02.18.16 Is it fair to call out Matthews and Trone? (MD-8 congressional race)
Local blogger (and former candidate for MD-20 state delegate) Jonathan Shurberg has been defending MD-8 congressional candidates Kathleen Matthews and David Trone recently. Well, actually, he has been saying that criticism of them is unfair and should be out of bounds. On February 16, Shurberg criticized Raskin supporters for citing Matthews’s and Trone’s lack of legislative experience:
. . .the assumption that the only appropriate background for a congressional candidate is as a state legislator is both skewed to Raskin and factually unsupported. No, neither Trone nor Matthews have legislative experience, but then again, neither do 212 current member of the US House and 56 US Senators
Today, under the sarcastic headline “David Trone is a Bad, Bad Man,” Shurberg went after MD-8 candidate Joel Rubin because the latter decried Trone’s massive contributions to hard-right GOP candidates across the country. Shurberg, who has been deeply involved in Democratic politics for years suddenly believes that pointing out the flaws of other candidates is beyond the pale:
Candidates should stop trying to tell voters what to think about other candidates
Here’s the comment I posted on Shurberg’s “Maryland Scramble” site:
Your attempts to be “fair and balanced” notwithstanding, it is absolutely relevant that two people without records of service to the community, who didn’t bother to vote in 2 of the last 3 primaries, who have contributed to GOP candidates have “jetted” in to this race in an attempt to purchase it. Yes, every single candidate should be touting their positive credentials. But Trone and Matthews have brought the kind of politics to our district that we are decrying across the country. They deserve to be hammered for it.
You have suggested that prior legislative experience is not a pre-requisite for serving in Congress. As you point out, lots of freshmen members of Congress get there through other routes. But — in a race that features three proven legislators (Barve, Gutierrez, and Raskin), the “burden of proof” for those without such experience is much, much higher. Look at the voting records of these three experienced candidates. You can see clearly how they will behave in Congress. Compare that to the records of a corporate shill (Matthews) and alcohol salesman (Trone) and all you can see is their love for big business. Just what we need in Congress: more Wall St. Dems!
Are Kathleen Matthews and David Trone “bad” people? I don’t know them personally and can’t judge that. But they are clearly destructive forces in this race. I applaud Joel Ruben for making the case.
Shurberg is a solid progressive. I cannot understand why he feels the need to cover for two candidates who will represent Wall St., rather than one of the most progressive districts in the country.
©2016 Keith Berner