An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Duck for Congress

Call me a skeptic, but I've wondered how Iraq War vet Andrew Duck thinks he can unseat right wing curmudgeon Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in Maryland's 6th Congressional District. In short, this is one of the most conservative parts of our state and Bartlett seems well entrenched.

I had a chance to talk with this energetic, down-to-earth candidate recently and found that Andrew Duck may just be the next Congressman from the 6th District. Duck cites his 20 years service to our nation in the Army, his local roots, and a host of moderate stands on the issues that should appeal to the voters of western Maryland. He points to his strong numbers challenging Bartlett last year, to his ability to convince voters that he'll be the best representative once his message reaches them, and to the strong early pledges of support he's receiving from state and national party leaders. Duck may just be able to win this.

And Maryland, as well as the nation, need Duck to replace Bartlett, one of the most conservative and erratic members whose presence in the House blocks progress.

Reports are coming in that Ex-Cumberland mayor Frank Nethken (R) is entering the race to challenge Bartlett. While Scott Rolle proved with his energetic, charismatic, conservative campaign that a primary challenge to Bartlett is unlikely to succeed, a Republican former elected official attacking the incumbent before the primary could give Duck a boost.

Duck faces a tough fight, but he can really only win it if enough people consider this their fight and support him directly. So, if you've got a few bucks or some time, how 'bout sharing with Andrew Duck at DuckforCongress.org.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Got a Bad Boss?

Have some complaints about your supervisor? Share them with the world:
Work For a Jerk? You’re Not Alone
Overwhelming Response Prompts Bad Boss Contest Sequel
Winner with Worst Boss to Receive Free Vacation Package

(Washington, July 24) - - Building on last year’s runaway success, Working America is launching its second My Bad Boss contest today, www.workingamerica.org/badboss/, asking Americans to vent about the **!#*!@*’s that sign their paychecks.

My Bad Boss 2.0 officially kicks off to the public today, July 24, though there are already stories on the site from Working America members. For the next six weeks anyone can submit their stories online and visitors to the web site can vote on the best – or is that worst – tales from the workplace and reward the most abused workers with what many of them need most - a vacation.

Last year’s contest clearly touched a nerve. During the six-week contest, nearly 50,000 votes were cast and the site had two million page views. More than 5,000 stories were submitted online in the contest.

Working America, the 1.6-million member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, brings together workers who don’t have unions on the job and gives them a powerful voice on the issues that matter to them most. The first Bad Boss contest came about when they began hearing from their members about mistreatment in the workplace.

“We knew there was a problem out there, but we have been really stunned by the extent of it,” said Karen Nussbaum, director of Working America. “While many of the stories are funny – at least to the reader – many are painful, even tragic. They all drive home the point that unless they have a union, working people have virtually no rights on the job.”

Each week the online votes will be tallied and a finalist announced for the contest. Two grand-prize winners will each receive a vacation package and all finalists will get Working America’s sort-of-patented “Bad Boss Survival” kit, complete with earplugs to tune out the yelling, a rear-view mirror to see the boss coming, and other assorted goodies. All entries are anonymous. There will also be:The Bad Boss Quiz
Name that Bad Boss
Commentary from celebrities, including actress Jane Fonda and Robert Sutton, author of “The No Asshole Rule” and radio host Jackie Guerra.

For complete contest details and entries please see http://www.workingamerica.org/badboss/.