BREAKING: Raskin Endorsed By CPC

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus in the House at 72 members, announced today that it is endorsing Jamie Raskin in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. Here’s the press release:

Progressive Action PAC Endorses Jamie Raskin for Congress in Maryland’s 8th, Citing His “Effective Progressive” Leadership in Annapolis

SILVER SPRING, MD – Progressive Action PAC, the political arm of the 72-Member Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced today that it has endorsed State Senator Jamie Raskin in his campaign for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District.
“Jamie is a passionate progressive, has a proven record of legislative accomplishment, and has put together an impressive grassroots campaign that engages in serious policy discussion about the critical issues of our time, including gun safety, criminal justice reform, and environmental change,” said Congressman Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “I am endorsing Jamie because I know he will be an effective progressive leader for the people of Maryland when he comes to Congress.”
“I’m honored to endorse Jamie Raskin for Congress. He’s not just a progressive activist but a national thought leader and a seasoned legislative actor who gets things done,” said Congressman Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“With Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrats have the chance to send to Congress one of the country’s most effective progressive leaders,” said Congressman Mark Pocan, First Vice-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “Whether it is voting rights, campaign finance reform, gun violence prevention, environmental progress or civil rights and liberties, Jamie has delivered time and again as a Maryland State Senator and a respected professor of constitutional law. I’m endorsing Jamie because we need him to stand up in Congress for the American people against big-money special interests and to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights against the Tea Party.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus and consists of 72 Congressional members. Founded in 1991, the CPC is a diverse and powerful caucus that advocates for a strong progressive agenda. Progressive Action PAC is the political arm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and endorses candidates for Congress across the country who champion progressive change in America.
“What an honor,” said Senator Raskin. “I want to thank the Progressive Action PAC and Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for their support. I’m inspired and fortified by great leaders like Congressman Grijalva, Ellison and Pocan, and I will work with all the Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to go out and elect a Democratic Congress and a progressive agenda.”
Senator Raskin added: “I’m running on a decade-long record of effective progressive leadership in Annapolis. I want to go to Congress take on the NRA to pass common-sense gun reform, to combat climate change and break from the carbon barons, and to address the striking economic and political inequality in America that is eroding the middle class and thwarting opportunity for millions of people.”

“The Candidate To Beat”

“Beep. This is a recording. Joseline Pena-Melnyk got another endorsement. Beep.”

This time from the Latino Victory Fund.

¡Sí, Se Puede! Peña-Melnyk Endorsed by Latino Victory Fund

LAUREL, MD – Despite making up 17% of the population, Latinos represent only one percent of all elected officials. Righting that imbalance is the goal of the Latino Victory Fund and today they endorsed Joseline Peña-Melnyk for Congress. Co-founded by actress Eva Longoria and businessman-activist Henry Muñoz III, the organization helps to ensure that the voices of Latinos are reflected at every level of government.
“The Latino Victory Project is making a positive difference in American politics and I am deeply grateful for their support. In Congress I will continue to fight for all of our neighbors, especially the underserved, as I have throughout my many years in public service,” said Peña-Melnyk.
“We are proud to endorse Joseline Peña-Melnyk for Congress,” said Cristóbal Alex, Latino Victory Fund President. “Joseline will be the first Dominican-American to serve in Congress; she is a great leader who will fight for our community and the issues that matter to Latinos. As a city councilor and Maryland delegate, Joseline has demonstrated a strong record of putting her community first, and we know she will continue to do that in the halls of Congress.”
Communications Director Michelle García adds, “with the recent support of EMILY’s list, several national progressive organizations, and now the Latino Victory Project, Joseline is enjoying national recognition and support. Coupled with the strong support she is receiving locally in the district, the volunteers and financial support that a national profile brings will help her win on Election Day.”
Joseline Peña-Melnyk continues to outpace her opponents in fundraising and endorsements (the complete list can be viewed here). In a crowded field, she is emerging as the candidate to beat.

NOW For Edwards

The National Organization for Women (NOW) today announced its endorsement of Donna Edwards for Senate.

The National Organization for Women’s political action committee has endorsed Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) in a tough primary fight for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D).

“Barbara Mikulski may be retiring, but Maryland still needs a Senator with a strong record of fighting for women and families in Washington,” NOW president Terry O’Neill said in a statement.

Women’s groups and issues have played a major role in the campaign between Edwards and fellow Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen. Their first debate was a NOW forum. Edwards has argued that as a black woman, she would not just continue Mikulski’s legacy but bring much-needed diversity to the Senate.

As with seemingly everything in this race, the endorsement did not come without some controversy, in this case from the local and state NOW affiliates who advocated for no endorsement to be made because of strong support for both candidates in the race.

“NOW members in Montgomery County and throughout the state who support Congressman Chris Van Hollen will be unhappy with this decision,” local chapter Co-Presidents Holly Joseph and Jeannette Feldner said in a statement. They said that the state had recommended that NOW not endorse at all because of a split among members between the two candidates. “We are very disappointed,” they wrote.

Two More Women For Van Hollen

Yawn. From the Sun:

Two Baltimore-area lawmakers — Dels. Shelly L. Hettleman and Brooke E. Lierman — have endorsed Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for Senate.

The two state lawmakers made the announcement at an event Thursday night organized by Democratic women supporting Van Hollen. The Montgomery County lawmaker is running against Rep. Donna F. Edwards for the Senate seat that will be left open in 2017 by Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s retirement.

BOOM: EMILY’s List For Pena-Melnyk

You night owls get the scoop. I’m here for you. The Post has the major news.

The national Democratic group Emily’s List is endorsing Maryland state Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk’s bid to succeed Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) in Congress.

The fundraising behemoth’s support could help Peña-Melnyk overtake rival Glenn Ivey, a former Prince George’s county state’s attorney. According to the latest available data, Ivey is leading in campaign contributions in a crowded Democratic primary race for the 4th Congressional District.

* * *

Peña-Melnyk emigrated from the Dominican Republic as a child and was raised by a single mother. A former federal prosecutor, she has sponsored legislation abolishing the death penalty in Maryland, prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and establishing the state’s Dream Act for undocumented immigrant students.

In a statement, Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock said Peña-Melnyk “has successfully fought to strengthen equal pay laws, expand women’s access to health care, and increase educational and job opportunities for all Marylanders.” Emily’s List raised more than $40 million in the 2014 cycle to help elect pro-choice Democratic women to state, local and federal offices. The group says it is on track to raise up to $60 million in the next cycle and can also help connect candidates to vast numbers of women voters — a crucial voting bloc.

This is a very big deal. There will be substantial independent expenditures on behalf of Pena-Melnyk, plus direct donations from EMILY’s List’s, uh, lists.

I am horribly biased here, but I will stake my claim: Joseline Pena-Melnyk is now the candidate to beat in CD4. 

UPDATE: The EMILY’s List website has already been updated to include Pena-Melnyk.

More Baltimore Pols For Van Hollen

It’s becoming more clear that Elijah Cummings is not running for Senate. If we need more evidence on this front, John Fritze in the Sun brings it to us.

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young said Monday that he has spoken with Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and was assured that the popular Democrat is not running for Senate.

Young joined with other prominent Baltimore African American elected officials in Mount Vernon to endorse Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s campaign to succeed Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who will retire in 2017. State Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden and Del. Talmadge Branch, the House Majority Whip, were among those also backing Van Hollen on Monday.
* * *

“I personally spoke to the congressman, and he told me he was not running,” Young said during the press conference Monday when he was asked about Cummings.

“He and I are very close, but he’s not in this race,” said McFadden, adding that he did speak with Cummings before coming out in support of Van Hollen.

McFadden, Branch and Young are key Baltimore leaders in the Democratic machine. They’re not going to endorse Chris Van Hollen if there’s even a chance Elijah Cummings is getting in the race. That’s the big story, and the secondary story - which will become bigger moving forward - is that every big Baltimore pol who has endorsed in the Senate race has gone for Van Hollen. The wind is blowing only one way in Charm City, hon.

Another Pena-Melnyk Endorsement

Yawn. She seems to be getting all of them lately. This time it’s the Elevator Constructors and yes, the campaign’s press release goes right for all the puns that you can think of.

Elevator Constructors Give a Lift to Joseline Peña-Melnyk for Congress

LAUREL, MD - The International Union of Elevator Constructors – over 25,000 members strong – today gave their support to Joseline Peña-Melnyk for Congress. Since 1901, IUEC members have constructed safe, practical elevators that make skyscrapers, the symbol of America’s modern cities, possible.
Joseline Peña-Melnyk is running an energetic campaign to represent the people of Maryland’s 4th District, which includes large parts of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties, extending from Forest Heights, to Hyattsville, to Laurel and on to Arnold, Maryland.
“I’m proud to have the support of the Elevator Constructors,” said Peña-Melnyk. “America’s union workers are a source of our nation’s strength and competitiveness. Unions are a critical part of our national workforce, providing training and opportunity for men and women. They’ll be a key partner for me in Congress as we work to keep America competitive in the 21st Century.”
“The International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 10 proudly endorses Joseline Peña-Melnyk for Congress. Joseline is a strong supporter for higher education, be it academically or vocationally. Joseline supports these core values not only by word but also by deed,” said Dave Geib of Elevator Constructors Local 10.
Peña-Melnyk has pushed the “up” button and is ascending as the candidate to beat. Her endorsements outpace others; earlier this week she was endorsed by CASA in Action, an immigrant advocacy organization in Maryland and Virginia. Last month, the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local #24, and the Steamfitters UA Local #602 endorsed Joseline Peña-Melnyk. She is also endorsed by numerous other progressive organizations and many State and local officials, including:
· The Sierra Club,

· Democracy for America,
· Blue America,
· Progressive Change Campaign Committee, 

BREAKING: The Scramble Nails It

The story is out, and I was right. Nobody reads tea leaves or tarot cards like Maryland Scramble. John Fritze:

One of the state’s most influential coalitions of local labor unions will endorse Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for Senate on Thursday, despite a deep history of supporting his primary opponent, Rep. Donna F. Edwards.

Seven local SEIU unions, representing more than 40,000 members in Maryland — including hospital workers, teachers and security guards — will throw their weight behind Van Hollen, the Montgomery County Democrat running for retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski’s seat.

The endorsement is significant in part because SEIU is known for its organizing prowess on behalf of Democratic candidates, providing a deep well of volunteers and advertising money. But it is also noteworthy because the unions have long been associated with Edwards, and were a major player in her 2008 primary campaign that toppled incumbent Rep. Albert R. Wynn.

Van Hollen “has a record of standing with labor and workers,” said Ricarra Jones, with 1199 SEIU. “We’re going to go with a person who is going to best represent our interests in the Senate.”

All the locals are in on this endorsement, as is the state council. This is the most significant endorsement of the race thus far. SEIU abandoning Edwards is a huge blow, symbolically as well as tangibly.


The polls have just closed, but based on our exclusive Maryland Scramble exit polling, the tea leaves and a session with a divination professor from Hogwarts, the Maryland Scramble Rumor Network (MSRN) is prepared to call the race, at 10:29 p.m., and to state our very assured opinion that Chris Van Hollen will be endorsed by SEIU tomorrow afternoon in Baltimore.

We’re gonna look like idiots if we’re wrong, but MSRN is pretty certain. Way more certain than Karl Rove was in 2012, anyway.