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Hoyer Predicts a Democratic Pick Up in the 1st District

Phyllis Jordan

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, in Prince George's County yesterday to mingle with the press, said he is confident of Democrats' chances in the fall election, predicting the party will pick up at least 10 seats in the House of Representatives.

That includes a win in Maryland's 1st Congressional District. There, Queen Anne's State's Attorney Frank M. Kratovil Jr. (D) faces Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore County), a seat has been held for nine terms by Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, a moderate Republican defeated by Harris in a primary. "It's a Democratic year -- people want a change," Hoyer said.

Hoyer, whose Maryland district includes Southern Maryland and part of Prince George's, has deep ties in Maryland politics and holds an annual media event geared to local reporters. Before his 1981 election to Congress, Hoyer served in the Maryland Senate.

In a wide ranging conversation, Hoyer also said he was "distressed" by the ongoing federal investigation into longtime friend, state Sen. Ulysses Currie (D). Currie's work as a paid consultant for grocery store chain Shoppers Food and Pharmacy, which he did not disclose on state ethics forms, has drawn the attention of the FBI.

Currie, a retired educator, had taught with Hoyer's wife, who died in 1997; Currie bought his District Heights home from Hoyer in 1991.

Hoyer said that with no criminal charges filed against Currie, it is "premature" to discuss whether the senator should resign. It will be up to the state Senate to determine whether Currie should remain chairman of the Budget and Taxation Committee, he said.

"I would hope that this would be resolved favorably to Senator Currie, because I think he's a good human being, and he's served the state well," Hoyer said. "But we'll have to see what develops from these investigations."

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 29, 2008; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

This is a non story. Hoyer has predicted winners in probably 1,000 races since he got involved in politics. Every winner he has predicted has been a Democrat. Asking him to predict a Democrat or Republican as as a winner is like asking him whether Santa comes on Christmas or the Fourth of July.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | July 29, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Instead of writing stuff like this, why doesn't the Post ask Marylander's Representatives and Senators in Washington if they favor development of nuclear energy plants in the U.S. or additional drilling in ANWAR or offshore or whether they favor subsidizing, as presently, shieks and non-democratic leaders of other countries.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | July 29, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Robin,

I notice you omitted to mention wind, solar, wave, or other renewable energy sources on your list of solutions, (just nuclear and oil). Was that by accident or design?

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | July 29, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of Maryland's 1st Congressional District in the oft forgotten Eastern Shore - you know, that place where you "inside-the-beltway" folk come to enjoy the great outdoors - I appreciate the national and regional attention the House Majority Leader can bring to a refreshing candidate like Frank Kratovil. In this traditionally conservative district he represents moderate Democrat and moderate Republican voters from what I've seen so far on issues like energy, gun control, and the environment. What's more, he's a poltician who's actually likable, whereas his opponent is a slimy ultra-right Neo-Con. I pooh-pooh your subjective perspective.

Posted by: Batman Picker | July 29, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. I honestly did not know there were any Repubs left in MD...I couldn't actually name one.

Posted by: Donny | July 30, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Count, I decided last night I couldn't vote for Obama when I saw his ad saying the solution to America's oil crisis is chomping down on oil speculators, raising mpg standards and using alternative fuels.

This ethanol game is a political payoff. It is raising the price of food higher than the roof. Wind and solar won't provide more than 1% of America's energy needs in 10 years. Does your car have a sail or a solar panel? We have the oil if we would only drill for it. The Northwest uses hydropower. I've been to the dams. Do you want to dam up the Potomac, Count? We either use our oil or Russia's or Nigeria's or Iran's or Venezuela's. Do you have relatives there you want to subdize Count? Nuclear produces no green house emissions. And it works. Doesn't Obama know that? China and India are using more oil and driving up the price. My next car will get great mileage, but it won't run on Crisco.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | July 30, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

MD-1 was represented by Wayne Gilchrist (R) for nearly two decades before Andy Harris and his pals at Club for Growth knocked off the moderate Republican. Harris is an extremist - endorsed by CFG and Eagle Forum - as well as being on big oil's payroll. He's a caricature of the skin-crawling ultra-right whereas Frank Kratovil is an attractive, intelligent, and moderate State's Attorney.

And while Robin pooh-poohs clean renewable energy resources like wind and solar, pushing exploration of offshore drilling and nuclear, s/he doesn't realize that: (1) the Energy Information of the Department of Energy has already indicated that restricted OFFSHORE areas would reach PEAK PRODUCTION of 200,000 barrels daily in 2030 having "an insignificant impact" on average wellhead prices, (2) the EIA indicated that increased production from ANWR would reduce the price of gasoline AS MUCH AS $0.05/gallon in 2027, (3) wind energy farms increase annual farm income $55/acre and create 66% more jobs per kilowatt hour than natural gas plants, and (4) solar energy systems help farmers financially, reduce demand on the already stressed electric systems, decrease the demand for conventional fuel sources, and reduce air pollution from conventional electric generation stations.

And are you planning on driving "nuclear" car? And ethanol IS NOT the cause of rising food prices, as it accounts for only 2 to 3% of the 40% increase of the global food index.

Posted by: Batman Picker | July 30, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

You are underestimating our off shore reserves, just as 30 years ago you would have underestimated our Gulf of Mexico offshore reserves. Let companies like Core, which have the technology decide where it worth drilling. These wind farms are in your imagination. I've seen the ones off the southern coast of the Big Island where there is constant wind. They make little difference. Solar farms might work in Arizona where there are 330 clear days a year, but not here.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | July 30, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Congress is not a place for on the job training. Kratovil has no legislative experience whatsoever. Let him spend some time in the legislature and then run for Congress.

Posted by: Legislative experience | July 30, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Batman, you are not making dictators across the pond fatmen, by putting their oil-products in your car are you Mr. Hypocrite?

Posted by: What's in your car? | July 30, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I am personally not underestimating anything. The offshore and ANWR production potential is based on a report from the Energy Information Administration, an independent statistical agency of President Bush's own Department of Energy. I don't claim to personally have any idea whatsoever as to the amount of potential these lands provide, but I am willing to accept an expert report as more accurate than your vague, unsupported claims.

As far as Frank Kratovil's lack of legislative experience goes... that is certainly a viable criticism. But I think that underestimates and fails to appreciate the substantive knowledge base a States Attorney must have regarding lawmaking and jurisprudence. Furthermore, I think the country is tired of politics as usual, and is ready for the refreshing bipartisan wave of change that new moderate Democrats like Frank Kratovil can bring to Congress.

And as far as what I am using to fuel my vehicle Mr/s. "What's in your car?" -- I use unleaded regular gasoline with 10% ethanol like the rest of us. I, and Frank Kratovil, are supportive of measures to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, but as far as I know, there are no plans for nuclear powered cars in the near future, just as there are no plans for solar or wind powered cars as Robin intimated.

Electing jokers like Dandy Harris, who has received generous campaign contributions from Big Oil will only hurt our efforts to wean America off the junk.

Posted by: Batman Picker | July 30, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

What is Kratovil's specific plan for reducing our dependency on foreign oil? He and his assistants all drive to work.

Posted by: Put up or shut up? | July 30, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't the Democrats control Congress already? When they took over in Jan. 2007, gas was 50% what it costs now. If they get two more years it will double again. No wonder their approval rating is 16%.

Posted by: bipartisan wave of change? | July 30, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Put up or shut up? Are you being facetious? How would you propose travelling around a district that encompasses 12 of the 24 counties in Maryland, including all of the Eastern Shore as well parts of Anne Arundel and Baltimore County back on the mainland? Walk or bike over the Bay bridge? Or fly? Or take non-existent public transportation?

His energy plan can be found here:
http://www.kratovil.com/pdfsR/PR7-17-08.pdf

or by googling "Kratovil Energy" and reading all the news stories.

But in summary, he called for:
(1) closing regulatory loopholes in the oil futures commodities market which have artificially driven up gas prices;
(2) compelling diligent development of the 68 million acres of land already leased by the oil companies which represents potential for a 50% increase in domestic production;
(3)aggressively promote development of clean alternative energy sources like wind and solar through tax incentives, block grants, and green collar job training, and;
(4)in this era of fiscal irresponsibility he supports PAYGO rules to cut the deficit and stregthen the dollar, making energy imports less expensive.

Posted by: Batman Picker | July 30, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

BIPARTISAN wave of change means a moderate Democrat reaching accross the aisle to moderate Republicans in order to prevent ridiculous filibustering that stagnates Congress. I don't think adding a moderate Democrat who is pro-gun, hard on illegal immigration, and supports PAYGO principles will hurt Congressional approval ratings.

Posted by: Batman Picker | July 30, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

BIPARTISAN wave of change means a moderate Democrat reaching accross the aisle to moderate Republicans in order to prevent ridiculous filibustering that stagnates Congress. I don't think adding a moderate Democrat who is pro-gun, hard on illegal immigration, and supports PAYGO principles will hurt Congressional approval ratings.

Posted by: Batman Picker | July 30, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What specific areas does Kratovil want to open up to drilling? Has he gotten any money from ethanol interests? What would he have done differently from Pelosi in the past two years? How does he explain that the price of gas has doubled in the past two years with Pelosi in power? Since when is there a filibuster is the House? How many arrestees has he reported to the feds? What cuts would he make in the federal government?

Posted by: What land? | July 30, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Kratovil's energy policy uses wind power--his. He is opposed to reducing gasoline taxes. What has he done as State's Attorney to reduce that office's use of energy? What did he do to reduce use of foreign oil BEFORE he started running for Congress?

Posted by: Gas cost too much? do | July 30, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

What specific lands does Kratovil want to open up to drilling as his website says. Kratovil says he favors wind power. Where in the first district would he put the towers so he would not kill millions of migratory birds? Everybody who owns an energy stock or a energy service stock is a speculator. Overseas demand from China and India is driving up the prices. Goldman Sachs said today that oil is going back to $149. Where would Kratovil get more oil? Why is he silent on nuclear on his website? Does he think we are stupid?

Posted by: Devil is in the details | July 30, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Blaming Democrats in Congress for the price of gasoline is like blaming Iraqis for not ending the war soon enough. It's not their fault they're drawing from a cold deck thanks to the GOP/BIG OIL's desire to gain an oil ally in the Middle East. That's one of the great facades of the Republican platform this cycle - i.e. blame the Democratic Congress for the high price of gas even though they're just picking up the pieces that congressmen like the great Ted Stevens have left behind with their pandering to Big Oil.

He support compelling diligent development of the 68 million undeveloped but currently leased federal lands. He supports legislation that would provide oil companies with incentives to return unproductive lands into federal hands so they can be redistributed to other industries who may be able to exploit other natural resources. It's pretty much a common-sense solution - before we let Big Oil have access to more lands based simply on their word that they can't find oil on the lands or can't cost effectively exploits these leased lands (despite amassing record profits in years where we have record gas prices) we should compel development while providing incentives for turnover. THEN we can open up these "SURE-FIRE" offshore and ANWR lands so that in 30 years they can have zero effect on the price of gas.

The propsosal for wind energy development is picking up momentum and I suggest you look into the proposed offshore wind energy farm off the coast of Ocean City, which could provide power to 600,000 homes, and presents a hazard-free alternative to offshore drilling for oil. Mississippi River anyone?
And he's publicly stated that he's against lifting the gas taxes during the summer because it would increase demand and the oil companies would raise prices, wiping out any benefit to motorists from the break. Furthermore, it would create a $115 million dollar budget gap for highway and transportation funding while also creating a job loss within Maryland of 4,000 jobs.

Posted by: Batman Picker | July 30, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It is not big oil that knows where to drill. It is the energy service companies and technology companies like Core that know whether an area is productive or not. Big oil gets the oil out of the ground once it is found. WHERE,, EXACTLY DOES KRATOVIL WANT TO DRILL? Does he have a degree in geology? or engineering? He and Pelosi want to keep relying on foreign non-friendly countries for our oil. What leased federal lands? Are these lands going to be productive? Pelosi has been in charge of the House where Kratovil wants to be a rookie for the past two years and gasoline has doubled in price. She won't even allow a vote on off shore drilling. If Kratovil is opposed to cutting gasoline taxes, then he must be in favor of raising them to cut back on demand. What kind of car does Kratovil drive? His Dad drives a great big one. Why doesn't Kratovil even mention nuclear power on his website? Has he ever been to Calvert Cliffs? How could he possibly think that being states attorney in one of twelve counties in the district could make him qualified to legislate? Has he ever worked in the private sector? There is nowhere in the world where a wind farm provides power to 600,000 homes. If this were practical, a utility would have done it long ago. Why doesn't Kratovil even mention the word coal on his website? Kratovil=baloney. What percent of the energy used by his state's attorney offices is from wind or solar?

Posted by: Kratovil=baloney | July 30, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Robin,

I believe the USDOE, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and T-Boone-P, among others, would disagree with your assertion that wind and/or solar, will not account for more than 1% of US energy needs in the future. The figure I see estimated for wind/solar is 20%.
In 2004 the Rocky Mountain Institute, http://www.rmi.org/ produced a report for the Pentagon called "Winning the Oil Endgame" how to wean the USA off oil by 2050 using existing technology. Downloadable, but 300 plus pages.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | July 30, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Count. I heard that 20% figure when we had the gas lines during the Carter administration. Heat your house with wind and solar during the Maryland winters and I will save a room for you in my basement. We have four heating zones, but I shall turn on a second one for you.

Kratovil is as nice a guy personally as he can be. But I couldn't vote for anyone who has an energy policy that does not mention coal, nuclear, natural gas or off shore drilling. He wants more reliance on oil from those people running foreign countries where you and I wouldn't want to live because if we ever blogged in we would be charged with a political crime.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | July 31, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone really ready to bet on a Republican in the coming elections? Good luck, the GOP really cannot afford to lose any more ground. They are an endangered species in MD. No comeback in sight as far as I can see.

TGIF

Posted by: Donny | August 1, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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