Political Notebook: Institutional Memory and Outside Help

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) rarely misses an opportunity to talk about the “mess” he claims to have inherited when he took office, to seize the mantle of bipartisanship, or to accuse Democratic legislative leaders of mucking up government through partisanship or incompetence.

On Thursday, the governor said an amicus brief would be filed in support of the plaintiffs in Benisek v. Lamone now before the U.S. Supreme Court (the case involves redistricting in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District). Hogan called the state’s congressional map  “shameful,” the result of an “arrogant” pursuit of maximum Democratic seats, in his view [see related story].

During the announcement, the governor was asked about another 2018 priority — term limits for state legislators. Wouldn’t term limits result in a brain drain from Annapolis? a reporter asked.

“Some of the people have been here so long they no longer have institutional knowledge because they can’t remember it,” Hogan said to laughter and applause from the redistricting reform advocates in the audience.

Zing! But don’t tell AARP.

Outside help

A few fun numbers from the campaign finance reports submitted by the two leading candidates for Prince George’s County executive, former U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) and State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks (D):

Edwards raised the same amount from California, New York and Florida combined ($30,976) as she did from Prince George’s County ($31,506). In fact, approximately 75 percent of her donations and 80 percent of the dollars she raised were from outside Prince George’s County.

Edwards raised more money from Montgomery County ($31,800) than Prince George’s ($31,506). Part of Montgomery County was in her congressional district when she was first elected, though it was eventually carved out in the last round of redistricting – now the object of the federal case that’s headed to the Supreme Court.

In total, Edwards had 194 contributions from Prince George’s, while Alsobrooks had 1,373. About two-thirds of Alsobrooks’ contributions came from Prince George’s. See more on this race here.

Ramirez has fundraising edge in Prince George’s race

Former Del. Aisha N. Braveboy

The leading contenders in the Democratic primary to replace Alsobrooks as Prince George’s state’s attorney were close when it came to the amount of money raised in the past year, but one had a distinct advantage in cash on hand.

State Sen. Victor R. Ramirez reported $167,461 in the bank after raising $124,548 over the past year. That take included a $20,000 loan.

Former Del. Aisha N. Braveboy raised $101,340, including a $10,000 loan, and had $73,767 in the bank as of Jan. 10. The third candidate, civil rights attorney D. Michael Lyles, reported just $4,691 on hand.

Check Maryland Matters over the next few days for more analysis of campaign finance reports! 

Bruce DePuyt
Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.
Josh Kurtz
Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.


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