Tuesday, October 24, 2006

AG Debate

The Democrat and Republican candidates for attorney general faced off on Maryland Public Television's By the People debate series tonight.

The discussion started off cordial enough, with each candidate introducing themselves to voters. MoCo state's attorney Doug Gansler, the Democrat, said he would be the "environmental Attorney General" and vowed to continue his predecessor's legacy of consumer protection. Republican Scott Rolle, currently the top prosecutor in Federick County, noted that criminal prosecutions have taken a backseat to consumer protection in recent years, a trend he vowed to reverse.

Things heated up about 20 minutes into the debate when the moderator asked what Rolle thought about a recent legal challenge to Gansler's constitutional eligibility for the position. Rolle's campaign manager Jason Shoemaker filed a suit challenging whether Gansler has practices law in Maryland for 10 years, The Baltimore Sun reported this morning. Gansler said the lawsuit was "sad" and demonstrated Ralle's desperation in the face of few endorsements and low opinion poll ratings.

As if the Republican could go and let him say a thing like that! Ralle shot back that Gansler is a liar, claiming the Washington suburbanite is "famous for making things up." Rolle kept the attacks coming in his closing statement. He referenced an alleged comment Gansler made about Frederick County (someone reported that someone claimed he overheard Gansler call the Western Maryland jurisdiction "Fredneck County") and argued that the statement showed Gansler to be "elitist, arrogant and condescending." Gansler did seem like an ass when he responded by brandishing his redneck credentials, slipping in that he has attended a Toby Keith concert.

Gansler threw some bombs himself, although he did so a bit more discreetly. He would say "I'm not going to talk about" some fault of Rolle's. And he didn't, but he drew attention to the criticisms simply by bringing up the fact that he wasn't going to talk about them. He mentioned problems with management in the Frederick Co. state's attorney's office and ethics allegations filed against Rolle.

It wasn't a very informative debate. Gansler should have stressed that he sees the office as an opportunity to effect change through the courts and Rolle should have criticized that view, which would have appealed to their respective constituencies. The League would have liked to hear how each candidate would deal with the debilitating crime problem in Baltimore - is more enforcement the key or is the approach a failure?

By most accounts, Gansler is headed to a pretty secure victory. A late September Sun poll found Gansler ahead of Rolle 54 percent to 26 percent and nothing seems to suggest that those numbers would have drastically moved. This debate did nothing that would change the momentum in this important, although largely ignored, race.

MPT continues its debate series tomorrow at 7pm with an hourlong conversation between the US Senate candidates. The comptroller nominees will meet Thursday at 7:30pm and the Lt. Gov. candidates will debate Friday at 7:30pm. See additional airtimes and more info here

from The League: Reassembled


Blogger Andrew, TheTruthAboutGansler.com Moderator said...

Dear Free State Politics,

I can't say that I'm a fan of any political candidate running for Attorney General right now, but I am moving to Virginia if Doug Gansler wins this election. We need to stop him. And while I agree with a lot of his politics, I do not agree with how he got to this stage in life and all that he continues to do.

When I have a forty-something year-old woman come to me in shock, terror and horror that we are about to elect a man who stalked her in college, I don't have words to explain it. How do I tell her that her troubles will never be heard because the Gansler machine has all but squashed this story. Not only that, but the VICTIM still lives in fear of Doug Gansler. He started raging in college, and I'm sure some in high school, but for a parent to continue to rage while coaching lacrosse shows how serious we must take these allegations.

I want what all of Maryland wants, and that's a fair, open election, with constitutionally qualified candidates, who will protect all citizens, and the rights and freedoms of all Marylanders, regardless of race, gender, orientation or disability. But does that mean we default to voting for the "democratic" candidate in Doug Gansler? I certainly hope Marylanders are smarter than that.

I wish Stu Simms or Tom Perez were still on the ballot, and perhaps when the Maryland Court of Appeals hears the case of the Bowie bartender, perhaps then justice will be served in Maryland.

Moderator for TheTruthAboutGansler.com
and SayNoToDoug.org

10/27/2006 03:45:00 PM  

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