Political Notes: Buttigieg To Attend Fundraisers in Chevy Chase
Plus: Medicare-for-All advocates target Trone; County Council confirms vaping lawsuit
From South Bend, Indiana, website
Pete Buttigieg to attend fundraisers in Chevy Chase
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is visiting Montgomery County on Saturday for two private fundraisers in Chevy Chase.
The first, a private reception at 1:30 p.m., is co-hosted by U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D–Va.), whose district includes Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church. He endorsed Buttigieg in April and remains the only member of Congress to endorse the candidate, according to Beyer’s communications director, Aaron Fritschner.
The second event is a reception at 6:30 p.m. hosted by Linda Potter and Tim Shriver. Tickets are available on Buttigieg’s website, and prices range from $250 to $2,800 for “champion” supporters.
Chevy Chase, an affluent suburb with a median income of more than $250,000, remains a popular destination for presidential campaign fundraising. Potter and Shriver hosted a fundraiser for former Vice President Joe Biden in June.
Trone target of town hall meeting on Sunday
Healthcare advocates will host a town hall meeting Sunday aimed at members of the Maryland congressional delegation who have not yet supported the 2019 Medicare for All Act.
The upcoming event will target U.S. Rep. David Trone (D–Md.), whose district includes parts of Montgomery County. Advocate groups Our Revolution Maryland and the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition scheduled the town hall meeting for 2 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Public Library.
Speakers include state Del. Gabriel Acevero (D–Montgomery), and Laura Kaplan-Weisman, a family doctor advocating for a single-payer health care system.
Once considered a fringe issue, Medicare for All has been gaining traction in national politics the last several years. Both Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced legislation this year that would establish a federal health care system for U.S. residents covering medical services and prescription medication.
Eight of the 19 current Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed some version of a Medicare for All system.
Council authorizes e-cigarette lawsuit
Less than a week after releasing plans to pursue legal action against e-cigarette manufacturers and distributors, the Montgomery County Council announced that a lawsuit had already been filed in federal court.
The Oct. 11 suit, names Juul Labs, the largest e-cigarette manufacturer in the country, and its parent company, Altria Group. The county retained Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, LLP, a national law firm with offices in nine cities, including Washington, D.C., as special counsel in the case.
Montgomery County has been aggressive in pursuing legislative action to curb the use of e-cigarettes, better known as vape pens. In 2015, it implemented the first-ever excise tax on e-cigarette dealers and distributors — an additional 30 percent on the wholesale cost of vaping products.
This year, council members introduced a zoning amendment that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes within half a mile of middle and high schools — legislation that would affect 19 of the 22 vape shops in Montgomery County, according to Council Member Gabe Albornoz.
The council is also considering a bill that would ban e-cigarette manufacturers from selling their product to any retailer within half a mile of middle or high schools. At least 600 retailers in the county sell vaping-related products, council members said.
The lawsuit from Montgomery County is one of several class-action suits against Juul, which maintains that its products are safe and were never intended to be marketed toward teens.
“We have never marketed to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products,” the company said in a previous statement.
County Executive Marc Elrich and Council President Nancy Navarro planned to discuss the lawsuit in a press conference on Monday, but the event was canceled after a Montgomery County police officer died.