Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Montgomery County election results capped by County Executive cliffhanger

A majority of Democratic primary voters sent a clear message in Tuesday's election - big money can now mean big wins at the polls in Montgomery County. Josh Rales may want to think about trying again after massive war chests, public and private, brought candidates to victory. Self-funding businessman David Blair rode millions of dollars, and a double-barrel endorsement from the Washington Post, to a neck-and-neck finish with County Councilman Marc Elrich. The race was too close to call when Board of Elections officials paused counting at 12:45 AM this morning, and might not be decided until the counting of provisional ballots is completed - which could take until next week.

Other flush-with-cash Democratic candidates who won included David Trone in the 6th Congressional District, Andrew Friedson (County Council - District 1), and Hans Riemer, Will Jawando, Evan Glass and Gabe Albornoz (County Council - At-Large).

As most winners celebrated at local bars with supporters, Blair threw a spectacle of an election night party that looked more Mar-a-Lago than Montgomery. But his remarks were far more humble than Trumpian, as he marveled at a close finish few insiders expected, and expressed pride in conducting a positive campaign when others went negative. Yet, Elrich is temporarily ahead by almost 500 votes, and bested Blair in early voting, which has already been counted.

Former Rockville mayor and County Planning Department Deputy Director Rose Krasnow made a respectable showing, as did District 1 Councilmember Roger Berliner, but both had barely half the votes that Blair and Elrich each accrued. Both were clearly done in by their strong association with development decisions that enraged multiple communities, from Westbard to Damascus. Ultimately, both found that assuming those communities' votes weren't enough to sink their future campaigns to be a fatal miscalculation. And Blair effectively blocked their developer lane to victory.

Other winners in contested primaries last night included Craig Rice (D) and Ed Amatetti (R) [Council District 2], Sid Katz (Council District 3) who faced a strong challenge from Ben Shnider, Nancy Navarro (Council District 4) and Tom Hucker (Council District 5). Katz survived because he is well-liked, stepped in authoritatively in the MCPS school bus depot debacle, and has one of the sharpest political minds and memories. After I met Katz at an event in Gaithersburg years ago, for only a few seconds, he greeted me by name from then on.
A majority of Democratic voters ignored the
advice of the "Vote for More Women" sign at
top left in yesterday's election
Big losers last night included Councilmember George Leventhal, who didn't even reach the middle tier of finishers, despite two decades in office and plenty of cash on hand. And 2018 is most definitely not the Year of the Woman in Montgomery County, as Democrats went big for male candidates, potentially leaving Councilmember Nancy Navarro as the only woman on the Council. Ana Sol Gutierrez made a surprisingly competitive second-place finish in Council District 1, in a race where Reggie Oldak and Meredith Wellington were also thought to have a chance. Upcounty voters had to be disappointed to see Germantown's Marilyn Balcombe in fifth place for the four at-large seats. Balcombe had the Washington Post endorsement, but didn't enjoy the same magical boost it gave others.

The Post played such a large and heavy-handed role in the Democratic primary, that some progressives began referring to it as the Amazon Post, a nickname more often used by Republicans like Trump. One entertaining conspiracy theory making the rounds on social media was that Jeff Bezos was seeking to install Blair, who would be a pushover for Amazon in return.

Republican Robin Ficker will take on the winner of the Blair-Elrich matchup in November. He would have a better path to victory against Elrich, if the "business community" (a.k.a. developers) were to "get dangerous," as Bob Ehrlich put it, and get behind Ficker. Ficker is also fond of noting that Elrich voted to pass the highly-controversial Westbard sector plan, which was overwhelmingly opposed by residents, a decision that left even some of Elrich's strongest supporters scratching their heads.
More than Elrich, Riemer will face the full wrath of neighborhoods that were bulldozed over the last four years by the County Council and Planning Board. Democratic voters, who made up a majority of term-limits votes and of the opposition to multiple sector plans like Westbard, will have an easy choice to switch their fourth Council At-Large vote from developer-backed Riemer to yours truly, Robert Dyer. Progressive voters will be aghast to learn that Riemer has accepted money from Mitt Romney's Bain Capital and Danaher's Mitch Rales, two pioneers in outsourcing American jobs to China.

Riemer also opposes the recommendations of County Executive Ike Leggett's Tenant Work Group, tanked the "nighttime economy" with his Nighttime Economy Task Force debacle, caused County residents who had signed up for County government mailing lists' personal information to be posted online through a loophole in his vaunted "Open Data" law, essentially banned airbnb as an easy source of income for residents (effective July 1), and singlehandedly destroyed the food truck business in Montgomery County. Then there was Beerghazi, the scandal in which Riemer withheld information about illegal activity in the Department of Liquor Control until after he was safely reelected in 2014. And that's just the beginning.

And my years-long message about the County's moribund economy and poor business climate is the same message that has Blair neck-and-neck with Montgomery County's most popular Democrat. It's going to be a fun four-and-a-half months, folks.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Katz survived because he is well-liked"

Why didn't you write the same about Riemer?

Baloney Concrete said...

At the moment it seems Mr Dyer is the top Republican vote-getter in the at-large race! Well done, Mr Dyer!

Only 79% fewer votes than Hans Riemer!

(And since you compared yourself to Leventhal last night, we should note you’ve fallen behind him in total votes.)

Now, on to your analysis:

“[Krasnow And Berliner] were clearly done in by their strong association with development decisions that enraged multiple communities”

You just spent several paragraphs attributing the winning candidates’ success to their cash on hand, but then you’re going to blame losses on taking the wrong side on some of your pet issues?

Re: Mr Katz, it’s worth noting just how close his race was — the closest of any of the Council district races.

And then of course the same old litany of grievances against Hans Riemer. Judging by last night’s results President Riemer is clearly well-liked by County residents. I don’t see him needing to worry about any “wrath.”

Congratulations to all of our candidates for a good race! We are fortunate to live in this vibrant community with so many engaged and talented people interested in public service.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why there were 11,000 County residents who were dumb enough to waste their time voting for the four GOP candidates who were running for the four At-Large seats.

When is the MoCo GOP going to start practicing democracy and give County residents contested primaries?

Anonymous said...

"caused County residents who had signed up for County government mailing lists' personal information to be posted online through a loophole in his vaunted "Open Data" law

Bad writing. It sounds as though the residents had signed up to have their personal information to be posted online.

I suggest the following re-write:

"...caused the personal information of County residents who had signed up for County government mailing lists, to be posted online, because of a loophole in his vaunted 'Open Data' law"

Anonymous said...

I love all the contradictory themes in this...pile of something or other.

"A majority of Democratic primary voters sent a clear message in Tuesday's election - big money can now mean big wins at the polls in Montgomery County."

"George Leventhal, who didn't even reach the middle tier of finishers, despite...plenty of cash on hand."

Anonymous said...

Sad!!!! Even Leventhal got more votes than you. You have a moribund candidacy.

Anonymous said...

Looks like all the incumbents who were not term-limited, won easily.

And it looks like our next County Executive will be one of the three term-limited Councilmembers running for that position.

Anonymous said...

"Ficker is also fond of noting that Elrich voted to pass the highly-controversial Westbard sector plan"

Dyer is a faithful reader of Bethesda Beat. LOL

But it's odd that Ficker never comments here anymore.

Anonymous said...

This concludes the Democrat clown car portion of the campaign for at large council.
Now, let's focus on the 8 actually on the ballot and discuss issues.

Anonymous said...

Bob The Builder must be so proud to be the GOP nominee for County Council in an area that votes consistently for the left.

Anonymous said...

Robert I noticed on your campaign site you state the following: "Also in 2011, Robert testified before the Planning Board, County Council and National Capital Planning Commission that the cemetery related to the African-American community needed to be located before the Westbard area was allowed to redevelop; none of those bodies took action and the cemetery was located in 2014". This is inaccurate, because the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) is not charged with the evaluation of local planning issues. Perhaps you should correct this to read Maryland-National Capital Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), if in fact, that is the agency to which you actually testified before. Let's be factual, not alternative facts.

Anonymous said...

I love what Dyer is doing for MoCo.
Life long resident!

Anonymous said...

@1:43
Hi Robert Dyer!

Robert Dyer said...

1:06: Probably not good to take shots before you know all the facts. Fact: I testified before the National Capital Planning Commission in 2011, which has authority over Little Falls Stream Valley Park. The NCPC had to sign off on the County's decision to give part of the park to EYA. This authority stems from the original creation of LFSVP as a highway facility right-of-way.

Ask Howard Denis, he was an alternate member of NCPC at that time. He not only heard my testimony, but mentioned me by name in remarks from the dais afterward.

You just made a fool of yourself.

6:06: I had MORE votes than George Leventhal, and barely spent a dime so far. Humiliating finish for Leventhal.

Robert Dyer said...

5:13: Hans Riemer always does better in the primary than the general election. He's dead last in the general. Last night's was a vote by super Dems, and he was the only incumbent name on the ballot. Why do you think it's notable he finished first under those circumstances?

Anonymous said...

"The NCPC had to sign off on the County's decision to give part of the park to EYA. This authority stems from the original creation of LFSVP as a highway facility right-of-way."

What was the total acreage, or more precisely, the square footage involved with the access driveway to the EYA property?

Also, why do you simultaneously claim that they "gave away part of the park", while also claiming that Little Falls Park is not actually a park?

Anonymous said...

8:17 PM - Along that driveway, it's approximately 85 feet from the edge of Little Falls Parkway to the northern boundary of the park. The roadway is approximately 25 feet wide. That equals 2,125 square feet, or less than 1/20 of an acre.

Robert Dyer said...

8:17: It is a park, that's why it's called a "park." It was created as a highway facility, like every stream valley in Montgomery County.

8:24: A substantial piece was given to EYA. The park is now smaller than it was when Hans Riemer took office in 2010.

Anonymous said...

"A substantial piece was given to EYA."

Are you claiming that it was more or less than 1/20 of an acre, as 8:24 PM says?

Anonymous said...

"It was created as a highway facility, like every stream valley in Montgomery County."

So why are you complaining that an 85-foot long driveway is being built in a "highway facility"?

Anonymous said...

"I had MORE votes than George Leventhal"

Oh please. Why do you habitually lie about things that are so easily disproven?

George L. Leventhal (one of six candidates): 12,186 votes

Robert Dyer (running uncontested as one of four candidates for four seats): 11,274 votes

Robert Dyer said...

10:51: They've updated the numbers, but I still had more votes than Leventhal on Election Day by itself. Baba Booey!

10:45: Because it is also a park, only now it's a smaller park than it was. Thanks, Hans!

Anonymous said...

@4:41 AM -- Dyer's claim is based on ignoring early voting results and whatever Absentee ballot counts prove to be. Dyer's claim is that votes cast only on June 26th and only at Precinct sites -- ie: "Election Day by itself" -- his vote total exceeded George Leventhal's vote total.

This is true, but no one else on the planet would take this viewpoint as a valid one.


Anonymous said...

Bob the Builder must be sad that he isn't getting any financial help from the developers like the left. Do you want me to introduce you to Mike Glosserman or Charlie Nulsen (not that they will be interested considering your anti-development mindset)?

Anonymous said...

Bob the Builder wants to build a 6-lane freeway through Sligo Creek Park, Northwest Branch Park and Wheaton Regional Park, yet he's clutching his pearls over an 85-foot-long driveway.

Strange!

Anonymous said...

What a fantasy.

Anonymous said...

"George Leventhal, who didn't even reach the middle tier of finishers"

How did you arbitrarily determine this "middle tier"?

Anonymous said...

Riemer, Albornoz, Glass and Jawando will face Republican opposition in the November general election, but are overwhelming favorites to serve on the County Council that will take office in December.

Anonymous said...

9:38 PM As a member of the Friendship Heights committee as I recall the chairman blew you off at the end of your pointless tirade, whereas Mr. Thakkar was asked many relevant questions. Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Me and my whole family voted for Dyer.

We are proud to support!

Robert Dyer said...

8:46: "As a member of the Friendship Heights committee..." So you were backing EYA over the community? "As I recall," Mr. Knopf was also in EYA's pocket throughout the process. I was the lone guy representing the community at every hearing.

At the hearing examiner's hearing, I was so successful in exposing the lies of Mr. Youngentab under oath, that the hearing examiner had to leave that cross-examination out of the transcript. What were you doing to protect the park and the neighborhood on those two days? Just sitting there and criticizing those who were actually taking action? "Just sayin'."

If you find history- and fact-based testimony on Native Americans, African-Americans and protecting Little Falls Stream Valley Park - as well as the environmental impacts on the stream - to be a "pointless tirade," I'm not sure you're going to find much popular support for your opinion in Bethesda.

Anna said...

Dyer@ 7:34 says "I'm not sure you're going to find much popular support for your opinion in Bethesda. "

Judging by the most recent election, neither have you. Just sayin'.

Rugby said...

5:36 AM Dyer got the most votes in his field this week, so apparently he does have some support.

Facts and data matter!

Anonymous said...

6:32 AM And he was left standing in his field. ALONE. Dyer digressed on the point of his weak so-called testimony to the national commission, to some low-grade hearing examiners "hearing" of no substance. More like a dispute resolution session, prior to an actual hearing. When it came to a REAL hearing of the men v the boys, the Chairman stated thank you Mr. Dyer, NEXT. DONE! Moot points.

Anonymous said...

7:27am you forgot to say "self proclaimed"

Anonymous said...

Robert, I'm confused. Saying you got more votes on June 26th when Leventhal got more than 10% votes than you is saying that Hillary Clinton should be president because Kentucky was the first state to tabulate ballots. You skew reality at every turn...he got more votes than you. You have zero chance of winning.

Woodmont said...

10:56 AM Leventhal had zero chance of winning and alas...

MoCo residents got left a $6 million dollar bill for his public financing and all we got was a lousy Avengers TV ad.

Anonymous said...

@11:36 AM -- $6 Million was the amount allocated for all elections in the 2018 Cycle, and all candidates. Not for George Leventhal alone.

Stop lying.

Woodmont said...

1:01 PM I'm calling it Leventhal's $6 million since he touted his leadership in getting money allocated and proudly used and wasted his share of it. It now seems more like a jobs program for MoCo Dem politicos.

We'll always have the Avengers I guess.

Robert Dyer said...

7:27: You sound totally clueless - unless you are a KKK member, you would recognize that the issues I brought to the attention of the NCPC were of great importance. What you call a "low-grade" hearing examiner was actually part of the development approval process, which would have tanked the whole project were the examiner not a developer tool.

Your talk of "men vs. boys" is laughable, given that you yourself admit you were just a lump in a chair sitting idly by while our neighborhood was harmed, then taking shots from the peanut gallery at the only man who standing up for our community's interests. You were, and are, merely a boy, hiding your identity, and unable for seven long years to approach me in person to make these criticisms.

Did EYA buy you lunch for selling out the neighborhood? 23 skidoo!

Anna said...

The hearing examiner had to leave that cross-examination out of the transcript.

Um...No. Then it wouldn't be a transcript.

Anonymous said...

And it's not a "cross-examination" either.

Robert Dyer said...

11:09: Wait a minute, "Anna" just happens to have the same position as our cowardly anonymous troll on this issue, as well. The 384th time in a row that she happens to hold the opposite opinion to my position on an issue. Can we speak to "Wrol Evans" now, "Anna?"

11:40: You weren't even there. All parties in the matter were sworn in before speaking. It was a legal proceeding, and everyone including me had to tell the truth, or face charges of perjury. Yes, it absolutely was a cross-examination - the applicant's witnesses speak, and then the opposition can cross-examine them if they wish.

Anna said...

Your inability to accept that I'm who I say I am is pathetic.


I'm still just me. You can work yourself up with hilarious conspiracy theories all you want...you'll always be wrong.

It's almost like I need to apologize for being a real and honest and outspoken person. Isn't that too silly?

I'm a middle-aged gal who's lived/worked here since 1963. sheesh... I sure do confound you.

Stupid-Never...Outspoken-Always...Truth-4Life.

Anna said...

Aside from your attempt to distract, the truth is the truth.

The hearing examiner had to leave that cross-examination out of the transcript. --Dyer

Um...No. Then it wouldn't be a transcript.

Anonymous said...

"You were just a lump in a chair sitting idly by while our neighborhood was harmed, then taking shots from the peanut gallery at the only man who standing up for our community's interests."

"You weren't even there."

Which is it, Dyer?

Anonymous said...

"the only man who standing up for our community's interests."

If you are the only one standing up for that, then maybe the community doesn't really share your opinion of what are its "interests".

Robert Dyer said...

10:31: Classic Saul Alinsky tactics - you know full well that you've brought up two different events, the NCPC hearing, and the Hearing Examiner's hearing. You claim to have been at the NCPC hiding in the back of the room, but your comments on the hearing examiner hearing indicated you were not there. So you were a lump in a chair at one, and "you weren't even there" in Rockville.

3:30: Still paying off that EYA lunch? You know as well as I do that EYA didn't inform the public or hold community meetings as required = a fact that Mr. Youngentab admitted under oath during my cross-examination of him, after lying about it for months before the NCPC and Planning Board.

6:19: The transcript covers most of what happened at the meeting, but leaves out any bad publicity for the developer. Um...Yes. It is a transcript, but one heavily redacted.

6:16: Can we speak to "Wrol Evans" now?

Robert Dyer said...

6:16: Or, how about "Riff Rafferty?" "Baloney Concrete?"

Anonymous said...

You're no Perry Mason. LOL

Robert Dyer said...

7:54: Mr. Youngentab could tell you otherwise. All the cartel could do was cover-up and suppress all that I revealed during the Little Falls Place battle. You're still smarting 7 years later.

Anna said...

Why would you delete this? You falsely accuse, and delete my defense?
Sad that you feel compelled to lie about me?
Are you really going to go all in with your lies and accusations when I can prove my truthfulness in 10 seconds. "Hello. I'm Anna VanHorn and you've got some apologizing to do." There will be pictures; there will be stories written of blog quotes, coffeetables, and deleted comments. In the end, Karma will be a bigger bitch than I'll ever need to be.

This is the objectionable post that had to be deleted? sheesh...:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
It's kind of a complement that you think I'm Baloney Concrete.

The others, some of which I've never heard before (Evans? Riff Rafferty? Maybe WROL was around back when I first started reading your little blog) are just your desperate attempt to figure me out. Sorry, they're not me.

I've honestly told you over and over who I am, what I do, where I've worked, where I've lived and you just dismiss it all.

Anna said...

And you know what Karma loves more than anything? Hubris.