Bethesda, Chevy Chase Lawyers Give More — Legal sector employees in Bethesda and Chevy Chase were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in campaign donations to President Barack Obama statewide. Bethesda lawyers also came in at the top of the state list in donations to challenger Mitt Romney, though the amount paled in comparison to the more than half a million dollars given to Obama. [The Daily Record]
Bethesda Resident, Election Ad Voice-Over Specialist Had Busy Stretch — Bethesda’s Jane Lueders was the voice on a multitude of Democratic election ads this campaign season and she produced the audio in a closet turned studio in her home. Lueders, who has also done voice-overs for the Department of Defense and Metro, worked so much over the last few months that she lost her voice and had to conduct interviews over email. [Wall Street Journal]
O’Malley Says Referendum System Needs Changing — Gov. Martin O’Malley saw all state ballot questions go his way Tuesday night. But he would like the State Assembly to make it more difficult for opponents of laws to get referendum on the ballot. [WAMU]
Chop’t Salad Location Opening Next Week — Barring construction delays, the popular fast casual salad restaurant will open in the Wildwood shopping center late next week. [Bethesda Patch]
Flickr photo by His Noodly Appendage
The fight over police “effects bargaining” — which included a refused debate request, brief state prosecutor investigation and still lingering lawsuit — went the Montgomery County government’s way last night, with 58 percent of voters supporting a 2011 law that repealed effects bargaining rights.
The county police union wanted to remain the only police union in the state with bargaining rights over administrative issues such as the use of email, equipment turn-in, rules for raids and video systems in police cars. The union hired Washington D.C. lobbyist Lanny Davis, who touched off a spirited campaign against Question B and who openly accused county officials of spreading misleading information.
County officials, including County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), members of the all-Democratic County Council and head county spokesman Patrick Lacefield, said the repeal of effects bargaining was necessary as the process hindered MCPD Chief Thomas Manger’s ability to make needed and swift administrative moves, thus hurting public safety.
On Monday, the union filed a lawsuit against Leggett and Lacefield, alleging they improperly used taxpayer funds to run an informational campaign urging voters to support Question B.
They also said the county intentionally prevented them from advertising their case on county-operated Ride On buses, though county officials countered they did not act illegally in lobbying for their law.
Yesterday, 210,491 county voters supported the county’s position, while just fewer than 150,000 voted against doing away with the bargaining rights. A union official told The Gazette he was pleased the gap was so close, at least among early voters. Davis also said they would not drop the lawsuit.
Lacefield saw things differently.
“I would not be surprised if it all evaporated like the morning dew,” he told The Gazette. “The voters have spoken. The rest is background noise.”
Montgomery County voters played a significant role in helping Maryland become one of the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote.
Officials in Maryland and Maine, both with same-sex marriage questions on the ballot yesterday, took the claim as the first state to achieve the historic designation. Either way, gay couples will be able to marry in Maryland starting Jan. 1 and Montgomery County voters appeared to shoulder much of the load in ensuring that at the polls.
Statewide, 51.9 percent voted in favor of upholding the law that establishes same-sex marriage while 48.1 percent voted against for a raw total of 1,252,568 for and 1,158,719 against. That gave gay marriage supporters a positive margin of almost 94,000 votes.
In Montgomery County alone, the margin in favor of same-sex marriage was 119,910.
It was by far the largest margin in favor of Question 6 of all six jurisdictions that ended up for same-sex marriage. The majority of voters in Baltimore City, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County and Frederick County also voted for Question 6, according to state election data.
About 4,000 more voters in Prince George’s County, one of the state’s other large jurisdictions, voted against Question 6 than for it.
On expanded casino gambling, which was approved by a 52 percent to 48 percent split, the margin of Montgomery County voters in favor (about 38,000 votes) was less pronounced.
Montgomery County voters were for the Dream Act by more than a 2 to 1 ratio, similar to results in Prince George’s County and Baltimore.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) of Kensington won reelection by the smallest margin since he first won his House seat against incumbent Republican Connie Morella in 2002. But despite a reconfigured 8th Congressional District that includes parts of more conservative Fredrick and Carroll Counties, Van Hollen still won with a comfortable 62.5 percent of the vote.
Republican challenger Ken Timmerman, also of Kensington, won slight margins of victory in Frederick and Carroll Counties. But Montgomery County voters in District 8 voted for Van Hollen by an overwhelming ratio of more than 3 to 1.
Potomac resident and independent Senate candidate Rob Sobhani got almost 17 percent of the statewide vote after an aggressive advertising campaign. Still, most of that support seemed to come from Baltimore County, where Sobhani saw the most raw voting support of any jurisdiction. Incumbent Ben Cardin (D) won with 55 percent of the vote.
Barack Obama won Maryland with 61.4 percent of the vote and 70.6 percent of the Montgomery County vote. Just more than 27 percent of county voters chose Republican Mitt Romney, compared to 36.5 percent statewide.
(UPDATE at 12:05 a.m.) With almost 90 percent of state precincts reporting, some are declaring victory for same-sex marriage advocates in Maryland. The Washington Post has projected the law will pass. The latest raw numbers show a nearly 47,000 vote edge in favor of same-sex marriage.
Expanded casino gambling advocates are celebrating what they say is a Question 7 victory tonight. The Dream Act will also pass, according to projections.
(UPDATE at 10:50 p.m.) With half of state precincts reporting, 51 percent of Maryland voters approved same-sex marriage, an approximately 32,000 margin for Question 6 supporters.
Casino gambling is almost as close, with 51.5 percent in favor of expanded gaming.With 35 percent of the vote counted in Montgomery County, the county Board of Elections reports 57 percent are in favor of ending police effects bargaining.
(UPDATE at 8:25 p.m.) Montgomery County early voting results are in and show large advantages for incumbent Democrats President Barack Obama, Senator Ben Cardin and District 8 Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
On Montgomery County police effects bargaining, 38,131, or 54 percent, voted to uphold a law that would repeal police effects bargaining. Just more than 32,000 early voters voted against the law, siding with police union officials.
Almost 78 percent of Montgomery County early voters supported Question 4, the Dream act. More than 68 percent of early voters voted for Question 5, which would uphold a redistricting map many county leaders were solidly against. Almost 70 percent of voters were for Question 6, same-sex marriage and more than 54 percent were for expanded casino gambling.
Early voters in the county gave the same-sex marriage act an almost 30,000 vote edge, with 52,178 for and 23,411 against.
(UPDATE at 8:03 p.m.) Multiple media outlets are calling Maryland for President Barack Obama as the polls close at 8 p.m. Senator Ben Cardin (D) will also win the Senate race, according to NBC News.
Montgomery County Board of Elections officials say local results from today’s election should start coming in at 9:20 p.m. and be updated every 20 minutes.
Early voting results will be tabulated and available as soon after 8 p.m. as possible. Almost 13 percent of all Montgomery County voters did early voting.
Many eyes locally will be on ballot question results, including a county police bargaining rights question and four high profile state questions. At the end of the night, Maryland could be the first state to approve same-sex marriage by referendum. There could also be a Las Vegas-style casino destined for Prince George’s County and the passage of the Dream Act, which would allow children of illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition to state colleges.
Bethesda voters tomorrow will encounter the longest ballot in Montgomery County in 20 years, full of high profile ballot questions that, at least locally, will dominate much of the talk surrounding the election.
As you prepare to head to the polls, check out our quick primer:
Maryland’s 8th Congressional District: Few expect Republican challenger Ken Timmerman to put up much of a fight against five-term incumbent and leading Democratic lawmaker Chris Van Hollen, even in a radically altered district that reaches all the way up to parts of more conservative and rural Frederick and Carroll Counties.
Despite Timmerman’s claims of a competitive race, he’s received little attention in heavily Democratic downcounty Montgomery and Bethesda. Pollsters didn’t even conduct a poll. Van Hollen has spent much of the months leading up to the election helping others, both on the national stage and in other competitive House races.
Timmerman, a Kensington neighbor of Van Hollen’s, has run on a platform of less government and conservative views on many social issues. He has tried to position himself as the choice for Jewish voters by attacking Van Hollen’s record on Israel, calling Van Hollen “a fair weather friend of Israel.” Last week, a Tea Party group came to Kensington to support Timmerman, an investigative journalist and author.
In a contentious September debate, Van Hollen accused Timmerman of distorting his record and the facts, especially on the budget. Van Hollen is the ranking member on the House Budget Committee. At a later candidates forum, Van Hollen said he has “never seen such gutter politics in our community.”
Extended early voting ends today at 9 p.m. at five county polling places, none of which are in Bethesda.
If you were unable to make it to Rockville, Germantown or Silver Spring to get a jump on filling out the longest ballot in Montgomery County in 20 years, you’ll likely be heading to one of 32 polling places in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase election district on Tuesday.
If you are registered to vote from a Bethesda or Chevy Chase address and don’t know where your polling place is, you can find it here on the Montgomery County Board of Elections website.
The Nov. 6 general election includes a trio of high profile state ballot questions on the DREAM Act, same-sex marriage and expanded casino gambling, and a county question on police effects bargaining rights that has stirred a heated battle between the police union and the county government.
The full list and addresses of Bethesda-Chevy Chase polling places is after the jump.
MCPS, Metro, County and Federal Governments Closed — With heavy rain and winds of up to 70 miles per hour expected later today and into tomorrow from Sandy, officials are bracing for significant power outages, flooding and damage. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) yesterday called it a “killer storm.” [Washington Post]
Adams Morgan Restaurant Opening Bethesda Avenue Location — Himalayan Heritage, the well-reviewed Indian and Nepalese restaurant in Adams Morgan, is opening a new location in the former space of the Queen Bee Cafe at 4925 Bethesda Ave. [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]
State Prosecutor Ends Investigation of County Officials — Emmet C. Davitt ended his investigation of county officials for their use of taxpayer money in this fall’s police effects bargaining battle, saying any actions were “undertaken without criminal intent.” He asked the Attorney General for an opinion. [Maryland Juice]
Walter Reed Hit-And-Run Suspect Released From Psyc Ward 4 Days Before Incident — Angela Cobbold, the Virginia woman who on Tuesday was observed eating a bar of soap before ramming into a Walter Reed security car and drawing gunfire from an officer, was released from a psychiatric ward four days before the incident. During a bond hearing yesterday, prosecutors said she did not appear to have been taking her medication. [The Gazette]
County Attorney Tells State Prosecutor to Back Off — In the escalating fight over Montgomery County’s police effects bargaining referendum, county attorney Marc Hansen told state prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt his investigation of county officials is misguided. The police union has objected to county officials using tax dollars to campaign against effects bargaining. [Maryland Juice]
FOP Rep Calls for County Spokesman to Resign — Also on effects bargaining, FOP consultant and Washington lobbyist Lanny Davis yesterday called for County spokesman Patrick Lacefield to resign. Lacefield has spearheaded the county’s campaign to uphold a law that gets rid of effects bargaining, which Police Chief Thomas Manger says hurts department efficiency. [The Gazette]
Meteorologists Tracking Rare Late-October Hurricane — A rare, East Coast-threatening late-October hurricane could cause trouble early next week. Some are concerned the combination of Hurricane Sandy and a western cold front could cause an unusual hybrid of hurricane and winter storm that would produce snow, wind and rain that would hit the Mid-Atlantic hard. [NBC4]
Flickr photo by IamJomo
Woman Charged in Walter Reed Hit-And-Run — Angela Akosua Cobbold, the 27-year-old Manassas, Va., woman who eluded police from multiple jurisdictions in a series of incidents and drew gunfire from an officer yesterday, was charged with first degree assault and reckless endangerment. [WTOP]
Arrest Video of Cobbold — The pursuit of Cobbold ended when she crashed into a fence at a construction site near White Flint. WUSA9 got video of MCPD officers taking Cobbold into custody. She was taken to a hospital for evaluation. [WUSA9]
State Starts Criminal Investigation of County’s Campaign Tactics — Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt will investigate whether county leaders acted illegally in campaigning for Question B on the Nov. 6 ballot, which would affirm a law to do away with police “effects bargaining.” County Executive Isiah Leggett told Bethesda Now last week the county attorney cleared his office’s actions. [The Gazette]
Flickr photo by Thad Zajdowicz
Pink Fireman Raises $20,000 For Breast Cancer Research — Marshall Moneymaker, the Bethesda firefighter who wears pink in memory of the three sisters he lost to breast cancer, helped raise more than $20,000 for research at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk For the Cure. [Bethesda Patch]
The Facts Behind Maryland’s Casino Gambling Question — Dueling sets of ads are both promoting and questioning the impact a new casino in Prince George’s County and live table games would have on state education funding. The truth behind Question 7 is more nuanced. [Washington Post]
Workout Studio Moving In Near Downtown — The Bar Method, a women’s fitness studio with more than 65 locations, is moving in to a ground-floor retail space at the Lionsgate Condominium on Woodmont Avenue. [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]
Flickr photo by ehpien
Davis said spokesman Patrick Lacefield’s citation of the 15 examples was “demonstrably false.” He again asked for a forum to debate county officials on the issue, which will appear as Question B on the Nov. 6 ballot.
“We have declined to label elected officials as intentionally misstating the truth and have avoided the “L” word for that reason.” Davis said. “I can say that Mr. Lacefield either should meet me for a public debate or send one of his taxpayer-paid colleagues to do so or I will have to assume that he is intentionally misrepresenting the truth. Not one of the examples he cites were delayed one day, indeed one minute as a result of the 30-year statute that the Council wishes to repeal.”
Montgomery County’s fight to do away with “effects bargaining” for police has reached a fever pitch, with each side labeling the other as dishonest and County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) openly refusing to debate a police union consultant on the issue.
Yesterday, after we linked to a WAMU story about union claims that effects bargaining does not delay or hinder management as police chief Thomas Manger has claimed, County spokesman Patrick Lacefield emailed us with 15 issues the county claims have been delayed for years by the process.
The County Executive’s office and the County Council have been actively campaigning voters to approve Question B on the Nov. 6 ballot, which would uphold an earlier Council decision to repeal effects bargaining.
Effects bargaining dictates decisions on issues such as use of email and clothing allowance for undercover officers. Montgomery County is the only police union in the state with effects bargaining.
Lacefield’s list of decisions delayed by effects bargaining included procedures for use of force, equipment turn-in, the types of holsters that can be used, restricted duty, raids, search warrants, video systems in police cars, school resource officers and the type of personal information kept by the department and available for public release.
He said the union’s claim that the police chief can override the need for union leaders’ approval within 50 days is false.
“First, why should Union leaders get to delay critical Police policies for even 50 days,” Lacefield wrote. “Second, Union leaders can file Prohibited Practices charges against the Police Chief for failing to negotiate in ‘good faith.’”
Lacefield went on to say the issues often go to a labor arbitrator who can rule against the county under existing effects bargaining rules.
“Under effects bargaining, management always gets to do what they want to do,” Marc Zifcak, the immediate past president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, told WAMU this week. ”All effects bargaining provides is an opportunity for us, the people who are affected by the decision, to discuss up front and hopefully deal with the negative impact.”
Police Sharpshooters Might Kill Off Chevy Chase Deer — A section of Rock Creek Park in Chevy Chase might be added to Montgomery County Parks’ deer management program. The department is accepting public comment until Oct. 26. If added, the deer hunt would take place at night from Jan. 1 to March 31. [Chevy Chase Patch]
Writers On The Row Starts Tonight — The four-day book festival begins tonight with two events: ESPN personality Michael Wilbon’s discussion of “The Best American Sports Writing 2012″ and contributing editor Karen Sommer Shalett’s talk on her “True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps.” [Bethesda Row]
Police Explain Desire For ‘Effects Bargaining’ As Ballot Question Approaches — Marc Zifcak, immediate past president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, says effects bargaining does not delay or hinder management, as police chief Thomas Manger claims. [WAMU]
Metro Shows Off New Train Cars — The sleek new 7000-series cars are said to be safer in a crash and are expected to go in service in 2014. [AP via Washington Post]
Flickr photo by IamJorno
A host of Bethesda politicians, including State Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-Dist. 18), the first openly gay Maryland state senator, are hosting a fundraiser on Sunday to raise money for Marylanders For Marriage Equality.
The group is campaigning for Question 6 on November’s ballot, a referendum which would allow same-sex couples in Maryland to marry.
The event, at The Oakville Grille (10257 Old Georgetown Rd.), will include Attorney General Doug Gansler (D), State Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Dist. 16), Delegate Bill Frick (D-Dist. 16), Delegate Ariana Kelly (D-Dist. 16), Delegate Susan Lee (D-Dist. 16), Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Dist. 18), Delegate Al Carr (D-Dist. 18) and Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Dist. 18).
Guests are being asked for donations of $100, $250, $500 or $1,000.
A poll last week showed 49 percent of voters were for same-sex marriage, while 39 percent were opposed.
The referendum is one of three major ballot questions. Statewide, voters will also decide on the Maryland DREAM Act and a measure to expand gambling by allowing a Las Vegas-style casino in Prince George’s County and live table games in the state’s existing casinos.
Bethesda High School Students Score High On SATs — Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walter Johnson and Whitman High School all had mean 2012 SAT scores above the county average. Whitman led the pack with a 2012 mean SAT score of 1,862. The national average was 1,498. [Bethesda Patch]
O’Malley, State Pols Attend Kensington Fundraiser For Same-Sex Marriage Referendum — Gov. Martin O’Malley and a number of state and county political figures attended a fundraiser Sunday night in Kensington to raise $17,175 for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group making phone calls and doing street canvassing ahead of November’s referendum on the topic. [The Gazette]
Poll Shows Splits On Three Major Ballot Topics — According to a Gonzales research poll, 51 percent of Marylanders will vote in favor of the same-sex marriage act and 43 percent are against. Respondents also favored the DREAM Act referendum by a 58 percent to 34 percent margin. A poll on the casino referendum showed 45 percent would vote for Question 7 and 46 percent would vote against. [WAMU]
Memo Details Effects Of Sequestration On Maryland — Federal sequestration could cost Maryland more than 12,600 jobs and $2.5 billion in wage and salary base, according to a memo by the Maryland Department of Budget and Management. [AP via Yahoo!]
Flickr photo by thegreentrousers
Bethesda startup announces $25 million investment — Wedding Wire, the fast-growing Bethesda startup that offers an online directory of wedding and event planners, announced it received a $25 million investment from private equity firm Spectrum Equity. The company is preparing to move to bigger offices in Chevy Chase. [InTheCapital]
Bethesda Row Cinema Goes Digital — The theater known for its independent films ditched its movie projector equipment and went all-digital on Sept. 7, following the lead of multiplexes across the country. [Washington City Paper]
Berliner Refuses Debate With Police Union Consultant — Montgomery County is attempting to get rid of effects bargaining with its police union. The union is fighting it with a referendum on November’s ballot and with the hiring of Lanny Davis, the well known lobbyist and former White House official. On Tuesday, County Council President Roger Berliner sent Davis a pointed letter refusing a debate on the issue. [Washington Post]
MCPS Schools Closed For Yom Kippur — All Montgomery County Public Schools are closed today because of the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. [MCPS]