2010

ELECTION YEAR IN REVIEW Victories for the Environment

2010 Election Year in Review
Maryland LCV, Making a Difference:
Dear Conservation Voter, Wow, what a busy year 2010 was! In a year that saw a continuing recession and legislators running scared for their future, the environment still came out on top. For sure, we didn’t get everything we wanted, which is why we will keep fighting everyday to protect and restore the health of our citizens and the beauty of our state. But even in these tumultuous times, we are making a difference. In the final tally, we had a number of significant victories in the 2010 General Assembly session. We continued to protect important parts of the “environmental budget,” such as Program Open Space, and secured $22.5 million for the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. We also passed bills ensuring that Maryland’s transportation decisions improve our quality of life and to accelerate Maryland’s solar energy production. But there is still much to do and, in the face of a continuing recession, protecting our air, land, and water remained a huge challenge. Because we know that who we elect matters, we felt the upcoming elections presented us with a great opportunity. That’s why in the early part of 2010 we reviewed the political “lay of the land” and set out to develop a winning strategy that would increase our chances of passing strong environmental bills over the next four years. With the entire state legislature and governor up for election, Maryland LCV mapped out a strategy to protect our environmental champions, preserve the conservation majority in the House of Delegates, and increase the number of conservation-minded senators. Our 30 years of electoral work in Maryland, and our grassroots work over the last four years, indicated to us that we could tip the scales for the right candidates if we played our cards right. This was also a year of “firsts” for the Maryland LCV family: we kicked off our first county chapter, developed new partnerships with organizations outside of the environmental community, and executed the largest voter education program in the MDLCV Education Fund’s history. Maryland LCV’s new Anne Arundel County Chapter scored a huge victory with the election of Chris Trumbauer (the West Rhode Riverkeeper) to the Anne Arundel County Council—what a great beginning for this talented and hard working group of volunteers! We charted new ground by working in partnerships with the Maryland State Educators Association (MSEA), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Sierra Club, and Progressive Maryland, and by successfully combing our environmental messages with their messages, we created a winning narrative about working families, kids, and our future—it proved to be a winning strategy. As Maryland LCV entered its fourth decade in 2010, we celebrated our achievements, rallied the faithful, and reflected on the challenges ahead at gatherings all over the state with dedicated environmentalists, community activists, and supportive elected officials. The highlight of the year was our 10th annual John V. Kabler Memorial Award Event in October. Over 250 people joined us in honoring Speaker of the House, Michael E. Busch, as the Kabler award recipient in recognition of his leadership and his protection of the environment. The crowd listened as our guest speaker, Dr. Don Boesch, spoke of his experiences as a member of President Obama’s National Commission of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and the lessons learned from that terrible disaster. Governor O’Malley’s remarks captured the importance of reaching a “precious consensus” behind conservation efforts and underscored for everyone there the importance of sending him back to continue as the Governor of Maryland. Our success depended on you and tens of thousands of other like-minded Marylanders who made their voices heard at the ballot box by voting for conservation candidates and supporting our work. With strong environmental leaders at the helm, there is a lot of important work ahead to clean up our state. We’ll continue to need your support in the months and years ahead to protect our natural resources and build upon the strength of the conservation movement for future elections—but for now, I sincerely thank you for investing in our joint future.

Cindy Schwartz
Executive Director

2010 Election Year in Review
Protecting Environmental Champions:
Protecting environmental champions is central to the mission of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. We firmly believe that if elected officials work for us in the General Assembly then it is incumbent on us to be there for them when they need us in the elections. Over the past year, we have endorsed candidates, expended countless resources and advocated for our champions—we are pleased that 89% of the candidates endorsed by Maryland LCV (a total of 121 out of 138 endorsed candidates) won their races. On Election Day, Maryland voters sent a clear message—they care about moving Maryland forward by committing to restore the Chesapeake Bay, halting over-development and reducing traffic, and creating clean energy jobs. Governor O’Malley‘s wide margin of victory is a resounding signal that Marylanders believe we can work ourselves out of the recession and protect the environment at the same time. In early January, Maryland LCV endorsed Governor Martin O’Malley, the earliest endorsement in our 30 year history. This was a strong affirmation that he has not only made progress for the environment but also has developed a strong relationship with the environmental community. We continue to believe that he is the best choice to lead us for the next four years. In the months prior to Election Day, Maryland LCV made over 83,000 voter contacts for our endorsed candidates and produced 11 web-based videos promoting the reelection of Governor O’Malley. Voters responded by choosing candidates who promoted healthy communities, education, and the environment. Electing environmental champions to the State House means Marylanders will have a stronger voice in Annapolis when it comes to protecting our lands and cleaning up our air and water -- including the Chesapeake Bay— not just now but for future generations. “Perhaps another key to the league's high electoral batting average this year was its teaming up with labor (teachers and service workers) and with other environmental groups, Sierra Club and E nvironment Maryland, to pool efforts in making phone calls, sending out emails and producing campaign videos.”

—Tim Wheeler, Baltimore Sun,
November 4, 2010

Maryland LCV 2010 Timeline
January
January — Develop electoral strategy to protect our champions and increase the number of “conservation votes” in the Senate. May through September— Send out 620 candidate questionnaires and hold candidate endorsement interviews across the state.

July

August

June and July— Hold receptions on Eastern Shore and in Bethesda —where concerned citizens enjoy words of wisdom from environmental champions Gov. Harry Hughes and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

January 21— Maryland LCV makes earliest endorsement in it’s 30 year history—endorses Governor Martin O’Malley.

June 10 & July 26Maryland LCV releases endorsements for conservation heroes for the primary in the Senate and House of Delegates.

June 16Release the newly designed 2010 Maryland General Assembly Environmental Scorecard - 45 state legislators, out of 141 score 100%.

July through August — Joint campaign launch with SEIU, Progressive Maryland and Sierra Club to elect Montgomery, Kaiser, Luedtke and Zucker —contact over 8,300 voters.

2010 Election Year in Review
Electing New Conservation Champions:
Over the past four years, as we fought to pass strong environmental legislation, we often found ourselves in the same situation. We were achieving legislative wins in the House of Delegates but we met with resistance in the Senate; too often our bills were weakened or killed outright. This year we made it our mission to change that dynamic by increasing the number of senators who we can count on to vote for the environment. We are pleased to report that in January there will be FIVE new members of the Senate, and in every case the winning candidate has either a better record or has made commitments to be stronger on the environment than the senator he or she is replacing. • Maryland LCV’s top priority race in the primary was in District 14 in Montgomery County. Delegate Karen Montgomery, with a 96% MDLCV lifetime environmental score, triumphed over incumbent Senator Rona Kramer, whose lifetime MDLCV environmental score is 65%. Maryland LCV worked in partnership with SEIU, Sierra Club, and Progressive Maryland to mount an aggressive campaign, making over 8,300 voter contacts. In the District 24 primary race in Prince George’s County, we helped elect Delegate Joanne Benson, who sponsored key environmental legislation while she was a member of the House, over incumbent Senator Nathaniel Exum, who in 2008 led the Senate’s effort to weaken the Global Warming Solutions Act. In the District 46 primary race in Baltimore City, voters rejected incumbent Senator George Della’s career of voting against funding both to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and invest in a clean energy economy, in favor of Maryland LCV endorsed candidate Bill Ferguson’s clear plan to create green jobs. Our top priority race in the general election was in District 38 on the Eastern Shore: to elect Delegate Jim Mathias, who has a 82% lifetime MDLCV environmental score, to the open Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Senator Lowell Stoltzfus, whose MDLCV lifetime score was 11%. Senator-elect Mathias will be a welcome conservation vote in the Senate! The fifth new conservation vote comes from District 3 in Frederick County—a newcomer to the Senate, Maryland LCV endorsed candidate Ron Young, whose upset win unseated incumbent Alex Mooney, who has a MDLCV lifetime environmental score of 13%.

September
August & September — Maryland LCV contacts thousands of registered environmental voters through phone calls, direct mail, and on the web to get out the vote for in the primary. September 14— 88% of Maryland LCVendorsed candidates win their races in the primary Election— the primaries bring 3 new conservation votes to the Senate with the election of Karen Montgomery, Joanne Benson and Bill Ferguson for Senate.

October
September 15— Maryland LCV Education Fund mails over 160,000 Absentee Ballot Applications to voters. Calls 55,000 of them, encouraging them to use the applications.

October 18 — Maryland LCV honors Speaker Mike Busch with the annual Kabler Award. We are joined by Governor O’Malley, Dr. Don Boesch and legislators from across the state.

2010 Maryland LCV Education Fund
Educating Voters:
In 2010, the Education Fund managed the largest voter education campaign in its history and continued to build the strength and effectiveness of environmentalists across the state. In September, the Education Fund mailed over 160,000 absentee ballot applications to registered voters and called 55,000 of those voters to encourage them to complete the applications or vote early. Additionally, they sent a series of seven emails to 10,000 registered voters over a six week period. The emails were designed to encourage participation by assisting them with general information and giving them tools so they could choose how to vote: absentee, early or on Election Day at their neighborhood polling place. As part of our ongoing research to learn more about the voting behavior of conservation voters, this project will be evaluated against the results from the election to determine its effectiveness. This evaluation will assist our work in future elections and be added to the body of knowledge that is being collected by the national League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. During the 2010 legislative session, we educated and engaged conservation voters across Maryland about the big issues of our day: transportation, energy, growth, and restoring the Chesapeake Bay through our website, emails, and mailings. We encouraged citizens to make their voice heard a number of ways: organizing phone calls to members of the General Assembly and the U.S. Congress to help pass strong environmental legislation, through our annual Legislative Previews in Baltimore County and on the Eastern Shore, and at the environmental community’s Annual Legislative Kickoff in Annapolis. We trained activists and environmental leaders alike through our local grassroots skill trainings, partnering with the Alliance for Justice to provide legal training, and through our “new media” training. We produced the Citizens’ Guide to Activism, a one-stop resource for activists.
Over 160,000 Absentee Ballot Applications mailed in September

November
August through November 2 — MDLCV contacts over 83,000 environmental voters in targeted districts with phone calls and mail. October 29— MDLCV launches on-line video campaign comparing the records of former Gov. Ehrlich and Gov. O’Malley, encouraging voters to go to the polls.

December

August through November 2— MDLCV Anne Arundel County Chapter endorses county-wide candidates in the primary and the general, sends mail and runs phone banks to turn out the environmental vote—scores major victory with election of Chris Trumbauer for County Council.

October 20— MDLCV launches online video campaign, “Top Ten Reasons Maryland Kids think you should reelect Governor O’Malley.”

November 2— Election Day, 89% of MDLCV endorsed candidates WIN, including Gov. O’Malley!

December 1, 8 & 9— MDLCV Education Fund holds three Legislative Previews for the upcoming 2011 General Assembly session in Baltimore County and on the Eastern Shore, with over 300 in attendance.

2011 Looking to the Future
The Fight Continues:
With the elections over, the Maryland LCV staff and board are pleased about many of the outcomes and our work to turn out conservation voters. However, we can’t leave protecting our air, land, water, and people to election years alone. With the reelection of Governor O’Malley, the environmental community will continue to have “a seat at the table” when it comes to conservation policies. We will have many new legislators to educate on the environmental challenges our state is facing and to share new and innovative ways to deal with such issues as climate change, growth, pollution, and Key Dates—2011 General Assembly Session the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

What’s Next?

During the General Assembly session we will continue to produce the “Hot List” for advocates, the media and, most importantly, every Senator and Delegate. It will detail the status of the most important environmental bills and our position on the legislation every week. We will be strategizing with our colleagues in the environmental community and lobbying in the halls of the State House. All along the way we are committed to keeping you informed with emails and Facebook posts, and providing you with effective tools so you can ensure your voice is heard. Priority Bills for the 2011 Legislative Session:

January 12

January 25 January TBD

February 18 April 4 April 11

Protecting the Green Infrastructure Budget

Over the past 10 years Maryland has prioritized environmental protection by establishing dedicated funds for Bay recovery, cleaning our air and waters, promoting energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gases, and protecting our most valuable lands. As the recession drags on and revenues continue to be down, so too will funding for these programs. Cutting them will mean the loss of good local jobs and undermine our efforts to make progress for the environment. We will oppose cuts to Program Open Space, the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Programs, the Heritage Structure Tax Credit (Historic Tax Credit), and fight to protect funding for our Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Planning agencies.

2011 General Assembly Session Begins; Swearing in of New Legislators Annual Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment Summit Annual State of the State address from Governor O’Malley Key "Green Bag" appointments submitted by Governor Budget bill to be passed by both Chambers Sine Die (last day of 2011 Session)

Offshore Wind: Good Jobs, Price Stability, and Clean Energy
Offshore wind is one of America’s greatest untapped energy resources. The achievable wind capacity off our coast is nearly 900,000 megawatts. Capturing even a fraction of this potential will yield dramatic benefits for our nation’s energy security and the environment. Developing Maryland’s offshore wind resources could lead to the creation of more than 15,000 jobs over the next 20 years and would enable us to meet our clean energy requirement of 20% renewable energy by 2022. We will be working to pass legislation requiring Maryland’s utilities to enter into long-term contracts for offshore wind power.

Watershed Protection and Restoration Act
In order to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, each city and county throughout the region needs funding to invest in its community to reduce the polluted runoff poisoning our waterways. We will be fighting for legislation that will give these local jurisdictions a dedicated funding source by assessing a surcharge on impervious surfaces to clean up their rivers and the Bay, create green jobs, and leverage additional dollars from the state and federal government for watershed protection and restoration.

For over 30 years, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters has served as the political voice for the environment. We advocate for sound conservation policies, promote environmentally responsible candidates, and hold individual elected officials accountable through our scorecards and reports.

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