03.27.16 Kathleen Matthews: the face of political corruption (and GOP love)

Executive Summary

Kathleen Matthews has received:

  • more money from lobbyists than any Democrat running for the House in 2016 anywhere in the country
  • more lobbyist money than any non-incumbent of either party running for the House in 2016 anywhere in the country
  • more corporate PAC money than any non-incumbent of either party running for the House in 2016 anywhere in the country

Both Matthews and David Trone have worked only in service to their own enormous wealth (rather than the public good). Both have funneled money to anti-progressives, giving themselves a pass because business interests obviously relieve one of moral responsibility for one’s actions [sarcasm intended].

+ + +

Kathleen Matthews is running a dishonest campaign for Congress in Maryland District 8. While clogging airwaves and mailboxes with liberal pablum, she is running away from her past and present. Since she has no legislative record, the only way voters can judge what she would do in Congress is precisely what she doesn’t want voters to know.

I stipulate that true progressives don’t write checks (or cause checks to be written) to candidates and members of Congress who oppose everything we believe in. It is well known by now (and covered by me) that David Trone, the other moneybags candidate in the race, has given over $161,000 to some of the worst Republicans in the country in the cause of enriching himself. Only in the past couple weeks has Matthews’s GOP love gotten the attention it deserves.

David Lublin at Seventh State blog reports that Matthews’s record is not only worse than Trone’s but is orders of magnitude worse than her infamous $2,600 contribution to anti-birth-control Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). In fact, Matthews has overseen over $700,000 in contributions to right-wingers, as chief lobbyist for the Marriott Corporation. (See partial list below.)

Jeffrey Hearn at Down with Tyranny blog digs even deeper into Matthews’s participation in leadership of American pay-to-play political culture.

Matthews’ [sic] title at Marriott International was Executive Vice President, Global Communications and Public Affairs. Her portfolio there included “[l]eading brand public relations, corporate communications, social responsibility, international public affairs, and government affairs.”

. . .

The Government Affairs Office is where the lobbyists are located at Marriott (the in-house ones, anyway). That office reported to Matthews when she worked there, and while she has recently attempted to distance herself from the Marriott lobbyistsshe has elsewhere acknowledged that she not only oversaw their work, but also “advocated” herself on occasion.

. . .

Government Affairs at Marriott was active on many fronts. Take labor issues for instance. Soon after Matthews arrived at Marriot, opposing the Employee Free Choice Act became a priority for the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the trade association that has described Matthews as a “key member.”

. . .

Opposition to the raising of the minimum wage was another important labor issue that emerged during Matthews’ [sic] tenure at Marriott. The AHLA opposed such efforts furiously whether they took the form of a proposed raise in the federal minimum wage or one of the many municipal ordinances being considered in various cities across the United States.

. . .

Kathleen Matthews has received more money from lobbyists than any Democrat running for the House in 2016 anywhere in the country (source: Center for Responsive Politics)

Kathleen Matthews has received more lobbyist money than any non-incumbent of either party running for the House in 2016 anywhere in the country (source: Center for Responsive Politics)

Kathleen Matthews has received almost three dozen contributions– totaling over $100,000– from corporate PACs, as of December 31, 2015. This is more corporate PAC money than any non-incumbent of either party running for the House in 2016 anywhere in the country has received. 

I began this post by accusing Matthews of running a dishonest campaign. Oppose Tyranny also sheds light on that.  Zephyr Teachout , who leads anti-corruption nonprofit Mayday PAC, endorsed Jamie Raskin recently and said of Matthews that she “has been a corporate lobbyist in D.C. She is running for Congress and isn’t talking about the most central crisis we’re facing today, which is our crisis of corruption.”

Rather than addressing the accurate charge head on, the Matthews campaign split hairs, by declaring that she had not been a “registered” lobbyist. Oppose Tyranny calls this a classic “non-denial denial”: while declaring their candidate not-guilty on a technicality, they purposely ignored her obvious corruption and support for the GOP

A non-denial denial is a statement that, at first hearing, seems a direct, clear cut and unambiguous denial of some alleged accusation, but on carefully parsing turns out not to be a denial at all, and is thus not explicitly untruthful if the allegation is in fact correct. It is a case in which words that are literally true are used to convey a false impression.

There are pro-corporate interests (e.g., the Washington Post) and voters in MD-8 who have two great options in Kathleen Matthews and David Trone. Both have worked only in service to their own enormous wealth (rather than the public good). Both have funneled money to anti-progressives, giving themselves a pass because business interests obviously relieve one of moral responsibility for one’s actions.

Real progressives also have multiple choices in this Congressional race. But only one of those, Jamie Raskin, has a clear, effective legislative and public-advocacy record to get money out of politics and deliver our political system back to the people.

Thanks to Seventh State for this list of Kathleen Matthews-directed corporate contributions to Republicans:

2014 Cycle Total to Republicans: $148,500

Total to House Republicans: $92,000

  • John Boehner: $5,000
  • Eric Cantor: $5,000
  • Renee Ellmers: $2,500
  • Andy Harris: $1,000
  • Kevin McCarthy: $7,500
  • Paul Ryan: $5,000

Total to Senate Republicans: $56,500

  • Roy Blunt: $7,500
  • Joni Ernst: $1,000
  • Mitch McConnell: $7,500
  • Marco Rubio: $2,500

2012 Cycle Total to Republicans: $160,400

Total to House Republicans: $83,900

  • John Boehner: $5,000
  • Eric Cantor; $5,000
  • Darrell Issa: $1,000
  • Kevin McCarthy: $2,500
  • Paul Ryan: $2,500

Total to Senate Republicans: $76,500

  • Scott Brown: $5,000
  • Mitch McConnell: $2,500

 2010 Cycle Total to Republicans: $152,700

Total to House Republicans: $56,200

  • John Boehner: $5,000
  • Eric Cantor; $4,500
  • Darrell Issa: $1,000
  • Kevin McCarthy: $2,000
  • Paul Ryan: $2,500

Total to Senate Republicans: $96,500

  • Roy Blunt: $10,000
  • Scott Brown: $5,000
  • Carly Fiorina: $5,000
  • John McCain: $2,500
  • Marco Rubio: $5,000
  • Pat Toomey: $7,500

 2008 Cycle Total to Republicans: $220,300

Total to House Republicans: $144,800

  • Roy Blunt: $6,500
  • John Boehner: $5,000
  • Eric Cantor; $5,000
  • Paul Ryan: $1,000

Total to Senate Republicans: $75,500

  • Mitch McConnell: $7,000

©2016 Keith Berner

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7 Comments on “03.27.16 Kathleen Matthews: the face of political corruption (and GOP love)”

  1. Jerry Berner Says:

    Hello Keith, That was quite a detailed expose of Kathleen Matthews financial shenanigans. Hope that your expose will have some effects. Good luck for all of your good work. >

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    • Keith Berner Says:

      To be fair, this wasn’t *my* expose. What I did was to draw from some other blogs and repackage their research for my readers. Kudos go to the “real” work done by those I’ve cited.

      Like

  2. Aj Says:

    Not fair to tar her with the contributions her company made. All big corporations give to both sides. All. And she isn’t the one to pick the ones to get the contributions. I get it that Raskin is cleaner, but this is an attempt to mislead the voter.

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    • Keith Berner Says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, AJ. I get your point, but I stand by mine: true progressives neither give to nor oversee the giving to right-wingers. If you’re not a progressive, this doesn’t matter. If you are, it damn well ought to. Also, in Matthews’s case, it wasn’t just that Marriott happened to give away that money, it’s that *she* controlled the money they were giving away.

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  3. […] endorsing the oh-so-corrupt Kathleen Matthews last month, the WaPo editors called Raskin “doctrinaire.” Today, […]

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  4. […] for massive contributions to far-right GOP candidates and officeholders around the country (see Matthews and Trone). Both claim a moral pass on this, because throwing money to bad guys in a corrupt system […]

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  5. […] out the part where Matthews spent a decade as a $1.4 million/year shill for the Marriott Corp,  overseeing campaign contributions to the GOP and helping Marriott in its efforts to crush unionized labor. Too bad Trone focused as little […]

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