Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Something’s Going On

The Montgomery County chapter of the National Organization for Women (MCNOW) has perhaps the most relaxed endorsement procedure in the county. All you have to do is fill out the online questionnaire, click submit, and if you answer correctly, you have a good chance of getting the endorsement. Multiple candidates have told your author that they did not even have to attend an interview. MCNOW also frequently endorses more candidates than seats. For example, they have endorsed both candidates in all four marquee Senate primaries, four Delegate candidates in Districts 14 and 15, five Delegate candidates in District 18 and eight (!!) in District 16. In the at-large County Council race, they have endorsed six candidates for four seats:

Jane de Winter
Marc Elrich
Nancy Floreen
George Leventhal
Hans Riemer
Becky Wagner

Not Duchy Trachtenberg.

You read that correctly: Not Duchy Trachtenberg.

Trachtenberg appears to be better qualified than any other candidate in the county for MCNOW’s support. She is a former President of MCNOW and a former President and Treasurer of Maryland NOW. Her former Chief of Staff, Terry O’Neill, was once President of Maryland NOW and is the current National President of NOW. Her former aide, Dana Beyer, was an Executive Vice-President of Maryland NOW while Trachtenberg was Treasurer. Trachtenberg introduced a successful bill on pregnancy centers that was supported by O’Neill. And O’Neill even appeared at Trachtenberg’s campaign kickoff, as did a National Vice-President of NOW, despite the fact that she had not yet been endorsed by any NOW organization.

So why has MCNOW endorsed no fewer than six at-large candidates before supporting Trachtenberg? Consider that Trachtenberg has threatened to sue various NOW officials to prevent them from publicly discussing a grievance alleging that she had “mishandled money” while she was Maryland NOW Treasurer. Consider also that Trachtenberg not only resigned as Maryland NOW Treasurer, but she also resigned as a NOW member in November 2008.

And why does this question appear at the end of MCNOW’s online questionnaire?

12. Is there anything in your background that might disqualify you from an endorsement by MCNOW?
What kind of a question is that? Eli El might have a problem answering it, but would any other candidate in MoCo? Your author has never seen a question like that asked by any other endorsing organization in the county.

Something’s going on, folks, something’s going on…