Monday, January 07, 2008

Huckerville, 20910

It is not too often that a freshman Delegate is able to gather statewide political rivals to come to a fundraiser on his behalf. But it happened as Delegate Tom Hucker (District 20, Takoma Park, downtown Silver Spring, Hillandale, and Colesville) had an array of elected politicians on hand who gathered at Tom's district office ... I mean McGinty's.

The headliners were Governor O'Malley, who had returned to Maryland from a brief trip to New Hampshire for Hillary, and the Speaker of the House, Michael Busch. The rivals in attendence were O'Malley and Comptroller Peter Franchot who had differing opinions about the recently completed special session. The list of officials in the room is too large to list everyone but here is who I saw: Ike Leggett, Doug Gansler, Tom Perez, Duchy Trachtenberg, George Leventhal, Valerie Ervin, Shelia Hixson, Heather Mizeur, Brian Feldman, James Gilchrist, Herman Taylor, and host of officials from Baltimore City and Prince George's County. It was by far the most diverse group of supporters I have seen at a fundraiser in a long long time. Heck the only person missing was the person who coined the term "Huckerville" for Tom's ubiquitous red and white yard signs blanketing a portion of New Hampshire Avenue, John McCarthy, during the 2006 primary.

Why the crowd? Well getting the Governor and the Speaker sure as heck helped. And in fact, it was a major reason for the overflow crowd. The fact that the 90 day session begins on Wednesday, the buzz about the Presidential primaries and the lack of a conflict with the Redskins playoff game all were factors. But Tom Hucker was a major behind the scenes guy on the Governor's major initiative of the regular session, Living Wage, and he suggested a key compromise on the slots legislation during the special session to break the logjam between the House and Senate that the Governor seized as the opening he needed. These are things that most seasoned legislators can't accomplish much less a freshman. Tom Hucker did those things and that was the real reason for a packed house on a warm Sunday afternoon.

What Tom has done is exactly what I want from a legislator. Someone who is progressive but able to get legislation through. No use giving a great speech if you can't pass the legislation. That is my litmus test for a legislator. Good job Tom you have a placed the bar high in 2007 and you cleared it. Now what are your goals for 2008?

Tom Hucker and his wife Amy Fortin