Mark Keam on His Work at Verizon

Sunday, May 24, 2009

35th House of Delegates district Democratic candidate Mark Keam responds to an "oppo research dump" by one of his opponents for the nomination. Go Mark, you will make a great delegate and I'm proud to support you!
...I’m a former FCC attorney who has specialized in telecommunications law. After working in the government for over a decade, I joined the Government Relations office at Verizon for about two years. My job was to work with Senate Democrats. Among other Democratic initiatives, I worked on expanding broadband access to underserved and rural areas, as well as to keep consumers from paying taxes for accessing the Internet.

I never lobbied on this wiretapping issue. In fact, I never had security clearance to discuss such national intelligence issues. My name is listed as a lobbyist on a wide range of bills that were active in Congress while I was at Verizon because my company listed the entire lobbying team for a Congressional office on lobbying disclosure reports.

I enjoyed working at Verizon and learned a lot. It was valuable opportunity to see how Congress works from the outside, instead of the perspectives I had when I was Senator Dick Durbin’s chief counsel for six years. In fact, when I was on Capitol Hill, I spent everyday fighting extreme Bush administration policies. So I find it somewhat incredible that anyone would suggest that I had anything to do with the Bush administration other than trying to stop their agenda.

Anyway, I hope this helps debunk any confusion that might have been caused by the anonymous charges against me. As a candidate, whenever anyone asks about my work experiences, I always tell them what I did and did not do. I specifically recall a meeting of the Brigades in early February of this year when one of the other candidates in our House of Delegates race and I jointly addressed a group of about 30 people. During Q&As, someone asked me about my lobbying work on behalf of Verizon and I told her as well as everyone else in the room about what I did and didn’t do. Among other details, I recall specifically mentioning that I did not lobby on this wiretapping issue, so at least one of my primary election opponents knows the facts as well.
Well, if one of Keam's opponents (hello, Roy Baldwin!) knows the facts, why is he dumping this "oppo" out there anyway? Sounds to me like it's time for someone in the Democratic Party establishment to step in here and tell Baldwin to cut the you-know-what.

P.S. My prediction is that Keam will win this primary by a wide margin on June 9, and then hold Steve Shannon's seat come November.