Leaders in Maryland Join Senator Raskin In Decrying Negative And Misleading Campaign Ads

Leaders in Maryland Join Senator Raskin In Decrying Negative And Misleading Campaign Ads

“Jamie is incorruptible and this ad is contemptible,” says the Sierra Club’s Betsy Johnson.

SILVER SPRING – Today Senator Raskin was joined by Democratic Leaders from Maryland’s 8th District in decrying the negative and misleading attacks by his opponents in the Democratic primary for Congress in the final days of the election.

“David Trone’s 11th hour desperation attack ad says that Jamie Raskin took thousands of dollars from people who lobbied him,” said Marshall Cohen, Raskin’s campaign manager. “The ad then scrolls rapidly through a long list of donations from groups like Democracy for America, the Electrical Workers Union, the Nurses, and the Machinists Union which are not lobbyists at all. Only five names on the list come from people who arguably could have lobbied Senator Raskin in Annapolis — people like Dorothy Lennig of the House of Ruth, a domestic violence group, who generously reached into her pocket and gave Jamie $200 —and all five gave a grand total of $1,300, much less than one-tenth of one percent of the $1.9 million our grassroots campaign has raised in this election. The irony is that this frivolous but expensive attack ad comes from someone who has spent more than $1.4 million on lobbyists to ‘buy access’ for his liquor corporation and has become a symbol of plutocratic ambition run wild by already spending more personal money in a U.S. House race than any other person in American history.”

Senator Raskin denounced the negative turn in the race. “I announced for Congress one year and two days ago, and we’ve run an exuberantly positive campaign based on my public record of proven legislative success in moving a progressive agenda forward and our old-fashioned grassroots organizing strategies.  I’m disappointed about this 11th-hour desperation attack TV ad but am confident that the people of our district will reject it decisively.”

Senator Raskin continued: “In a vibrant democracy, big money cannot substitute for legislative experience or a record of serious political engagement.  Espionage and infiltration by paid staffers against other people’s campaigns cannot substitute for door-knocking.  Masses of illegally placed signs on the public right-of-way cannot compete with thousands of hard-won and lawfully placed signs in people’s front yards.  A wall of propagandistic TV ads cannot substitute for grassroots organizing.  And frivolous and dishonorable attack ads cannot cover up for the absence of a serious political and intellectual agenda.  In a democracy, public office cannot be bought and it should not be tainted with dirty tricks.  It must be earned through a record of public service and commitment to the public good.”

Democratic leaders across Maryland are decrying the negative and misleading attacks from Senator Raskin’s opponents.

“As a Democratic activist in the Eighth Congressional District, I am very disappointed that other candidates in this race have chosen to attack Senator Raskin, who has run a completely positive, issue-oriented campaign,” said Beth Tomasello, former President of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County. “Of course, it’s not surprising that candidates who have vowed to spend whatever it takes to win this election will also distort and malign the outstanding record of one of Maryland’s most progressive, effective, and dedicated public servants. These are obviously last-minute desperation tactics and they will not work with the voters of the Eighth Congressional District, who are exceptionally engaged and well informed.”

“We've seen enough negativity and outlandish lies in the GOP Presidential Primary to last a lifetime,” said Democratic activist Nik Sushka, former President of Montgomery County Young Democrats. “We don’t need this kind of negativity in the Democratic Party.  More voters will now rush to Jamie, a proven campaign finance reformer and Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, to get away from David Trone’s mud-slinging.”

“One of the things I love about Jamie Raskin is that he doesn’t demonize people.  And I think that’s why he’s been so successful at moving legislation in Annapolis, where 95% of the 118 bills he introduced were passed with bipartisan support,” said Betsy Johnson, Political Chair of the Sierra Club’s Maryland Chapter. “Jamie Raskin is one of the most likable and warm people in the General Assembly. Negativity doesn’t enter into his politics.  He always stands up for the public interest against narrow interests.  He is incorruptible and this ad is contemptible.”

"I'm proud to support Jamie Raskin because he is running a positive grassroots race and practicing a real campaign of substance,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. “Jamie obviously doesn't need to resort to negative and misleading attacks to earn the support of 8th District voters because he is a respected leader with a proven record and very simply the best candidate to replace Congressman Van Hollen.”

“As a lifelong Democrat with 35 years of local community activism, I’m disappointed in the negative attacks coming out in the 8th Congressional District race, especially against Senator Jamie Raskin, who has earned a reputation for integrity, intelligence, and progressive passion in his decade of public service,” said Susan Turnbull, former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, “Instead of acting like Republicans and resorting to last-minute misleading attacks, Democratic candidates in this race should stick to the real issues that effect our district and present to voters their own records of legislative accomplishment and community service, whatever those records might be." 

"I have served with Jamie in Annapolis for a decade and I know him to be decent and incorruptible and 100 percent devoted to the public good,” said District 16 Senator Susan Lee. “I believe that voters will reward Jamie's excellent positive campaign and reject these pathetic tactics that boomerang back on the candidate who approved them."

"When Jamie was our floor leader on marriage equality, I saw his true character: civilized, committed to equal rights for all, ethically engaged, and willing to overcome his own medical condition (he had cancer at the time and was undergoing chemo) with unswerving moral toughness,” said District 18 Senator Rich Madaleno. “Meantime, with yesterday's absurd attacks on Jamie's character by a transparent political pretender, we have all gotten a glimpse of the character of his opponent, someone with no public service record who will pay and say anything to buy a public office. But, like Jamie says, public office is something you earn, not something you buy. And you can't buy this!  The voters know better."


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