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.”

Jawando, Anderson & Rubin At D18 Breakfast Club

In a very snarky but nevertheless informative story, Bethesda Magazine reports today on a joint appearance by three CD8 candidates at the D18 breakfast club on Monday – Will Jawando, David Anderson and Joel Rubin.

In what amounted to a local Democratic version of this year’s Republican “undercard” debates, three underdog contenders for the District 8 Democratic congressional nomination sought to better define themselves during a joint appearance before party activists Monday.

Since there’s been no polling in the race, nor any suggestion that the D18 folks intended to make such a judgment, the “undercard” description amounted to something of a slap in the face to the three candidates – particularly Jawando, who has surpassed all expectations so far in this raise, even outraising Kumar Barve in campaign contributions in the third quarter.

That criticism aside, the story is a good summary of the comments of the three candidates. First up, Jawando.

[F]ormer White House aide and congressional aide Will Jawando emphasized his life story—growing up in challenging economic circumstances in Silver Spring’s Long Branch neighborhood—as well as his status as the only African-American in the contest. “With 52 percent people of color in Montgomery County, we have three congressmen who represent us,” Jawando noted, pointing to Reps. Chris Van Hollen, John Delaney and John Sarbanes. “All great people—but they’re three white men. So when we have an open seat, that’s when we have to choose to be inclusive.” Van Hollen is giving up the District 8 seat to run for Senate.

Next was David Anderson:

David Anderson, an official of a Washington-based internship and seminar program, intensified his efforts to position himself as the most moderate contender in a seven-person race in which most of the candidates have staked out aggressively liberal ground. Previously the only candidate in the District 8 primary to oppose the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal, Anderson highlighted Monday his support of the Pacific trade deal—negotiated by the White House but strongly opposed by many left-leaning Democrats. “My starting point is that I’m not a party-line Democrat,” Anderson said. “I’m a progressive, but I call myself a center-left Democrat.”

Finally, Joel Rubin:

Joel Rubin emphasized his familiarity with Capitol Hill, where he most recently served as the State Department’s liaison to the House after earlier service as a congressional aide. “I know how to get things done,” he declared. But Rubin, who entered the race less than a month ago, still seemed to be searching for ways to distinguish himself in the crowded field. Often speaking in generalities, Rubin observed: “This is a district where the people have an outsized influence on the way the country does its business on Capitol Hill. I believe strongly that we have to be taking advantage of our opportunities here in this district to shape the national conversation.”

Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez was invited to the Monday event, but is currently “visiting El Salvador with other Montgomery County officials as part of the county’s sister city relationship with the state of Morazan.”

There’s more information on the candidates’ positions on issues such as the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, go read the rest. Other than the unnecessary snark, the story is great.

Schakowsky Endorsement Press Release

Yesterday, I reported on Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s endorsement of CD8 candidate Joel Rubin the old-fashioned way, without benefit of a press release. Last night came the press release, so now we know not just what happened, but why.

Yesterday, Illinois Congresswoman and Vice Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Jan Schakowsky endorsed former State Department official Joel Rubin for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District. 

“I worked closely with Joel in his role at the Department of State to build support for the Iran Deal with my colleagues in Congress,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky, “I know how deeply Joel cares about our values of peace and diplomacy. He’s proven over and over that he can be an effective voice for progressive issues, I saw this when he was the founding Political and Government Affairs Director for J Street, and I know he will be ready to fight with us and for the 8th district constituents on his first day in office. That’s why I’m endorsing Joel Rubin for Congress.” 
“I am so honored by Congresswoman Schakowsky’s support for my race for Congress,” said Rubin. “Her leadership in Congress and reputation as a progressive champion for women, working families, and international diplomacy serve as a model for my candidacy. She played such an integral role in gathering support for the Iran nuclear agreement, and I look forward to working closely with her in Congress on comprehensive immigration reform, protecting our environment, making smart choices on energy, supporting women and families, and strengthening our nation’s diplomacy.”

EXCLUSIVE: A New CD8 Endorsement

Friend of the Blog Dana Beyer reports that at a J Street PAC meeting last night, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois was effusive in her praise of new CD8 candidate (and former J Street political director) Joel Rubin. Asked if her comments constituted a formal endorsement, Schakowsky said that yes, it was.

So mark your scorecards accordingly – one of the most progressive members of the Democratic House, vice chair of both the bipartisan women’s caucus and the Congressional Progressive caucus, Jan Schawkowsky has endorsed the new kid in the CD8 race.

Joel Rubin Does An Interview – With A Republican Blogger

I don’t know Joel Rubin. I’ve read a little bit, and he seems to have some good experience in the foreign policy field. There has been little suggestion of any other political activity, although he was chair of the Town of Chevy Chase Public Services Committee back when David Lublin was mayor.

Rubin is touting himself as a progressive, which is pretty well mandatory in CD8. So it was a little surprising to see him do an interview with Ryan Miner, a Republican blogger, that came across my screen this morning.

Now, let me be clear: Joel Rubin can talk to who he wants. And as a candidate getting a very late start, he needs all the free media he can get.

And it’s not even that Miner is a Republican. Although it wouldn’t be my first choice, candidates are free to speak to whomever they want.

But Ryan Miner just recently published this spittle-inflected rant about the candidates running in the CD8 primary – the very same race Rubin is running in. And I listened to the entire 22 minutes of the Rubin interview, and I didn’t even once hear him call out Miner for attacking the entire Democratic field in CD8.

In fact, Rubin was downright agreeable to pretty much everything Miner said during the interview. It’s one thing for Liz Matory to cozy up to Miner – she’s not running as a Democrat – but when a self-professed progressive Democrat running in CD8 does it, it sets off alarm bells for me.

Go listen to the interview. Go read what Miner had to say about the entire Democratic field in CD8 – he even tried to defend the indefensible efforts by the Montgomery County Board of Elections to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters.

Then proceed accordingly.

This Is A Dumb Story

There have been a series of stories that have wildly overplayed the significance of Joel Rubin’s recent entry into the CD8 race. Today we reach peak stupid with an article in the Forward entitled “It’s Jew vs. Jew (Plus 5) in Congress Race.” Uh, yeah, about that. . . .

The title alone is stupendously idiotic, not to mention offensive to pretty much everyone, including the two Jews (Rubin and Jamie Raskin). Jewish media outlets do candidates no favors with articles like this. And capping off the obnoxiousness, the author refers to Kathleen Matthews not by name but as “the spouse of MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’ host, Chris Matthews.” Classy move there, guys.

And Rubin continues to repeat the mantra that the “Iran deal is a winning issue” for him. How? Against who? David Anderson, the only candidate to oppose the deal? Everyone else agrees with Rubin on the deal. And he appears to have no other experience to recommend his candidacy that I can see.

We’re going to be getting some information soon on where this race is headed. I think I know the general direction but this time I’m going to keep it to myself until I know for sure. Joel Rubin won’t be part of that narrative yet, but he should be spending time raising money, not getting Jewish publications to write fawning stories about a guy who hasn’t proved he belongs in the conversation yet. My $0.02. 

Joel Rubin Walk Piece

Hot off the presses, ladies and gentlemen! The newest contestant in the “Who Wants To Be A Congressman?” sweepstakes has a walk piece, and today one of my wily agents of deception was able to procure me a copy. For a guy who just got in the race, it’s a nicely put together piece of campaign literature, although using the exact same words on the front as on the back might not have been the best idea. For your reading pleasure.




I don’t know who Joel Rubin is, but he’s running for Congress in CD8. More as I figure it out.


UPDATE: full campaign rollout. Email (picture below), website, and Facebook page. Rubin writes for the Huffington Post, which has a detailed bio on him. Foreign policy experience almost exclusively, private and public sector. J Streeter. Lives in Chevy Chase, married with three daughters.