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Van Hollen Beats Edwards in Democrat Senate Primary in Maryland

The establishment Democrats won out last night in Maryland, where old-line Democrat favorite defeated fiery upstart Donna Edwards in a bruising Primary Race with racial undertones. Not that Von Hollen isn’t a good guy, or a great candidate – it is just his willingness to cave to the Republican Reich with the other Yellowback Donkeys.

Van Hollen wins Maryland Democratic Senate primary

Rep. Chris Van Hollen has won the Democratic primary to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski in Maryland, defeating Rep. Donna Edwards tonight.

Van Hollen had 56 percent to 37 percent for Edwards with 14 percent of precincts reporting, when The Associated Press called the race. (See results here.)

Van Hollen had the support of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and many of Maryland’s prominent elected Democrats, but Edwards’ campaign won strong support from African-American voters and EMILY’s List, which spent millions of dollars on her behalf. Van Hollen’s own campaign significantly outraised Edwards, though.

Van Hollen is unlikely to face a serious general election challenge in deep-blue Maryland.

 

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Democrat Primary

 

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In Baltimore Ex-Felons Rock the Vote

Not sure there are enough ex-felons in the City of Baltimore to change the traditional political fault lines, but it at least is a beginning in restoring the rights to a group of folks who may be able to build the foundations of a new life after incarceration.

Tearing another piece of that New Jim Crow down so beloved by Republicans as a means to suppress voters of color.

In Baltimore, ex-felons cherish newfound right to vote

On the November night in 2008 when the nation elected its first black president, wild celebrations broke out in west Baltimore. But when Perry Hopkins jumped up from the steps of the Chinese takeout where he was sitting and tried to join the party, he was quickly put in his place.

“Somebody looked at me and said: You got a record, you can’t vote. You ain’t got nothing to do with this, you can’t claim this,” Hopkins recalled. “And it hurt.”

A wiry, intense 54-year-old, Hopkins has been barred from voting thanks to an extensive criminal history that he attributes to a past addiction problem. “I’ve done five years three times, and four years once, so I’ve got roughly 20 years on the installment plan,” he said. “I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth.”

Of being disenfranchised, Hopkins said: “I felt like my hands were tied behind my back and I was being beaten.”

Now that feeling is gone. On Thursday, Hopkins cast his first votes ever in Maryland’s presidential and mayoral primaries. (He won’t say for whom he voted.) And as an organizer for Communities United, a local community group, he rounded up scores of his neighbors — many of them also former felons — and drove them in a van to the polls, too. “Hey, come vote!” Hopkins was shouting to anyone who would listen Thursday as he stood at a busy intersection, loading up another van with people.

In February, prodded by a grassroots campaign by Communities United and other voting rights and civil rights groups, Maryland restored voting rights to people with felony convictions as soon as they’re released from prison — re-enfranchising an estimated 40,000 predominantly African-American Marylanders. Previously, they’d had to wait until they had completed probation or parole. Democratic lawmakers overrode a veto by Maryland’s Republican governor to push the measure into law. Communities United says it’s registered about 1300 new voters since the law passed.

The move was perhaps the biggest victory yet for a nationwide movement to scrap or weaken felon disenfranchisement laws, which shut nearly 6 million Americans, disproportionately non-white, out of the political process.

Reginald Smith, who was in prison for 14 years after voting at an early voting site for the first time “in a long time.”

On Friday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffeannounced an executive order that re-enfranchises more than 200,000 felons, a move that could boost Democrats in the crucial swing state this November. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin last week signed a law that softens that state’s felon voting ban. And a ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court, expected imminently, could dramatically reduce the number of crimes that lead to disenfranchisement there.

In Maryland, opponents of the change argued that it makes sense to require former felons to complete their full sentence — meaning probation or parole — before getting their rights back. But several of the newly re-enfranchised who Hopkins ferried to the polls Thursday said emphatically that the right to vote was itself a powerful spur toward reintegrating back into society.

“Not being able to vote was hindering me from actually being considered as a full citizen, and it was hindering my whole rehabilitation process,” said Reginald Smith, moments after voting for the first time in decades. “Because I was still being punished for something that I already served time for.”

“Being able to vote, it just makes me feel that much more positive about myself,” said Robert Mackin, 54, shortly before he cast the first ballot of his life. (Who did Mackin plan to vote for? “I sure know it ain’t gonna be no Trump.”)…Read the Rest Here…

 

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Donna Edwards, Rogue Democrat

Donna’s problem with the Congressional Black Caucus is she is more like Bernie, than Hillary. The CBC, which has sold their souls to the old guard, won’t support one of their own. Donna is refusing to be bought out by the old guard Democrat Party supporting a do-nothing CBC…

She apparently also isn’t real big on being a participant in the CBC Cabaret Circuit of expensive galas put on with taxpayer and donor money.

And that’s a problem.

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Edwards confronts black lawmakers over refusal to back her

Locked in a surprisingly competitive Senate race with party favorite Chris Van Hollen, Edwards is pressing for more support from the Congressional Black Caucus.

On the verge of a possible upset of the Democratic Party’s longtime golden boy, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, in Tuesday’s Maryland Senate primary, Rep. Donna Edwards has a question for her fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus: Why aren’t more of you endorsing me?

POLITICO has learned that Edwards met privately last week with several CBC members to voice her frustration that so few African-American lawmakers had offered her their support, according to five sources familiar with the meetings.

Only four of the 46 CBC members — Reps. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Lacy Clay of Missouri, Robin Kelly of Illinois and Hank Johnson of Georgia — are backing Edwards over Van Hollen, an unusually small number for a group known for standing by fellow African-American lawmakers. Meanwhile, Van Hollen has been making hay over his growing number of endorsements from black political leaders in Maryland, including some in Edwards’ district, though he has yet to be endorsed by a CBC member.

Edwards, who won her House seat by defeating Al Wynn, a popular member of the CBC, in a Democratic primary in 2008, has had a strained relationship with many black lawmakers from the start. But with she and Van Hollen running nearly neck-and-neck in a primary that many expected Van Hollen to win easily, Edwards has been reaching out over the past two weeks to members of the CBC to ask why they’re not backing her bid to be only the second black woman elected to the U.S. Senate. She’s also pressed her case with lawmakers at the Democratic Club restaurant, where members often eat.

Sources close to the CBC and lawmakers familiar with the conversations said some of Edwards’ CBC colleagues responded to her in frank terms. Members of the CBC have long considered her abrasive and said she’s not an easy colleague to work with.

“She has not developed good relationships with the members of the CBC, quite frankly,” said a source familiar with the CBC. “A lot of people find her difficult.”

 

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Democrat Primary

 

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Racial Politics in Va Hollen v Edwards Primary Senate Race in Maryland?

This one is looking at the wrong issue.

Racial politics upend Democratic Senate primary in Maryland

The race was Chris Van Hollen’s to lose, but Donna Edwards has turned it into a nail-biter.

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Donna Edwards bounded up the walkways of more than a dozen modest homes in a largely African-American neighborhood here on a recent Saturday afternoon, posing for photos and sharing a simple message: I’m just like you.

The Democratic congresswoman running for Senate reminded one family that she, too, is a single mom. She talked about working minimum wage jobs earlier in her life, and lacking health insurance.

Six months ago, Edwards was an afterthought in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski. The race was Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s to lose — a star in House Democratic leadership, he would swamp the field with his fundraising and big-name endorsements, the thinking went.

But as the April 26 primary approaches, Edwards has pulled even or possibly slightly ahead of Van Hollen in one of the most hotly contested Democratic primaries of 2016. She has moved the needle with an explicit appeal to African-American voters, who typically make up about two-fifths of the electorate in Maryland Democratic primaries.

A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released Tuesday showed a neck-and-neck race, 44 percent for Edwards to 40 percent for Van Hollen. Edwards led by 10 points in a Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll last month.

Edwards is trumpeting the historic nature of her candidacy — she would be the first African-American woman in the Senate since the 1990s — and outside groups are playing up her personal background in ads in the pivotal D.C. media market.

“It is the rationale for my running for the Senate seat … It’s about the perspective, the unique perspective that I would bring to the Senate,” Edwards said in an interview. “What people are saying is that I walked in their shoes. I walked in their shoes as a working person … as an African-American woman … as a mom.”…

Van Hollen criticizes what he calls Edwards’ thin résumé on Capitol Hill, painting her as a partisan bomb-thrower who has shown little ability or interest in working across the aisle to get something done.

Edwards, in turn, casts Van Hollen as an accommodating moderate. She says he was willing to cut entitlement programs to clinch a budget deal with Republicans. And she’s slamming him for supporting past trade deals, a potent line of attack among liberals as Congress prepares to take up a massive trade deal next year.

“There are differences when it comes to things like Social Security. Mr. Van Hollen has demonstrated that when push comes to shove that he’s willing to compromise on cuts to Social Security and Medicare,” Edwards said. “I think those are nonstarters.”

That one line I highlighted is why Van Hollen should lose this race, and the reason voters are abandoning him. Democrats have been in accommodationalist politics since Bill Clinton. And what it has got the country is a destroyed middle class, a economy in the dogpile, a housing meltdown, an illegal war, and the largest depression since the Great Depression. Ergo- the middle-class, the poor, and Progressives have been getting screwed by chickenshit Democrats reaching out their hands to Republican Rattlesnakes. If the entire Black Caucus bus ran off a 10,000 ft cliff tomorrow…Not a damn thing would change. President Obama has been a successful President…In spite of conservative racism based obstructionalism. I wonder how much better he could have been if his early advisers hadn’t counseled him to sell the country down the river for some fake bipartisanship. It has little or nothing to do with race.

I would like to see some people elected who understand clearly we are in a war with the American ISIS.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2016 in Stupid Democrat Tricks

 

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Brave Montgomery County, Maryland Cops Receive Medal of Valor

Kudos to these two Montgomery County, Md. Cops who risked their lives to pull an unconscious man from a burning car. Often here, we talk about the actions of bad cops… Time to take note when the good men and women are out there doing what they do.

Two Montgomery County police officers were given a Medal of Valor on Friday for rescuing an unconscious man from a burning car on Sept. 1, 2015.

The incident was caught on one of the officer’s “in-car camera.” The video shows a car on the beltway going up in flames, while 34-year-old Rasad Isreal was trapped inside, unconscious.

Montgomery County police officer Cody Fields, who was the first to arrive on the scene, ran toward the burning car.

“The flames are coming up, they’re nibbling at our feet, they’re coming up, and we see the dashboard melting, see the windshield melting, just everything around us is kind of completely becoming more and more engulfed in flames,” Officer Fields said.

Also putting his safety on the line, Officer Brian Nesbitt arrived on the scene, and ran in to help.

The driver’s side of the car was blocked against the jersey walls of the beltway, and the officers were forced to use the passenger side door to get into the vehicle. Once officers were able to get the door open, they reached in, grabbed Israel from the driver’s seat, and dragged him across the center console, while fighting the seat belt he was wearing.

“I’m very thankful for them,” Israel said.

On Friday, Israel got a chance to say thank you in person to the two men who saved his life.

“Four or five seconds longer it would have been a wrap. I would have been gone,” Israel said.

The two officers we’re honored for their brave actions at the 42nd Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce-Public Safety Awards, and received a standing ovation as they were given the gold medal of valor, the highest award given in the police department.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, News

 

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The CBC…Again

Donna Edwards is a pretty decent politician, and unlike some folks in the House and Senate has a pretty clean reputation…I would have to believe she would have a pretty good shot at winning a Senate Seat in Maryland.Looks to me like some “small wiener” politics on the part of a certain Caucus member.

Congressional Black Caucus PAC passes on Edwards nod

The political arm of the Congressional Black Caucus has decided not to endorse Rep.Donna Edwards for Senate — despite the fact that the Prince George’s County Democrat would be the first African-American elected to the chamber from Maryland.

The CBC’s political action committee decided to table Edwards’ endorsement during a meeting late Thursday night, multiple sources with knowledge of the decision told The Baltimore Sun. It is not clear whether the board will take up the matter again.

The decision, first reported by Politico, is a blow to Edwards, who has made the historic nature of her potential election a central component of her message, and who is hoping to turn out a high share of black voters in her campaign to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.

But that effort has been undercut by her opponent in the race, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County, who has secured endorsements from some of the state’s best known African American leaders, including Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

An Edwards campaign spokesman dismissed the decision, noting that former Rep. Al Wynn is a board member of the CBC’s political action committee. Edwards defeated Wynn in a 2008 primary  that was among the most closely watched House races in the nation at the time.

“This result does not come as a surprise given that former congressman turned lobbyist Al Wynn, whom Donna defeated in a Democratic primary in 2008, is an active member of the PAC board,” Edwards spokesman Ben Gerdes said in a statement.

Wynn, who represented Maryland’s 4th Congressional District from 1993 to 2008, declined to comment.

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus have endorsed Edwards, including Democratic Reps. Lacy Clay of Missouri, Robin Kelly of Illinois, Hank Johnson of Georgia and Gwen Moore of Wisconsin. The caucus itself does not endorse candidates and the PAC’s board is made up of only a small number of CBC members.

Still, Edwards has received the support of only a fraction of the CBC’s 46 members.

There was initially a sense that some members were waiting out of respect for Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat and former CBC chairman who had considered a run for Senate himself. But when Cummings announced this month he would not seek the seat, there was no groundswell of CBC support directed toward Edwards.

A poll released in January by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies found a close race, with Van Hollen ahead only slightly and within the survey’s margin of error. Among black voters, however, Edwards led 65 percent to Van Hollen’s 15 percent.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2016 in Democrat Primary, Stupid Democrat Tricks

 

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Maryland Cop Who Put His Gun to Homeowner’s Head Sentenced to Prison

Imagine you have gone out with a friend to a restaurant or a ball game, and your friend drives. You get home, and your friend pulls the car in front of your house and you talk for a few minutes before exiting the car to go to your house. A Cop pulls up, and claims you are “illegally parked”, even though thee are no no-parking signs on the street – and you are still in the car with the engine running. You explain to the Cop that this is your house, show him your ID and get out to go home, when the Cop pulls out his gun, and points it in your face while screaming at you – threatening to kill you. That was exactly the situation in PG County in the Maryland suburbs last year. Fortunately a bystander caught the cop on video.

Justice actually happens…Sometimes. This one was an egregious case of a Prince George’s Cop, in the suburbs of Washington, DC attacking a pair of men, one of whom was being dropped off at his home by his friend. The motive apparently was to show off for some of the Cop’s friends who were on an illegal “ride along” on that day.

 Former Md. police officer sentenced for pointing gun at man’s head

The victim of the Police Assault, William Cunningham speaks to the press outside the Courthouse.

A former police officer who was found guilty of holding his gun to a Prince George’s County resident’s head to intimidate him will serve five years in prison without the chance of parole for his actions.

The sentence was the mandatory minimum that former Prince George’s County officer Jenchesky Santiago could have been given. He faced up to 45 years behind bars. He was convicted in December of first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun during a crime of violence, and misconduct in office.

Santiago’s actions were captured on cellphone video, which was a key piece of evidence at his trial.

The incident happened in 2014 after Santiago, while on patrol, approached a car that he claimed was illegally parked in a Bowie neighborhood. When a passenger in that car tried to walk off to his home, Santiago ordered him back into the car, pulled his weapon when the man refused, and dared the man to a fight. He can be seen on video holding his gun up to the victim’s face.

Before handing down the sentence, Judge Dwight Jackson called the case “sad on a lot of levels” and said there were “no winners … only losers.”

Jackson, the son of a police officer, told Santiago “you have diminished them and what they do.” He speculated that Santiago was “perhaps bored, or perhaps wanted to show off” to two friends whom he had brought on an unauthorized ride-along that day.

The judge also heard at times tearful statements from Santiago’s mother, sister and fiancee, who described him as a caring, loving person devoted to his two young children. Jackson later said, “The person who is here to be sentenced bears no resemblance to the person they know.”

Prosecutors also accused Santiago of not taking responsibility for his actions. In a recorded phone conversation from jail, Santiago “described the fact that not only was he not remorseful and had no intention of apologizing in this case,” said Angela Alsobrooks, the state’s attorney for Prince George’s County, “but still believed even after this case that he was owed an apology from the victim.”

“It kind of didn’t sit well with me to hear that he was not apologetic, or had no remorse,” said victim William Cunningham outside the courthouse. “I did think that he may shoot me, or my life may have been in jeopardy.”

Santiago, now 26, was fired from the police department on Dec. 18. His lawyer said he also expects Santiago to be dishonorably discharged from the Navy, where he serves as a reservist.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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