2015 Top Posts #1-5

The five most read posts of 2015. Drum roll, please.

5. BREAKING & EXCLUSIVE: Liz Matory In For CD8 One of our first big news stories, the June 19 announcement of Liz Matory’s campaign, which ended up becoming less relevant when she subsequently announced that she was running as an independent.

4. EXCLUSIVE: Delegate Will Campos Resigns A September 10 exclusive that was really exclusive – I received a tip in the morning, confirmed it with several sources by mid-afternoon, and printed it before dinner. Nobody else had this story until the next day. A real mystery that has yet to be explained in any meaningful way.

3. BREAKING/EXCLUSIVE: Delaney Endorsements The August 18 post that generated more pushback than anything I have written yet, about rumors of Delaney’s impending endorsements of a raft of candidates, including Donna Edwards, Kathleen Matthews, and Anthony Brown. Also a Schrodinger moment: I’m convinced that my reporting the rumor caused it not to happen. Some of it still will, I suspect, but that remains to be seen for certain.

2. A Question That Ought To Be Asked A little investigative piece beginning the process of following the money on the alcohol debate in Montgomery County highlighted campaign contributions from the Trone family to privatization advocates Peter Franchot and Bill Frick. It generated the biggest response ever when it was published on November 12. That is, until a little piece of correspondence between a couple of elected officials came across my email . . . .

1. EXCLUSIVE: Senator Miller Writes A Letter . . . which utterly captivated my readers and blew away all other competitors for the top post of the year. Mike Miller’s love letter to Comptroller Peter Franchot was anything but typical correspondence between elected officials, and my December 16 post about the letter didn’t get a typical response. How big was the response? It had almost five times the number of clicks as post #2. Another measure: take the hits for posts 2-10, add them up, and even then, this single post outdid all of them combined. It was that big.

Well, that’s a wrap for 2015. It was fun, but I’m sure we can do even better in the New Year. What’s going to be big in 2016?With the April 26 primary looming, that’s a good bet to rate highly. But I’m sure there will be some surprises – that’s what makes this fun. So stay tuned for more breaking news, gossip, campaign scuttlebutt, feats of legislative intrigue and adventure, policy discussion, and who knows what else.

2015 Top Posts #6-10

Getting into the really big stories of the year today. Top 10 begins now.

10. More On Rockville In the midst of pre-election frenzy, my attempt on November 2 to separate fact from musslinging frenzy in the Rockville municipal elections.

9. CD8 Poll The first big foray into the wild and crazy world of utterly unscientific online polls, my August 23 post sent readers scurrying over to Scott Ewart’s blog for a rollicking, back and forth battle to claim the crown. Hint: Raskin won, but it got interesting in the end.

8. BREAKING/FIRST LOOK: CD8 Poll Results This time, a real poll, albeit an internal one. On November 23, the Raskin campaign released top lines on its poll showing him with a 9 point lead. So far, the only poll that I have seen, although rumor has it there is other data out there.

7. Jeb Bush: Black Hands Matter One of my favorite Snarkster in Chief moments, on August 21 Jeb Bush discovered the horrible dangers of Photoshop when one of his Super PAC’s photos was revealed to be a doctored picture of a black man.

6. Full Slate In Rockville Elections My August 24 post about the 2015 iteration Of Team Rockville, a post which eventually became a resource for voters looking for information on the candidates in the November 3 contest. This post missed the Top 5 by just 2 clicks. After a recount, the result was confirmed. Remember: every click matters.

Tomorrow, we’ll reach the (very high) heights of the Top 5 posts of 2015. You won’t want to miss it.

2015 Top Posts #11-15

Day 3 of our review of the year’s most popular blog posts.

15. CD8 Going National An October 2 post about the national attention being paid to the dustup at the first CD8 debate on September 30 between the candidates, particularly independent candidate Liz Matory and Democrat Kathleen Matthews.

13 (tie). Elections Have Consequences, Part The Infinity One of my first posts (September 21) about the attempted early vote coup by the GOP-led Montgomery County Board of Elections, which ended in a hasty retreat several weeks later.

13 (tie) BREAKING: Senator Karen Montgomery To Retire In LD14 The December 3 story that is expected to create a wave of falling dominoes in East County.

12. CD8: Wherein I Suck It Up And Call ‘Em Like I See ‘Em The latest Top 25 Post, published on December 29, achieved this recognition in only three days (in 2016, it’s moved up to #10). My unsparing critique of the CD8 race.

11. Two New Candidates In CD4 A blog post that ended up being more significant than the news it was reporting, this May 19 piece heralded the arrival of Warren Christopher and Alvin Thornton into the CD4 race. Neither candidate has made this much news since then.

More tomorrow, as we head into the rarefied air of the exalted 10 most read posts of the year.

2015 Top Posts: #16-20

Continuing our walk down Memory Lane, here’s five more posts y’all really liked in 2015.

20. New CD8 Candidate An August 4 post that introduced David Anderson as a candidate in the CD8 race.

19. Glass Houses? In the aftermath of the Charleston church shootings and the Confederate battle flag, my June 22 contribution to the conversation about the Confederate cavalry statue across from the Circuit Court building in Rockville. The statue will likely be removed from the courthouse location in 2016.

 18. BOMBSHELL In CD8 A silly and snarky (boy, do I love that word today!) September 28 post about the misidentification of Jamie Raskin as a woman by an Orlando newspaper following his endorsement by the Progressive Chsnge Campaign Committee and Democracy for America.

17. Raskin Hire?! My April 9 scoop about Jamie Raskin’s hiring of Marshall Cohen as his campaign manager. Marshall has joked to me that more people have read his LinkedIn profile from my post than all other sources combined.

16. Our Story Thus Far . . . . The granddaddy of all blog posts, the very first one I wrote when the lights came up on March 21. Reading it today for the first time in many months, I’m struck by how much I didn’t say in that post. It’s still a good place to start but it’s by no means where you should end.

2015 Top Posts: #21-25

Over the course of the week, I’ll be counting down the top 25 posts of 2015 (as of today, there have been 1,453 posts on Maryland Scramble to date). Today we’ll start with 21 through 25. In reverse order, of course – it’s a countdown show, after all.

25. Pena-Melnyk Lit Piece Starting off our countdown, a July 4 post that highlighted the first lit piece in any of the campaigns. An early indication of the hard work and diligence that has seen Joseline Pena-Melnyk earn the lion’s share of the endorsements in the CD4 race.

24. Anti-Semitism In Prince George’s One of the blog’s first big stories, written May 5, about a mail piece that depicted Ike Leggett and Rushern Baker as dogs doing the bidding of Chris Van Hollen, Steny Hoyer and Ben Cardin to keep Donna Edwards from winning the Senate seat.

23. BREAKING: Van Hollen COH The critical July 20 post that established Chris Van Hollen’s complete dominance of the fundraising contest in the Senate race.

22. Is Donna Edwards #McConnelling? A lighthearted November 6 post that also highlighted the role that independent expenditure spending is going to have on the Senate race. If you didn’t know what “B-roll” was, you do now.

21. “MARTIN O’MALLEY IS SO HOT OH MY GOD” This October 14 post, which links to a Buzzfeed article that shows our former governor in a bathing suit, has been consistently viewed ever since. America discovered after the first Democratic debate what we’ve known in Maryland for a long time: the guy looks good with his shirt off.

More tomorrow.

2015 By The Numbers

Maryland Scramble was born on March 21, so as of midnight last night it’s 285 days old. In that just over nine month period, the squalling, colicky infant made an awful lot of noise:

  

And the month of December was by far the best month yet. Here’s the monthly trends in terms of page views.

  
December exceeded the best prior month (October) by almost 12%. It would have been much higher but for the holiday drop off the past 10 days or so.
But it was in unique visitors that we broke the bank in December. The prior high (again from October) was 5,160. In December, buoyed by the unusual letter writing stylings of Senate President Mike Miller and Comptroller Peter Franchot, Maryland Scramble saw 7,918 unique visitors, exceeding the old record by a whopping 53%.

  
 What’s next? Well, the sky’s the limit. Each month brings new readers and new stories and new sources. I want to expand the use of guest posts: if you have something to share with the class, let me know. If you agree (or even better, disagree) with something I wrote, write it up yourself. If you think I’m spending too little time on an issue, speak up.

I’ll have a top 25 posts of 2015 up later today, so you can reminisce on your favorite pieces or maybe catch up on ones you missed. In the meantime, thank you for being part of this half-accidental, always exciting, never boring, slightly out of control thrill ride. Here’s hoping that we can make 2016 even more fun than last year. 

Birthday Friday

Today was my son Ethan’s birthday (#15) so I haven’t posted all that much, hanging out with him, eating sushi and watching TV in our pajamas – super exciting, I know. I’ve got a couple of things I’m hoping to post tomorrow, but for today let’s just go with “Happy Birthday, Ethan.”

Simultaneous Milestones

Twice in one day. Double the fun. Pick your awkward metaphor. And just under the midnight wire too.

Either way, it translates into 30,000 visitors to this fine establishment in under eight months. I’m a little full of myself right now, aren’t I? Je ne regrette rien.
  

Six Figure Blog Guy

Almost there . . .

 
Wait for it, wait for it . . . . 

 

Boom. I am very lame, but this is kind of cool. And the 100,000th page view was racked up by my impatient teenager, who wanted me to read his history essay for him. So he put me out of my misery at 7:55. Good job, Ethan.

Rolling Over The Odometer

Way back in the prehistoric days before computers ran our lives, analog odometers in cars only had 5 digits. So when you got to 100,000 miles, the digits would “roll over” back to “00000.” It was often a milestone to be noted if not formally observed, and if nothing else a moment to thank the fates that your car had lasted that long. Only two of mine have ever made it before breaking down or being sold.

Well, in a few hours we’re going to roll over the odometer here at Maryland Scramble, and in under eight months. That’s pretty impressive. And awesome.

 
Not only that, we’re looking at a simultaneous milestone: we should also go over 30,000 visitors today as well. Boom.

Believe this or not, but it still astonishes me when I go to an event like last night’s debate, and people I don’t know come up to me and say “OMG, you’re Maryland Scramble. I read you every single day.”

I’m pleased people find this blog worthy of that kind of attention, and I hope I never lose the overwhelming sense of appreciation I feel for everyone who reads, occasionally or obsessively. To each and every one of you, thank you.