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Jobs, Not Golf! Campaign Goes to Columbia Country Club

May 4, 2015

The Action Committee for Transit is taking its campaign for the Purple Line to the front door of Columbia Country Club during today's Monday morning rush hour. ACT members will be on the sidewalk in front of the country club from 6:15 am to 9:00 am with signs urging Governor Larry Hogan to choose “Jobs, not golf.”

“Columbia Country Club's lobbying is why the Purple Line is in jeopardy,” said ACT President Nick Brand. “We're telling Governor Hogan that jobs for Marylanders are more important than the wishes of wealthy golfers.”

Governor Hogan met with leaders of the country club at a January fundraiser where club members contributed $35,000 to his political fund. But the governor has yet to tour the route of the light rail line.

The Hogan administration ignored repeated meeting requests from the Purple Line NOW coalition while high-level staff in the governor's office and Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn conferred with lobbyists from the country club. Purple Line NOW is a coalition that includes major business, labor, environmental and civic organizations in Maryland's Washington suburbs.

Maryland can easily pay for the light rail line, ACT vice president Ronit Aviva Dancis noted. The federal government has offered a $900 million grant and a $732 million loan at 2½% interest, so that the state's cash contribution is only $288 million over six years.

A study released last week by the Greater Washington Board of Trade and Montgomery and Prince George's Counties predicts that the Purple Line will attract 27,000 new jobs to the two counties. “Does Mr. Hogan want to be Governor Jobs or Governor Golf?” Dancis asked.