Brown publicizes Republican support

robert-costa

If you read John Wagner’s story in WaPo on the reaction to yesterday’s comments on Anthony Brown’s military service made by Doug Gansler you’d see Republican Delegate Robert Costa quoted but no context on where the statement came from:

Among those rallying to Brown’s defense Monday was Del. Robert A. Costa (R-Anne Arundel), who said he found Gansler’s comments “appalling.”

“Lt. Gov. Brown and I may belong to different political parties, but as a fellow soldier, I appreciate his service to our country in Baghdad during wartime,” Costa said. “To say it’s anything less than a ‘real job’ is insulting.”

Of course, it looks like Costa himself talked to the reporter in that context. However, if you had read the version of the story by Bryan Sears in The Daily Record you’d notice this:

As part of the response to Gansler’s comment, the emailed statement from the Brown campaign also included a note about an additional comment from “a Republican who doesn’t support us reached out with this statement if you’d like to use it.” [emphasis added]

The statement from Del. Robert A. Costa, R-Anne Arundel said:

“Lt. Gov. Brown and I may belong to different political parties but as a fellow soldier, I appreciate his service to our country in Baghdad during wartime. To say it’s anything less than a ‘real job’ is insulting.”

According to his biography, Costa served in the U.S. Army from 1981-1985.

While Costa may not openly support Brown for Governor, he certainly coordinated things with the Brown campaign to give them this statement to put out as part of their press statements. Where did the coordination with Brown come from and how do we know who actually made contact first?

When Costa flipped from opposition to gay marriage to voting for it (after a claim of being undecided for a bit), there were rumors and speculation at what the O’Malley-Brown machine might have promised him for his vote. The coordination with the Brown campaign on this matter by Costa could help add fuel to the fire of that speculation.

Otherwise, why would Costa even get involved in a Democratic primary? Why interfere when the other side is in the middle of self-destructing? Especially when you consider that Costa was lending cover and support to the likely Democratic nominee who was already panicking about polling gains from his nearest opponent.

If we only had gotten the version of events from John Wagner and others, we never would have known that the Brown campaign was responsible for shopping that Costa statement to the press.

Another note:  Costa only got a 58% rating on the Legislative Scorecard put out by conservative site MDPetitions.com. Some of the votes he made that disagreed with their positions included voting for the Rain Tax and voting for gay marriage.

What was Ron George’s press secretary thinking?

ron-george-tapemeasure

Tommy Rodriguez, Ron George’s deputy campaign manager and press secretary, sent out a press release today. Rodriguez is yet another gubernatorial campaign press guy who is hostile to bloggers so I didn’t get it directly from the campaign, but I did manage to get it nonetheless.

Here’s the release:

For Immediate Release
April 22, 2014
Media Contacts: Tommy Rodriguez – (410) 544-3128
press@voterongeorge.com

FINDING HUMOR IN THE MIDST OF PARTISANSHIP

Annapolis, Md. – Ron George, Republican candidate for Governor of Maryland, has released the following statement:

“Governor O’Malley invited legislators on the final day of session to a reception at the Governor’s House. So, never missing an opportunity to invoke humor in the midst of what could be an awkward moment, I brought a tape measurer and began measuring the curtains. When the Governor came over asking what I was doing, I asked him if he would not mind holding the other end. I thanked him for seeing the humor in the situation. The whole room burst into laughter. The two pictures below tell the story.”

The pictures referred to in the statement include the one I used at the top of this post and the one I’ve included at the bottom of this post.

These pictures were taken the day of Sine Die, which was April 7. Even if this release might have been newsworthy in the days immediately following Sine Die, it’s extremely stale for a press release 15 days later on April 22. With that being said, I really don’t think it was newsworthy enough for a press release even when it wasn’t old. Too many campaigns are under the mistaken perception that just sending it out as a release makes it newsworthy. They should ask a reporter or editor about this notion sometime if that’s what they think.

Of course, I’m trying to figure out what a tape “measurer” is as opposed to a tape measure. It’s hard to tell if that’s a typo or a mistaken idea of what the term really is. Additionally, the proper name (denoted by capitalized words normally) of the house the governor and his family reside in is Government House, not the “Governor’s House.”  Granted, you could say the “governor’s house” in that instance but not the capitalized form of it, if you wanted to be correct.

The pictures themselves aren’t particularly visually appealing (that could be a result of the camera or photographer used) and I’m not sure how appealing to bipartisanship and your cordial relationship with Martin O’Malley helps in a GOP primary situation.  All in all, this seems like an incredibly misguided press release that will likely get little or no coverage and plenty of mocking.

rongeorge-tapemeasure2

Listen to me on Free State Radio Network tonight

freestateradio

Tonight, I will join Jimmy Braswell and his co-hosts as a guest on The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy on the Free State Radio Network. Be sure to listen in the 8 p.m. hour. I will be on around 8:30 to discuss some of the recent blogging I’ve done here at The Quinton Report.

 

 

Watch all of the Brown campaign’s tracker video of Gansler

flip-camera

The use of trackers in campaigns has been discussed before – specifically as it related to the Anthony Brown campaign (and the checkered pasts of Justin Schall and Jim Messina.) I noticed earlier today that the Buzzfeed version of the story on Doug Gansler’s comments about Anthony Brown’s military service included an embedded video from a YouTube account with the name of MD Gov Tracking.

You can watch 23 videos on that account that appear to have been filmed by the Brown campaign’s tracker who is shadowing Doug Gansler. Admittedly, this is just the video they have chosen to post on Youtube. I would hazard a guess that the Buzzfeed article resulted from the story being shopped by the Brown campaign, assuming this account is actually theirs (and that likelihood is extremely high.) If this Youtube page is indeed something done by the Brown campaign, it’s missing an authority line as required by state law.

UPDATE: To clarify, the Buzzfeed article had a short video (apparently uploaded to their server) with just the pertinent comments. The full video, which they also embedded from Youtube, is what enabled me to find the MD Gov Tracking account. A November story indicated the Brown tracker’s name is Jeff Moring. I’m not sure if that is the person still doing that job for Brown.

In case this account or any of the other videos on it disappear later, here’s a screenshot:

tracking

 

 

Breaking: Shooting outside National Zoo in DC

DC-police-patch
NBC Washington

Police confirm one man has been injured in a shooting outside the National Zoo Monday afternoon.

Stay tuned for updates.

UPDATES

WTOP:

The shooting just after 5:15 p.m. Monday occurred near the 3000 Block of Connecticut Avenue NW but there’s no confirmation whether the person shot was a man or a child.

Police have shut down Connecticut Avenue between Devonshire Place and Cathedral Avenue.

WTOP’s Director of Traffic and Transit Operations, Jim Battagliese, was at the zoo and tells WTOP he heard shots.

WUSA

There is heavy police presence at the National Zoo after unconfirmed reports of shots fired, WUSA9’s Bruce Johnson reports.

Police say a male has been shot in the 3000 block of Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Officials are looking for two black males, one of them is wearing a black shirt and anotheis wearing a purple shirt.

WUSA9’s Bruce Johnson heard shots being fired as thousands came to celebrate ‘African American Day & Easter Monday.’

The National Zoo is currently closed. They confirmed the incident happened outside the zoo.

WTOP reports that “the victim is conscious and breathing.”

NBC Washington reports that two men were shot. Neither has life-threatening injuries. One man was shot in the arm and the other in the hand.

Democrat implies opponent’s military service wasn’t a real job

brown-uniform

Buzzfeed reports:

In a recent ad, Brown referenced being a military lawyer in Iraq.

Speaking at the the Maryland gubernatorial candidate’s forum Monday, Gansler seemed to take issue with Brown’s ad, saying that being governor is “a real job.”

“You know I’m running against somebody who has never managed anybody, never run anything. You know his ads are about how he was a lawyer in Iraq, and that’s all fine and good, but this is a real job.”

Just when Gansler had started picking up some momentum, he suffers a self-inflicted wound today. I’ve included Anthony Brown’s official military portrait above for reference.

Save for one job at a law firm, Gansler has drawn a paycheck from the state or federal government for the largest portion of his professional career. Of course, none of those involved deployment to a combat zone or receiving a Bronze Star, like Brown’s deployment to Iraq as a JAG Officer. I’d like to see Doug Gansler trying to fast-rope out of a helicopter or jump out of an airplane while wearing 35 pounds of combat equipment and 15 pounds of reserve parachute. Those are both things Brown had to do (along with numerous other tasks) to earn the Air Assault wings and Parachutist wings you see on his uniform in the picture above. Brown was a distinguished military graduate in the MIT ROTC program when he graduated Harvard and he’s worked his way up the ranks to Colonel, which means he has been promoted five times and gone through numerous courses of study to reach those ranks. Before he became a military lawyer, Brown graduated flight school and flew helicopters. Brown served on active duty in Europe with the 3rd Infantry Division. He re-branched to Judge Advocate Corps from Aviation after he became a reservist.

Brown’s career after law school included a clerkship for a federal judge, just like Gansler. And, just like Gansler, Brown has worked at a law firm. Brown’s civilian job record looks about the same as Gansler’s – other than Gansler’s political career focused on the legal arena. Maybe these comments today were an attempt to emphasize the new information that came out on Brown’s previously unreported job at a Merrill Lynch office in Maryland?

Regardless, Gansler really stepped in it with his comments today. He hit what is possibly the new third rail of American politics – appearing to criticize someone’s military service. I  am not a fan of either Brown or Gansler politically but, as a veteran myself, I’m behind Brown and highly critical of Gansler on this issue. This is a blunder of monumental proportions when you look at all the military personnel and veterans who live in Maryland. Gansler claiming his job as attorney general in a climate-controlled office or courthouse in Maryland is a real job while slamming Brown’s job deployed as a JAG officer in the desert of Iraq as not a real one rings hollow.

UPDATE

A report from The Daily Record has reaction to the comments:

Jon Soltz, chair of VoteVets.org, a political action committee that endorsed Brown for governor, called the statement “slime ball politics.”

“Doug Gansler needs to stop smearing those of us who served in Iraq as not having had a ‘real job,’” Soltz said in a statement. “It’s a horrible insult to all those men and women who put their lives on the line, and especially those who died, in service to this country.  Additionally, Mr. Gansler, if he chooses to attack an Iraq War veteran, ought to at least admit that the person he is attacking has been serving as Maryland’s lieutenant governor.  This kind of slime ball politics is what turns people off to our democratic process, so Mr. Gansler is doing no favors for Maryland or our democratic electoral system by playing in the gutter like this.”

Soltz went on to demand an apology from Gansler.

The video of Gansler’s remarks is below. It appears the remarks were  posted to the account of the Brown campaign’s tracker assigned to Gansler.

Puzzling endorsement of Steve Schuh by Eric Knowles

schuh-knowles

Over the weekend, Eric Knowles endorsed Steve Schuh for County Executive in Anne Arundel County. This endorsement was puzzling for a number of reasons.

Why did Knowles make a political endorsement on Easter weekend and actually expect anyone to notice it?

Was this choice of timing intentional or incompetence by Knowles?

Why is a candidate allied with the Campaign for Liberty endorsing a candidate in Steve Schuh who supported the Rain Tax?

Was the endorsement a result of the promise of a favor to Knowles or one that came due after the horrible week Schuh had last week?

It is possible this endorsement was concocted by Steve Schuh after his temper tantrum last week outside the Anne Arundel County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, for which he subsequently apologized. However, I question the judgement of Knowles for getting involved in the middle of what is already becoming a hotly contested primary for County Executive. That race has all appearances of turning into a nasty one and it doesn’t appear that getting involved in it on either side makes much political sense for Knowles.

Whatever the reason,  it makes little sense from any standpoint. 6:52 p.m. the night before Easter is not a good time to send out any message you actually want people to read, let alone a political endorsement. It’s the type of thing like what David Vogt did last summer when his failed congressional campaign kept delaying a “big-time” endorsement announcement until a Saturday morning in the summer.

Eric Knowles should be worried about his own opponent Don Quinn more than who wins the county executive race.

Anthony Brown’s campaign in “panic mode” as Gansler gains on him

brown-gansler

I’ve had several discussions behind the scenes with people since last week that indicates the campaign of Anthony Brown is in “panic mode” following the internal campaign polling release by the Doug Gansler campaign. The poll shows Brown up 9% on Gansler after being up 23% in January. The internal Gansler numbers from January that were shown in last week’s release appear to be pretty close to media polls (by WaPo and The Baltimore Sun) around the same time. Do Brown’s internal numbers show something similar?

The state’s mishandling of its Obamacare exchange site seems to be fueling the desertion of Brown by voters, who appear to have shifted to undecided for now. Gansler’s campaign has hit Brown with a microsite – Did Anthony Brown Come Clean Today? – focused on the issue as well as television and radio advertising.

The ad war has picked up on television over the past week between the two campaign and there have been other signs that the Gansler campaign smells blood in the water. The Democratic Primary has the potential to get really nasty now if this trend continues.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky tells aides to “violently rape” pregnant reporter

zhirinovsky

Daily Mail:

A pregnant journalist was recovering in hospital last night after a pro-Kremlin political leader in Russia told two male aides to ‘violently rape’ her.

Nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky launched his extraordinary tirade after reporter Stella Dubovitskaya asked him an innocuous question about sanctions against Ukraine.

[…]

 

In Moscow, Zhirinovsky’s conduct towards the pregnant reporter has been referred to the Russian parliament’s ethics commission and he faces legal action from Miss Dubovitskaya’s employer, news agency Russia Today.

[…]

After Miss Dubovitskaya’s question, the founder of the far right Liberal Democratic Party began shouting before manhandling two young male aides towards the pregnant mother-of-one.

He then shouted to them: ‘When I say, you run to her and violently rape her.’

A male journalist told Zhirinovsky: ‘She is pregnant, why are you attacking her?’

Zhirinovsky then pushed two aides towards the journalist, who is six months pregnant, shouting: ‘Go and kiss her. Grab her.’

One physically touched Miss Dubovitskaya, to the shock of the watching press, with several female reporters recoiling.

At this point, another female reporter,  Yulia Chuchalova from news agency Interfax, told Zhirinovsky: ‘This is derogatory, humiliating – what are you doing here?’

Zhirinovsky hit back: ‘What are you doing intervening here, you lesbian? Get out of here.’

He shouted: ‘This is no place for you if you’re pregnant. We need healthy people. Pregnant women should not show up at work. Sit at home and look after your child, got that?’

He then shouted ‘get out of here, you damned lesbians’.

Russia Today plans pursuing legal options against Zhirinovsky, including suing him.

This won’t end well – casting underway for Capitol Hill staff reality show

capitol-dome

This is a train wreck waiting to happen, and as Mother Jones notes, it likely would face issues getting actual Congressional staff members to participate.

Washington Examiner

Sources tell the Washington Examiner that a “House of Cards” veteran is working to produce a reality show based in the district starring “D.C. up-and-comers,” including Capitol Hill staffers. The show is currently in development, and one source said there’s already been a round of casting.

Mother Jones discusses the actual casting call :

(It’s unclear how many Hill staffers would actually be up for this, since most Senate and House offices probably wouldn’t allow employees to take part in a potentially revealing reality series.)

Mother Jones obtained the casting call, which is dated April 14.

casting-call

Naked DC has more:

They already have a reality show. It’s called Veep. Apparently, though, that’s not enough, and the demand for politically-oriented drama programming like House of Cards and Scandal has led some television consumers to assume that political jobs are both engaging and sexy, neither of which is actually true, unless you like watching people juggle cell phones while wearing beat-up Tory Burch flats and the same brown shift dress from three days ago that they picked up off the bathroom floor because they haven’t had time to do laundry since the last administration. Also, you can watch them binge drink and “network.”

Fortunately, this is still in the formative stages, so there’s hope that it will fall apart before it ever materializes. Then again, anyone who advocates the mass dismissal of elected leadership and/or the total annihilation of Washington DC by asteroid may want something like this to air, because once it does, America will definitely be rooting for the asteroid.