None of the following post should be seen as a criticism of any candidate in the CD8 race. My problem here is not with Jamie Raskin or anyone else, but with Mayday, which is quite frankly about as hypocritical and naive as a political entity can get. With that said, here we go.
The super PAC that wants to end super PACs is back in CD8, attacking Kathleen Matthews – again – and this time blaming her for Marriott acting like what it is – a big business. John Fritze alerted us to it yesterday on Twitter.
Mayday argues as follows:
MAYDAY.US, the grassroots campaign committed to election reform, today released a graphic aiming to shed further light on candidate Kathleen Matthews’s involvement in pay to play politics. When she was a corporate executive at Marriott, she led a government affairs operation.
“It’s a disturbing pattern and one the voters care about deeply,” explained Executive Director Cyrus Patten.
“The voters deserve to get answers about whether Kathleen believes it is acceptable for corporate interests to buy government support, why she contributed money to a conservative Republican when she claims to be a progressive Democrat, and why she told a mostly corporate board that she wanted to be their advocate in Congress. The people of Maryland need an advocate for them, not for corporate executives!”
The graphic shows a clear pattern of Matthews and other corporate interests contributing to legislators with the power to influence key legislation to the benefit of their industry. After these contributions were made, Congress authorized $100 million per year to promote travel, directly leading to increased profits for these corporations.
There’s even a picture:
Multiple problems. First, as before, however deliciously ironic the puckish rogues at Mayday think it is to have a super PAC arguing against super PACs, this kind of attack ad won’t help the guy they’re trying to help, Jamie Raskin. In this case, besides the general loathing for super PACs and IEs around here, this ad is deceptive and dishonest. It takes Matthews’ one acknowledged 2014 contribution to Roy Blunt and implies quite clearly that she is responsible for all of Marriott’s contributions to members of Congress. She’s not.
This “attack” is also naive to the point of stupidity. Does Mayday think that all lobbying is bad? Apparently so, because at one point they say:
“The question isn’t whether the legislation is good or bad, or whether Roy Blunt is good or bad. The question is, should federal dollars be used to increase the profits of companies solely because they can afford big campaign contributions and expensive lobbyists? And if Kathleen Matthews has engaged in that practice in the past and says she wants to continue to be their advocate in Congress, then the voters deserve to know.”
Good lord. So if I lobby a legislator on behalf of, say, laws to purchase new and better voting equipment, and I am an outside lobbyist for the company that makes the better machines, that’s no different than, say, an oil company lobbying to open up oil drilling in environmentally sensitive areas? That’s so absurd as to amount to unilateral disarmament on the part of the left. Spare me that righteous and naive bullshit.
OF COURSE IT MATTERS WHETHER THE LEGISLATION IS GOOD OR BAD. Just as one example, Eric Gally is a lobbyist for environmental and other good causes in Annapolis. Is he “bad” simply for having the word “lobbyist” next to his name? Of course not. If I lobby for election law changes or criminal justice reform, and a bill passes in Annapolis that I like, is it “bad” that I reward the legislators who helped get it passed with a donation? Apparently so, because Mayday lumps in Matthews contributions to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Senator Max Baucus, both Democrats, as objects of criticism. Again, dumb.
And hello – Marriott advocating for federal support of travel and tourism is good too. Everyone benefits from increased activity of this kind, as it stimulates consumer spending and income to those in the tourism industry.
“Lobbying” isn’t the problem – it’s the bad things that some companies and wealthy individuals lobby for that’s the problem. The fact that a super PAC like Mayday can’t see this is an even bigger problem. I really wish they’d go away and let the candidates in CD8 slug it out on their own. We don’t need any help from naive and foolish groups that can’t even define the issues correctly.