What Did the DGA Wunderkind Know?
Democratic lawmakers probably wouldn’t recognize Elisabeth Pearson if she walked into their Capitol Hill office, but they might be owing her their jobs before too long.
As executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and a leading strategist in the party’s redistricting efforts, Pearson’s success will determine how long members stay in Washington.
“Her job, if not the most important job, is one of the most important jobs in Democratic politics right now,” Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said.
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Since former Governor Martin O’Malley was Chairman of the DGA, you won’t be surprised to find out that there’s a Maryland connection to Pearson.
McKenna, a Baltimore native, proceeded to connect Pearson with the DGA, which was then led by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. Pearson worked her way up from campaign director (2011-12) to political director (2013-14) to executive director in 2015.
And this would be a good time to remind you of a story some guy wrote in the Baltimore Sun in 2014 detailing exactly what was happening at the Democratic Governor’s Association during the time that Pearson was cutting her teeth there:
Research by the conservative activist group Change Maryland has indicated that a disturbing pattern emerged while Governor Martin O’Malley served as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
According to Change Maryland’s research, contractors and companies that had business with the Maryland state government donated $5.7 million to the Democratic Governor’s Association and received $4.4 billion in state contracts during Governor O’Malley’s term as chairman….
….There are no laws, however, regulating donations by state contractors to federal campaign accounts that are affiliated with state elected officials. The companies could have made their donations to Mr. O’Malley’s “O’ Say Can You See” political action committee, which he is using for federal activities as he ponders a run for president in 2016. But donations to the Democratic Governors Association allowed Mr. O’Malley more political flexibility. They allowed Governor O’Malley to travel, often to key presidential primary states, on behalf of gubernatorial candidates as well as to provide support to governors and gubernatorial candidates whose favor Mr. O’Malley would be courting during his presidential campaign.
Very quickly, one can see how the appearance of impropriety takes shape. The unfortunate thing for Maryland taxpayers is that we really don’t know whether or not the companies received these contracts based on the content of their proposals or based on the financial support of Governor O’Malley’s political wing.
Cronyism such as this highlights the danger of the Democratic Party holding a nearly unchecked monopoly on the state budget for over 50 years. Without an able opposition party to combat such activities, the taxpayers are going to continue to get taken for a ride by opportunistic politicians focused on trying to get their next gig.
During O’Malley’s tenure at the DGA, he used the organization as what amounts to a slush fund for his Presidential campaigns and as a repository for campaign funds from companies doing business with the state of Maryland, like United Healthcare Services, MEDCO, and Beowulf Energy. He also used it to accept gaming money in contravention of a law he tried to pass. And Elisabeth Pearson, during her stints as campaign director and political director, was there for all of it.
Therefore, we have a few questions for Ms. Pearson:
- Were you aware of the transactions that Governor O’Malley made as Chairman?
- Were you aware of what Governor O’Malley intended to do with these funds?
- Was DGA involvement in the 2014 Gubernatorial election a quid pro quo for Governor O’Malley’s support?
- Is the DGA’s current involvement in trying to link Governor Larry Hogan to President Trump a continuation of the quid pro quo that was put into place during Martin O’Malley’s tenure?
- Is currently DGA Chairman Jay Inslee using the DGA for the same purposes as Governor O’Malley did?
If the Democratic Governor’s Association wants to be taken seriously and not just regarded as a slush fund for it’s Chairman, then the entire DGA, including Ms. Pearson, must be held accountable for their involvement during the entirety of O’Malley’s failed tenure there. And that starts with answering basic questions regarding the fundraising that occurred during O’Malley’s time there. If Pearson was in on what O’Malley was doing, the voters need to know.