EXCLUSIVE: Warnock TV Ad Buys

I mentioned earlier that David Warnock has an ad “on TV.” Which is true. What was not clear, at least to me, was the extent of Warnock’s TV buy.

It’s big. Really, really big.

There are four major television stations in Baltimore. WMAR (ABC Channel 2), WBAL (NBC Channel 11), WJZ (CBS Channel 13), and WBFF (Fox Channel 45). Warnock has ad buys already in place with WJZ and WBFF for $197,200 and $175,100, respectively. The ad buys run from yesterday, January 18, through February 21. FCC records also show that Warnock has been in contact with WBAL and I can’t imagine he’s going to shun WMAR either.

$372,300, for two stations covering one month. That’s a lot of ads. My guess is that there’s a lot more to come after February 21.

BREAKING: Joel Rubin $$$

 Joel Rubin, the last CD8 candidate into the pool, raised $160,000 in Q4, and a super PAC supporting him raised $100,000. Here’s the press release just minutes ago:

Joel Rubin Raises $160,000 in First Months of Campaign: Outside Group Supporting Rubin “A New Voice for Maryland” Publicly Reports Raising $100,000.

 ​MD-0​8 – ​​Democratic candidate for Congress ​Joel Rubin, who just announced ​his candidacy ​last October, raised $159,​258​​​ in his first three months of the campaign. In addition, a SuperPAC called ​”​A New Voice for Maryland​”​ has publicly reported raising $100,000 so far along with the indication that it plans to support Joel’s bid for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District.​

“We are thrilled with the outpouring of support for Joel’s campaign,” said Rubin’s Campaign Manager, Jacob Dusseau, “Joel began his campaign just three months ago​ as a first time candidate​ and former civil servant, and each week we see more and more individuals stepping up to join and contribute to Joel​.”​ Dusseau added, “And a majority of our contributions are under $100, underscoring our campaign’s growing grassroots support.”

Unclear On The Concept

Shorter Adam Pagnucco to Kathleen Matthews: here’s all the reasons why your campaign for Congress sucks. You know what would really help? Support meeeee!

That’s some quality persuasion right there. Dale Carnegie would be proud.

But even apart from the “insult her, then suggest she support you” problem, the advice is terrible. Already subject to criticism, as I’ve pointed out, for being a “corporate shill and an out of touch rich white woman,” Adam thinks Matthews should run on making it easier to pick up a case of Chardonnay and enriching private liquor interests? Yeah, that’ll go over really well.

I’m sure the Matthews folks’ll be getting back to Adam any day now.

New Raskin Endorsements

Nine former presidents of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County endorsed Jamie Raskin for Congress today. Press release from the Raskin campaign:

Raskin Announces Endorsement from 9 Former Presidents of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County

 SILVER SPRING – With fewer than 100 days left until the April 26th Primary Election, Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin announced the endorsement of nine former presidents of the region’s leading woman’s political group in Montgomery County. (PHOTO ATTACHED)

“The support of these key Democratic leaders is big news and shows Senator Raskin’s broad and deep support among women in the 8th District,” said Raskin’s Deputy Campaign Manager Christa Burton. “Jamie has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, Attorney General Brian Frosh and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, but it’s hard to think of a more important grassroots endorsement in this campaign than from the women who’ve led our local Democratic forces for over four decades and created one of the strongest county Democratic parties in America.”
Dorothy Barthelmes, Madeleine Sigel, Roberta Hochberg, Anne Healy, Susan Messitte, Daphne Bloomberg, Carole Brand, Jane Merkin, and Beth Tomasello, all of whom served as president of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County, have enthusiastically endorsed Raskin’s surging campaign for Congress in the 8th District. Their collective leadership over the largest and most active Democratic club in Montgomery County spans four decades, dating back to 1973.
Carole Brand, who served two terms as President (1999-2001, 2001-2003), said, “Jamie is an effective, proven legislator, responsive to constituents’ concerns, and with a strong record of working hard to make life better for the citizens of Maryland. That’s why Jamie Raskin is my choice for Congress!”
The former presidents’ backing of Raskin’s congressional candidacy underscores a groundswell of endorsements he has received from women political leaders across the 8th Congressional District. More than 550 women have enlisted in the Women Win With Jamie team, a grassroots effort to spread his message of effective progressive leadership to woman voters throughout the Congressional District.
Another former president, Jane Merkin (President 2011-2013), stated that Senator Raskin “knows how to work across the aisle, how to build coalitions and how to compromise. These are the skills which we all know are currently lacking in the U.S. Congress — and which Jamie will bring to a Capitol Hill that sorely needs them.” Merkin pointed to Raskin’s leadership in the successful fights for marriage equality, voting rights, gun safety and environmental protection.
The Woman’s Democratic Club, formerly known as the Woman’s Suburban Democratic Club of Montgomery County, is an activist group of political women and men, including those in the legislature and prominent in state and county government. Founded in 1956 by women who ran Adlai Stevenson’s Bethesda campaign office, the club began its tradition of hosting stellar speakers in 1957 by featuring Eleanor Roosevelt. Senator Raskin has been a dues-paying member of the club, as well as a featured speaker, for nearly 15 years.
Among Raskin’s most recent supporters is Town of Chevy Chase council member Kathy Strom, a three-term former mayor of the Town of Chevy Chase. Strom joined 11 other female elected officials within the 8th District who support Raskin’s campaign, including Senators Susan Lee and Karen Montgomery, Delegates Sheila Hixson, Kathleen Dumais, and Karen Lewis Young, Glen Echo Mayor Debbie Beers, Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart, Chevy Chase Board of Managers member Minh Le, Board of Education current and former members Patricia O’Neill, Judith Docca, Rebecca Smondrowski and Shirley Brandman.
“This news is enormously gratifying,” said Senator Raskin. “These endorsements are worth their weight in gold because serious grassroots support like this is earned over years of hard work, common struggle and public service and cannot be bought. I look forward to continuing to work with these great activists for victory in April and November and for big progress in Congress and in America.”

BREAKING: Supreme Court To Rule On Obama Immigration Action

The Supreme Court has just announced that it will review a Texas judge’s order blocking much of Barack Obama’s 2014 executive orders on immigration.

The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will take up a case challenging the legality of President Barack Obama’s executive actions aimed at granting quasi-legal status and work permits to up to five million people who entered the U.S. illegally as children or who have children who are American citizens.

The high court’s widely-expected move gives Obama a chance to revive a key legacy item that has been in limbo for nearly a year, since a federal judge in Texas issued an order halting immigration moves the president announced just after the 2014 midterm elections.

BREAKING: New Poll: Van Hollen 38, Edwards 36 [UPDATED]

[UPDATE @8:57 am]: Statement from Van Hollen campaign spokeswoman Bridgett Frey:

We’re pleased that Chris Van Hollen has maintained his lead, despite the million dollar blitz of Super PAC advertising. We’re confident that voters are looking for his effective, progressive leadership that gets things done for Maryland families.

Original post follows:

Early this morning, a new Senate race poll from Patrick Gonzales was released showing Chris Van Hollen leading Donna Edwards 38-36 in the Democratic primary to replace Barbara Mikulski. The results are part of a larger poll of all Maryland voters, the poll also showing that Governor Larry Hogan enjoys a 67% job approval rating, the highest in Maryland history for a Republican governor.

Here are the top line results from the Senate poll of Democratic voters:  

Gonzales’ analysis is as follows:

This election could well test the old axiom in politics that claims “message trumps money,” because Chris Van Hollen has plenty of money and the proven ability to craft a compelling enough message, as demonstrated by his success 14 years ago, when he took on the “Kennedy Dynasty” in the Democratic primary for Congress in 2002.

Donna Edwards would wish to replicate her 2008 effort, when she cobbled together a very impressive coalition of influential, progressive groups and community organizations, which translated into broad success on Election Day.

Van Hollen is garnering 60% of the vote in Montgomery County, with 15% still undecided. Edwards has 68% of the vote in Prince George’s County, with 11% undecided.

Van Hollen’s recognition and money advantage have propelled him to a 16 point lead in the Baltimore suburbs, and a 2-to-1 lead (49% to 24%) in the Eastern Shore/Southern MD and Western Maryland rural parts of the state. But, while the Baltimore suburbs, Eastern Shore/Southern MD, and Western Maryland regions comprise 21 of the 23 counties, they make up less than 50 percent of the vote in a Democratic primary.

Edwards is up 50% to 24% in Baltimore City, suggesting resources her campaign has dedicated to messaging in the Baltimore media market are paying dividends there.

There is a bit of gender partiality in play, with Van Hollen leading among men, 45% to 30%, and Edwards ahead with women, 40% to 33%. Come April this will work to Edwards’ advantage because women make up nearly sixty percent of the vote in a Democratic primary in Maryland.

So, as stated earlier in this analysis, Maryland Democrats have two creditable candidates from which to choose. With the reward being to follow into the footsteps of a political legend,


Van Hollen’s money-advantage and establishment-backing prove dispositive?

Edwards’ grassroots strength and progressive group endorsements carry the day?

The answer to these questions is what campaigns are for and why elections are held.

Bottom Line: Slight edge to Edwards

This poll will be perceived as a positive for Edwards, although it would be even better if she were leading rather than narrowly trailing.

My own sense is that Gonzales’ analysis somewhat overstates the strengths of the Edwards campaign. While we have yet to see the 2015 Q4 fundraising numbers, my belief is that those numbers will not only show Van Hollen with an enormous financial edge, they will show Edwards with so little money as to raise questions about her ability to pay staff and other campaign essentials from now until April 26. As I and others have noted, she is likely to entirely reliant on outside groups such as EMILY’s List for her TV and other media – I don’t see her as likely to be able to afford even direct mail on any significant scale, this being a statewide race. There is no historical precedent in any race of this magnitude – anywhere, not just Maryland – where a candidate wins with such massive reliance on IE spending to win. When all is said and done, this fact is likely to take a heavy toll on Edwards’ performance when the votes are ultimately cast.

Other results from the poll:

Clinton 40, Sanders 27, O’Malley 5. Sanders leads among white voters 43-25, but Clinton leads by 61-6 among black voters, with O’Malley drawing more support (8%) than Sanders.

Trump 32, Cruz 15, Rubio 14, Carson 9, Christie 8, Bush 6. Trump has 41% among men, 22% among women (still leads both)

Maryland Right Track/Wrong Track: 60/22, Democrats 52/28, Republicans 73/14, Unaffiliated 66/15, Male 64/18, Female 57/26, White 64/20, Black 48/30

A Tragic Loss

Prince George’s community activist Greg Hall, who was nominated to be a delegate from District 24 but was rejected by Governor Martin O’Malley in 2012 based on his criminal history, died in a car accident last night in Capitol Heights.

A Prince George’s County community activist and former drug dealer who unsuccessfully sought a seat in the Maryland State House died in a vehicle crash early Monday, authorities said.

Gregory Antoine Hall, 45, was driving westbound on Walker Mill Road in Capitol Heights about 2:50 a.m. when he was struck head-on by an eastbound SUV that had crossed into Hall’s lane of traffic, county police said in a statement.

Hall was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the striking vehicle suffered injuries that were not expected to be life-threatening, police said, as did the driver of another car, which the first vehicle sideswiped. Investigators are looking into whether alcohol or speed were factors in the crash.

Maryland politicians remembered Hall on Monday night as someone who had overcome a troubled past and used his experiences to encourage young people to make better choices.

“Greg Hall had made tremendous strides in his life,” said Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s). “We all knew about some of the difficulties he had, but he made tremendous strides in turning his life around, and he was doing good work in the community. He’s going to be sorely missed.”

In 1992, as a 21-year-old crack dealer, Hall took part in a gun battle that killed a seventh-grade honors student who was leaving church with his family. Hall was charged with murder and spent 40 days in jail. But the charge was withdrawn after ballistics tests showed that the fatal bullet came from a different gun. Hall was convicted of a separate, misdemeanor gun violation.

Since then, Hall had opened his own business, worked as an aide to then-County Council member William A. Campos (D) and become a well-known advocate for some of the county’s lowest-income neighborhoods.

In 2010, he ran for state delegate, losing the Democratic primary by a few hundred votes. Two years later, after first-term Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D) was ousted from office in a corruption scandal, the Prince George’s County Democratic Committee nominated Hall to replace her. But then-Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) rejected the nomination, citing Hall’s criminal past. Hall ran for delegate again in 2014 but lost in the primary.

I didnt know Hall, but people whose opinions I value and respect expressed tremendous admiration for him. Any loss like this is a tragic one. Condolences to his family and friends.

The Post Is At It Again

It doesn’t matter ultimately, and they’re entitled to whatever opinion they want, but it’s clear this morning that the Post isn’t satisfied to simply have an opinion – they want readers, particularly casual ones, to believe that everyone else shares their view. Which leads them to some pretty heavy duty cherry picking and deception.

Our favorite hack Chris Cillizza says Sanders won.

More than anything he said, though, it was the passion and disruption that Sanders oozed from every pore over the two hours that should push Democrats on the fence about the race into his camp. Sanders effectively positioned himself as the anti-status-quo candidate, a very good position to have in this electoral environment.

That paragraph makes no sense. Sanders has been oozing “passion and disruption” for eight months now, and yet Cillizza has judged Clinton the winner of every prior debate. Suddenly, he feels differently, and in conclusory fashion. What’s changed? My feeling: now that the consensus has shifted and Sanders is viewed as “having a shot,” Cillizza feels more comfortable judging Clinton more harshly on the debates, as he does in other areas.

And Clinton is the loser per Cillizza.

So, why is she in the loser column? Because she did nothing in the debate to slow the momentum that Sanders is building in Iowa and New Hampshire. Aside from guns, where Clinton scored a clean win against Sanders, she was unable to effectively cast him as a pie-in-the-sky idealist and herself as the only person who could truly fight  — and win on — for Democratic priorities.

What debate was Cillizza watching? On health care, on Sanders’ criticisms of President Obama and on his threats to run against Obama in 2012, Clinton scored direct hits on Sanders. Yes, he had some good moments, and I wouldn’t care if Cillizza believed Sanders won, but this idea that a debate is the place to “slow . . momentum” is just stupid.

Not, however, as stupid and quite frankly mendacious as the Post’s morning summary of opinions on the debate. The headline is “Bernie Sanders won the Democratic debate, say pundits and social media.” Well, I watched about a dozen talking heads on CNN – MSNBC was rerunning the debate, a stupid decision that left them out of the conversation – all say that Clinton won, and comfortably so. How did the Post deal with this? Ignore the talking heads and select a group of mostly people you’ve never heard of, plus a few Republicans, to create a false consensus. How bad was it? Instead of even a single one of the CNN talkers, the Post cites a tweet from a CNN producer: 

You think if Teddy Davis said Hiklsry Clinton won the debate that he’d have been quoted in the Washington Post this morning? Hahaha, sure. Right.

And since they couldn’t quote him saying Sanders won – because he didn’t say it – they quote the one thing former Obama svengali David Axelrod said all night that was critical of Clinton, ignoring his several tweets about other issues and the fact that he opined last night that Clinton won the debate.
Not five minutes earlier, Axelrod tweeted this, which the Post didn’t see fit to mention.


And again, David Axelrod believes Hillary Clinton won the debate. This kind of cherry picking to create a false impression of consensus is embarrassing for a high school journalist. For the Post to do it smacks of ulterior motives.

I’m not criticizing the Post for having a different opinion than mine. I’m criticizing them for reporting that there was a consensus of opinion on Chris Cillizza’s side of the issue when there wasn’t. The Post is entitled to its opinion, as I am to mine. What they’re not entitled to is to claim a false consensus to validate their opinion. Their reporting this morning of only pro-Sanders opinions is inaccurate to the point of mendaciousness. Here’s David Axelrod with a final – and accurate – assessment this morning.