As weeks go in Maryland politics, these last few have been pretty bad for Attorney General Doug Gansler. He is facing significant and troublesome accusations of ethical lapses and abuse of privilege while in office as attorney general.

If there’s a time for him to bow out of the race for Maryland governor, it’s now.

No sooner had Gansler stuck his head up over the trench wall to declare his run for governor than allegations began that he’d order his security detail of Maryland troopers to run red lights, speed, put on sirens and lights, even took the wheel himself when troopers demurred. In response, the attorney general called the commander documenting the charges a “henchman” working for his opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

This week, Gansler acknowledged he’d paid $400 out of his own pocket for a ticket caught by a D.C. speed camera of his state. Maryland State police say Gansler was behind the wheel. Gansler claims it was a trooper.

That’s not the only digital photo he’s having trouble with.

Last week, Gansler was caught in a picture taken this summer at a Delaware beach house at a party with underage drinkers.

“Do I have any moral authority over other people’s children at beach week in another state?” Gansler told The Baltimore Sun. "I say no.”

Wrong answer. As a statewide leader and attorney general who has spoken out publicly against underage drinking, Gansler does have a moral obligation to uphold the law. It doesn’t matter what state he’s in. He doesn’t get to pick and choose when to wear the parent hat and when to wear the crown of public office.

There are questions too about dirty politics that need to be raised once the political circus around Gansler has died down. We suspect the answers will be disturbing.

Clearly someone has been sitting on this information, waiting patiently to release it when it would prove most damaging to a nascent campaign. Why didn’t we learn about the accusations from the state police when they were made? The memo, charging the problem had existed for five years, was filed in December 2011 — nearly two years ago.

The beach party where Gansler was pictured was June 13. Four months ago. Three months before Gansler launched his campaign. He should have been made to answer for these events when they happened, not just because of a seedy attempt to tank his run at governor.

That aside, enough issues have been raised that Gansler’s campaign is effectively neutered. The picture at the beach house was embarrassing enough — for Maryland, never mind the attorney general — that we hope Gansler won’t drag this out. That would be messy; it would cloud the political campaign, make it harder to address the important issues, and lead to more embarrassment for the state.

Time to end it cleanly.

(12) comments

rjefmiller
rjefmiller

Between the Party and the requesting that MD State Police violate laws just for his own convenience, He should remove himself from The States Attorney General position as well...

ModeratePerspective
ModeratePerspective

The discussion should be about Gansler resigning as the states attorney, I don't believe he's a viable candidate so dropping out the governors race isn't anything significant. I hope Gansler seeks and receives the professional help he deserves to assist him from behaving erratically and immaturely.

watson4sherlock
watson4sherlock

Mr Gangsler seems to have a defense in the laws of the State of Delaware.

Underage Drinking: Furnishing Alcohol to Minors
Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):
• private residence
• AND EITHER parent/guardian OR spouse

Underage Drinking: Minimum Ages for On-Premises Servers and Bartenders
Beer: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders
Wine: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders
Spirits: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders

Underage Drinking: Prohibitions Against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties
No State-imposed liability for hosting underage drinking parties.

Underage Drinking: Internal Possession by Minors
Internal possession is not explicitly prohibited.

See http://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/APIS_State_Profile.html?state=DE

watson4sherlock
watson4sherlock

But no time to explain just placating voters.

watson4sherlock
watson4sherlock

Where I grew up, parents who allowed parties where minors consumed alcohol were arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His son was the DJ he may not have been drinking. Can a minor work in a bar in Delaware?

I didn’t go over and stick my nose in and see, and maybe I should of,” Gansler said. Alcohol reeks. Maybe he's a smoker and can't smell.

See http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2013/10/24/under-fire-gansler-to-speak-out-about-teen-party-picture/

ModeratePerspective
ModeratePerspective

I believe a fifty year old man driving 2 hours to attend a party with underage minors consuming alcohol and then taking a selfie at the party clearly demonstrates mental dysfunction.

dlharmon
dlharmon

I guess the Weiner pics of him will be next.

dressthebird
dressthebird

So he is no different than any other politician...

ModeratePerspective
ModeratePerspective

I believe Gansler is a snake oil salesman with all the competent candidates in the state he chose a habitual drunk driver and druggie to be the states civil rights director and a unremarkable two term delegate to be his running mate both curiously black. Gansler claimed Brown was running on his race but apparently not as good as Gansler is.

rzak21703
rzak21703

Of course he didn't know what that yellow foaming substance in the plastic cups being hoisted by raucous partiers was and any smell of alcohol was only antiseptic hand cleaner because the partiers didn't want to spread any germs.

Oh let him run, why should a few scandalous photos stop him from running. A messy Democrat primary for Governor is what Maryland needs. I'm sure Tony Brown has a few skeletons in his closet that haven't been unearthed just yet. We can't let the Virginia governor's election be the only muck raking ads on TV, I feel left out.

chrisafrazier
chrisafrazier

Gansler was a power-hungry worm in Montgomery county, he is a power-hunrgy worm now and if, God forbid, he is successful in his bid for Governor, he'll continue to be a power-hungry worm. You can take the man out of Montgomery county but you can't take the Montgomery county out of the man.

president8444
president8444

Stay, he gets all the 18 to 25 year old votes for sure, their kind.

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