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.”

Roll Call Assesses The CD8 Race

Bright and early this 100th morning before the primary, Roll Call has an assessment of the CD8 race. If you didn’t know better, you’d think there were only two candidates running. Even if you believe that Jamie Raskin or Kathleen Matthews is likely to win (which you should believe at this point), I suspect you’d also want to know what impact the other five candidates might have on the two frontrunners. You won’t get any such analysis from the Roll Call piece.

What you will get is a pretty good take on the approaches of Matthews and Raskin. At this moment, it’s hard to argue that Raskin doesn’t have the better voter outreach (a point the author completely misses), but as he does note, Matthews is gearing up while Raskin is slowing down – at least his own personal campaign activity – because from now until April 11 (three days before early voting starts and fifteen days before the primary) Raskin will be in Annapolis for 8-10 hours a day, four days per week (and more as session draws to a close in late March and early April).

How will this play out?

For about four days a week, from now until April 11, a major obstacle will be out of Democrat Kathleen Matthews’ way as she runs for her party’s nomination in Maryland’s 8th District, a primary contest that could well decide the successor to outgoing Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

That is because state Sen. Jamie Raskin – the Democrat who polling and Maryland Democratic operatives say is her chief rival among six others running for this open seat – will be spending more and more time in Annapolis during the 90-day legislative session that ends only two weeks before election day.

“I was obviously aware from the beginning of the race that I’d be going back to Annapolis,” Raskin, the Maryland Senate’s Democratic whip, said in an interview with Roll Call. “I will not be able to knock on as many doors as before, but I’m spending every free minute in the evening and on the weekends out campaigning.”

During the legislative session, Raskin said he has “turned down a lot of smaller bills” this session to focus on his campaign and on issues of larger policy consequence, particularly one that would prevent terror suspects from purchasing firearms in Maryland and another that would require the use of ignition interlock devices in all cases of drunk driving.

With her opponent partially off the field, Matthews said she plans to spend every free minute of her own free time connecting with voters — and then some. On Saturday, she re-launched a door-to-door operation, starting in voter-rich Bethesda, with just 101 days until primary day. The district, which Van Hollen is vacating to run for an open Senate seat, runs from Montgomery County’s border with D.C. north to the Pennsylvania line.

How well will the early Raskin organization hold up while its candidate is off in Annapolis for three months? How diligent and effective will Matthews be in her winter campaign? Raskin has touted his “grassroots” connections and organization from the outset, and there’s no question that he’s reached a lot of voters. Matthews has to prove that she’s up to the task of countering that outreach, if not voter for voter, then at least sufficiently for her to bring her financial advantages to bear in direct mail and particularly television ads.

What role will money play in the end? Matthews already has a $200,000 advantage in cash on hand, and that’s likely to grow. While money might not be able to buy you love, it can help reach a lot of voters in a short time, particularly in a congressional race in a presidential election year.

Finally, there’s another duel playing out that doesn’t always get noticed in the contrast of the two leading candidates: Annapolis versus Washington. Roll Call highlights the contrasts.

“I’m an effective progressive legislator with a decades worth of proven experience,” [Raskin] said. “Nobody has to guess what I stand for.”

In his view, that “proven” record is why he has earned the endorsements of prominent county leaders and many of his fellow state legislators. No one from the state’s congressional delegation has endorsed anyone in the race.* Matthews, meanwhile, has secured support from national groups, including EMILY’s List, as well as a number of federal lawmakers. In her campaign’s fundraising report, which will be released at the end of the month, Matthews said she has received contributions from California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.

“The endorsements that Jamie has are not the people who have experience in this Congress,” she said. “There are certainly prominent Maryland politicians behind him, but to get endorsements from people who know how to be effective in this Congress says something.”

Raskin said his time in Annapolis over the next several weeks will say something, too.

“This is another way to reinforce my policy values and commitments with my constituents and the broader public,” he said. “They know that I am an intensely effective legislator who gets the job done.”

* This is incorrect. CD3 Congressman john Sarbanes has endorsed Raskin, his former Harvard Law School classmate.

None of these debates are unique to CD8 – what makes this so interesting is that there are so many interesting duels all unfolding in one congressional race. In 100 days, we’ll know the answers, but I’m looking forward to seeing the different fault lines play out from now until April 26.

Mayday – Again

None of the following post should be seen as a criticism of any candidate in the CD8 race. My problem here is not with Jamie Raskin or anyone else, but with Mayday, which is quite frankly about as hypocritical and naive as a political entity can get. With that said, here we go.

The super PAC that wants to end super PACs is back in CD8, attacking Kathleen Matthews – again – and this time blaming her for Marriott acting like what it is – a big business. John Fritze alerted us to it yesterday on Twitter.


Mayday argues as follows:

MAYDAY.US, the grassroots campaign committed to election reform, today released a graphic aiming to shed further light on candidate Kathleen Matthews’s involvement in pay to play politics. When she was a corporate executive at Marriott, she led a government affairs operation.

“It’s a disturbing pattern and one the voters care about deeply,” explained Executive Director Cyrus Patten. 
“The voters deserve to get answers about whether Kathleen believes it is acceptable for corporate interests to buy government support, why she contributed money to a conservative Republican when she claims to be a progressive Democrat, and why she told a mostly corporate board that she wanted to be their advocate in Congress. The people of Maryland need an advocate for them, not for corporate executives!”

The graphic shows a clear pattern of Matthews and other corporate interests contributing to legislators with the power to influence key legislation to the benefit of their industry. After these contributions were made, Congress authorized $100 million per year to promote travel, directly leading to increased profits for these corporations.

There’s even a picture:

Multiple problems. First, as before, however deliciously ironic the puckish rogues at Mayday think it is to have a super PAC arguing against super PACs, this kind of attack ad won’t help the guy they’re trying to help, Jamie Raskin. In this case, besides the general loathing for super PACs and IEs around here, this ad is deceptive and dishonest. It takes Matthews’ one acknowledged 2014 contribution to Roy Blunt and implies quite clearly that she is responsible for all of Marriott’s contributions to members of Congress. She’s not.

This “attack” is also naive to the point of stupidity. Does Mayday think that all lobbying is bad? Apparently so, because at one point they say:

“The question isn’t whether the legislation is good or bad, or whether Roy Blunt is good or bad. The question is, should federal dollars be used to increase the profits of companies solely because they can afford big campaign contributions and expensive lobbyists? And if Kathleen Matthews has engaged in that practice in the past and says she wants to continue to be their advocate in Congress, then the voters deserve to know.”

Good lord. So if I lobby a legislator on behalf of, say, laws to purchase new and better voting equipment, and I am an outside lobbyist for the company that makes the better machines, that’s no different than, say, an oil company lobbying to open up oil drilling in environmentally sensitive areas? That’s so absurd as to amount to unilateral disarmament on the part of the left. Spare me that righteous and naive bullshit.

OF COURSE IT MATTERS WHETHER THE LEGISLATION IS GOOD OR BAD. Just as one example, Eric Gally is a lobbyist for environmental and other good causes in Annapolis. Is he “bad” simply for having the word “lobbyist” next to his name? Of course not. If I lobby for election law changes or criminal justice reform, and a bill passes in Annapolis that I like, is it “bad” that I reward the legislators who helped get it passed with a donation? Apparently so, because Mayday lumps in Matthews contributions to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Senator Max Baucus, both Democrats, as objects of criticism. Again, dumb. 

And hello – Marriott advocating for federal support of travel and tourism is good too. Everyone benefits from increased activity of this kind, as it stimulates consumer spending and income to those in the tourism industry.

“Lobbying” isn’t the problem – it’s the bad things that some companies and wealthy individuals lobby for that’s the problem. The fact that a super PAC like Mayday can’t see this is an even bigger problem. I really wish they’d go away and let the candidates in CD8 slug it out on their own. We don’t need any help from naive and foolish groups that can’t even define the issues correctly.

Matthews Up On The Radio

For anyone with doubts about the intensity of the artillery barrage about to rain down on the unsuspecting residents of the Eighth Congressional District, just stop for a minute and listen. You hear it? That distant thunder of the guns? That’s the sound of Kathleen Matthews’ first radio ad going up on the air.

Kathleen Matthews, the former television news anchor running for Congress in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, is focusing on gun regulations in a new radio advertisement her campaign released on Tuesday.

The radio spot, which the campaign said will air on WTOP, quotes President Barack Obama arguing that the gun lobby is “holding Congress hostage,” a statement he made earlier this month while announcing steps his administration is taking on guns through executive action.

“President Obama is right,” Matthews says in the ad, which was announced on the day of Obama’s final State of the Union address. “The U.S. Congress is frozen with fear.”

Matthews says that she would “fight the NRA” for more restrictive background checks on guns and ammunition and would also push for a ban on assault weapons. The ideas largely mirror a policy paper Matthews released on the issue of gun regulations last month.

You can hear the ad at the Sun link.

You like the way I made a metaphor about guns out of her radio ad about guns? I am so, so pleased with myself.

Putting aside my weirdness, get used to Matthews ads like this being a regular presence on radio, in the mail, and eventually on television for the duration of the campaign (105 days – 15 weeks – from today).

Sol-Gutierrez Endorsement

Delegate Ana Sol-Gutierrez today received the endorsement of leading immigration reform advocate Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois for the CD8 primary. Here’s the press release:

MD Candidate Ana Sol-Gutiérrez Endorsed by Top Leader for Immigration Reform: Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Chevy Chase, MD–Maryland Congressional Candidate Ana Sol-Gutierrez today announced receiving the endorsement from Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois).

“I am honored to have received the endorsement of my hero, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, for my Congressional campaign to represent Maryland’s 8th Congressional District,” stated MD Delegate Ana Sol- Gutierrez. “For the past decade, we have been fighting together to change the inhumane U.S. immigration system that impacts the lives of millions of hard working immigrant families every single day. His endorsement validates my long-standing record of actions in support of fair and just immigration policies. I am encouraged that I do not stand alone in opposition to the racism and xenophobia being promulgated by Trump, Cruz, and other Republican hopefuls.”

In addition to this important endorsement from Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Democratic Candidate Ana Sol-Gutiérrez has been endorsed by a number of national, state, and local organizations, including: BOLD PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus representing its 26 current Latino members; the Executive Board of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), which represents over 300 state legislators nationwide; a number of Congressional Latino leaders including Congressmen Tony Cardenas, Chair of BOLD PAC, Xavier Becerra, Ruben Hinojosa, and Congresswoman Norma Torres ; WAND PAC, WAND PAC, a national organization of women legislators, activists, and leaders promoting peace and security worldwide; CASA en ACTION, the political arm of Maryland’s largest Latino immigrant organization CASA DE MARYLAND; and many more.

NOTE: Candidate Sol-Gutierrez was the first Latina elected in the State of Maryland and the FIRST Salvadoran- American elected in the United States. Congressman Gutierrez and Del. Gutierrez have been arrested together four times while protesting immigration policies at the White House.

BREAKING: Matthews Endorsements

Big news from the Matthews campaign. Franchot, Townsend, Boxer, and Markey all endorse Kathleen Matthews.

Top Maryland and National Politicos Endorse Kathleen Matthews for Congress

As the race for the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District nears the final 100 days, Kathleen Matthews kicked off a new round of national and local endorsements. Two of the country’s progressive heroes, Senator Barbara Boxer (CA) and Senator Edward Markey (MA) are announcing their support for Matthews. Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot and former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who will headline events in Takoma Park and Bethesda in the coming weeks, have also announced they will endorse Matthews in the April 26 primary.

Senator Boxer, who has served in the House and Senate since 1982, and is the country’s leading pro-choice advocate for women said, “Having served in the House of Representatives for 10 years, I know that starting on day one, Kathleen Matthews will have the clout, passion, and effectiveness to deliver on the issues that matter, which is what the people of the 8th district need and deserve.”

Senator Markey, who is Congress’ leader on clean energy and environmental policy said, “Having known Kathleen for 30 years, I have long admired her deep and enduring commitment to her local community as a journalist and through her service on many charitable boards. For the past 9 years as a global business executive at Marriott International, she has been a transformational progressive leader and effective advocate for the environment as she lead the company’s efforts to combat climate change.”

“As a proud resident of Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, I am happy to announce my support of my friend, Kathleen Matthews, in her campaign for Congress,” said Peter Franchot. “Having known Kathleen for many years, I believe she will bring to Congress a fresh perspective, new talent and a sensible approach to the challenges facing our state and country. She is a proven advocate for equality and social justice, and one who is also capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve meaningful results at a time when toxic partisanship has crippled Washington and alienated countless Americans from our political process.”

“I’ve known Kathleen since her early days as a news reporter for ABC-7 where she kept politicians honest, advocated for better schools and safer communities,” said Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who was Lieutenant Governor from 1995-2003 and is a co-chair of Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. “She’s been a tireless advocate for working women and working families as a journalist, and in her business career at Marriott International, where she was a powerful voice for women, minorities and the LBGT community.”