Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lobbyist Slams Arora for Not Taking His Money

At a forum in Leisure World last week, District 19 Delegate candidate Sam Arora vowed not to take contributions from Maryland PACs or Maryland-registered lobbyists. But if Arora thought this would earn him universal praise, he was mistaken as one lobbyist took great offense. Following is the blow-by-blow!

Here is Arora making his pledge at Leisure World.

Arora sent out a blast email repeating the pledge and showing the video. That provoked this response from a lobbyist who once lived inside the district.

On 7/13/10 2:18 PM, "Mark Feinroth" wrote:

That’s too bad. I am a registered lobbyist with deep roots in D19 (I ran for the House unsuccessfully in 1994 from D-19 and now live in D-14 just across the street from neighbors who live in D-19). I ran delegate selection for John Kerry in 2004 and was the floor manager at the DNC convention in Boston for the Maryland delegation. I served on the Congressional staff of Congressman Michael Barnes and was an Assistant Secretary at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation under Governor Glendenning. I have been a friend of Kumar Barve’s since we were both campaign volunteers for Mike Barnes. But as strong as my credentials are, I guess you don’t want my money. That’s OK. No need to apologize. I will give it to a better qualified candidate who doesn’t feel the need to pander. I wonder how many other lobbyists have received your email.

Mark Feinroth
Director of Regulatory Affairs
Maryland Association of REALTORS®
(800) 638-6425
(443) 716-3510 fax
Arora replied:

From: Sam Arora
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 19:14:44 -0700
To: Mark Feinroth
Subject: Re: VIDEO: Money I won't accept

Dear Mark,

I have nothing personal against individuals who lobby, and your credentials are very impressive, but I will not accept a contribution from you while you remain a registered lobbyist. As a candidate, I don’t think my campaign should accept contributions from those who would be seeking access and clout with me were I to become a Delegate. And I suspect you didn’t hold it against Barack Obama when he instituted the same restriction on his campaign with regard to the federal level, since it appears you supported him with $300. But I understand that you’re looking out for your interests, and I am sure you will be able to find another candidate willing to take money from Maryland lobbyists and PACs.

Best wishes,
Guess Arora won't have to worry about this lobbyist ever offering money again!