Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CD6: Nuns to Protest at Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's Office // National Pundit Calls Sen. Rob Garagiola "The Most Arrogant" Candidate

UPDATE: A number of readers in the comments below, either defend Senator Garagiola or criticize John Delaney. Additionally, a few anonymous readers were baffled by Stu Rothenberg's comments. We print a few select responses below:
READER #1: That Rothenberg piece struck me as an amazing piece of Washington-elite disconnectedness.

"deep roots in his community and his party" when he doesn't even live in the district!  Never did anything before in politics except make big contributions to conservadems and republicans. 

What Rothenberg likes is that he "didn’t depend on party insiders to win the primary" -- he bought the primary, and he is fundamentally a representative of the money wing of the Democratic Party rather than the people wing.

READER #2: I wasn't a fly on the wall during that interview but WOW, sure sounds like someone has a bone to pick with Rob and is taking it out in an inappropriate and hard-to-believe fashion.  Rob can be cocky, for sure, and he was his own worst enemy in the primary, but c'mon. Worst in the nation among Congressional candidates (a breed that is notoriously obnoxious to start)?  No way....

Also, Stu's credibility is further damaged IMHO by casting Delaney as likable/personable.  He may be a lot of good things, but personable is not one of them.... 

Below Maryland Juice flags two interesting tidbits regarding the 6th Congressional District race, starting with a group of nuns who are coming to Frederick to protest Rep. Roscoe Bartlett on Saturday:

CD6 JUICE #1: NUNS TO PROTEST AT REP. ROSCOE BARTLETT'S FREDERICK OFFICE ON SATURDAY FOR FURTHERING SUFFERING OF THE POOR - Today Maryland Juice received an unusual invitation from a group called "Nuns on the Bus." The group of Catholic nuns is traveling around the United States to highlight the need for Americans to focus on poverty and economic justice. They are inviting concerned residents to join them at Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's office in Frederick, this Saturday, June 30 at 1:30 pm. The office is located at 7360 Guilford Drive, Suite 101, Frederick, MD 21704. In particular, the nuns are alarmed at the U.S. House Republican budget plan and want to ask Rep. Bartlett why he supported it. Their website states:
NUNS ON THE BUS: Every hour of each day, Catholic Sisters stand in solidarity with all who live in poverty, and we confront injustice and systems that cause suffering.

We cannot stand by silently when the U.S. Congress considers further enriching the wealthiest Americans at the expense of struggling, impoverished families.

As part of our campaign for budget fairness we are taking a bus trip. Our bus will travel to places in many states where Sisters actively serve people in need. For they are our best witnesses to the suffering our federal government must not ignore.

We ask all who visit this website to join us in prayer and to support our work to defeat government actions that would add to the suffering of already struggling families.

This bus trip has been organized and is sponsored by NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and the NETWORK Education Program.

Nuns on the Bus visit Ames, Iowa - June 18, 2012. SOURCE: Facebook.

In particular, the nuns are critical of the House Republican budget plan:
As Catholic Sisters, we must speak out against the current House Republican budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). We do so because it harms people who are already suffering. 
NETWORK’s Executive Director, Sister Simone Campbell, said in a recent media interview that Catholic Sisters “know the real-life struggles of real-life Americans.”  It is this knowledge that impelled us to organize this bus trip. When the federal government cuts funding to programs that serve people in poverty, we see the effects in our daily work. Simply put, real people suffer. That is immoral.

Notably, the Vatican itself has criticized Nuns on the Bus, prompting internal examination from Catholics regarding the Church's view of women. CBS News recently covered the controversy (excerpt below):
CBS NEWS: Fourteen Roman Catholic nuns on a nine-state bus tour are in Chicago Wednesday, after several stops in Wisconsin. Officially, they're protesting cuts in federal programs for the poor. But the "Nuns on the Bus" tour is also an act of defiance against criticism from the Vatican.

Sister Simone Campbell is a Roman Catholic nun and the executive director of Network -- a liberal social justice lobby in Washington....

In April, sister Simone's group and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious -- representing 80 percent of the nation's nuns -- were attacked by the church hierarchy for focusing too much of their work on poverty and economic justice, while being silent on abortion and same-sex marriage.

Simone says she pleads guilty to part of that charge: "That I spend too much time working for people in poverty. I wear that as a badge of honor."

The Vatican has appointed a bishop to correct what the church calls "serious doctrinal problems" in the way the nuns work.

They've been called radical feminists....

"The truth is we have to speak up for the people who are suffering in our society," Simone said. "That's our mission. That's our goal. That's what Jesus would do. That's the gospel...."

CONDEMNATION OF VATICAN'S ATTACK ON NUNS: The Vatican's attempts to silence and punish the nuns has met with fury from numerous Catholics. In one example, a 17-year-old columnist in the National Catholic Reporter harshly stated that "the empowerment of women has always been perceived by church authorities as a threat to their power."

Meanwhile, Boston Globe columnist Farah Stockman recently took the Vatican to task for condemning the work of the nuns: "...it is odd to hear the Vatican denouncing the largest group of nuns in America for promoting 'radical feminist' ideas. The statement is shockingly out of touch with the modern world. But it is also willfully blind to important parts of the church’s own history." In the rest of her column, Stockman notes the central role that nuns have played throughout the Church's history, but warns that that the number of American nuns has dropped from 180,000 to 60,000 in the last few decades. She observes that "the lack of respect for nuns in an all-male church hierarchy also played a role."

CD6 JUICE #2: ROLL CALL PUNDIT STU ROTHENBERG CALLS SEN. ROB GARAGIOLA MOST ARROGANT CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE - Stuart Rothenberger is a famed national political pundit and writer for the Congressional-focused newspaper Roll Call. He also edits the campaign newsletter, the Rothenberg Political Report. As a result, he often has his pulse on the state of competitive races around the nation. But today, Rothenberg published a surprising entry in Roll Call about Maryland State Senator Rob Garagiola.

Though Sen. Garagiola was ultimately defeated in the CD6 Democratic Primary last April by businessman John Delaney, Mr. Rothenberg had harsh comments about the candidate today. Two readers noted a column titled "2012 Candidates: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly." They pointed Maryland Juice toward the following comments about CD6 candidates from Mr. Rothenberg (excerpt below):
ROLL CALL: While I interview more than a hundred candidates each election cycle, I don’t evaluate them the way the average politically interested observer does. I don’t care about their ideology or their views on issues — except to the extent that their views make it easier or harder for them to get elected....

Every candidate has strengths and weaknesses. But some candidates are more articulate, personable, down-to-earth and politically savvy than others. And for whatever reason, some candidates are easier to like.

...Democrats John Delaney of Maryland, Denny Heck of Washington, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joaquin Castro of Texas are on the list....

Maryland’s Delaney is a wealthy businessman and Democratic activist who won a competitive Democratic primary in his first bid for elective office. Measured, serious and experienced, he has deep roots in his community and his party, but he didn’t depend on party insiders to win the primary. That makes him a potentially interesting freshman legislator if he beats GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in November....

There are many other candidates I could have put on this list. I’ve seen plenty of appealing, quality candidates this cycle. But not every candidate interview this cycle has been enjoyable.

In their interviews with me and my colleagues, Maryland state Sen. Rob Garagiola (D) and Arizona special election nominee Jesse Kelly (R) stood out for being the most arrogant, least likable candidates of the cycle.

Garagiola, 39, who lost to Delaney in his primary and remains my own state Senator, behaved as if he were already the Democratic nominee when I interviewed him in late January. He acted as if he were Tom Cruise doing an exaggerated imitation of himself in the movie “Cocktail.” Calling him cocky simply doesn’t capture the ego he displayed....

It appears that Stu Rothenberg is, in fact, a constituent of State Senator Garagiola. I don't mean to pick on the State Senator by re-printing Rothenberg's comments, but this is a pretty stunning statement. Ouch!

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