November 9, 2014

UPDATE: New delegates respond to charge they are ‘anti-business’; Comcast lobbyist apologizes

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House chamber (file photo)

A Maryland Reporter article on Friday touched a nerve with a number of newly elected members of the House of Delegates. The lead sentence said: “While the new governor-elect is a pro-business Republican, the newly elected “Democrats coming in are more progressive and more anti-business” than those they are replacing, Comcast lobbyist Sean Looney told a Baltimore-Washington Chamber of Commerce luncheon.”

Seventeen freshman Democrats who will be sworn in Jan. 14 signed this letter to Sean Looney and they requested MarylandReporter.com publish it. UPDATED 11/10/2014, 2:30 p.m. Looney apologized for his ‘inappropriate comments’ Monday afternoon in a letter posted below.

Dear Mr. Looney:

It was with a mixture of amusement and frustration that we awoke days after our new election to the General Assembly to read that you, the lobbyist paid by Comcast to work with us, had attempted to publicly insult us and demean our ideas.

Without knowing any of us personally or professionally, you made a broad-brush characterization of the newly-elected Democratic legislators, as “more anti-business,” and called those of us who support combined reporting “far left wackos.”  It may surprise you to learn that we, in fact, think of ourselves as responsible men and women who were elected to represent the needs and interests of our constituents, including small businesses, and we are committed to doing so to the best of our ability.

Because you neglected to take the time to meet us individually before offering your opinion of us, let us introduce ourselves. We are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, lawyers, doctors, electricians, business owners, professionals and, most importantly, dedicated leaders who will fight for families, for educational and employment opportunities for all, for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and for a better future for our State and all its residents.

We will not use this time to debate the substance of your grievance, which seemed to be that combined reporting is a radical idea, even though numerous states (many with Republican legislatures) have passed similar legislation in recent years. We look forward to discussing the value of combined reporting, as well as any benefit Comcast receives from government programs and services, with you and your client.

We encourage you and all lobbyists and advocates to meet each of us individually and work collaboratively with us to craft legislation that benefits the residents and businesses of this great state.

Each of us ran for office because we believe in the power of public service; and, as newly elected public servants, we aim to create positive change for the communities we serve. We expect those individuals who represent the interests of various businesses, organizations, and causes to treat us with the same respect with which they treat one another regardless of whether or not they agree with our ideals.  No name-calling would be a good place to start.

Shelly Hettleman – D11      Terri Hill — D12      Clarence Lam – D12    Vanessa Atterbeary – D13           

Marc Korman – D16          Andrew Platt – D17        Marice Morales – D19       David Moon — D20 

William Smith – D20        Daryl Barnes – D25          Antonio Hayes – D40        Charles Sydnor – D44B

Patrick Young – D44B      Cory McCray – D45          Brooke Lierman – D46       Diana Fennell – D47A   

Jimmy Tarlau – D47A

Districts 11 and 44B, Baltimore County; District 12, Howard-Baltimore counties; District 13, Howard; Districts 16, 17, 19 and 20, Montgomery County; District 25 and 47, Prince George’s County; District 40, 45, 46, Baltimore City.

Comcast lobbyist apologizes for ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unprofessional’ comments

Sean Looney sent this letter to MarylandReporter.com Monday afternoon.

Although I am in the process of reaching out to each Delegate who signed the letter and others, I also wanted to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for the inappropriate comments I made at last week’s Chamber event. Though I’m passionate about the issues, my comments were unprofessional and are not representative of Comcast, and I take full responsibility for my remarks. I very much look forward to working with all members of the General Assembly to help develop public policies that will benefit the future of our great State and the people and businesses that call it home.

Sean M. Looney

Vice President, State Government Affairs
Comcast

 

  • KatieSilverSpring

    just doing as they are told, like good Progressives, all of them

    • Ob Serdious

      “all off them” nice stereo-typical comment….

  • Vidi

    I cannot imagine that any new legislator would say that they are anti-business. And it isn’t fair to judge them before we’ve seen their votes. Let’s give them a chance. Maybe the economy of Maryland will boom with their induction to the state House.

  • Goodridance

    Lobbyist Bruce Bereano is not going to have Kevin Kelly to hangout with. He is no longer going to be their.

  • milt

    My, what a whiny and pompous bunch. “Wah, you never even met us!!” Well, I never met President Obama, but I have an informed opinion about whether he’s anti-business. There’s also some veiled threats in there as well. Well, not ‘threats’ per se, but I think the letter might make others think twice about criticizing this group. Interesting that their first order of duty is to pick on a public citizen that criticized them.

  • Retire13

    Yes, they sound whiny! Lets see how they vote if legislation is proposed to roll back some of the 40 tax increases under O’Malley/Brown.

  • Dontcarewhatsomewhineyfreshmen

    They’re mad for being called anti-business and then write “look forward to discussing the value of combined reporting.” Hahahahaha.

    Geeze, you guys will make great legislators by failing to realize your letter reeks of hypocrisy almost on par with the idiocy of a lobbyist calling any legislators any name they don’t like.

    How about writing back a two paragraph letter saying you care very much about the things you listed and are open to ideas to move us in that direction? No, you idiots ran your mouths about how you won’t argue the merits of an idea the business community considers anti-business, but that you then proclaim is a good idea. Seriously, how do you guys win elections?