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

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

original article

Take Action