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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Results – Not Rhetoric

George Wenschhof

After 20 years of unremarkable representation by Republican Roscoe Bartlett, Democratic state senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola stands out as the clear choice in the Maryland sixth congressional district Democratic primary.

The only Democratic candidate to have held elected office, his experience and voting record gives voters strong justification for casting their ballot for him on April 3.

Passionate, yet reasonable, Rob will work hard to create jobs in a changing market, be a strong advocate on women’s issues, provide a high level of education for children, promote the use of renewable energy and maintain a high level of national security.

The wide spectrum and vast number of endorsements received by Rob further illustrates he is the best choice to work with a diverse membership in the House.

The National Education Association, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, United Auto Workers (UAW), AFL-CIO, SEIU and MoveOn,org are but a few of the organizations who have expressed their support for Garagiola.

More impressive than the national endorsements is the overwhelming support Garagiola has received from colleagues across the district. Leading a notable list of elected officials is House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, and former Speaker of the House Casper R. “Caz” Taylor.

In my home county of Frederick, state senator Ron Young, former delegate Sue Hecht, delegate Galen Clagett, City of Frederick alderman Karen Young and former candidate for the sixth district; Don DeArmon, are among those who have expressed their backing of Rob Garagiola.

Voters have discovered their dalliance with electing ideologues has resulted in a dysfunctional Congress. So, electing Representatives like Rob, who can reach across the aisle, is important.

One factor contributing to the gridlock in Congress today is the partisan redistricting process used by a majority of state legislatures. When I interviewed Garagiola, he told me he would support all states using an independent or bipartisan committee to handle the redistricting necessary every ten years.

This process, if adopted by all states, would aid in reducing the acrimony and gridlock which currently exists in the House, contributing to the historic low (10%) approval rating Congress receives today.

Campaign finance reform is another area in politics which desperately needs attention, especially in light of the 2010 “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision which opened the floodgates to unlimited contributions.

It was heartening to hear Garagiola, tell me “corporations are not people” and he would support efforts by Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to pass legislation to mitigate the impact of the Supreme Court decision.

Refreshingly, Garagiola is not one who is easy to brand with an ideology. Instead of espousing rhetoric over his ten years as state senator, Garagiola has demonstrated his ability to reach consensus while focusing on results.

Garagiola has a track record of creating green jobs, helping working families and endeavoring to make public education in Maryland become ranked number one among states, four years in a row.

Voters deserve members of congress, like Rob, who will work to restore the public’s trust in government and work together to move America forward.

Results - not rhetoric are the reasons to vote Rob Garagiola for Congress on April 3.


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