As I have been going through the websites of the Maryland gubernatorial candidates, I have been very surprised about the fact that not a single candidate has had anything on their “issues” pages about my three priorities: slates, sample ballots, and gerrymandering. – Well, I do realize that the slate and sample ballot issues are so completely off people’s radar that I didn’t expect the candidates to highlight them. Gerrymandering, on the other hand, is a topic that has gotten much more public attention, so I was amazed that no candidate had made it part of his/her agenda.
Because of this total lack of attention to my priority issues, I was very happy to read today on the Washington Post website that Heather Mizeur is calling for redistricting reform. Props to Mizeur for having the guts to call for this desperately needed change. I hope other candidates will follow her example.
Democrat Cindy Walsh was the third candidate to provide answers to my three questions. Her responses are below (in red):
- If elected, will you actively work to outlaw candidate slates? – Yes
- If elected, will you actively work to outlaw “sample ballots” used by candidate slates as political advertisements? – Yes
- If elected, will you actively work to establish an independent, nonpartisan system for drawing legislative and congressional districts? – Yes
In addition I will fight to make public financing for all candidates mandatory.
So, as of now I have three candidates who have had the guts to answer this citizen blogger’s three simple questions: Walsh, Shawn Quinn, and Heather Mizeur. I’m really hoping other candidates will follow these three and reveal their stances on the questions.
Once the filing deadline passed and we knew all gubernatorial candidates, I contacted all candidates to request responses to my three questions. Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn responded immediately, but I didn’t get around to posting his responses (in red) until now:
- If elected, will you actively work to outlaw candidate slates? – I would work to outlaw ALL endorsements of any candidate running for office in Maryland. I don’t have a problem with a party listing their candidates and what they are running for on a single publication.
- If elected, will you actively work to outlaw “sample ballots” used by candidate slates as political advertisements? – I would work to reduce the amount of money that can be spent on all campaigns in Maryland. Millions of dollars are wasted by the two party agenda in order to buy an election. I think sample ballots should list all candidates running for office in the same font, boldness and type set. There should be nothing that draws attention to anyone’s name.
- If elected, will you actively work to establish an independent, nonpartisan system for drawing legislative and congressional districts? – Yes, and Yes and Yes again. Gerrymandering is the worst abuse a free election has. Again this is a system that the two party agenda uses to simply win at the cost of what’s best for our citizens.
Even though I will follow the Prince George’s County District 9 Board of Education race closely, I will not be endorsing any of the candidates in the contest. I have two reasons for this:
First, there really is no point in endorsing anyone when it won’t make any difference regarding the outcome of the election. Whoever the incumbent politicians endorse will win the election, so why waste my energy or resources on behalf of any of the candidates?
The second reason for me not to endorse anyone is the fact that I am an active PTA person in my child’s school, and I feel that we PTA leaders should think long and hard before getting openly involved in races like this. It is my experience that, as people start taking sides in local elections, things can get heated and ugly very quickly. I want to avoid such a situation in the interest of our local PTA.
Now that the February 25, 2014 filing deadline for candidacy has passed, we also know who will be running for the Prince George’s County District 9 Board of Education seat. According to the Maryland Board of Elections website, we have the following four candidates for the District 9 BOE race:
- Domonique Flowers
- Johnnie Isaac
- Denise Joseph
- Sonya Williams
Williams will be the incumbent in the race since she was appointed to the BOE seat in December by County Executive Baker.
On this blog, I follow this BOE race for one reason. I want to find out if my thesis regarding incumbent slate endorsements holds true. As I have stated before, I am convinced that the candidate who receives the endorsement of the local incumbent politicians and their slate will prevail
Now that the February 25, 2014 filing deadline for candidacy has passed, we know who all is in the Maryland gubernatorial race. According to the Maryland Board of Elections website, these are our gubernatorial hopefuls:
Anthony Brown/Ken Ulman
Doug Gansler/Jolene Ivey
Ralph Jaffe/Freda Jaffe
Heather Mizeur/Delman Coates
Charles U. Smith/Clarence Tucker (no website)
Cindy Walsh/Mary Wingate-Pennacchia
David Craig/Jeannie Haddaway
Ron George/Shelley Aloi
Larry Hogan/Boyd Rutherford
Charles Lollar/Ken Timmerman
Brian Vaeth/Duane Davis
Shawn Quinn/Lorenzo Gaztanaga
I have submitted my three questions to all of these candidates. As of today, only Heather Mizeur and Shawn Quinn have had the courtesy of responding to my questions. I will continue reporting the responses and non-responses I receive from the candidates here on this blog.