A twist in the Sixth

There are two reasons I like the Maryland Juice website: one, because I like to keep tabs on what the opposition is doing, and two, I like the way it is written. Unlike certain recent commentators on this site, the author is willing to stand up for what he believes using his real name. I rarely agree with him, but I can respect his opinion.

David Moon related an interesting development on the Democratic side in the Sixth Congressional District race yesterday: it seems that Democratic candidate John Delaney is being raked over the coals for making a $2,400 contribution in 2010 to Congressman Andy Harris. (Yes, you read that right.)

But before you begin thinking, “hey, a Democrat with a little common sense,” there are a few caveats in play here.

First, the contribution was made on October 26, just days before the election. At that point the insiders probably knew that Harris would prevail in the race, and the question was only by how much. How much of this was a standard business practice of trying to be on the winning side?

Second, here is a list of other national politicians Delaney (and his wife) have donated to over the past six years, based on a search of Opensecrets.org:

  • Rep. David Obey (D-WI) – 2 times
  • Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) – 3 times
  • Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) – 5 times
  • Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
  • Rep. George Miller (D-CA)
  • Bill Richardson (2008 Presidential candidate)
  • Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) – 2 times
  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) – 2 times
  • Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) – 2 times
  • Charles Wheelan, Democratic Congressional candidate in Emanuel’s former district (lost)
  • Hillary Clinton – 3 times
  • Barack Obama – 3 times

I don’t see any “R’s” there, do you?

The couple has also given to the state and national Democratic parties, the latter to the tune of over $83,000. Yeah, they’re real “TEA Party” supporters. Maybe he just didn’t like Frank Kratovil much?

One other noteworthy item about the Delaney donation to Harris – it’s the only one where he uses “J. Delaney” and abbreviates the name of his business to “CS” (it’s CapitalSource.) I just found that intriguing since that’s the only instance that was used, as if he was trying to hide this involvement.

Moon also reprints the press release from Rob “Gas Tax” Garagiola which points this out, and methinks that the term “TEA Party” as a derogatory term must have been focus grouped among liberal Democrats – Rob’s release uses the phrase five times in reference to Harris. (Personally, I would take it as a badge of honor.) Rob’s campaign also compares Delaney to Mitt Romney twice and for good measure posits that Delaney “has openly attacked labor unions and collective bargaining rights, suggesting Maryland should become right-to-work.” Hey, there’s a lot to like about that stance. Throw in a paragraph from Mrs. Frank Kratovil regarding the contribution to Andy Harris and suddenly you have a piece David was probably salivating about during the time it took him to get it posted.

(It’s interesting that Garagiola didn’t get Frank’s take; apparently Kratovil is taking this nonpartisan judge thing seriously. Good for him.)

Naturally, Delaney’s campaign didn’t take it lying down, but he missed the golden opportunity to be a real populist and hammer Rob on his support of the gas tax. Instead, he opted to call out Garagiola for being a lobbyist against Democratic health care reform.

If there were one thing I would add, though, I would be sort of curious why Garagiola’s campaign didn’t source the claims about the Republican operative or the “right-to-work” statement. They took the time to source the donation, so why not back up the other claims as well?

Moon should be commended for posting both sides of this internecine fight. It goes to show that, no matter how much it seems the Republicans bicker among themselves, the Democrats aren’t always putting up a united front either.

By the way, I wonder if that still photo of Harris on the phone in our video was shot in our county’s 2010 headquarters? Sort of looks like the building.