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Maryland's Ned Lamont?

Tuesday's upset victory of Connecticut Democrat Ned Lamont over entrenched incumbent Sen. Joseph Lieberman did a lot to buoy the spirits of challengers in some Maryland's races.

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Rales, who like Lamont is using his own fortune to boost a long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination but unlike Lamont has yet to gain much traction, declared, "I have a great deal of respect for Joe Lieberman, and his service to our country. However, the results of last night's election clearly show that voters feel that our system is broken and they are looking to people from the outside to fix it."

Rales, who's running for an open Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Paul Sarbanes, pledged to offer Maryland voters "a real choice" and "an alternative to politics as usual."

Donna Edwards, who's running in the Democratic primary against Rep. Al Wynn, was a bit more direct.

"Albert Wynn is Maryland's Joe Lieberman."

Like Lamont's campaign against Lieberman, Edwards has been hammering Wynn about his initial vote to authorize the Iraq war.

"Lamont's victory is a referendum on the war in Iraq," Edwards said in a statement. "...Voters in Connecticut sent a message to President Bush and all Republican sympathizers: change the course."

Wynn has since voiced his opposition to Bush's handling of the Iraqi situation. But Edwards points to other issues where the congressman, whose district extends from Clarksburg and Olney in Montgomery County down to Fort Washington in Prince George's, has sided with Bush.

" Wynn has voted with Republicans on the Iraq War authorization, the Bush-Cheney Energy Bill, the Bankruptcy Reform Bill, and the Net Neutrality Bill. It's time for Mr. Wynn to answer for his record. Even Joe Lieberman didn't vote to repeal the Estate Tax for the wealthiest Americans."

By Phyllis Jordan  |  August 10, 2006; 6:57 AM ET
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Excuse me, but isn't Steny Hoyer Maryland's Joe Lieberman?

Posted by: correction | August 10, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

If Albert Wynn's got those people this upset, I just may have to support him.

Posted by: Rufus | August 10, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Donna Edwards is working hard on the campaign and the more people see her and hear about her, the more they like her. Maryland's 4th Congressional District is represented by someone who voted for the war, the energy bill, and the bankruptcy bill?!?! Someone who is not a leading voice in the Congressional Black Caucus, or the Out of Iraq Coalition !?!? It is definitely time for a change, and folks should check out to see the impressive list of endorsements that Donna has received. If she had anything like Wynn's financial resources, this race wouldn't even be close.
I am not an employee of Donna Edwards' campaign.

Posted by: JimPreston | August 10, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I would think Al Wynn is more like Maryland's Sanford Bishop and Lamont is Connecticut's Mike Kinsley. I would say that Bill Nelson is Florida's Joe Lieberman except he's not Jewish and that John McCain in Arizona's Chuck Hagel and Marsha Blackburn is Tennessee's Ann Coulter but not as attractive. I would say that Diane Feinstein is California's Barb Mikulski and Richard DeVos is a more conservative Michigan version of Mike Bloomberg. This is all VERY illuminating.

Posted by: wait | August 10, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

When Al Wynn's constituents hear the specifics of his voting record, most are shocked. How many people realize he voted with the Republicans on the Schiavo legislation, for example? This man is not representing his district. It's time for a change. Donna Edwards will be getting my vote!

Posted by: Gina Angiola | August 10, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The Lieberman/Wynn comparison is based on the fact that Wynn, like Lieberman, has a primary opponent making an issue of his out-of-touch record. Others may have similar records, but don't have primary opponents.

Donna Edwards is a true progressive who will make a great member of Congress.

Posted by: Art Brodsky | August 10, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm always blown away when people talk about Al Wynn like he's some sort of hero of the party. The guy votes far right far too much. The Cheney Energy Plan. Schiavo. Forget the war, even if he'd voted the right way on the war he would still need to go. The guy's a Democrat in name only.

Posted by: E from MC | August 10, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Steve Warner, Steny Hoyer's only general election opponent is Maryland's Ned Lamont.

Posted by: Marylander | August 10, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Al Wynn represents entrenched, machine politics. When elected officials get to that point, they no longer need to listen to their constituency, and he does not. This is about more than Al Wynn's Republican-style voting record; it's also about the nature of incumbency and how it can lead a politician to forget what got him or her elected in the first place. The focus of the politician becomes staying in office rather than representing the voters who put him there.

This is very clear now with Lieberman, and it applies to Wynn - and Hoyer? - as well.

Posted by: lilliput | August 10, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Al Wynn is a disgrace. His district is 75% Democratic, he has run without substantial opposition for many years, and yet he consistently votes on major issues as if he were a Republican. He opposed campaign finance reform. He voted for the repeal of the estate tax. He voted for the shameful bankruptcy reform bill, when his district generates some of the highest bankruptcy filings of any district in the country. He voted for the Bush energy bill. He voted with Bush on the Schiavo matter.

From any Congressman, this would be an awful record. For a Democrat representing a 75% Democratic district, there is simply no excuse. We Democrats sometimes have to give a pass to red state Democrats who occasionally need to cast a vote we blue staters don't like in order to stay in office. Fine. But I challenge the Wynn supporters in Maryland to give me one good reason, just one, why Al Wynn deserves any respect at all for the votes he has cast. If he wants to vote like a Republican, let him run as one. At least that would be more honest.

Donna Edwards deserves the support of any Democrat in the 4th District who actually wants to be represented by a Democrat. Not just someone who calls themselves a Democrat, but a representative who actually votes like one. What a novel concept.

Posted by: jsmdlawyer | August 10, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It seems like Al Wynn has become a political machine in the back pocket of a lot of special interests. His voting record is consistent with the Democratic Party in most cases, as is Lieberman's, but in big headline votes, he is clearly voting with his donors and with the GOP, not with the majority of his constituents. Wynn has all but ignored the more progressive parts of the Montgomery County constituency he inherited a few years ago. He seems to rely on a base of voters who feed his machine, and he's been able to do so because his is a small-time race compared with the bigger races going on.

If we've learned anything from Connecticut, it's that we have the right to clean house, and this is the year to do it. I live in Olney, where we got stuck with Wynn when the redistricting took us out of Van Hollen's district. We didn't ask for Wynn, and reelected him last time only because he had no Democratic opposition. This time he does have opposition, and Donna Edwards is a great choice. I've met her, and I can tell you that she is intelligent, she has integrity, and she's a true progressive. This is an easy choice to make; we lose nothing by dumping Wynn and putting in someone who actually believes we should protect the internet and consumers, and we should have left Terry Schiavo alone. If those isolated votes don't spell out Wynn's problems, his vote with the GOP on Iraq and on the energy bill should be enough. Let's just get rid of him and put a real progressive in his place. This is the year.

Posted by: Phil Buckberg | August 10, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I did not realize that Wynn had voted with the so-called "culture of life" people on Shiavo legislation. I did know about the energy bill, the war, and net neutrality. Wynn is clearly in the pocket of those who "pay" him (big corportations, special interests) and not those who he is paid to represent - the people of Maryland. I am voting Edwards and hope to convince others to do so as well!

Posted by: Roberta Buckberg | August 10, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

You also forget that Josh Rales is a Republican... He considered running for the Republican nomination in '04 to battle it out against Sen. Mikulski and strongly supported George W. Bush, the RNC, and numerous Republican candidates.

He only became a Democrat when a vacancy opened up for him to run for office.

Josh Rales is Maryland's Joe Lieberman: power hungry, calculating, and with no loyalty to the party.

Posted by: John | August 10, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Ned Lamont was a Republican, too. So was Jim Webb.

Posted by: AKA | August 10, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Albert Wynn votes for his self interest and caters to special interests. The ratio of lobbyist to congressmember is 65 to 1.

Donna Edwards, a real Democrat not beholden to special interests, will get my vote because she will listen to and vote for her constituents.

Posted by: Helen Dodson | August 10, 2006 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I'd be happy to vote for Josh Rales if the stakes weren't so high.

I'd vote for him as a state delegate in a heartbeat. Let him prove he's changed his spots in a delegate seat before we risk a Senate slot on him.

The stink of his Chuck Floyd and George Bush contributions are just too fresh for him to wave them off when he's running for arguably the highest office in the state.

Sorry Josh, we'll see you in 2010 as a State Delegate, or not at all. Pay some dues before you pay for the advertising blitz.

As for Wynn. I've found it disturbing how much corporate welfare he votes for. I've never seen him vote against pork and I read the Roll Call votes in the Thursday Post's Weekly section religiously. The kickbacks he gets end up as largesse for his supporters in Prince George's. A sound election plan, but crummy policy for our country and our tax money. Marion Barry invented the tactic and Wynn has polished it nicely. Is Connie sick of France, yet?

Posted by: Montgomery Voter | August 10, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Albert Wynn's constituents are socially conservative. Just drop by Ebenezer AME Church sometime if you don't understand that.

He DOES vote for his constituents, even when doing so requires not voting with the radical Left Democrat party line.

Now, where's my checkbook...

Posted by: Rufus | August 10, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Maryland's Ned Lamont is clearly Tom Perez. He's a proud progressive running an insurgent campaign against a lukewarm moderate.

Posted by: AG's Race | August 10, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The reason Wynn is entrenched is because of the partisan gerrymandering that has lumped the cow farms of Laytonsville together with the 'hood of Langley Park and the segregated McMansion neighborhoods of Ft. Washington. Until the districts are redrawn to allow fair representation, this is what we get.

Posted by: MDVoter | August 10, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The blogs called it....A vote for Joe Lieberman? It's a vote to kill another American soldier.

That is the gist of why Lieberman lost. This truism will bypass party lines. Clear and simple.

Posted by: firedog | August 10, 2006 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered the fact that Lieberman will be re-elected in the end? A split vote of 48-52% is by no means a landslide victory and also doesn't constitute a clear "message" to Bush. It's great for Republicans that the far Left controls the Democrat's agenda. All of you are far too lost in the Democrat's election year spin to realize that the 48% (moderates)will cross lines to join with the Republican moderates and Independents to bring Lieberman to victory. In the end, it's the free-thinking moderates that will elect a leader. Keep following Howard Dean...right down the toilet.

Posted by: BG from PG | August 10, 2006 7:50 PM | Report abuse

First, those of you that think there is some similarity between what Connecticut voters did and what Maryland voters will do need to look at the voter profiles of each state. This is not Conn. at all. Marylanders consider themselves to be more moderate than liberal. A survey completed by the Democracy Group of Annapolis last year showed that 65% of Marylanders considered themselves Moderates. The number in our friends to the north is closer to 35%. In short-It won't happen here and Lieberman will still be in the Senate.

Josh in spite of his millions could not match the political skills and accumen of a LaMonte. Anyhow I don't think Marylanders want someone who thinks they can Buy the seat. It has been tried in the past and failed for more experienced and polished pols than neophyte Rales. Winning is only part of the deal. You have to be able to be a politician, bargain, be a diplomat. Once there you can just write a check to get your way. Josh has had to pay people incredible sums of money just to get introductions to leading Dems

Posted by: Gerry | August 10, 2006 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I saw two Rales TV ads last night and more during this campaign than for all the other candidates for all offices put together. The ads weren't negative. They were positive. Everyone who likes term limits will vote for him in the primary. He doesn't have to be LaMont---there is no incumbent.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Independent for County Executive | August 10, 2006 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Did everyone catch Albert Wynn on Bill O'Reilly last night? Any Democrat that can warm up to Bill O'Reilly certainly isn't fit for the radical Left in Maryland.

Posted by: BG from PG | August 10, 2006 9:30 PM | Report abuse

This is an instance where I wish that I was in Wynn's district... so that I could vote against him. That guy is a disgrace. He serves corporate America headquartered in Delaware and does not serve the people in his District.

Posted by: College Park | August 10, 2006 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Josh Rales is no Ned Lamont.

Josh Rales has made contributions to a number of Republican candidates including:

- Governor Ehrlich whom he has made a total of $8,000 in contributions.

- Montgomery County Republican Central Committee: one contribution in 2004 for $1,000

- Republican State Central Committee of Maryland: $10,050 -- $10,000 of which came on 10/3/2003.

This doesn't sound like a Maryland Democrat to me.

[Data from the Maryland State Board of Elections, accessed 8/9/2006]

Posted by: Eric | August 11, 2006 12:10 AM | Report abuse

If Rales, who is already very happily married, were to marry a new Hispanic wife, would you consider him anti-Hispanic? Come on, you have two former Party Chairmen now incorrectly referring to themselves as "Independent." Leggett was Chairman of the Democratic party and Steele was Chairman of the Republican party. How long do you think somebody has to be a registered Democrat to be able to run as a Democratic candidate? Is their anything in the Party platform which says so? Some lawyers argue for a plaintiff one day and a defendant the next. A lawyer who can argue the other side's case is probably the best prepared. My dad was a Rhodes Scholar who worked for the Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress for forty years. Many times I would open the Congressional Record and see a speech he had written given by a Senator in the Record and then see another speech he had written given by another Senator on the opposite side of the same subject. Rales is not as stupid as some of you think. He certainly has been a success in the cutthroat business world. But then again some of you will keep doubting as his TV ads play on. It is nice to see somebody not controlled by the lobbyists in D.C. It has gotten so that just about every seat in Congress is a "safe seat" And we all know that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Independent for Montgomery County Executive | August 11, 2006 5:01 AM | Report abuse

Not only is Al Wynn a disgrace, but the shape of his district is a disgrace, too. On a map, it looks like a bunch of lakes connected by small rivers. The people of his district have no common interests, so he's able to vote however he likes without being help accountable.

Posted by: Gerry Mander | August 11, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday's mail included a direct mail piece from Rep. Wynn, or as the mailer claims 'Superman' Al Wynn. This is the most ridiculous mail piece I've ever seen. 'Superman' Al Wynn? Absurd.

Posted by: Maryland Democrat | August 12, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Concur with previous posters, Wynn's an embarrassment.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | August 12, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Why does Michael Steele go to all of Albert Wynn's fundraisers? And why did Wynn allow Steele supporters wearing Steele 06 t-shirts to hand out literature at his latest Crabfest fundraiser. And why he let his thugs accost and threaten us in the parking lot of PGCC for handing out Donna Edwards lit? What is he afraid of? The Truth about his record and his contributions?
Al Wynn is no more than a "Soprano" in Congressional clothes. It's time we do some heavy "house" cleaning...

Posted by: gatsby | August 16, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Why does Michael Steele go to all of Albert Wynn's fundraisers?"

Because they have the same base of support: Socially conservative African-Americans.

It's the new reality, pass it on.

Posted by: Rufus | August 16, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Huh? If Steele's base is among African-Americans, then why is he trailing so badly in Baltimore City and Prince George's County, and behind Dem front-runner Cardin statewide?

Either you're wrong or those socially conservative African Americans are a very minor part of the entire black community.

Posted by: MHK919 | August 16, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Wynn is totally unaccountable to the community he represents.

He is pro-war.

He voted for repeal of the estate tax.

He voted against funding for women's health.

He voted for the Bush Chaney Energy plan.

I'm glad Donna Edwards is running. Finally someone who can give Al Wynn a real challenge.

Its been too long that we've lost with Wynn.

Posted by: Bob | August 16, 2006 9:20 PM | Report abuse

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