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April 6, 2010

Board of Elections has qs for Ehrlich campaign

The State Board of Elections wants Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich’s campaign committee to turn over information about potential unreported in-kind donations by employees of the Baltimore law firm where he works.

In a letter to the campaign dated April 1, the board asked a series of questions centered on duties performed by longtime Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell, who works alongside Ehrlich at the Baltimore law firm Womble Carlyle on its crisis communications team.

The letter is a response to a recent complaint by the Maryland Democratic Party.

Over the last couple of months Fawell has regularly fielded questions from reporters asking about Ehrlich’s intentions in November, which were not made official until last week. He plans to kick-off his campaign against Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley at a series of events Wednesday, and the campaign this week hired former TV reporter Andy Barth to be a spokesman.

Barth confirmed that the letter was received. “We will respond to it in the 30 days it provides,” he said. Fawell did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Questions from the board include whether Fawell was paid by Womble for time spent promoting Ehrlich’s candidacy, the hours per month Fawell spends working for the campaign and any pro bono work Fawell does for other organizations on behalf of Womble.

The Board also wants the campaign to explain “the nature and role” Womble Carlyle has played with the campaign and whether any other Womble employees work on behalf of Ehrlich’s candidacy. Two others who were part of the former governor’s inner circle moved with Ehrlich to the law firm after he lost: Gregg Massoni and Paul E. Schurick.

The Democratic Party alleged that Ehrlich is using Womble as its “defacto campaign headquarters,” and the costs associated with the office should be viewed as campaign donations. The Board gave the campaign 30 days to respond.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 1:13 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010



Democrats crying a river ALREADY as Ehrlich officially kicks off his campaign for governor.

Democrats and the O'Malley Irish mafia have all the power of the state to harass the Ehrlich campaign while Ehrlich only has a 2 hour radio talk show on a Saturday morning.
The state of Maryland is the last communist regime in the western hemisphere!

Apparently investigative reporting in the Sun Paper is reserved only for Republican candidates. At least you are consistent, you've wasted no time in filling your role as shills for the Democrats. Thankfully the Internet and talk radio have rendered you irrelevant.

Here we go with another Ehrlich 3 year investigation costing us millions! Only to find ZIP! NADA! NOTHING!

Where is the investigation into Curry and the food store and his pot smoking?

Why is Curry still chair of his committee?

Get the modus oporendi?

I won't opine on whether he/she is correct in his/her assertion about reporting bias, but I love how Pragmatist sees this blog and the Sun as "irrelevant" yet he/she feels the need to read the piece and respond.

The Maryland Board of Elections has limited authority to launch investigations. Under applicable regulations, its power is limited to the right to investigate irregularities involving provisional ballots and the like. Its power does not encompass the right to launch partisan investigations of a gubernatorial candidate at the behest of the opposing political party. The Administrator of Elections is Linda Lamone. Several years ago, the Democratic majority in the General Assembly enacted legislation which absolutely protects Ms. Lamone's position so long as she conducts her duties in a fashion acceptable to the Maryland Democratic Party. She is certainly not impartial. It was to avoid partisan investigations such as this, made public on the day before a prominent Republican politician was scheduled to announce his candidacy for Governor, that the Maryland Code vests the power to investigate violations of election law in the State Prosecutor, an official who is immune from retribution by other elected officials. If the State Democratic Party feels that a violation of the State's election laws has occurred, its recourse is to file a complaint with the impartial State Prosecutor, not with Ms. Lamone.

WAH WAH WAH! Wouldn't the citizens of Maryland be better served by a Democratic Party and candidate that can control spending from the very beginning instead of spending everything and thren having to cut the budget to match the diminishing income?

Sounds like Bobby Smooth is taking some tips from his pimp daddy, Michael Steele. God, its gonna be fun kicking his elitist Ivy League butt a second time in November!

There is another choice for Marylanders:

Why didnt the sun dig deeper into the relationship between Dixon and Owmalley. This paper is a joke and a embarrasent to the citizens of Maryland. your reporting is so biased.

Republicans are all about blasting lawyers, except when it's their own guy and his sham job. Not only one sham job, but a sham job for him and a bunch of his cronies. If it's a in-kind contribution, then Bitter Bobby (AKA Mr. Flush Tax) should just own up to it.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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