06.20.14 Leventhal the Angry (and more about Floreen & Riemer)

I received this  YouTube video link (3:33) from a few different people in the reasonable-development community (in contrast to the “pave-it-all, in-the-developers’-pockets community”). I hesitated before posting it, because — as I have written — I respect Leventhal, despite his flaws, and consider him much better than almost all the other council incumbents. I would so much rather see Hans (The Liar) Riemer lose his seat on the council than Leventhal. But, my real goal, Dear Reader, is to convince you not to vote for any of the at-large incumbents, other than Elrich, and it is part of my job to report on Leventhal’s flaws when I get such clear evidence.

The video highlights Leventhal’s temper and ties to developers. That Leventhal has a nasty temper and unleashes it against those who disagree with him is hardly news to those who work closely with him. I’ve been hearing these stories for years.

I don’t know who produced this video so I can’t give credit. (It bothers me that the producer isn’t claiming credit — I think a public discourse is best carried out by people with the courage of their convictions.) The copyright mark below is for my commentary, not for the video itself.

Remember: the only way to assure that Marc Elrich is returned to council and Beth Daly is elected is to “bullet vote” only for the two of them. Any votes you cast for third and fourth choices (be they Leventhal, Floreen, or Riemer) could be the ones that push Elrich or Daly into fifth place and leave the council in developers’ hands.

©2014 Keith Berner

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7 Comments on “06.20.14 Leventhal the Angry (and more about Floreen & Riemer)”

  1. Woody Brosnan Says:

    I do understand and respect your position. But one, I believe George loses his temper in part because he does care so much about the issues and about the county. And secondly, I don’t agree with the whole idea that our political choices are entirely defined between pro-developer or anti-developer or pro-growth and anti-growth, etc.

    George has been a champion for helping the poor get health care, for nutrition labeling, for affordable housing and lots of good progressive budget issues.

    And even on zoning and development the differences are often by degree. I watched the hearing on the master plan for White Oak and not one councilperson disagreed with the thesis that jobs — offices and retail — should be the priority over new residential development in the East County.

    So I’m not going to tell anybody in this blog who to vote for. I just urge them to consider the whole record and the whole person.

    woody brosnan


  2. Joe in SS Says:

    The Elrich machine wanted a second vote in Daly (and possibly, a third in Tom Hucker – they have been together an awful lot the last couple of weeks), and they went after what they saw as the weakest link. They’ve done an excellent job turning out the “picket fence progressive” crowd from ProgNeighbors and others, and Daly may very well be the next at-large council person as a result. One guy posts his anti-George material on every single WaPo article about Montgomery County, whether it’s on topic or not, that smacks more of desperation than substance. (I think it’s a link to the same video that you post above).
    Someone, somewhere, in this county needs to define for me what “progressive” means, because every single candidate and organization wraps themselves up in a “progressive” label. To me, the environment is a big part of it, but a no-growth policy (take a look at Elrich, Hucker, and even Jamie Raskin (!) looking to block or reduce transit oriented development at the Takoma metro) just because someone, somewhere, might make a buck off of it, is getting a little out of hand, and it’s certainly not leadership.
    I expected these shenanigans from Marc Elrich – he’s the one guy on the list that I’ll vote for a Republican over (Valerie used to have that title), but it really disappointed me to see Tom Hucker go down that rabbit hole this week.


    • Keith Berner Says:

      Elrich machine?! You must be joking. I only wish it were true. You and your developer friends own the county council and a big hunk of the political process in the county. Trying to paint yourself as the underdog here is like the Christian theocrats around the country claiming they are a persecuted minority. The only thing you and I apparently agree on is Valerie Ervin. Cheers to that.


      • Joe in SS Says:

        Just today, there was this:
        Ironically, the “right-wing lobbying group” [when attacking Evan Glass] to which Elrich referred in the letter is Associated Builders and Contractors, which this year has endorsed both Daly and District 1 Councilmember Roger Berliner – whom Elrich is also backing. Berliner is being challenged by former Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg.
        Followed by Elrich trying to walk it back. It’s a pattern this election, the same item is a positive for his people, and a negative for anyone in his way – the man makes his own rules. I’ve had several personal stories (recounted to me since I posted something about he and Tom Hucker at the TP Farmers Market this weekend, and how the rules apply to everyone but his peeps) sent to me, going back to his time as a teacher. Being a bully is a good thing if the guy is on your side, I guess.

        Greater-Greater Washington just published a good article today on the Takoma Metro piece. The difference between my “progressive” and that of PN, seems to be the difference between ideology and pragmatism. Most folks wanted similar things. The people I named above went and ranted at the meeting that they need to do another study, or go back to the drawing board (Beth Daly’s “death by study” approach), whereas the man you love to hate, Hans Riemer, submitted a list of suggested changes that I am willing to bet was pretty similar to what Seth Grimes, Marc Elrich, and the other neighborhood folks wanted. One is good for show, the other is good for results, but they both get you to the same place.


      • Joe in SS Says:

        Also – after the primary, I seriously would love to get a panel together to define what makes a progressive. I frequently joke with a friend on twitter about “MoCo Crossfire……from the left…..and from the really far left.” 🙂

        And I appreciate the constructive conversation all around.


      • Keith Berner Says:

        I’d be very interested in a conversation about what “progressive” means. I doubt any two people would define it the same way, but a conversation about it would be fascinating. And I appreciate the good spirit in your posts, even though you and I disagree on many details.


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