Letter to the Editor: Bogus Healthcare Award For Andy Harris Deceives Senior Citizens

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A recent flyer in the U.S. Mail, produced by a direct mail political lobbyist, awarded Andy Harris a phony award for the 2018 CHAMPION OF HEALTH CARE INNOVATION AWARD. What is deceiving is that this award was a “rinky-dink” fictitious award, and was given by the American Life Sciences Innovation Council, a thinly veiled front organization for the same direct mail political lobbyist who produced the award, Public Access Company. Both these organizations share the same CEO and the same address in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The American Life Science Innovation Council’s tax returns show all their income comes from “Contributions” and all their expenses (90% of the Contributions) are payments to related “Lobbyists”.

These “made up” political awards only serve to confuse and misinform senior citizens in the 1st District and harm the integrity of the hard earned valid industry awards that are given for true advancements and innovations in Maryland’s healthcare industry. Harris’ Washington DC office was contacted and they thanked me, acknowledging the award but did nothing to distance themselves from the award. When personally questioned about the award, Harris responded that he was aware of the award but had no further knowledge as to who sent or funded the mailers. I would like to call on all politicians, if they fund these types of misleading awards or if they are aware of their supporters or PACS funding these bogus awards, they should put a stop to them and stop misleading our seniors in the 1st District.

We deserve sound, valid information so that we can vote responsibly when we go to the ballot box in November. We deserve political representation that encourage and supports activities that will earn coveted industry awards for true innovation that will help all citizens in the 1st District of Maryland. We deserve not to be misled. I encourage you to vote for Jesse Colvin, www.jessecolvin.com , who will bring accountable, healthcare leadership to the 1st District of Maryland.

Christopher A. Koch

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Letters to Editor

  1. Carla Massoni says:

    We deserve Jesse Colvin. I encourage all thoughtful Republicans and Independents to learn more about Jesse Colvin. He is a person of integrity willing to work for all citizens of the First District. http://www.jessecolvin.com

  2. Michael McDowell says:

    A dirty trick, if we ever saw one. Nor the last, no doubt.

    Early this month, Harris’s campaign sent out a mass-mailing glossy color double-postcard style communication praising his environmental “record”, which is of course threadbare.
    “Andy Harris Environmentalist” = an oxymoron! Prominently, in the middle of this election mailing, is a prominent five sentence quotation from Alison Prost, Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which SEEMS to praise Harris significantly. Many of us smelt a rat, and this was indeed a sleight-of-hand by Harris. Here, below is an official response from CBF about this cunning and misleading Harris mailer:

    “Dear Mr. McDowell –
    Your email was forwarded to me yesterday afternoon and I wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit more context to the flyer you received and CBF’s actions related to it.

    As I suspect you know, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is an IRS Code 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, therefore is prohibited by law from endorsing or opposing any candidate for political office. The laws guiding political actions by nonprofits are as concerned about the appearance of impropriety as they are about outright political activity. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation takes these rules very seriously.

    The statement in question was quoted by the Andy Harris campaign from a Letter to the Editor that I authored this past July that appeared in the Star Democrat in response to a piece that discussed federal funding for Bay Restoration efforts. Throughout the watershed during that time period CBF was making a concerted effort to thank ALL (MMcD emphasis) members of the Bay Delegation that voted for critical Bay funding and voted against bad amendments that sought to weaken the federal-state partnership that is so fundamental to restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

    When we became aware of the mailer paid for by Andy Harris for Congress that included language from a CBF statement we reached out to the campaign office and asked them to immediately stop using our statements and materials as part of the campaign. The campaign office agreed to do so yesterday afternoon. CBF makes this same request of any political campaign when it comes to our attention that CBF statements, logos, or other materials appears in campaign literature.

    I hope this clarifies that CBF has not endorsed Congressman Harris or any other candidate in the upcoming elections. We take the laws governing our 501(c)(3) status very seriously and continually evaluate our work so as to not give the appearance of even an implied endorsement.”

    The trouble is, the damage is done. These misleading mailers have alreday gone out to voters. They can’t be “retrieved.” So it is very important that the public “examine any Harris claims closely, and check out the “facts” or falsehoods within them.

  3. Earl Runde says:

    Andy Harris is scheduled to be on WYPR’s Midday show this Thursday at 12:00. I wish there was some way to get these two issues to the host, Tom Hall, so he could ask Mr. Harris to explain.

    • Michael McDowell says:

      Just call in to Midday that day and/or email. Do it before noon if possible. Google Midday WYPR for tel number and email.

  4. Gren Whitman says:

    Thank you, Christopher Koch, for exposing more Harris mendacity, and thank you, Spy, for printing his letter.
    Another example of why the press is vital to our political system, gone so wildly awry under Trump.
    A vote for Democrat Jesse Colvin is a vote to restore rationality and respect to our national government.

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