Back in 2016 your humble writer assisted local activist group Progressive Neighbors distribute Voter Guide leaflets outside the Gaithersburg Early Voter Center. Other electioneering groups were present, including a team promoting a school board candidate but, more notably, Nancy Floreen was there encouraging voters to go with Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders for the Presidential nomination.
This was my first interaction with Nancy Floreen, who at the time was Montgomery County Council President (a fact she did not let anyone in attendance forget). The impression she gave was one of outright hostility to any left-center element in politics, from the local to the national, and to my presence at the polling place. She berated Progressive Neighbors’ endorsements as “undemocratic” and belittled their efforts at voter engagement.
Later that year Floreen attended* the post-Primary Democratic Party Unity Reception. Hillary was ascendant against the GOP clown car and there’s no doubt in my mind that Nancy Floreen felt the Democratic Party train was heading towards the White House.
But instead that train headed straight towards a cliff after Hillary’s spectacular failure in November.
Now, after the similarly spectacular failure of David Blair to buy the nomination for County Executive in the Democratic Party Primaries, the centrist elements of Montgomery County are scrambling to continue the “Anyone But Marc Elrich” campaign.
Floreen has stepped into the ring to “save” the runaway train by announcing she’ll run as an independent candidate for County Executive in the fall. Seventh State reports she faces a few hurdles such as her Democratic Party registration status and getting the required 6,500 signatures to appear on the ballot. But Floreen is determined to deny what she so cynically championed in 2016 –ie: “party unity.”
Back when Hillary was failing to secure the trust of voters in 2008, she popularized the now-dated term PUMA (Party Unity My Ass). In 2016 she did a 180 and demanded Sanders supporters’ fealty despite her abysmal record. Now Nancy Floreen is following suit. Having sat out the Democratic Party Primaries, she is trying to sneak in through the backdoor by running as an Independent (despite years of passing herself as a devoted Party member) and thus sabotaging the candidate who earned the nomination fair and square.
This should put to rest any notion that “party unity” contains any meaningful content beside its utility as a bludgeon for opportunists to wield against the Left. The phrase is characteristically used by centrists who are afraid of the surging popularity of left policies and candidates. It’s a one-way street for such politicians: if you lose the primary, come back into the fold and do the bidding of the winner under the banner of “unity.” But if the challenger wins, the Party and Party apparatchiks wage an all-out war on the prevailing candidate, his or her policies, lifestyle, beliefs and more. A similar scenario is happening now between Governor Hogan, who is turning weak-willed former Democratic office holders against Democratic Nominee for Governor Ben Jealous.
Floreen is well known as a ghoul serving the interests of businesses over her constituents. For instance, she took a stand as the sole “nay” vote on a 2016 bill to charge fees to property owners who didn’t remove snow from their storefronts. The matter was a clear accessibility issue but Nancy took the side of corporate mouthpiece turned County Council candidate, Marilyn Balcombe, who argued on behalf of the Gaithersburg Germantown Chamber of Commerce that the snow piles were the State’s responsibility since it was the State’s fault for plowing the snow onto the stores’ property in the first place!
In opposition to the clearly elitist and pro-business Floreen’s run as an Independent, progressive blogger Keith Berner has called on residents to send letters to Democratic Party members to oppose her candidacy. We wholeheartedly agree and encourage our readers to do the same. Not under the banner of “party unity,” but in support of the fair and transparent election that already chose a victor. Sabotage of the Democratic Party nominee by an (obviously false) Democrat should be condemned by representative at all levels of government.
We reproduce Keith’s open letter below and encourage readers to follow his lead.
US Sen. Ben Cardin
US Sen. Chris Van Hollen
US Rep. Jamie Raskin
Sen. Will Smith
Del. David Moon
Del. Jheanelle Wilkins
Del.-Elect Lorig Charkoudian
County Executive Ike Leggett
County Councilman Tom Hucker
County Councilman George Leventhal
County Councilman Hans Riemer
County Councilman-Elect Gabe Albornoz
County Councilman-Elect Evan Glass
County Councilman-Elect Will Jawando
With today’s news that the Maryland Board of Elections will allow Nancy Floreen’s independent run for county executive to proceed this fall, I call on you to waste no time in standing up to this nefarious attempt to undermine our party’s nominee. The time to stop Floreen’s bid is now, before the Washington Post and its pals in the development industry start funding a smear campaign that will drown us in propaganda and weaken our nominee and our party.
I urge you not only to speak out, but also to ban Floreen from all party gatherings and activities henceforth.
While you might be forgiven for not endorsing our nominee, if you fail to denounce Floreen’s campaign, you will have taken sides against the Democratic Party, which I and others will not forget.”
The Floreen Spoiler Candidacy and overall collapse of the Montgomery County Democratic Party is part of our ongoing reporting. Updates will be added to this story as new developments arise.
*According to Nancy Floreen’s financial disclosures, she also funded the 2016 Montgomery County post-Primary Democratic Party Unity Reception to the tune of $1,000.00.