections has he lost? I've lost count.

Posted by: Pepe le moco | July 9, 2006 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Are you registered to vote as Pepe le moco(as in montgomery county) or are you really a certain Democratic candidate for county executive who is too shy to use his real name and too shy to debate?

Posted by: angelina | July 9, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I loved that Brown rally in May...he barely got a dozen non-campaign staff to show up on a beautiful sunny day to the Washington Street address. Not like Rockville isn't accessible via metro, i-270, etc.

I mean it was reminiscent of the O'Malley-Brown official 'announcement' of running where several papers highlighted their supporters had to be bussed in and most consisted of union members, elected officials, and the campaign staff.

We're finally getting the ICC and somehow O'Malley thinks Montgomery County voters are going to resent Ehrlich for this? Ha, that's laughable. O'Malley should try driving down Rt 28 towards GA Av in rush hour or down NH Av towards College Park in the morning rush hour.

Posted by: Bryan | July 9, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I guess you've lost track of how many elections Ficker has lost, too. It has to be up in the double digits now. And whenever anyone points that out, Ficker starts talking about a conspiracy to keep him out of debates. According to him, Silverman and Leggett are so afraid of Ficker that they have a "secret conspiracy", and his few supporters start talking about "smoke filled rooms". Do you really not see the latent paranoia in that?

Posted by: Pepe le moco | July 10, 2006 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures' by someone other than the actual author will be removed. That is what the Post says. Pepe le montgomery county --is it really Silverman or Leggett? Why won't you debate Robin Ficker? Do you think that the voters of Montgomery County don't care about the issues? Chris Van Hollen and Robin Ficker think they do.

Posted by: angelina | July 10, 2006 7:08 AM | Report abuse

The Post's policy is that people are allowed to use psuedonyms. They are not allowed to use other's people's real names and, for that matter, shouldn't appropriate other people's blogging names.

They are welcome to use more than one psuedonym, but they should not respond to themselves in their different psuedonyms.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | July 10, 2006 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Martin O'Malley is a failure as a mid-size city mayor and he will do nothing as governor. He seems to want voters (particularly African Americans) in Baltimore to forgive and forget that their neighborhoods (with exception, Canton and the Inner Harbor)are still victimized by crime, deteriorating and underperforming schools, lack of sanitation services, unemployment and under-funded health services. He knocks on doors in neighborhoods where he hasn't stepped a foot in nearly 8 years. The meat and potatoes of this campaign is what has he done not what he will do. Somebody needs to get beyond O'Malley's charm and ask him the difficult questions to which he can only give his usual non-specific, speculative answers. The truth is Maryland can't afford to give O'Malley a tryout. He can wait another four years when both he and his opponent will be brand new to the job. O'Malley needs the time to make good on his campaign promises to the voters of Baltimore. Likewise, Ehrlich deserves should be given an incumbent's privilege to complete what he started. MD Voters need to concentrate on removing the stumbling block Democratic state legislature that held the governor's seat hostage.

Posted by: C.E. Johnson | July 25, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

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