Policy consultant Maya Rockeymoore Cummings (D), the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D), “is launching a bid for Maryland governor, becoming the second woman and the third African American to join the crowded Democratic primary field.”
EMILY’s List “has not yet made an endorsement in the race, but it is helping Rockeymoore Cummings with the launch of her campaign.”
Rockeymoore Cummings: “I truly believe Maryland is punching below its fighting weight. … I think we are going backwards on a number of key indicators. Inequality across the state is a real concern — economic inequality. Many Maryland families are anxious about their economic situation.”
“Rockeymoore Cummings, 46, is not widely known in Maryland political circles apart from her husband. … Rockeymoore Cummings said she plans to use her experience growing up in a military family; working as a congressional aide; managing a program for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and running a small business to help create and enact policies that will move the state forward.” (Washington Post)
Rockeymoore Cummings “plans to announce her candidacy Thursday via a web video.”
“She said she wants a single-payer health care system adopted nationwide, but until then would work to build on Maryland’s unique all-payer system to bring it as close to universal health care as possible. She favors allowing people who don’t qualify for Medicaid coverage because they earn too much to “buy in” to the system. She said she’d also like to see a public option added to coverage under the Affordable Care Act.”
“As with her Democratic rivals, Rockeymoore Cummings’ campaign will center on a critique of” Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) record. “She said he has shortchanged public transit and proposed a highway-oriented transportation plan that would do little to relieve traffic congestion. … Also like her Democratic rivals, Rockeymoore Cummings vowed to tie Hogan’s record to President … Trump.”
“Through her firm and other activities, Rockeymoore Cummings said, she has worked to expand Social Security, take on junk food companies and improve nutrition for children, launch a small business training program for Maryland entrepreneurs and support an effort to create childhood savings accounts for Baltimore students.” (Baltimore Sun)
ARE YOU JEALOUS? SEIU endorsed former NAACP President Ben Jealous (D) on Thursday. The union “represents 45,000 members in Maryland.” (release)
Environmental activist Bill McKibben endorsed Jealous in an email to supporters on Wednesday. McKibben: “Ben Jealous has the track record. There’s no question where his commitment lies.” (Hotline reporting)
ON THE ISSUES. “Three-quarters of Maryland voters want employers to provide robust paid sick leave benefits to their workers, according to a [Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy Inc.] poll (Sept. 27-30; 625 RVs; +/-4%) conducted for advocacy groups.”
“Specifically, 74 percent of survey respondents supported requiring companies with at least 15 employees to provide five days of paid sick leave each year to full-time employees. A bill that emerged from the legislature this year would have accomplished just that, but was vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who had a less comprehensive proposal for paid sick leave. Fifty-seven percent of those polled said they favored legislators overturning Hogan’s veto when they return to work in January.”
“Support for the paid sick leave measure was at 80 percent or greater in Baltimore city, central Maryland and Prince George’s County, and topped 60 percent in more conservative areas like Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore/Southern Maryland. Eighty-one percent of women and 67 percent of men favored the proposal. Even 59 percent of Republicans said they supported the idea. By region, support for overriding Hogan’s veto ranged from 67 percent in Baltimore city to 44 percent on the Eastern Shore/Southern Maryland.” (Maryland Matters)
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After initially promising it in August, "President Trump said Monday that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic." When asked, he also "declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies."
In the wake of Sunday's blockbuster 60 Minutes/Washington Post report on opioid regulation and enforcement, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has introduced legislation that "would repeal a 2016 law that hampered the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to regulate opioid distributors it suspects of misconduct." In a statement, McCaskill said: “Media reports indicate that this law has significantly affected the government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are failing to meet their obligations and endangering our communities."
"The United States military said on Monday that it would practice evacuating noncombatant Americans out of South Korea in the event of war and other emergencies, as the two allies began a joint naval exercise amid heightened tensions with North Korea. The evacuation drill, known as Courageous Channel, is scheduled from next Monday through Friday and is aimed at preparing American 'service members and their families to respond to a wide range of crisis management events such as noncombatant evacuation and natural or man-made disasters,' the United States military said in a statement."
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Speaker Paul Ryan threatened, "We’re going to keep people here for Christmas" if tax reform doesn't get passed. He added, "I don’t care. We have to get this done." However, hopefully this won't happen. Senate is set to pass a budget resolution next week and then resolve differences with the House. Hopefully the House will pass the measure and send it to the Senate by November.