Mega New Yr political notes: A GOP senator’s prescription for what ails the get together, fundraising off Hill stalemate, and personnel strikes
State Sen. Christopher R. West (R-Baltimore County) on the Maryland Affiliation of Counties summer time convention in 2019. Photograph by Danielle. E. Gaines.

With Republicans within the U.S. Home mired in dysfunction and Maryland Republicans nonetheless reeling from their drubbing on the polls in November, Baltimore County state Sen. Chris West, maybe probably the most average GOP lawmaker at present serving in Annapolis, has provided a protracted treatise in regards to the state of the Maryland get together and what it must do to rebuild.

Within the present political surroundings, it’s price discussing.

In a letter to supporters, which was reprinted as a commentary earlier this week in Maryland Reporter, West outlined his lengthy historical past of political involvement, relationship again to his highschool days in 1968, and listed the ideologically numerous array of Maryland Republicans he has actively supported over time, from the late U.S. Sen. Charles “Mac” Mathias to two-time GOP gubernatorial nominee Ellen Sauerbrey.

West traced among the state GOP’s current issues to the sniping within the final election between outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan, himself a center-right Republican, and Del. Dan Cox, the 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee who was intently aligned with former President Trump.

“Definitely, the Maryland Republican Social gathering has fallen on arduous occasions,” West wrote. “In 2022, for the second gubernatorial election in a row, the Democrats had the higher hand. Republican candidates misplaced many elections that they need to not have misplaced, usually by slim margins. As Gov. Hogan leaves workplace, he leaves behind a celebration that’s demoralized and defeated.”

West expressed incredulity that Cox would assume he was going to win the overall election in opposition to Gov.-elect Wes Moore (D) when he wound up solely taking 32% of the vote. “Clearly, Mr. Cox had been residing in some kind of marketing campaign bubble,” West wrote.

West known as the infighting unproductive and in the end harmful for the get together’s well being. He mentioned it’s OK for Republicans to have hard-fought primaries that expose coverage divisions however that GOP leaders and voters want to come back collectively each normal election.

“This round firing squad alienates many who in any other case could be keen to become involved in get together affairs,” the senator wrote. “Politics is the science of addition, not subtraction. As a way to win elections, candidates want so as to add increasingly more supporters till they represent over 50% of the voters. Making an attempt to purge the get together of individuals extra conservative or extra average than you merely wastes time, creates festering animosities and makes the accomplishment of election victories harder.”

West additionally chastised Republicans for not embracing all three strategies of voting out there to Marylanders, as Democrats have: by mail-in ballots, at early polling locations and on Election Day.

Moreover, he provided these prescriptions for Republicans: Give attention to crime, improve coordination between get together officers and elected Republicans; extra outreach to Latinos and Asian voters; and aggressively elevate cash over a four-year election cycle, not simply in election years.

“Bear in mind, there isn’t a training within the second kick of a mule,” West wrote. “Maryland Republicans acquired our first kick in 2018, our second kick two years later in 2020 and our third kick in 2022. Do we actually need to be on the receiving finish of a fourth kick in 2024 and a fifth kick in 2026? Maryland is price preventing for, so let’s be good about how we struggle.”

Ivey fundraises off of GOP dysfunction

As a result of the U.S. Home has but to be sworn in as a result of Republicans’ lack of ability to elect a speaker, Rep.-elect Glenn Ivey (D-Md.), who will turn out to be the latest member of the state’s congressional delegation, has but to be sworn in. However that didn’t forestall him from making an attempt to lift cash off the GOP chaos this week.

“It’s clear — we want Democrats to take again the bulk and restore hope for truthful and accountable management,” Ivey wrote in an e-mail to supporters on Tuesday morning. “Along with your assist, we are going to proceed working to take again our majority and assist Democrats throughout the nation.

“Will you rush a donation to assist smart, supportive management that places individuals over politics?”

A number of hours later, after the primary few ballots on the Home flooring didn’t produce a speaker, Ivey re-upped the request.

“I wrote to you earlier immediately emphasizing the necessity for Democrats to take again the Home majority,” he wrote. “Lower than 5 hours later… The GOP has demonstrated precisely why.”

New gigs in Raskin’s store

Talking of Hill developments, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) this week introduced some workers adjustments, now that he’s able to assume the highest Democratic spot on the Home Oversight and Reform Committee.

Raskin mentioned that his chief of workers, Julie Tagen, who has served in that place since Raskin entered Congress in 2017, will likely be transferring to turn out to be the Democratic workers director on the Oversight panel, although with a title that has but to be outlined at this level.

“I’m so grateful for all of Julie’s arduous work, wonderful information of Capitol Hill and passionate dedication to the success of our workplace,” Raskin mentioned in a press release. “I’m delighted that she is going to proceed to serve our staff in a brand new position as my duties increase and develop. We’re within the means of reorganizing the dramatically diminished Democratic workers on the Oversight Committee and Julie helps me to construct a lean and efficient staff of investigators, attorneys and communications personnel to behave with the Members of our Committee as a fact squad in opposition to the approaching tides of conspiracy principle and disinformation.”

Changing Tagen as chief of workers on Raskin’s private workers will likely be Leesa Klepper, who labored most not too long ago as senior counsel for the Oversight committee, targeted on well being care, and earlier in her profession served as counsel with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Klepper spent over 10 years as an adjunct professor at American College Washington Faculty of Legislation, the place she labored alongside Raskin, who was a professor on the legislation faculty, as assistant director of the legislation faculty’s Legislation and Authorities Program.

“Raised within the Eighth Congressional District, Leesa brings her love for Maryland, ardour for teamwork, enduring dedication to public service, and spectacular expertise as a lawyer and supervisor in academia and the personal sector to our workplace,” Raskin mentioned.

Kathleen Connor, who has been director of Raskin’s district workplace since his 2016 election, is taking over the brand new title of district chief. Raskin mentioned the brand new title “higher captures the wonderful position she performs for the Eighth District and which she has luckily accepted.”

Fitzwater’s staff

Simply earlier than Christmas, new Frederick County Government Jessica Fitzwater (D) revealed the members of her senior management staff in a Fb submit. It features a mixture of newcomers and holdovers from the administration of her predecessor, Jan Gardner (D).

The newcomers embrace Chelsea Kadish, who’s Fitzwater’s chief of workers. Kadish is an lawyer and Democratic activist in Frederick who has labored as chief of workers for Del. Karen Lewis Younger (D-Frederick), who’s about to be sworn in as a senator subsequent week.

Pat Murray, a veteran Democratic hand who served as a marketing campaign adviser to Fitzwater, will now be a senior adviser to county authorities. Murray beforehand labored as chief of workers to Baltimore County Government John Olszewski Jr. (D) and to the late state Senate President Mike Miller. He has additionally labored for the late Home Speaker Mike Busch (D) and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) and as government director of the Maryland Democratic Social gathering. Murray can be an adjunct lecturer at McDaniel Faculty.

Victoria Venable, the Maryland director for the Chesapeake Local weather Motion Community, has been employed to function Fitzwater’s legislative director. And Ysela Bravo, who ran unsuccessfully for a place on the Frederick County Board of Schooling, will likely be a neighborhood liaison.

Among the holdovers from the Gardner administration embrace Chief Administrative Officer Rick Harcum, Chief Fairness and Inclusion Officer Michael Hughes, Authorities Affairs Director Pleasure Schaefer, and Communications Director Vivian Laxton.

“I’m so excited to work with these of us as we proceed to construct a Frederick County the place everybody can reside, work, and thrive!” Fitzwater wrote in her Fb submit.

Hopping aboard for transit

The Common Meeting’s Transit Caucus this week introduced its new officers.

Sen.-elect Karen Lewis Younger (D-Frederick) and Del. Jared Solomon (D-Montgomery) will function the co-chairs. Sen. Arthur Ellis (D-Charles) and Del. Sheila Ruth (D-Baltimore County) would be the vice chairs. Del. Julie Palakovich Carr (D-Montgomery) would be the caucus secretary, and Del. Marc Korman (D-Montgomery), a driving pressure in establishing the caucus a number of years in the past, will likely be an at-large member.

Extra personnel information

The powerhouse Baltimore agency KO Public Affairs this week is hiring two new account executives.

Juwan Blocker will likely be a senior account government, coming to the agency from the workplace of outgoing Comptroller Peter Franchot (D). On the comptroller’s workplace, Blocker was a particular assistant, Prince George’s County liaison, and deputy legislative affairs director.

The opposite account government, Stacey Wells involves KO from the Polsinelli legislation agency in Washington, D.C., the place she coordinated advocacy campaigns and created communication supplies. She beforehand labored for Dels. Sara Love (D-Montgomery) and Marc Korman (D-Montgomery) in Annapolis.

“We’re thrilled to have them on board, and count on nice issues from every of them given their wealth of data and relationships,” mentioned Rick Abbruzzese, a associate at KO Public Affairs.

Final however actually not least, Raquel Guillory Coombs, who has been communications director for former Legal professional Common Brian Frosh (D) for the previous 6 1/2 years, is heading to the Maryland Division of Price range and Administration to be chief of workers to Secretary-designate Helene Grady when Gov.-elect Wes Moore (D) takes workplace on Jan. 18.

Coombs has additionally labored within the press retailers of former Govs. Martin O’Malley (D) and Parris Glendening (D) and former Legal professional Common Doug Gansler (D), and in addition was vice chairman of communications and digital media for the nationwide NAACP in Baltimore. And again within the day, Coombs was a State Home radio reporter.

Editor’s be aware: This story has been up to date to accurately establish Raquel Coombs’ new place.