September 1, 2010

Vovak launches campaign event for 9/10 & new website

BETHESDA, MARYLAND -- Daniel Vovak, a candidate for Montgomery County Executive, has announced that his campaign will officially begin on Friday, September 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Stromboli Family Restaurant, located at 7023 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. The suggested minimum donation is $25, with metered parking available at the back of the building.

Vovak says, "I've been doing a little campaigning for the last few months, yet my priority was to ghostwrite books for two clients: one about a woman pirate and the other a true, light-hearted story about a woman in the CIA. Now that the League of Women Voters has issued its voter guide, I can shift my priorities to meet more residents and focus on changing Montgomery County, thereby keeping our taxes lower."

Vovak has also re-launched his website, now under the name The website includes sections that reflect Vovak's commitment to "work with Democrats rather than against them," his support for The Purple Line, his desire to balance the budget, and his promise to keep taxes under control so people "Won't be taxed so high that they are forced to leave Maryland." Vovak also highlights an article from The Washington Post that named him a "Power Player," along with President Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber, and Ronald Reagan. His opponent in November will be Ike Leggett, the longest-serving politician among all on the county council. He added that his party will probably be the last major political event for any candidate in Montgomery County.

August 30, 2010

Vovak defeats Leggett in Americans for Prosperity ranking

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND -- Daniel Vovak, a candidate for Montgomery County Executive has defeated Ike Leggett in an important ranking by a non-partisan group. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has released its rankings for county and state candidates, with Vovak placing in the top position on the list of 69 Democrat, Republican, and Independent candidates appearing in the voter guide, which will be distributed to tens of thousands of local voters. Americans for Prosperity is a grassroots organization committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing them to advocate for policies that promote continued prosperity for all Americans.

"I believe that the views expressed by this year's candidates indicate more than just a shift in our political landscape – their passion and resolve may inspire a turning point for America," said AFP Montgomery County chairman Dan Grossberg, adding that the new AFP Voters Guide will provide concerned Marylanders with "significant educational tools" that will lead to more informed decisions at the ballot box.

Vovak, of Bethesda, received the highest ranking of any candidate for Montgomery County Executive, shown by his B+ ranking and Ike Leggett's F. Vovak's ranking even trumps that of long-time Republican activist Robin Ficker, who received the grade of B from AFP. Similar to Ficker, former Governor Bob Ehrlich was also given a B grade, both less than Vovak's B+.

Daniel Vovak……….B+
Ike Leggett……….F
Robin Ficker……….B
Bob Ehrlich……….B

The AFP Voters Guide, now available online at, is a side-by-side comparison of candidates' views that allows voters to quickly determine where candidates stand on important issues ranging from taxes, spending and health care to energy policy and government transparency. Information in the guide is based on candidates' responses to an AFP questionnaire and on incumbent voting records. Every effort was made to ensure the highest possible participation by candidates. Hard copies of the questionnaires, along with self-addressed, postage paid return envelopes, were mailed to all candidates on July 8, 2010. In addition, phone calls to those candidates who had not yet responded were made by AFP volunteers during the last week of July to make sure all candidates had the opportunity to let the voters know where they stand on these important issues. Candidates who did not respond and who do not have a voting record were omitted.

"We are committed to empowering voters with facts that will inspire them to make informed choices at the voting booth," said Ed Amatetti of AFP MOCO, who explained that "the real test will come after the election when the organization plans to hold candidates who are elected accountable for their campaign promises to reduce taxes and government spending."

Americans for Prosperity's mission is to promote fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency, and responsiveness to the voters from our government and elected officials. AFP has more than a million activists in all 50 states, as well as 30 state chapters and affiliates. You can learn more about AFP at The Montgomery County chapter's website is .

Does Montgomery County need leadership like Gov. Chris Christie?

August 29, 2010

Weast to Retire

Ali brags about volunteer furlough, then 'forgets' to take it

Del. Saqib Ali, a Montgomery County Democrat running in a competitive Senate primary, sent out a campaign mailer recently that touted his decision to take voluntary furlough days.

“To help close the budget deficit, he even volunteered to cut his own pay, despite having a young family to feed,” the missive boasted.

The only problem: The ambitious young delegate wasn’t participating in the furlough program this year. Asked about the claim this week, he said his failure to sign up was an oversight, and he quickly joined the program. Furloughs are tricky for lawmakers, who rely on a constitutionally ordered compensation commission to set their salaries. Most earn make $43,500 per year. For the past three years, however, most have voted to impose pay reductions on the thousands of state workers.

In a show of solidarity many have elected to garnish their own wages. Most lawmakers take eight days, the number that has been required of state employees making $40,000 to $50,000. Of the 141 delegates, 68 disclosed that they volunteered to take furlough days this year. Thirty-one of the state’s 47 Senators also signed up – including Sen. Nancy King, whom Ali is hoping to unseat. Curiously, lawmakers have been more stingy this year — an election year. Last year 114 delegates volunteered to have pay reductions and 40 senators did so. Ali opted to take eight voluntary furlough days last year — giving the state $966.72. King also took eight days.

Notified that he was not on this year’s list, Ali responded indignantly, offering to show his pay stubs to prove his participation. After reviewing documents provided by The Baltimore Sun, he explained that he had improperly assumed his participation in last year’s program extended to the current fiscal year. “It was just an oversight,” he said.

The lawmaker had apparently not seen a June memo from House Speaker Michael E. Busch explaining how delegates could participate in this year’s program. But he quickly located the necessary forms Thursday and signed up for 10 days of furloughs, putting an extra $1,208.40 into the state coffers. SOURCE: Baltimore Sun