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As Long as We Remember...

March 13, 2012

Garagiola Wrong for The Sixth

Shawn Burns

The Sixth Congressional District was gerrymandered for State Sen. Rob Garagiola by his puppet master, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller. Both thought the move would make the race a cakewalk. Instead it has turned into a dogfight with political newcomer John Delaney.


Apparently Senators Miller and Garagiola thought no one would notice the skeletons in the congressional candidate’s closet.


It was recently revealed that Senator Garagiola did not report income he earned while working as a lobbyist, as required by state ethics laws. His excuse is laughable. He said he didn’t report it because of his understanding of the definition of the word “and” in the disclosure forms. Because of his “excuse” he is one of three things: a terrible liar, a terrible lawyer or both a terrible liar and terrible lawyer. Only Senator Garagiola can answer which of the three he is.


Clearly he was trying to hide the fact that he was/is a highly paid lobbyist trying to influence laws and regulations across the state – and in Washington.


In a strange twist, local members have sent out an email of support for Senator Garagiola that states:


“Dear MoveOn member,


“I'm a member of the local MoveOn team building a stronger 99% movement here in Frederick, MD.


“Along with other local MoveOn members, I'm organizing an election event for Rob Garagiola, a true progressive who is running for Congress in Maryland's 6th District.


“We need more politicians like Rob who will stand up for the 99% to fight Wall Street and the corporations who created the economic crisis.”


Apparently this misguided bunch does not realize that as a hired gun for lobbyists, Senator Garagiola works for banks and other special interests at the expense of the 99%.


Senator Garagiola isn’t a part of the 99% and his track record, which he tried to hide, clearly shows he does not care about the 99%.


Hopefully the MoveOn folks will wake up and realize the error of their ways before they make themselves look any sillier than they already have.


The Washington Post editorial board endorsed John Delaney on March 10th. In doing so the Post’s editorial board had this to say about Senator Garagiola:


“…the choice in the Democratic race is obvious. The contest boils down to two candidates from Montgomery: John Delaney, a self-made businessman and first-time candidate, and state Sen. Rob Garagiola, an Annapolis insider with deep ties to the capital’s lobbyists and power brokers. Of the pair, Mr. Delaney would be by far the more independent-minded congressman and probably the more effective one, too.


“A lawyer who has done some lobbying — which he failed to disclose — Mr. Garagiola is widely regarded as in thrall to Maryland’s lobbyists, who have bankrolled his campaign. He’s sponsored legislation pushed by banks, utilities, unions and other special interests. Two years ago he played a key role in enacting legislation, pushed by labor that weakens localities’ bargaining leverage and could force them to accept teacher contracts they can’t afford. Not exactly a taxpayer-friendly law.


“Mr. Garagiola is astute; he’s also a bit of an operator. He backed a gas tax hike for highway construction last year, then abandoned it this year as he prepared his race for Congress. For several years he kept his distance from same-sex marriage, then jumped on the bandwagon when the political winds shifted. He likes being on the winning side. Fine. But quite a few of his colleagues wonder whether his compass points in any direction other than “Power.” *


Clearly Senator Garagiola does not work for or represent the 99% as the misguided and/or misinformed MoveOn members would like to believe.


Voters in the Sixth Congressional District, whether Republican or Democrat, should be worried about the possibility of a candidate who is as completely in-bed with lobbyists as Senator Garagiola has proven to be.


*If interested, you can read the entire piece here:


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