Release: Delaney Campaign to Garagiola: You Can’t Be a Voice for Maryland’s Families if You’ve Sold Out to Special Interests
Garagiola chose special interest money over clean air for our families, protecting our children from lead dust, Maryland families struggling with credit card debt, and children with autism
One-third of Garagiola’s Congressional campaign contributions have a special interests agenda attached to them. A review of Rob Garagiola’s campaign finance reports released last week shows that in addition to thousands of dollars received from PACs, he took in campaign contributions from 85 lobbyists.
“Rob’s pay-to-play politics began when he went to Annapolis, and his campaign finance reports point to a continuation of this trend if he goes to Washington,” said campaign manager Max Cummings. “Garagiola has done everything but hang a sign on his door saying ‘My vote’s for sale’.”
Some of the highlights of contributions to Garagiola’s campaigns:
- Garagiola previously accepted several campaign contributions to his State Senate account, and recently to his congressional account, from Ivan Lanier, a lobbyist for Wheelabrator, Inc. Wheelabrator is the company building the Frederick incinerator, which environmental groups and local residents vehemently opposed. Garagiola was the only Democrat in the new 6th Congressional District to vote in favor of the incinerator, abandoning his Democratic colleagues to join 99% of Maryland statewide Republicans to support the incinerator.
- In March 2011, Garagiola turned his back on families with special needs when he helped kill a bill (SB759) in the Senate Finance Committee that would have required insurance companies to cover autism treatments. The bill failed to advance to a full vote in the Maryland Senate. The top progressive states in the country have passed autism insurance reform, and nearby states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey cover it as well. But Garagiola ensured that Maryland stayed behind on this issue. In the 2010 election cycle before this vote, Garagiola received thousands of dollars from special interest health insurance PACs to oppose this bill.
- Garagiola sided with big banks and credit card companies to penalize hard-working American families by retroactively raising their interest rates and charging them high fees as they struggled to pay their credit card debt. HB 1048 (2009) passed the House of Delegates by a 136-1 vote, but Garagiola led the effort to kill the bill in the Senate Finance Committee. Indeed, Garagiola is one of the banking industry’s top recipients in campaign donations in Maryland. Now the American Bankers Association has recognized him as a friend to big banks, and is helping to fund his congressional campaign.
- Garagiola voted with every Maryland Republican to oppose SB361 (2009), which would have safeguarded the health of Maryland children living in older housing by requiring landlords to conduct lead dust testing before a new tenant moves in. Real estate special interest groups rallied against this bill, including the Maryland Realtor’s Association, which is one of Garagiola’s largest campaign contributors.
Cummings noted, “Rob Garagiola’s track record shows he is focused on representing lobbyists and special interests instead of Maryland’s families, and Maryland’s 6th Congressional District can’t afford that.” He added, “This has previously slipped under the radar because some of the campaign contributions, individually, were not significant amounts. But when you look at the larger picture, the trend of who gives him money and how he votes, it is clear that Rob Garagiola can’t be prioritizing the children and families of the district if he’s already sold out to special interests.”
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