Friday, September 10, 2010

Saqib Ali Responds to State Teachers

District 39 Senate challenger Saqib Ali has submitted the following comment on the mailer sent by the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) criticizing his record.


I was a bit surprised to find this mailer in my mailbox. I had been told repeatedly by representatives of the MCEA that the "teachers don't go negative." I guess that rule may have changed.

In any case, what is further off-putting about this email is that its claims are verifiably false. It says that I passed only 3 bills in for years. That is simply false. Below are 4 bills that I have passed. There's more, of course. But I'm just listing 4 to show that this flier is clearly meant to deceive:

Property Tax Credit - Replacement Home Purchased After Acquisition of Dwelling for Public Use

Maryland Department of Transportation - Evaluation of the Telework Partnership with Employers Initiative

Creation of a State Debt - Montgomery County - The Muslim Community Center Medical Clinic

Motor Vehicles - Towing and Towed Vehicles - Procedures and Equipment

Did they omit any supporting citations because they didn't want readers to fact-check? Seems likely.

Furthermore in the 2007 special session, I voted against the slots referendum, but in favor of the bill that delineated how slots would be run in case the referendum passed. Before the vote on the referendum, I got a call from Bonnie Cullison (at the time the head of the Montgomery County Teachers Union, MCEA) earnestly urging me to vote for the referendum. I voted against it anyway. But it seems to be bad form for the Maryland State Teachers Union (MSEA) to be harshly criticizing me for something that I didn't even do, but was being strongly urged to do by MCEA. I can only imagine the tough attack from MSEA if I had done what Bonnie asked me to do.

Unfortunately what we are seeing is truth being sacrificed for the sake of political favoritism. It's fine if the MSEA wants to support my opponent. That's their prerogative. However lying about someone's record in an attempt to sink their candidacy shouldn't be a part of any respectable organization's MO.