Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Woke Doug Duncan calls out Montgomery County cartel

Former Montgomery County Executive and Rockville mayor Douglas M. Duncan is the first prominent political figure to acknowledge, and call out, the political cartel that has seized control of the County over the last two decades. Over that same period since they first won a majority of the seats on the County Council in 2002 - and now control every single seat in 2019, the County has plunged to rock bottom in all relevant regional economic development categories. As a result of their high-tax and anti-business policies, the County economy has become moribund, the ultra-wealthy have fled in great numbers to lower-tax jurisdictions, and the County has failed to attract a major corporate headquarters in over twenty years. While high profile voices like The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal and Sage Policy Group have finally joined me in declaring Montgomery County moribund, no prominent figure has previously identified that a political cabal has seized control of the local Democratic party and County government. Until now.

A day after the County's elected officials held another clueless meeting on the stagnant County economy, repeating the same mantras and problems without endorsing actual solutions we know will solve them, it's worth examining what Doug Duncan recently said regarding the cartel. One of the key reasons we are struggling to attract jobs and economic growth is that cartel-controlled officials are anti-highway and anti-car. That is because the most dominant players in the cartel are developers who specialize in developments that require traffic congestion to remain high, in order to justify their density. So it's not surprising that the County Council's predictable opposition to Gov. Larry Hogan's Express Lanes plan for the Beltway and I-270 frustrated a common-sense leader like Duncan.

"You don't often see a governor saying, 'I want to put billions of dollars into your infrastructure,'" Duncan told the Post. "For Montgomery County to say no right off the bat without saying let's look at this is the result of who's controlling the Democratic Party now."

Those elected officials have not only blocked and canceled critical highway projects, but have also pursued the anti-business course that their developer sugar daddies in the cartel have demanded behind closed doors. Developers want the valuable land in Rock Spring and along I-270 where existing office parks could be used to lure defense, aerospace and tech firms that need large, secure campuses. They want those office zones to remain vacant and struggling, so that they can acquire the land and redevelop it as residential. This is why you see the Council continuing to refuse to take the steps needed to turn the economy around, and to block economic growth.

Duncan addressed that, too, in his remarks to the Post. He told the newspaper "the County's Democratic leadership of 'no-growthers' is out of step with residents."

This is a breakthrough in the public debate. Duncan is as liberal a Democrat as they come, but he's also remembered for being pro-business while in office until he ran for governor in 2006. Duncan lost his bid to return as County Executive in 2014, when the cartel threw its weight behind incumbent Ike Leggett. He may now wish he had run in 2018, when pro-business candidate David Blair lost to Marc Elrich by a literal whisker in the Democratic primary. If the County remains on this road to bankruptcy, we likely haven't heard the last of Duncan and Blair in the political arena.

To be first to acknowledge the local Democratic Party and our elected offices have indeed been hijacked by a cartel, cabal or whatever you want to call it, is indeed a shot across the bow by Duncan. These words need to be heard and taken seriously, if we are to resolve this fiscal crisis, and become the major economic development player we once were in the region.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

MoCo cartel is an unstoppable force bro. Get out of their way or you'll be defeated. You can never match their intelligence, money or wit.

MOCO CARTEL FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Robert's statement and find so many reasons to dislike Montgomery County. The taxes are very high, the schools are overcrowded, and yet developers are going crazy with infill development. Virginia is looking better and better, especially as I approach retirement age.

Anonymous said...

Buy Bitcoin and with it's increased value move to the paradise of your dreams!!!!

Anonymous said...

"[In] Montgomery County...developers are going crazy with infill development. Virginia is looking better and better, especially as I approach retirement age."

No infill development in Virginia? You must have missed Dyer's attaboys for the infill development that's happening in Tysons right now.

Suze said...

I'm not sure how Duncan is arguing that Elrich's anti-growth position is "out of step" with residents, considering his NIMBYism is what maintains his base of supporters.

As for the widening projects - Elrich raises a good point that transforming the shoulders into reversible lanes would go a long way toward easing congestion without the land acquisition and demolition that adding lanes would require. He also correctly points out that the two biggest issues are the American Legion Bridge and the span of 270 north of Germantown. Those are our choke points, and those are what we should focus on first.

The Beltway widening project, on the other hand, is wildly unpopular with everyone except commuters. How many homes would have to be torn down for this project? And what would the impact be on Sligo and Rock Creeks, and therefore the Anacostia & Potomac Rivers, and on down to the Chesapeake?

As for your argument that Rock Spring should be marketed as an aerospace hub - the office market has changed, and office parks like Rock Spring are no longer in demand. If Rock Spring were transformed into an actual small city like North Bethesda, then an argument could be made. But as is, no one wants to locate there because their employees don't want to work out of office parks. That's not the County's fault, that's generational changes that are occurring across the United States.

Anonymous said...

Duncan had the right ideas, but the wrong ways to implement them. I actually agree with Dyer for once in that Blair would have easily been the best executive out of the crowd that ran last year.

Anonymous said...

In an article in Bethesda Beat about Elrich, they stated co-working space leader WeWork is coming soon to downtown Bethesda. Did I miss an announcement somewhere?

Anonymous said...

The Duncan era- back then Montgomery County was the gold standard regionally in services and schools.

Anonymous said...

"[T]he political cartel...has seized control of the County over the last two decades. Over that same period since they first won a majority of the seats on the County Council in 2002 - and now control every single seat in 2019"

For the years between 2002 and 2018, which Council members were NOT part of "the Cartel"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_Montgomery_County_Council_(Maryland)

Anonymous said...

The usual sludge of irrelevant and useless comments. You are all fools who need to get a life.

HungryHungryJourno said...

11:44 AM
Yup. Hope they at least get paid for the dumb comments.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how the Sockpuppets whine about "irrelevant comments", yet comment only in response to those, rather than commenting on the actual subject of the article.

HungryHungryJourno said...

12:15pm
It's a raft of the same comments, for years now:

1. Dyer, I know where you live (boring old threat)

2. Here are my favorite hobby blogs, Dyer. You'll never be as good. (Plug in hobby blog of the month)

3. Dyer, I'm lonely but you won't engage with me. (Wah-wah)

Anonymous said...

Yes, 12:15 PM: we should all try to make useful comments on the subject of the articles.
I’ve made many such comments. You have too, right?

HungryHungryJourno said...

1:40 PM You really enjoy hating people, right?

Hopefully you're at least getting paid.

Anonymous said...

Don't let the door hit ya...

Anonymous said...

What wash post article is this quote from. I couldn’t find anything online

Suburban News Network Citation Recovery Service said...

@ 3:23 PM -

Here you go. :)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/why-is-hogan-pursuing-toll-lanes-project-despite-objections-its-good-politics/2019/06/01/a7682158-816e-11e9-95a9-e2c830afe24f_story.html

Anonymous said...

"The most dominant players in the cartel are developers who specialize in developments that require traffic congestion to remain high, in order to justify their density...Elected officials have pursued the anti-business course that their developer sugar daddies in the cartel have demanded behind closed doors. Developers want the valuable land in Rock Spring and along I-270 where existing office parks could be used to lure defense, aerospace and tech firms that need large, secure campuses. They want those office zones to remain vacant and struggling, so that they can acquire the land and redevelop it as residential. This is why you see the Council continuing to refuse to take the steps needed to turn the economy around, and to block economic growth."

Once again, your imagination is out of control. None of what you just wrote has any basis in reality.

"Douglas M. Duncan is the first prominent political figure to acknowledge, and call out, the political cartel that has seized control of the County over the last two decades...No prominent figure has previously identified that a political cabal has seized control of the local Democratic party and County government. Until now....It's worth examining what Doug Duncan recently said regarding the cartel...To be first to acknowledge the local Democratic Party and our elected offices have indeed been hijacked by a cartel, cabal or whatever you want to call it, is indeed a shot across the bow by Duncan."

Duncan said no such thing. There is no "cartel". It exists only in your diseased mind.

There has been no "seizure" or "hijacking" of our County government. Just the residents of our County voting, with record turnout in 2018, for our elected leaders...and not for you.



Robert Dyer said...

4:48: Read the quotes - Duncan clearly stated that a certain group has seized control of the local Democratic party, and of the elected offices.

The 2018 election was very similar to ones held in Russia or Cuba - not legitimate by any means. Massive voter fraud, voting results tampering, collusion between the local media and the cartel, illegal voters, no debates or candidate forums in the general election.

Robert Dyer said...

6:34: That's simply not true. Not only are aerospace and defense firms using office parks and suburban campuses like Rock Spring, etc. in Northern Virginia, but some of the biggest and most successful companies like Apple, Facebook and Google all have suburban office park-style campuses.

So, no, there is no "national shift" away from office parks by any means.

Our vacant office parks are the result of our elected officials and their policies and failure to complete our master plan highway system, not the market.

Reversible lanes don't work on the Beltway - there are problems in both directions on both loops during both rush hours.

Did you express concern about the many, many times greater home demolitions for the Purple Line? Are you angry about the thousands of demolitions and condemnations needed to build the BRT network in the County? If not, then you should not be worked up over a *potential* 37 homes for express lanes.

"Commuters" are the People of Montgomery County - a majority of residents, in fact. Their support for Express Lanes outweighs a small group of trolls under the bridge funded by the MoCo cartel and Rockefeller Foundation trying to keep our roads gridlocked for personal profit.

The big choke points are that I-95 was routed onto our Beltway instead of going through DC like it was supposed to, and that the Council never built the M-83 Highway and another Potomac crossing north of the Legion bridge.

Anonymous said...

"People don’t want to be located in suburban office parks anymore. They want to be in a 24/7 environment. They want to be near transit."

-Doug Duncan, May 2017

Anonymous said...

"Are you angry about the thousands of demolitions and condemnations needed to build the BRT network in the County?"

[citation needed]

"A small group of trolls under the bridge funded by the MoCo cartel and (((Rockefeller))) Foundation trying to keep our roads gridlocked for personal profit."

[citation needed]

"The big choke points are that I-95 was routed onto our Beltway instead of going through DC like it was supposed to"

Routing I-95 through downtown DC and along the 14th Street Bridges would have resulted in a much bigger choke-point.

Robert Dyer said...

6:33: "We love suburban office parks and built brand-new suburban office park campuses in the last few years." - Facebook, Apple and Google, 2019

6:39: Keeping east coast traffic on I-95 all the way through the region would not have created a bigger choke point than dumping onto the Beltway, Einstein.

170+ homes and businesses would be demolished between Olney and Wheaton for Georgia Avenue BRT, according to MDOT report. Do the math when you add in Route 29, 355, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Some of the biggest and most successful companies like Apple, Facebook and Google all have suburban office park-style campuses."

Fortune #5 - Amazon - Seattle (also AMZHQ2 - urban - Arlington and Queens (withdrawn))

#9 - AT&T - Dallas

#18 - JPMorganChase - Manhattan

#19 - Verizon - Manhattan

#20 - Kroger - downtown Cincinnati

#21 - GE - Boston and Manhattan

#22 - Fannie Mae - Washington DC

#25 - Bank of America - downtown Charlotte

#29 - Wells Fargo - San Francisco

#30 - Citigroup - Manhattan

#32 - Comcast - Philadelphia

#33 - Anthem - downtown Indianapolis

#37 - Johnson & Johnson - New Brunswick, NJ

#39 - Target - downtown Minneapolis

#41 - United Parcel Service - Atlanta (suburban but adjacent to MARTA rail station)

#44 - MetLife - Manhattan

#45 - Proctor & Gamble - downtown Cincinnati

#49 - Archer Daniels Midland - Chicago

#50 - Prudential - Newark

Robert Dyer said...

7:29: That doesn't prove anything - just cherry picking companies that supposedly have urban offices (just naming a city doesn't mean the HQ is in the downtown business district).

Note that none of the companies you mentioned are major aerospace, defense or tech firms, which are the ones that require suburban office park settings. GE does have involvement in those fields, but those divisions are most certainly not run out of the urban buildings you are citing here.

Aerospace, defense and tech are the fields we should be targeting to attract high-wage jobs to Montgomery County. Those companies need suburban office parks.

Anonymous said...

"just naming a city doesn't mean the HQ is in the downtown business district."

All of those listed are in the downtown central business districts of those cities, with the exception of UPS.

Robert Dyer said...

8:44: What's your point? What does the urban setting of some firms have to do with the strong demand for suburban office park settings of many other firms?

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer @ 8:44:

"What's your point? What does the suburban office park setting of some firms have to do with the strong demand for urban settings of many other firms?"

You see how this works?

Saith Dyer @ 8:33: "GE does have involvement in those fields, but those divisions are most certainly not run out of the urban buildings you are citing here."

Well, that kind of undercuts your talking point that corporate headquarters are the "gold standard measuring stick" (to use your own awkward mixed metaphor) of economic development for a given region.

Robert Dyer said...

5"16: Wrong! Much like GE, we have the Lockheed HQ but we don't have all of the various Lockheed research and manufacturing facilities. That doesn't mean the Lockheed HQ is not valuable; in fact, it is the crown jewel of MoCo's sad short list of important corporations.

Do you share the Council's longstanding belief that we should force Lockheed's HQ out of the County? I certainly don't.

"We don't need the Lockheed headquarters." - Nancy Floreen, Aspen Hill Library, 2010

My actual point was that GE is not a specialized defense/aerospace firm like Lockheed and Northrop. They do everything from appliances to light bulbs to locomotives. Reading skills are a must.

Anonymous said...

8:33 AM - You got a bushel of cherries there from the picking. Can't argue that can you? Rocket man!

Anonymous said...

OK, Robbie - let's assume, for the sake of argument, that we should make poaching of Fortune 500 company headquarters the primary strategy for our County's future economic development.

What in your set of skills, knowledge and experience, makes you uniquely qualified to make that happen?

Suze said...

Millennials forcing companies to abandon boring suburban office parks: https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-forcing-end-suburban-office-parks-2017-2

You cite Google as a prime example of an office park, but the Googleplex is hardly comparable to Rock Spring. Google's campus provides its employees with numerous amenities that simply aren't found at traditional office parks. The campus itself is practically a mini city, which is exactly what I said Rock Spring would need to become in order to attract big companies. Google also provides transit access to its campus with dedicated employee shuttles. Rock Spring has attempted that, but without the same level of success.

If we expand BRT or light rail throughout the County, then yeah some of these aging office parks could be revamped and successfully marketed. But as is the majority of millennials want to work in an office where they can walk to lunch, have easy access to a gym, drop off their dry cleaning, and leave their car at home (if they even have one) - things that aren't possible at a place like Rock Spring.

Suze said...

Additionally, the article I linked mentions some newly successful suburban office parks - but those are office parks that have revamped and added amenities like walkability, transit access, and food options. Like it or not, the 70s era office park is dying.

Robert Dyer said...

8:24: Millennials don't work at Facebook, Apple or Google on their suburban HQ campuses? LOL

Suze said...

Did you read a single word I wrote? About how Google's complex is NOT a traditional office park, but its own mini city with the amenities that millennial workers want? Or did you just decide to ignore it and say LOL, confident you got yourself a win?

Anonymous said...

I remember how Doug Duncan couldn't say no to Barwood.

Robert Dyer said...

1:00 PM: Rock Spring is a mini-city, too. Marriott has a mini city in their current hq there. There are dining options available in the office buildings at Rockledge. Any firm that would locate there or along 270 would customize their site to provide the amenities they need.

You don't give the Council a free pass for failure by saying "millennials want options." There are options, and there's nothing stopping anyone from adding more for a new employer.

Suze said...

Oh, you're hilarious. Marriott's headquarters are gorgeous, yes, but they're hardly a miniature city unless they've done a complete overhaul in the 12 months since I toured their facility.

Rock Spring is in no way, shape, or form a city. Having a deli in your building is not the same as having access to the restaurants of Woodmont Triangle, for example. The mall is there, sure, but it is far enough, and the sidewalks are poor enough, that no one would consider it a walkable option. Do you know why Marriott relocated? Because they were tired of being isolated in an office park, far from transit and far from a bustling central business district. They chose downtown Bethesda specifically for it's access to the Red and future Purple lines, and the hundreds of restaurants and shops their employees can patronize.

How am I giving the Council a pass for failure by pointing out nationwide trends in office space? The rise of co-working companies like WeWorks is further proof that companies will pay for easy access to city spaces and the amenities they contain.

Robert Dyer said...

6:11: Except there is no monolithic "nationwide trend" - states like California, Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina are getting major employers in suburban office parks and campuses like Google, Apple, Facebook and Boeing.

We all know that the MoCo cartel's - and their few apologists' - first response to any of their failures being pointed out is to point fingers at nationwide trends "beyond their control." Unfortunately, the many economic development victories across the river in Northern Virginia reveal that they cannot hide behind such childish excuses.

Defense and aerospace firms of the type we should be attracting to the County do not locate at WeWork. Neither does Amazon's HQ2, obviously.

Marriott mainly slid its deck chair down the Titanic to get a sack of money from Maryland and Montgomery County, by threatening to leave.

Anonymous said...

"There are dining options available in the office buildings at Rockledge."

More proof that you are not awake in the daytime.

Anonymous said...

Repeating my question from 12 hours ago...

OK, Robbie - let's assume, for the sake of argument, that we should make poaching of Fortune 500 company headquarters the primary strategy for our County's future economic development.

What in your set of skills, knowledge and experience, makes you uniquely qualified to make that happen?

Anonymous said...

Have you ever had a real job? Ever worked in an office park or in a city office building? Your blogging is really a solo job. You don’t work with others.

An office park isn’t a city. The office setting IS changing. More people are telecommuting or using shared space.

People who work in a city setting like DC, downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring or Crystal City use public transportation.

You just don’t get it. You don’t understand the real working world. Your smug hatred of public transportation and misunderstanding of working in the 21st century is obvious.

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer: "Defense and aerospace firms of the type we should be attracting to the County do not locate at WeWork. Neither does Amazon's HQ2, obviously."

Amazon just chose an urban area adjacent to a Metro station for its "second headquarters", and chose an even more urban area in New York City, NOT an aging suburban office park. You're clueless.

Robert Dyer said...

7:59: You're the one who's clueless - the New York half of HQ2 was canceled many months ago. You also just moved the goalposts again - I was addressing the separate issue of WeWork that the commenter brought up, not the suburban vs. urban question. Reading skills are a must..

7:44: Some office settings are changing, not all. Telecommuting is more of a myth than a trend. I've noticed that traffic is not only just as bad as always going N on I-270 in the evening rush, but has gotten even worse in the first half of 2019. So I'm seeing no real-world impact from telecommuting. It's just something that inept Councilmembers who have failed to attract a single major corporate HQ to the County in over twenty years think makes them sound hip, while deflecting the question of their own failure.

The only people who "choose" public transportation are those who are getting it free or heavily subsidized by government or their employer. Most people don't have the luxury of time to spend 2 hours commuting each way to work and back home each day.

7:33: Unlike our current elected officials, I am knowledgeable about the international business world in 2019, and the infrastructure and business climate needed to attract top firms. Unlike all Council members except Sid Katz, I've actually run several small businesses, delivered projects on-budget, and hired, fired and managed employees in the private sector.

7:19: Exactly the opposite - having eaten there myself, those dining options at Rockledge are only open in the daytime, proving that YOU are the one who sleeps in the daytime, but also that you know nothing about the office parks at Rockledge.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say that the New York half of HQ2 wasn't cancelled. I simply noted that Amazon chose an urban location. The reasons for its cancellation had nothing to do with the type of location.

Regarding the comment about WeWork, no one was "shifting the goalposts", just pointing out that your obsession with poaching Fortune 500 headquarters - and in only a single economic sector - defense/aerospace - is stupid. And you concluded with "and neither does Amazon" - therefore it was you who raised that issue.

"I've actually run several small businesses, delivered projects on-budget, and hired, fired and managed employees in the private sector."

Why not list them? Candidates typically brag about their resume, yet you are so secretive.

Robert Dyer said...

4:52: I'm the only reporter in local news who *has* provided biographical information online. We don't have a clue about the folks writing the stories at other news outlets.

Are you now claiming that WeWork is the economic equivalent of a Fortune 500 HQ? That's the only out you have from moving the goalposts there.

Actually, HQ2's NYC cancellation was all about the type of location - people in Virginia, Texas and other states aren't dumb enough to pass up 25000 jobs for political gain. They definitely took a Montgomery County Council approach to economic development in NYC by giving Amazon the bum's rush. Heckuva job, Brownie!

Anonymous said...

"Exactly the opposite - having eaten there myself, those dining options at Rockledge are only open in the daytime, proving that YOU are the one who sleeps in the daytime, but also that you know nothing about the office parks at Rockledge."

So you had a ham and cheese croissant at a deli there. I'll bet you didn't even post a YouTube review of it.

Robert Dyer said...

5:04: Again, if you think the only food available at Rockledge is deli sandwiches, it only proves you know nothing about the place.

Anna said...

"I'm the only reporter in local news who *has* provided biographical information online. We don't have a clue about the folks writing the stories at other news outlets."

At this point you're scraping the bottom of the barrel.
It's mostly YOU who cares about other's people's bios. You keep your own info close to the vest but expect others to reveal all.

Real people just want an accurate and factual article, written by someone not insulting them or their intelligence.

Anna said...

So if you're all openbook about yourself, why do you delete this post of mine from a different thread?

Everybody knows where Dyer lives. He lives in Westbard, haven't you been reading this blog? Westbard, Westbard, Westbard. Shades of Jan Brady. Sheesh!

We know where a lot of former candidates live. What's the issue?

Anna said...

There is no cartel

Saying it over and over doesn't make it true.

You covering your ears and saying "yes there is" day after day like a stubborn child doesn't make it true.

Anonymous said...

"Telecommuting is more of a myth than a trend. I've noticed that traffic is not only just as bad as always going N on I-270 in the evening rush, but has gotten even worse in the first half of 2019."

So your notion about telecommuting is based solely on your drive up I-270, and not from any real-life experience of friends, neighbors or family members in the actual working world.

And you yourself don't actually work out of an office.

Anna said...

I believe it was just last month the Feds began having MORE employees Tele-Work during the metro shutdown this summer.

Robert Dyer said...

7:35: Think about how dumb what you just wrote was - Your argument is that the real world experience of traffic congestion on I-270 is less convincing than a propaganda article making false claims about telecommuting in a newspaper?

Unlike you, I actually get around the County. But anyone can watch the traffic cameras on Channel 6 to see how bad the traffic is during rush hour. Try it sometime!

Yes, dummy, real world factual observations do outrank evidence-free claims by propaganda writers.

Anonymous said...

So you get all angry when someone says you ride the short bus or calls you on the spectrum but you call others names like dummy. You are so thin skinned dish it out but can’t take it

And please give up on the whole office park, deli, telecommuting, public transportation, driving bull crap.

You sniff Mountain Dew on YouTube. Hardly a job.

Robert Dyer said...

8:16: I'm in the arena fighting. I go into rooms where I face 99% opposition and still deliver my speech or debate performance (until the cartel realized they couldn't beat me and had to end debates in the county).

Meanwhile, you're hiding online - and in person when claim you spy on me at events but are too scared to identify yourself face-to-face, and then trying to call other people thin-skinned.

Sad!

I'll never "give up" telling the truth in Montgomery County, Bozo Clown.

Anna said...

And us readers will never "give up" outing your lies about Montgomery County.

Anonymous said...

Bozo? Whatever Spectrum Boy.

Anonymous said...

"Over that same period since they first won a majority of the seats on the County Council in 2002 - and now control every single seat in 2019"

Who were the Council members elected between 2002 and 2018 who were NOT part of "the MoCo Cartel"?

Looks like the Term Limits Initiative backfired spectacularly.

Robert Dyer said...

8:11: Your language in that statement again proves you are in the employ of the cartel.

7:33: It did backfire, because a large enough number of people didn't bother to research the candidates before voting, another sizable chunk of voters childishly just wanted 9 Democrats to win all the seats, all general election Council debates were canceled under orders from the cartel, the cartel colluded with the local media and the Post in particular, and there was voter fraud, vote result tampering and illegal voting evident in the precinct numbers.

Anna said...

This comment?


And us readers will never "give up" outing your lies about Montgomery County.

8:11 AM


Sheesh. Because it's always easier to imagine that those who oppose you are paid puppets rather than courageous and pure of heart.

How many hours do you spend confabulating the "intent" you manage to attribute to others out of pure envy?