If it’s campaign season in Maryland, then it must be time for anonymous political attacks on candidates.
On Thursday morning, an e-mail arrived in the inboxes of reporters and nearly every member of the General Assembly that sought to attack state Sen. Rob Garagiola (D-Montgomery) — a candidate in the redrawn 6th Congressional District — for his past employment at the same law firm as disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The e-mail message, supposedly sent by someone named “Tim Teblow,” suggested that “the Democratic brand is at risk” in part because Garagiola formerly worked at Greenberg Traurig, the firm where Abramoff served as a top lobbyist before he was fired and eventually jailed.
The message also includes a political cartoon featuring a donkey stamped “Garagiola” being ridden by state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) dragging a ball and chain marked “Abramhoff” (sp).
Sean Rankin, Garagiola’s campaign manager, hit “reply all” to the message to say: “Rob got a good chuckle out of the cartoon and the first Republican attack on him. For a minute, let’s focus on the facts: Rob worked at Greenberg Traurig along with 2,000 other lawyers. Abramoff was a Republican, Rob is a Democrat, and they neither worked together nor shared clients.”
The e-mail notes that “we found no mention of Senator Garagiola’s days as a lobbyist anywhere on his public outreach pages,” which is true. Garagiola’s campaign bio page does not reference his service at Greenberg Traurig, or the fact that he was a registered lobbyist for a variety of clients, mostly in the health-care field.
“Teblow” had not responded to an e-mailed request for comment as of this posting.
Apparently Garagiola isn’t the first Maryland Democrat to face this line of attack.
Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s), the wife of former Prince George’s County prosecutor Glenn F. Ivey, also hit “reply all” to add: “They sent the same ____ out about Glenn. Recycled ____.”
Ivey, also a former lobbyist, announced Wednesday that he was abandoning a planned primary challenge against Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.).