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Manno & Trone Are Qualified for Congress

Aruna Miller Continues to Mislead On Growing Allegations of Islamophobia

& Support for Genocide in Gujarat, India



ROCKVILLE, MD: The Asian American Democratic Club is proud to endorse Roger Manno for Congress in Maryland’s contested sixth congressional district Democratic primary election. We further appreciate and recognize David Trone as a candidate with whom we disagree with on several matters of policy, but trust would serve the people of Congressional District with distinction and merit. We find Aruna Miller to be the least qualified candidate in the race by far, after failing to explain her previously avid support for Narendra Modi, India’s controversial Prime Minister whom the United States placed on a 14-year visa ban for human rights abuses. Our decision comes after an extensive review of all the candidates running—including two of Asian origin, Nadia Hashimi, who is Central Asian (Afghan-American), and Aruna Miller, who is South Asian (Indian-American). We found Roger Manno’s candidacy to be the most impressive by far, though we also reserve praise for the extensive outreach that self-made entrepreneur David Trone has put into building a broad coalition of support for his second run for Congress in four years.

A Tale of Two Candidates: Manno & Trone

Both Roger Manno and David Trone share compelling personal narratives that speak to the current state of affairs in Maryland and the country. Both endured harsh financial struggles in an America that left little room for main street to thrive as it had done in previous generations. While Manno’s struggles led to him channelling his energies into progressive politics and direct action, David Trone’s personal challenges led to him becoming a liquor magnate whose sense of noblesse oblige and philanthropy is well-known in Montgomery County and Maryland.

Neither narrative should be ignored, nor should either candidate’s political leanings be interpreted as somehow hostile to the Democratic Party or to improving the lives of ordinary citizens. Like so much in politics, Trone and Manno are cut from the same cloth, but have chosen different paths: Manno the progressive who grew up on mean streets and the school of hard knocks, Trone the center-left moderate who views himself as the bridge between the wealthy regions in and around Potomac in the south of congressional district 6 and the rural, blue-collar 99% of Western Maryland. We could see either of them working for the benefit of all Marylanders should they be elected.

Several of us have been mentored by the schoolmaster of hard-knocks himself when it comes to fighting for the voiceless and marginalized. We have seen Roger’s commitment and his heart up-close and personal as community activists and grassroots organizers of a generation that yearns to be heard. Few white men today are as “woke” or real as Roger Manno is. We are convinced he will work to include all Marylanders in our democracy. Given that only 16.8% of voters turned out in 2014, we think his demonstrated commitment to all Marylanders qualifies him most for public office.

Lacking in Integrity: Aruna Miller is Not the Voice for District 6.

We are truly concerned with the cavalier way in which Mrs. Miller has lied and deceived countless voters about her record when it comes to support far-right Hindu extremism in India. In August of 2014, Aruna Miller declared that India’s newly-elect prime minister, Narendra Modi was a “rock star” whom Miller was sure would “transform the US-India relationship to make it shine”. She made these comments at the invitation of a leader of the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at a gathering in Vienna, Virginia. Her comments were caught on record by the well-known Indian American news journal, American Bazaar. She has on multiple occasions since then, either denied ever lending her voice in support of Modi, or offered conflicting explanations including her comments focused on his economic revitalization plan for India. Normally, one never compliments a person involved in genocide for their economic vision. We don’t praise the Nazis for the Autobahn or Volkswagen. Why on earth would Miller think praising Modi in any circumstance would be acceptable?

Modi is a member of the BJP and RSS, the latter being a hate group so extreme in its anti-Christian and anti-Muslim views, that democratic India has outlawed it three times. Modi stands accused by his own police force of instigating the mass murder of 1,000 Christians and Muslims in Gujarat, while he was head of that state’s government. The United States subsequently banned Modi from entering our country because of his role in the mass murders under the Bush administration—a ban that lasted for 14 years until shortly after he was elected Prime Minister of India, when his position of head of India’s government granted him diplomatic immunity. Why did Miller think to call him a “rock star?”

The answer: she thought it would help her raise money to run for Congress. Countless far-right Hindus in the US gave contributions to Trump after he announced his intentions to bar Muslims from entering the country. Using the same logic, Aruna Miller sold her soul for a few pieces of silver by praising a mass murderer with a loyal base in some very affluent sectors of the Indian American diaspora. For a woman of color to so clearly pander is shameful.

Miller may choose friends like Narendra Modi, but Marylanders can do better. Mr. Trone, whom we disagree with on several key issues, has by far more integrity than Aruna Miller, and earns our respect. A vote for him would not endanger the civil rights of any Americans, unlike a vote for Mrs. Miller, who cannot be trusted to protect the rights of Marylanders while she continues to fail to publicly apologize for her past support for Narendra Modi. Roger Manno has invested in Asian-Americans as a progressive voice since he led the charge to combat the PATRIOT Act in 2001. We endorse Roger Manno, and we also find David Trone to be well-qualified to serve Maryland’s 6th District in Congress.


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