“Having a D next to your name is not enough.”
With these words, Andrew Gall launches his primary campaign to unseat Rep. Steny Hoyer from his long-held Maryland 5th District congressional seat. Hoyer does have a “D” next to his name, but as Gall points out, “the letter beside your name doesnâ€™t matter at all; it’s what you do that matters.”
What has Steny Hoyer done in Congress to merit Andrew Gall’s opposition? What has Hoyer failed to do? Gall lays it out:
Representative Hoyer has shown poor judgment on issues of significant importance too many times: on Iraq, on telecom immunity, on giving China most favored nation status, on lobbyists and lobbying reform.
Invading Iraq was a wrong decision. It was an unnecessary war of aggression that diverted vital resources from Afghanistan, yet Rep. Hoyer supported Bush and Cheney in this costly mistake- a mistake which continues to plague our country in terms of resources and lost lives.
Hoyer, despite proclamations to the contrary, followed through with corporate desires to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies that helped the Bush administration illegally spy on American citizens. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is; itâ€™s a big deal because it says that while individuals like you and I will never get granted amnesty, no matter the smallness of our indiscretions, large corporations- as long as they donate millions of dollars to congressional politicians- can willfully break the law. In other words, in granting telecommunication companies retroactive immunity, Hoyer expressly stated that corporate interests are more valuable than the interests of the people.
Additionally, despite the fact that China is one of the worst human rights offenders, Hoyer chose to give China most favored nation status- forcing American workers to compete against Chinese factories with little to no labor or environmental protections.
Hoyerâ€™s actions in Congress broadly reflect that he prioritizes winning elections over doing what is right, and winning elections under the current rules means getting money from special interests. This reality is dually reflected in the fact that Hoyer has more former staff members serving as lobbyists than any other member of Congress and has collected more money than any of his colleagues. Hoyer then attempted to pay back his corporate sponsors by speaking out against, and remaining the only Democratic leadership member to refuse to co-sponsor Rep. Meehanâ€™s bill (H.R. 2412) to provide more rigorous requirements with respect to ethics and lobbying.
Whether it is something as large as granting corporate executives wishes to be able to exploit Chinaâ€™s lax worker protections, or something as small as carving out an additional tax credit for the nationâ€™s realtors, Steny Hoyer can be counted on to put the interests of corporate donors over the interests of his constituents.
There are other reasons to be concerned about Steny Hoyer’s congressional record:
Hoyer won’t support a bill to stop kid-killing cluster bombs.
Hoyer won’t sign on to efforts overturning military commissions and returning this country to a system of trial by jury when people are accused of crimes.
If you are dissatisfied with Steny Hoyer’s record in Congress and are looking for a more progressive alternative, get in touch with Andrew Gall (contact information is prominently placed on his website right here) … and consider chipping a few dollars in for his campaign.