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And then there were seven...

The cast of characters who make up the Democratic field in Maryland's U.S. Senate race grew again today. Josh Rales, a millionaire businessman from Montgomery County officially launched his bid at events in Montgomery County and Baltimore, telling his supporters he will not be a retred of the politicians people have seen year in and year out.

Rales joins Congressman Ben Cardin, former congressman and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume, former Baltimore County Executive Dennis Rasmussen, forensic psychiatrist Lise Van Susteren, American University professor Allan J. Lichtman and A. Robert Kaufman. Also considering a run, according to the Baltimore Sun, is Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens.

Rales, who switched parties to run, said he is not hiding from his past financial support of President George W. Bush and others. (Lichtman's campaign released Rales's history as a GOP donor yesterday).

"I'm just as frustrated as many other Democrats about the policies of George Bush," he said in an interview. "I voted for John Kerry. The [Republican] party's been hijacked by the religious right. There's no room for someone like me in the Republican party. I know it was a mistake and I'm going to be up front about it."

A review of Federal Election Commission reports indicate that Rales was contributing to Republican candidates as recently as the fall of 2003, when he gave $2,000 to President Bush's re-election campaign and $500 to Maryland Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, and early 2004, when he gave $500 to Republican Chuck Floyd who was running against Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen. More recenlty, Rales has given $6,000 to the Democratic State Central Committee, $2,000 to Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer and $1,000 to Democratic Rep. Al Wynn.

By  |  January 23, 2006; 4:11 PM ET
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Bet some of the Post staffers really hate working for a outfit so afraid of criticism that it shuts down a blog when the organization makes a mistake. Then they claim its because people are being uncivil, but can't back that claim up. Oh yeah, the original lie is proved to be a lie as well.

How much do you trust the WP? For me, the answer is very little.

P.S. Sure makes any posturing about the 1st Amendment ring a little hollow. Tell you what, open back up the blog comments and I'll gladly share my thoughts there.

Posted by: elliottg | January 23, 2006 8:58 PM | Report abuse

If you have a gripe with the Post, please take it up with them directly instead of infesting other blogs. This blog is for Maryland politics.

Posted by: Dave W | January 24, 2006 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Dave W.,

The Post has studiously ignored my efforts to take it up with them directly. The Ombudsman thinks that her job is to offer opinions under an iron clad 2 year contract rather than represent the readers. Finally, more people interested in the current controversy with respect to the Post's drift to the Right are readng this blog than those interested in Maryland politics.

P.S. If the Post can't respond appropriately when the facts are obvious and easily available then how can you trust them on more subtle, less easily covered issues? So yes, this has a lot more to do with their coverage of Maryland politics than you think.

Posted by: elliottg | January 24, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

This is another effort by the GOP to split up the Dem primary vote so Steele gets the opponent he wants.

BTW, I do agree with Elliotg, every blog at the Post's website should be flooded with complaints until it actually becomes somewhat responsive to its readers.

Posted by: howie | January 24, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that this is a deliberate interference by Republicans, but Rales' late change of party won't help his credibility in the primary.

He'll have to develop a distinctive theme to appeal to voters and break through. Otherwise, he'll be just a minor also-ran with a large bank account and ego. Personally, I think he's getting in a bit too late for real traction.

Posted by: MHK919 | January 24, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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