Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Time to Take a Deep Breath

By Delegate Kathleen Dumais (D-15).

With great dismay, I watched as the campaign for the District 39 Senate seat raced into the gutter last week. Saqib Ali charged into the mud when he made an attack on Nancy King that he knew to be completely untrue. He showed no signs of relenting when this blog repudiated his claim.

It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath, remember a few facts about Nancy King’s record, and make a commitment to holding our candidates to a higher standard in the closing weeks of this election.

Nancy King stood with progressive Democrats and public health advocates in their fight to end smoking in Maryland. She co-sponsored the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007, which banned indoor smoking in public places. She voted to double the tobacco tax, which helped fund healthcare expansion and reduced the number of cigarettes sold in Maryland. Thanks to these and other steps, Maryland has the fourth-lowest smoking rate in the nation.

Despite Nancy King’s record of standing up to the tobacco industry in Annapolis, Saqib Ali launched an unfounded attack, claiming she is in the pocket of Big Tobacco. The worst part is that the attack came after this blogger declared that Nancy has no ties to tobacco industry.

As for standing up for children, I worked with Nancy during the 2010 legislative session on a bill to create a crime of child neglect. She was the Senate sponsor of this important bill and, though it did not pass last year, we will work together on it again in 2011. She also sponsored “Angel’s Law” in 2010 to reduce the risk of strangulation on corded window blinds by requiring blinds in day care centers and foster homes to meet minimum standards. The bill was signed into law by the Governor earlier this year. Nancy supported many other important child protection initiatives while serving District 39 in Annapolis over the past 8 years.

We should not tolerate – much less encourage – such contemptible tactics in this election. At a moment when the public’s trust in government is at all-time low, we cannot accept a race to the bottom by local candidates. Accepting Saqib Ali’s inside-the-Beltway tactics will lower the bar for everyone in local politics, at a time when we should be raising the level of the debate.

I support Nancy King in her bid to keep her seat in the State Senate. Regardless of who you support, I hope you will stand with me and reject Saqib Ali’s gutter politics. I also hope you will join me and call on every candidate in Montgomery County to be honest with the voters about their own and their opponents’ records.