October Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 2
UPCOMING WDC EVENTS
Mark your calendars now for these upcoming events. For more information on locations and registration, watch for future e-mails and daisy cards - or visit our website at www.mcWSDC.org.
Thursday, November 8: PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION!
7141 Arlington Road, Bethesda
Want to meet new people and recap Election 2012? Join us at the next WDC Happy Hour. Every second Thursday of each month, Democrats who are passionate about politics gather to relax and network with WDC members and their guests. Whether you want to meet elected officials, make new friends, form new business contacts or just have fun, the WDC Happy Hour is the perfect place to meet and greet fellow Democrats.
Monday, November 19
Luncheon with political commentator Mark Shields
"Election 2012: Looking Back, Going Forward"
$ 25 members; $30 non-members
After every doorbell has been rung, every phone number called, and every vote gotten out, you'll want to hear what the man whom The Washington Post has called "a walking almanac of American politics" will have to say about Election 2012's results. Mark your calendars now for this special debriefing by legendary PBS NewsHour and Inside Washington contributor Mark Shields.
UPCOMING CAMPAIGN EVENTS
For information on the latest campaign events, click here.
The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee is in need of volunteers to help both before and on Election Day. If you are not going to Virginia or committed to help in another way, please consider one of these opportunities.
Full-time chairs for "Food to the Polls" and "Rides to the Polls":
The "Rides to the Polls" chair will be keeping track of volunteers and those who request rides and matching the two. Good computer skills -- particularly excel -- are required.
The "Food to the Polls" chair needs to be good with google maps to created routes connecting the precincts.
Volunteers are also needed to provide administrative support (answering phones, updating volunteer spreadsheets, or assisting with mailings) at the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) Office, 3720 Farragut Ave. #303, Kensington, MD 20895. If interested, call MCDCC at 301-946-1000 or send an email to email@example.com with the days and times you can help. Early Voting:
Early voting sites will be open from 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM Wednesday, October 31, Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2. Volunteers are needed for a 2 hour shift to pass out Democratic literature at early voting centers . If interested, contact Janet Williams at jawilliams99D@gmail.com
or the MCDCC Office at montgomerydems @msn.com with the location and dates you would like to volunteer.
Early Voting Locations are:
Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center,
14625 Bauer Drive, Aspen Hill, Maryland
Germantown Recreation Center,
18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown, Maryland
Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center,
14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, Maryland
Montgomery County Executive Office Building,
101 Monroe Street, Rockville, Maryland
Silver Spring Civic Center,
8525 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, Maryland
Election Day: Volunteers are needed to "drive voters to the polls" or "deliver meals" to precinct volunteers at polling centers. If interested, call MCDCC at 301-946-1000 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Maryland Secretary of State recently released the final language for the ballot questions in Maryland for the 2012 General Election. Please examine the ballot initiatives and share the language with family and friends. As Governor O'Malley has said, "This year, we have a unique opportunity to move our State forward toward a more just and equal society, while defending dignity, protecting religious freedom, and investing in our greatest assets: the talents, skill, ingenuity and creativity of our people." WDC has endorsed the DREAM Act and Marriage Equality legislation and urge a yes vote on ballot questions 4 and 6.
To read all the ballot questions, please click here. Below are the statewide ballot questions:
Question 1 - Constitutional Amendment - Qualifications for Prince George's County Orphans' Court Judges
Question 2 - Constitutional Amendment - Qualifications for Baltimore County Orphans' Court Judges
Question 3 - Constitutional Amendment - Suspension and Removal of Elected Officials
Question 4 - Referendum Petition - Public Institutions of Higher Education - Tuition Rates
Question 5 - Referendum Petition - Congressional Districting Plan
Question 6 - Referendum Petition - Civil Marriage Protection Act
Question 7 - Gaming Expansion Referendum - Gaming Expansion
VOTING INFORMATION - EARLY VOTING
Early voting centers are open now through Friday, November 2 from
8 am to 9 pm. The early voting locations are: Bauer Recreation Center, Executive Office Building, Germantown Recreation Center, Marilyn Praisner Recreation Center, and Silver Spring Civic Building. The addresses of the early voting locations are provided in the above article Upcoming Campaign Events.
WDC MEMBERS HEAR STATE SENATOR MADALENO AND CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE DELANEY DISCUSS ELECTION ISSUES AT SEPTEMBER 30 BRUNCH
By Bonnie Wicklund
Seven statewide ballot questions will be decided by Maryland voters on November 6, and State Senator Rich Madaleno addressed two that he considers of primary importance, "at the heart of President Obama's agenda for moving our country forward."
Question 4, sometimes referred to as the "DREAM Act," is a referendum on the law passed in 2011 allowing any graduate of a Maryland high school, regardless of immigration status, to attend a two-year college, then transfer to a four-year Maryland college, paying in-state tuition at both (with several requirements). According to Senator Madaleno, this is the first time in our country's history that this education issue has been put before voters in this way.
Question 6, the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which allows gay and lesbian couples to obtain civil marriage licenses, was also passed by the Maryland legislature, and subsequently petitioned by opponents to appear on the ballot as a referendum. The issue has been on the ballot in other states, but nearly always as a constitutional amendment defining marriage as legal only between a man and a woman.
Opponents of Question 6 have funded an advertising campaign trying to scare people in three ways, Senator Madaleno explained. First, they have focused on people's fears about their children becoming gay, with an argument that goes something like, "If you talk about being gay with your children, they will turn out to BE gay." Foes have also suggested that permitting same-sex marriage will undermine religious rights. Finally, they are promoting civil unions as a better alternative to actual marriage. These ads are most effective with the over-65 demographic; polls show that voters under age 45 are "overwhelmingly" in favor of civil marriage for gay people, while those under 30 do not understand why it is even an issue. According to Senator Madaleno, this represents a remarkable change in attitudes since 1996, when the first so-called gay marriage bill was introduced in the Maryland legislature, and the sponsors at that time received death threats.
John Delaney, candidate for the redistricted 6th District, spoke about his motivations and passions in trying to become the seventh Maryland Democratic representative to the U.S. Congress. He is committed, he said, to bringing federal, state and local resources together to increase our economic competitiveness in order to preserve the safety net that we as Democrats care about. His second passion, he said, is women's issues.
This election, Mr. Delaney said, is about what kind of country we want to be. Traditionally, the United States has been a country of opportunity, but increasingly, he said, what matters is birthright: being born into the right family with money and education. Globalization and technology, the two powerful forces in the world economy, have helped the rich in our country and millions of poor people in other countries, but they have hurt the average American. Changing this will require a partnership between government and private business, he asserted. He pointed to his experience in business as the CEO of two successful companies on the New York Stock Exchange as one of the major reasons why he could be effective in Congress. (Mr. Delaney was co-founder and CEO of Capital Source from 2000-2009, and prior to that, the CEO of Health Care Financial Partners.)
On women's issues, Mr. Delaney praised his wife April and their four daughters as big influences on his thinking. "The best thing that ever happened to me was getting married," he asserted. His wife, the founder of Common Sense Media, has developed a successful career working on the issue of protecting children from adverse media effects, particularly the disempowering of young girls. Mr. Delaney sees the need for Democrats to protect basic women's rights already achieved, and to address the huge disparities in major industries between women and men in the workplace.
Asked to comment on the Simpson-Bowles recommendations for dealing with the debt crisis, Mr. Delaney averred that the plan was constructive, and the result of compromise in the service of the common good. He called it a tragedy that the plan was "rejected really by both parties." During the financial crisis, he continued, we missed an opportunity in not breaking up the big banks (meaning Citibank and Bank of America, in which the U.S. has controlling stakes). He disagreed with the argument that only very large banks can compete globally, believing that the benefits of scale are offset by loss of control. President Obama would be better off now, he said, if the huge banks had been broken up; on this he was let down by his advisers.
Thomas Mann Discusses Dysfunctional Political Parties
In his talk on October 26, Thomas Mann spoke about the dysfunctional politics in our country that prevent the political parties from doing what is best for the people they are supposed to represent. He included politicians, especially the Republicans, the media and the Supreme Court as contributors to the problem.
Mann, former executive director of the American Political Science Association, is currently the W. Averill Harriman Chair and senior fellow in governance studies at The Brookings Institution. He is also the author, along with Norman Ornstein, of It's Even Worse than it Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.
According to Mann, there are two underlying problems:
1-There is a mismatch between the political parties that have become vehemently adversarial and are
willing to use the tools at hand to prevent the majority from acting in the interest of the people;
2-The Republican Party has become an insurgent outlier-"ideologically extreme; contemptuous of
the inherited social and economic policy regime, scornful of compromise, unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition." Mann concludes that this move from the center makes it very difficult to enact policies to address the country's challenges.
Over and over, Mann emphasized that political parties should be willing to accept differences and to
discuss ways to work together. But, he pointed out that the Republicans decided early on to oppose
anything that Obama approved. That has led to deadlocks in many important issues. "They have been
acting in a way to try to defeat the opposition even in times of crisis," he said.
Bringing the conversation to the present election, Mann outlined the issues for which the Republicans
blame Obama: stimulus failure, overspending, deficit, health care, etc. But he pointed out that if the
Romney tax cuts and extension of existing tax cuts are implemented, the deficit will only increase.
"The big unreported story in this election," Mann said, "is the radicalization of the Republican party."
This dates back to the 60s and moves through Goldwater, libertarianism thinking, changes in the
south, Roe v Wade, religious conservatives and talk radio. It then extended to the Citizens United
decision, which allowed corporations and super PACs to contribute enormous amounts of money to the campaigns. "We are the laughing stock of the world," he quipped.
Mann also faulted the media for failing to point out the real differences between the candidates.
"This is an enormously important election," Mann said. "The system works best with two plausible
parties that care about the well-being of the country."
WOMEN'S LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING
The 2013 Women's Legislative Briefing will be held Sunday, January 27 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at the Universities at Shady Grove, Building II, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville. We are once again co-sponsoring this event. Dr. Bernice Sandler, "The Godmother of Title IX" will be the keynote speaker.
This is a great opportunity to learn about legislation that will be considered during the 2013 session of the General Assembly. We urge those of you who are members of our Advocacy Committee as well as any member who is interested in learning more about what to expect in Annapolis to participate. Admission is $15. You can register online or download a mail-in registration form at
POLITICAL BOOK CLUB:
The December 19 selection is American Emperor: Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America by David O. Stewart.
The book club meets the third Wednesday of every other month, 10:30 a.m. at members' homes. A facilitator leads the discussion for each book. Want to join the conversation? New members are always welcome.
Contact Estelle Stone at email@example.com
If you're interested in seeing what other books have been discussed, please go to www.mcWSDC.org and click on Political Book Club.
IT'S TIME TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP
Annual dues-paying time has come and gone. By now you should have received our renewal package for 2012-2013. Payments were due September 1. We hope that each of you will return the form that was enclosed with the letter as soon as possible, or go online at www.mcWSDC.org and click on "Renew Now."
Do you have ideas for future programs? Do you know someone who would be a great speaker at a future WDC event? Or would you just like to get more involved with the overall work of the Club? If so, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mcWSDC.org and click on "Volunteer" to complete the "It Takes a Village" volunteer form.
Keeping members better informed, better connected and more politically effective since 1957