Archive for the Politics Category

Jason Judd announces mayoral bid

Posted in Politics, Politics_local_regional with tags , , on February 27, 2009 by Kai Hagen

Last night I attended a gathering for Jason Judd, who is starting to roll out his campaign to become the mayor of the City of Frederick.

It was an excellent event, with between 100-150 people packed into Cafe NOLA in historic downtown Frederick. Plenty of energy and enthusiasm.

I was pleased to speak for a few minutes about Jason and the campaign, along with two others, including former mayor Ron Young. Then Jason spoke for a while. I’ve heard him speak to small groups on a number of occasions, but this was the first time I had a chance to hear him in this sort of setting. He did an outstanding job, conveying in a few minutes quite a bit about the qualities, skills, and experience he brings, and the vision he has about how to “Move Frederick Forward.”

On Wednesday, March 11th (from 6:00 to 7:00pm), at the Delaplaine Center, there will be another gathering, as Jason “officially” launches his campaign.

The article from this morning’s Frederick News Post is below.


Newcomer Jason Judd announces mayoral bid

Frederick News Post
February 27, 2009

By Adam Behsudi

Jason Judd officially announced his candidacy for mayor of Frederick on Thursday night at a packed downtown cafe?.

The Democrat and Frederick native has been building campaign support with the theme of “moving Frederick forward” for his first foray into the local political scene.

“We need a mayor who has energy, who has vision, who has a hard focus on solutions,” Judd, 37, said to a crowd of about 120 at Caf?e Nola on East Patrick Street.

“Somebody who expects to be held accountable — that’s the kind of mayor we need,” he said.

Judd is a graduate of Gov. Thomas Johnson High School and Duke University, where he was awarded a Fulbright fellowship.

He is a trained economist and former community organizer. He works on national advocacy campaigns for the Service Employees International Union.

In Frederick, Judd is a member of the board of directors for Volunteer Frederick, serves on the city’s land management code task force and is a member of the Carroll Creek Rotary Club.

He is also director of the Frederick County work-force development board.

Judd lives downtown with his wife and two children.

In his speech Thursday, Judd blasted the city’s current elected officials for fiscal irresponsibility, using examples of a controversial employee buyout program and the purchase of a $795,000 scoreboard and video display for Harry Grove Stadium.

“Public money is a public trust, and I won’t violate that trust,” he said.

Former mayor Ron Young introduced Judd as someone who could usher in Frederick’s “second renaissance.” Young claimed the first renaissance for himself during his four terms as mayor from 1976 to 1990.

“His support base is growing very rapidly,” Young said before the speech. “He’s a dynamic young guy.”

Judd was also introduced by Sukhi Gulati, a freshman at Thomas Johnson High School, and Kai Hagen, a Frederick County commissioner.

“Right out of the bag, Jason is a front-runner in this election,” Hagen said.

Judd joins only one other Democratic candidate, Jack Lynch. On the GOP side current Mayor Jeff Holtzinger, Market Bagel and Deli owner Randy McClement and Discount Towing owner Clint Hoffman round out the ballot.

Judd will hold an official launch to his mayoral campaign at 6 p.m. March 11 at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, 40 S. Carroll St.

The city’s primary election is set for Sept. 15. The general election will be Nov. 3.


The Big Sort (by Bill Bishop)

Posted in Books_essay_films..., Politics with tags , on December 21, 2008 by Kai Hagen

The last book I finished was “The Big Sort,” by Bill Bishop.

I’ve been in a few discussions about it since, and loaned out my copy. I recommend it highly, and not just to those with an above-average interest in politics (from campaigns to public policy). While at may appear on the surface to be a basic analysis of recent and long term electoral trends and results, it’s also a very insightful, well documented and important look into surprising and dramatic changes that are transforming the American cultural landscape.

Mr. Bishop shows how we “have clustered in communities of sameness, among people with similar ways of life, beliefs and in the end, politics.” That may sound like a familiar, and perhaps obvious conclusion. But, while the basic theme runs through the book, it’s really where the interesting story begins.

It’s also well written and engaging throughout.




This is the untold story of why America is so culturally and politically divided.

America may be more diverse than ever coast to coast, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote like we do. This social transformation didn’t happen by accident. We’ve built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood and church and news show — most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. And we are living with the consequences of this way-of-life segregation. Our country has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred, that people don’t know and can’t understand those who live just a few miles away. The reason for this situation, and the dire implications for our country, is the subject of this ground-breaking work.

In 2004, journalist Bill Bishop made national news in a series of articles when he first described “the big sort.” Armed with original and startling demographic data, he showed how Americans have been sorting themselves over the past three decades into homogeneous communities — not at the regional level, or the red-state/blue-state level, but at the micro level of city and neighborhood. In The Big Sort Bishop deepens his analysis in a brilliantly reported book that makes its case from the ground up, starting with stories about how we live today, and then drawing on history, economics, and our changing political landscape to create one of the most compelling big-picture accounts of America in recent memory.

The Big Sort will draw comparisons to Robert Putam’s Bowling Alone and Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class and will redefine the way Americans think about themselves for decades to come.

“In this important book, Bill Bishop shows us that the red state/blue state divide is real and it is not just the politicians who are responsible for it. One cannot fix a problem unless its root causes are clearly and accurately identified; and what Bishop has done is provide us with a necessary mirror so we can get about the business of becoming what we claim we want – a single nation with a politics marked not by rancor, but by civility.”

– Mickey Edwards, Princeton University, the Aspen Institute; author of “Reclaiming Conservatism.”