Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Nov. 7 was a big day for Democrats

Locally, statewide, and nationally, Democrats made out very well on Nov. 7. It was clear early on that the House of Representatives was going to be majority Democratic and the only question was how big the margin would be. Now it's just a question of how many seats over 230 (out of 435). Today's Washington Post lists nine undetermined House races, but only two where the Democrat is in the lead. With the recently-declared victory of Jim Webb in Virginia, there will even be a Democratic majority in the Senate. My hope is that this means that no more Alitos (or clones of Scalia) will be confirmed for any judicial post during the last two years of Bush's disgraceful reign. There'll certainly be no more talk now of a change in the Senate rules to allow ending a filibuster by majority vote so that the courts can be stacked with right-wing ideologues. There may even be a few well-deserved and overdue investigations now that Democrats will chair all committees and control the investigating apparatus in both houses of the Congress.
Statewide, the pre-election polls were starting to look a little scary for Martin O'Malley and Ben Cardin, but both won convincingly (the latter moreso than the former). Both of these winning Democrats carried the predictable jurisdictions of Baltimore City and Montgomery and Prince George's Counties by big margins and both added Charles and Howard Counties to their win list. Cardin even added Baltimore County, but O'Malley just missed out there on the home turf of Gov. Ehrlich. I was especially happy to see Cardin prevail over the sleazy, fraudulent and/or racist ploys by the opposition and a handful of contemptible Democratic politicos from Prince George's County for whom the color of Michael Steele's skin was more important than his positions on issues. It was good to see that the voting public was not taken in by them in any significant way.
In state legislative races, Democrats picked up two seats in the State Senate (although that could go back to one after absentee ballots are counted in Anne Arundel's LD31, where old guard Democrat Walter Shandrowsky leads religious right Republican Bryan Simonaire by 198 votes going into it). The Democratic gains there are in Howard's LD13 (Jim Robey/see below) and LD21 (where Jim Rosapepe smashed former Democrat and incumbent new Republican John Giannetti by better than 2 to 1). I'll admit to actively campaigning for Rosapepe.
In the House of Delegates, the Democratic gain is at least seven and possibly nine. The two seats most in doubt prior to the absentee count are both in Baltimore County. In LD8, Democrat Ellen Baisden leads incumbent Republican Joe Boteler by 47 votes. In LD42, Democrat Tracy Miller leads incumbent Republican and religious rightist William Frank by just seven votes. I'll be pleasantly surprised if both Baisden and Miller prevail. I can't resist applauding at the apparent loss of the fervently anti-gay crusader Don Dwyer in LD31. He's sufficiently behind fellow Republican Nick Kipke for the final delegate slot that his prospects for making it are slim indeed.
Locally, there was a lot of pre-election concern over whether County Executive Jim Robey would be able to overcome the advantages of incumbency held by State Senator Schrader in LD13, whether Ken Ulman could keep the County Executive position in Democratic hands in the face of all this talk about zoning and growth, and whether the Democrats could retain a majority of the County Council seats. But the county voters made it look easy. Robey defeated Schrader by over 5000 votes. Ulman sent Chris Merdon into political retirement by over 10,000 votes. And Democrats went from 3-2 on the Council to 4-1. Both Ulman and district 3 Council candidate Jen Terrasa demonstrated that getting shut out of newspaper editorial endorsements didn't mean a thing with their easy victories. (When I wasn't working in the Rosapepe campaign, above, I was doing it for Terrasa and/or Ulman.) Courtney Watson was impressive in winning the fourth Council seat in a historically Republican district.
With the election of Robey over Schrader, Democrats now have a 2-1 majority in the county's Senate delegation and a 6-2 majority in the House delelation. That means that the Democratic legislative agenda for the county should have smooth sailing on its way to enactment in Annapolis.
None of the delegate races in my district (LD13) were all that close, but I've got to say that Democrat Dave Osmundson came closer to defeating Republican incumbent Warren Miller in the very conservative and reliably-Republican LD9A than I expected.
Some Republican incumbents in low-level elective offices in the county felt the Democratic breeze blowing. Longtime Register of Wills Kay Hartleb, a Republican who was originally elected as a Democrat, leads as the counting of absentee ballots starts. She'll probably prevail, but it's no sure thing. The judges of Orphan's Court went from 2-1 Republican to 2-1 Democrat and it was clear that, if the Democrats has run a third candidate for that office, it would have been a clean sweep.
I'm going to be checking on the precinct by precinct results later on.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken,

Scalia clones? Black supporters of Steele care more about skin color than issues? You could say the same thing for the voters of Howard County blindly supporting every "D" on the ballot, completely ignoring the issues. Ulman and Robey are low down lying, corrupt, scum, who have bent over backward to give developers everything they wanted and then some. Illegal Comp Lite billed - IGNORED. Crazy charette plan - IGNORED. You forget that when dems held the majority, they filled the courts with liberal, activist wacko-s that think saying the pledge of allegiance is illegal.

Jen Terasa was so unqualified. Calvin Ball is just a babling puppet for Ulman. Robey - scum. The local Council candidates simply got a free ride due to the animosity shown toward the national offices. Voters foolishly did not distinguish between local offices and national offices. A real shame!

Here's how I propose the settle the partisan divide in this Country. Split the country into two halves. Give one side to the "R"s and the other to the "D"s, and see which side can sustain itself the longest. The "R" side, which believes in hard work, low taxes, etc., or the "D side which believes in high taxes, welfare, illegal citizens getting free education and health care, abortion on demand, and so on.

If it only could be....

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love your idea. i'll see ya on the R side & i am an indepedent. calvin ball is a nice man but a total puppet. i actually feel bad for him. ulman wont be there every step of the way to tell him what to do. what i hate is that growth is obviously slowing down anyways due to the housing market and smart home builders and developers wont start any new projects for years(at least build a lot less). ken will take credit for that where no credit is due. most brac peeps will move to odenton. ignorant people just voted for the Big D's. some dems are qualified, ie: Courtney and Mary Kay but wow Ulman as CE..

signed,
bitter party of 1

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evan,

This site is so much better when it is just you. Your guest bloggers, like Ken and demos and Yanran are nothing more than Democratic partisans spouting talking points (Scalia clones, disgraceful Bush, right wing ideaologues). I know you are a Democrat, but you much more thought and reason into your posts that it even gets me to thinking.

Please Evan, rid yourself of your guest bloggers and run this site by yourself. You are too good a writer and thinker to be associated with them.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

How easy it is to hide behind anonymity and call people names like "scum." It's like throwing rocks from behind a tree. Come on out and show yourself, o "brave" one. By the way, you might be more persuasive if you knew how to spell. Good luck if you can find the word "babling" in the dictionary. Also, it's Terrasa, not Terasa. Finally, I'd every bit as delighted as you claim to be if we could be divided into two separate nations based on ideology, which does not necessarily have anything to do with partisanship. You can damn well believe that I want no more to do with you than you want with me. I don't want your kind of people running my life. But I at least dare to identify myself.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous not bitter said...

Evan, this site is so much better without asshole commenters spewing bile, telling lies and generally whining like pouty children who can't stand to lose.

Please, Evan, rid yourself of these jerks. You are too good a writer to share bandwidth with them.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Hayduke said...

Anon #3:

Why is having blatantly partisan Dems in the local blogosphere a bad thing. Up until Steve Fine showed up, there weren't any aside from Evan's guest bloggers.

(Unless you include me as one, which you're free to do, even if I and others disagree.)

There is plenty of Republican partisanship on our local blogs. A little balance isn't a bad thing, is it?

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Anon #3 to Hayduke,

Actually, I don't lump you in with those others becasue I think you and Evan do a good job of providing reason and thoughfulness to your writing without resorting to partisan rheotric to come to a conclusion that I may not agree with, but can understand why you came to that position. People like Ken and Steve Fine, who you mentioned, are useless. I can read their type of partisan hackery anywhere else.

All i was trying to say is that I think Evan degrades his own site by allowing people like Ken and others to populate his site.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

I like to hear a lot of opinions and I think we can gain a lot of understanding and solutions to common problems through dialog. I personally prefer keeping the discussion on substance rather than name calling. One of the biggest problems we have in this country is a failure to listen to or take the time to understand each other. I grew up with family scattered all over the country: OH, CA, NY, TX, CT, and MD and I have spent a lot of time traveling our beautiful country and am always amazed by how we have incredibly intelligent good-hearted patriotic Americans in every corner of the country that do not understand the issues or concerns of their fellow Americans in other corners of the country. We need more people to engage in dialog, to pause to listen, and to go see how other people live.

Each of my guest bloggers I think adds something to dialog (though one post recently had to be deleted) and though I do not always agree with them (actually some of us disagreed pretty strongly in the last election) I do enjoy reading their take and I frankly wish they would post more regularly.

Guest blogger Ken is one of the most independent minded people I know and I am sure the Democratic Central Committee (if they bother reading this blog) are laughing so hard they have fallen our of their chairs at the notion that he is in anyway a partisan hack. He thinks through the issues and though you may disagree with where he stands on the issues I would encourage you to listen to his reasons (and I encourage him to explain his reasons). His positions are well thought out and frankly there are few people in this county as knowledgeable about Howard County politics. When Ken many years ago retired from serving our country at the NSA, he got involved in Howard County politics (he has lived in the county since before Columbia existed) and has built up a reputation as someone who puts issues over everything else, much to the dislike of the Democratic Central Committee. As he did this cycle on the Rosapepe campaign he gets into primaries where a candidate is bad on the issues and he makes sure that the candidate who is better on the issues wins.

Anon #1 and Anon #3 you may not like it, but judges are an important issue to many people and there are different opinions of what makes an activist judge (I think Ken would see Scalia as an activist judge who is often hypocritical in order to push an agenda). Let us have a dialog on this. Maybe Ken can make his case on what actions of Scalia's do not reflect an accurate and consistent interpretation of the constitution.

As to why people voted which way on local elections I think this would be an interesting thing to explore and I wonder if the next joint project of local bloggers might be to jointly with both major parties conduct a poll of voters in the county to identify voters reasons to select who they voted for each local race (County Executive, County Council, House of Delegates, State Senate). Both parties have many volunteers with experience phone banking that could volunteer time to make the calls to a sampling of voters in each district and I think both parties would benefit from learning this info. I am sure each party also has someone who can help develop the right polling methodology. Guy Guzzone was involved in the start of Mason-Dixon Polling when he was in college and I am sure would have an idea of how to develop good methodology.

Anon #2 good point on the housing market. The housing market in Northern VA is suppose to already be stagnating. Of course I still think that we need to plan to absorb any growth that we will need to face and I think it is likely the county's population will double in 40 years.

And finally I continue my urging that people use a consistent pseudonym or their own name so that dialog and can be easier. Thank you for those that are doing this!

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

Independent anon:

Why are you not registered republican?

If that's your ideology, if you want to actually live apart, why do you visit the more liberal sites, why do you register independently of party?

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jane,
i am an independent because fiscally i have republican views but socially i am pretty liberal. i was just typing away and no i dont want to live a part. i was just coming off a bad day and my emotions got to me. i am new to all of the blogs in howard county, i visit them all.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon #2,

I agree that Mary Kay and Courtney are good, well qualified candidates (victors). I believe they will do a great job in their offices.

I would have been quite ok if Doug Duncan had won over Ehrlich, even though I probably would have still voted for Ehlrich if Duncan had run (only because Ehrlich has done a good job and there was no reason I could see to not give him another term). My wife is a life long Dem, and she felt the same - she like Duncan but can't stand O'Malley's arrogance and his policy proposals (esepcially giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants).

My bitterness is waning.
Anon #1.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Thanks for your defense, Evan, but it's unnecessary. I'll only be guest-commenting here for as long as you'll have me and to the extent that I choose. I figure I'd be a failure in my politically-related activities if I didn't have plenty of enemies. But I'm not going to be silenced by them. I'll find a way to speak out for what I believe, whether here or elsewhere. They can do thing thing and I'll do mine.
As you indicate, Evan, those who have me pegged as a kneejerk partisan don't know me at all. I'd identify myself as a libertarian liberal and I can only get excited about supporting candidates (and groups) who come close to sharing my views on issues. Since I don't regard either major party as standing for anything in particular, I have absolutely no interest in marching to the tune of either. Although most of the candidates I've voted for lately have been Democrats, I've never voted a straight partisan ticket in my life and doubt that it'll ever happen. There are always some Democrats who don't meet my ideological standards. In that case, I'll either vote for their Republican opponent, go the write-in route, or leave the slot blank. There were quite a few blank slots on my ballot on November 7, but I'm not going to identify them all. Some of the Republicans I've voted for since coming to Howard County include the late Rev. John Wesley Holland (for County Council), Thomas Anderson for Attorney General in 1970, the late Bob Kittleman (when he ran his losing race for Council and was regarded by some as a moderate or even a liberal by comparison to others in his party), and former US Senator Mac Mathias (every time his name appeared on my ballot). If I lived in Allegany County this year, I'd have voted for a Republican candidate for Delegate in LD1B named Mark Fisher rather the incumbent conservative Democrat Kevin Kelly. Unfortunately, the latter narrowly won.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken,

What zinger about mi mizspelingz. How about if you learn some grammar ("They can thing thing and I'll do mine") - good one - and I'll practiss my spelllling.

I will gladly contribute money if you want to take some comedy lessons as well:)

11:32 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

THe right-wing ideologue who is hiding behind a tree caught me when I committed a typo while being too speedy. In case any impartial observers care about how my sentence should have read, it would have gone like this: They can do their thing and I'll do mine.
I'll refrain from commenting here on anyone's spelling problems in the future. And, unless I know the identity of someone who chooses to sign off as "anonymous," I won't be responding directly to them. If this thread continues, I hope we can talk about the election results without personal attacks that can't be documented.

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken,

Personal attack? You're joking, right? I was not being serious - so lighten up a bit.

1:15 PM  
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8:34 PM  

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