Today’s Maryland Primary features a competitive race to replace Democrat Senator Barbara Mikulski, a 30-year veteran. Two House members, Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards, are seeking the Democratic nomination.
“[T]his is a contest between two candidates,” National Public Radio’s Kojo Nnamdi notes, “who agree on 99 percent of the relevant issues.”
The campaign got interesting, however, with an attack ad first run by a super PAC, Working for Us, and then by Rep. Edwards’s campaign. The ads hit Van Hollen for a special deal he had made trying to get his 2010 DISCLOSE Act passed. The legislation aimed to force non-profit groups to disclose their donors to the government.
Fearing the hostility of the National Rifle Association, Van Hollen cut a backroom deal exempting the gun rights group, along with several other powerful liberal organizations.
Whatever one thinks of the DISCLOSE Act — and I’ll proudly disclose my contempt — shouldn’t we all agree that drafting laws that apply to most groups except those with political clout is flat-out wrong?
Rep. Donna Edwards, an original co-sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act, wasn’t amused by Van Hollen’s sell-out. She withdrew her support.
I don’t agree with all her principles, but I am glad she has some.
In Washington, it’s lonely for the principled. President Obama came to Van Hollen’s defense. So did the Washington Post, praising Van Hollen (editorially) as a “leading champion of gun safety,” and via Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker column, which twisted logic to award the Edwards ad three Pinocchios. Democratic congressional leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, also lauded Van Hollen and attacked Edwards.
Washington: city of celebrated sell-outs.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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