A recent Republican campaign piece in a congressional race focuses on a connection between Democrat John Delaney and a formerly illegal landfill.
National Waste Services operated the Battle Creek Landfill in Page County, Va., until 2004, when the landfill was shut down after taking in more trash than the state allowed.
Republicans are linking Delaney — who is challenging Republican incumbent Roscoe G. Bartlett in the 6th District — and National Waste Services.
The front of a Maryland Republican Party mailing says: “John Delaney financed a landfill that regulators shut down for damaging the environment. Imagine what he’d do in Congress.”
Inside, the mailing alleges four times that it was “Delaney’s landfill.”
CapitalSource, a business Delaney founded, loaned money to National Waste Services, said Justin Schall, Delaney’s campaign manager, but the companies had no other connection.
Schall said National Waste Services was one of more than 5,000 companies to which CapitalSource loaned money.
“It would be like holding Ford Motor Co. responsible because someone they leased a car to got a DUI,” Schall said.
The Maryland Republican Party, though, insists the connection is deeper and that calling the landfill “Delaney’s” is accurate.
David A. Ferguson, the Republican party’s executive director, said CapitalSource owned more than 129,000 shares of stock in National Waste Services. He pointed to CapitalSource’s annual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing for 2003 as proof.
That filing shows CapitalSource had “warrants to purchase 129,430 classes A, B, C, D and E of preferred and common stock.”
A warrant, like an option, generally is considered an opportunity to purchase a security and is not an indication the security was purchased.
Schall said the warrants were National Waste Service’s collateral when it defaulted on its CapitalSource loan; CapitalSource never exercised its right and never purchased the stock.
Still, Ferguson maintained that the annual report shows CapitalSource owned shares of National Waste Services. He challenged Delaney’s campaign to prove that it did not purchase the stock.
The SEC was not able to definitely explain the reference to warrants in CapitalSource’s 2003 annual report Wednesday.
The campaign mailing, which circulated last week, cites two newspaper stories from 2003 and 2004 as sources for information about the landfill, but gives no specifics, other than a bulleted list: “Illegally dumping thousands of tons of trash”; “Allowing polluted storm water to flow from the dump”; “Failing to properly dispose of or cover trash”; “Running a landfill that attracted rats.”
“John Delaney couldn’t follow our environmental laws,” the piece says. “Now he wants to go to Congress and write our laws?”
By email, Bill Hayden of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality provided further information about the landfill.
He wrote that DEQ determined in 2003 “that the landfill was receiving more waste than its permit allowed.”
Page County owned the landfill and National Waste Services was running it.