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Perez off the Ballot, Early Voting Rejected

The Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that Maryland's early voting law violates the state constitution.

And, the high court reversed another lower court ruling that had allowed Montgomery County Council member Tom Perez to run for attorney general, even though he had not spent 10 years as a Maryland lawyer, as prescribed by the constitution. Now he's off the ballot--or at least out of the running. (His name may appear on some ballots already programmed into the state's machines)

No word on whom, if anyone, he will endorse in the Democratic primary: Montgomery County prosecutor Doug Gansler or Baltimore lawyer Stu Simms in the Democratic primary

Here's more detail from the Post's web site

By Phyllis Jordan  |  August 25, 2006; 3:43 PM ET
 
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Comments

Good news about early voting. I have mixed feelings about the Perez issue, though. While on the one hand I'm glad he won't be our Attorney General (he was way too liberal for me), I don't like it that people are deprived of a choice due to an arbitrary state law. There is no real reason he isn't qualified to be AG and it's stupid that Maryland has a law that will keep him off the ballot.

Posted by: MK | August 25, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Arbitrary state law? First off, it's in the State Constitution. And secondly, aren't all laws arbitrary? And, frankly, don't we want an AG who can read the law and understand it?

The real news here is that on two big issues the judges on the Court of Appeals can read and apply the plain language of the law. Shocking, especially in Maryland. Well, they've either done that, or the Ehrlich Administration has more influence than I would have thought, and encouraged the judges to reach the "right" results-oriented decision.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

the first of what I expect will be several bad days for democrats over the next few months. It's much easier to steal an election when you have 6 days to work on it rather than just one.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

There's simply no policy rationale against early voting, unless you're scared of the voters. There is no evidence anywhere in the country that early voting increases fraud. And given the state of the polls, I don't think Democrats will need to "steal" any elections, unless by "steal" you mean acknowledging the results of majority rule.

Posted by: N | August 25, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Previous commenter said:
". . . Ehrlich Administration has more influence than I would have thought, and encouraged the judges to reach the "right" results-oriented decision."

I doubt that that the Ehrlich Administration had any influence at all on the decision. The judges were appointed by several governors. They made their decision based on their interpretation of the constitution.

Posted by: Not Casa | August 25, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Tom Perez is a good man. I hope folks who were supporting him will now give Stu Simms a new look. He's a good man, with very impressive credentials, energy, and a good heart. He'd be a great attorney general.

Posted by: Den Mother | August 25, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Simms v. Gansler. I like Simms, I think. Lots of Annapolis experience and he was a prosecutor in Baltimore. I met him at the Shady Grove metro with Doug Duncan and he was very charming to me.

Posted by: Gaithersburg Girl | August 25, 2006 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Doug Gansler and Steve Silverman seem to be working together. That does it for me. I can't support Gansler if he's teaming up with Silverman, who isn't very trustworthy. But what's up with Tom Perez? Talk about a serious miscalculation! He's been a member of the Maryland Bar for 5 years, and the law says you have to be practicing law for 10 years to run. How embarrassing.

Posted by: PaulV | August 25, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I would vote for Simms, but he doesn't seem to have any issues he cares about.

Maybe Perez will give him support.

what do you all think of the Post endorsement of Gansler?

Posted by: simms? | August 25, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

When I was so roundly abused after the now-reversed trial court decision on Perez, I decided to keep my powder dry. Instead of saying "I told you so" the way all the Perezites did then, I thought an appropriate response would be just to repost their gloating on this site, which went as follows:

*********
To say "I told you so" to the great legal
minds who could "read" the Maryland constitution and wrote Perez off as "dead in the water" etc, seems small minded. But
"I told you so"!
Onward to the primary where the voters get a chance to have their say!
We are all waiting with baited breathe for next round of Swiftboating of Tom's candidacy. From a quick look at the local blogosphere the whole immigration debate is good for mudslinging even though it has nothing to do with the Maryland AG's office but Tom is Hispanic.

The thing about political discourse at this point in our history is that it seems that no matter how cynical you get it's never enough.

Posted by: takomaboy | August 1, 2006 10:52 AM

Well, I certainly hope we're soon going to get apologies from all the people who previously posted comments sanctimoniously proclaiming that Perez's campaign was as good as over because of this lawsuit. In particular I hope we hear from those who said: that Perez was violating the state Rules of Professional Conduct by even suggesting that he met the requirements (Concerned Lawyer, 5/8/06, 3:48 pm), that Perez "isn't likely to make the ballot" (Govt Lawyer, 5/9/06, 1:27 pm), that Perez "is dead in the water" (MD Lawyer for Simms, 7/14/06, 3:06 pm), that "the AG opinion is pathetic" (A Person Who Reads, 7/14/06, 6:06 pm), and that "no one should have any illusions about this -- he's going to be out" (MD Lawyer for Simms, 7/14/06, 5:24 pm). I wouldn't even mind a mea culpa from Phyllis Jordan about her snide remark that that Perez "probably should have read" the Maryland Constitution before jumping into the race (5/8/06, 7:25 am). Yes I'm sure most of these posters will bob and weave, and hem and haw about how corrupt the judge was and how really they're still right. But then, there are also some people who still claim the earth is flat, and would do so even if a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court told them they were wrong.

Posted by: Mark Phillips | August 1, 2006 02:53 PM

Posted by: MD Lawyer for Simms | August 25, 2006 6:58 PM | Report abuse

the best news is that he is off the council too.

Posted by: council watcher | August 25, 2006 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm delighted that the Post endorsed Doug Gansler for Attorney General. Unlike their bad choice for U.S. Senate where Baltimore City has had two U.S. Senators for 25 years, the paper finally backed a hometown boy. A Rales choice would have made things much better.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Independent for Montgomery County Executive | August 25, 2006 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Mike Miller is a happy man this evening. There is a reason we progressives detest him so much. I have no doubt, none at all, that he had one or more conversations with CoA judges. No doubt.

Interesting that Clarence Blount (god rest his soul) was allowed to live outside his district for a decade and maintain nothing more than a PO Box and a District office.
No doubt the good 'ol boys felt threatened by this young up and comer -- how dare he jump ahead when he hasnt been a member of their bar for 10 years. Damn those years of federal service. Kind of like saying that a guy who served overseas in the Army and wasnt living at Fort Meade the whole time wouldnt be eligible to run, say, for House of Delegates.

As for the remaining choices, I'd pick Simms over Gansler every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Better to be technically competent -- albeit a wee bit wimpy -- than to be a shameless self-promoter sanctioned by the Court of Appeals.

I'll be knocking on doors, contributing and doing everything else possible to help Simms in the final days. i hope tom will, too

Posted by: juvenile_hall | August 25, 2006 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"There's simply no policy rationale against early voting, unless you're scared of the voters. There is no evidence anywhere in the country that early voting increases fraud."

Vote fraud of any type is rarely exposed. Or to put it differently, vote fraud is rarely acknowledged and prosecuted. But how naive must one be to believe that it doesn't happen, and in some places/times on a large scale. Do you really doubt the existence of poll workers and poll watchers in precincts that are overwhelmingly one-sided (say, like, in Baltimore or PG) whose partisan fervor leads them to look the other way?

I'd have much less of a problem with early voting if it was accompanied with a mandatory photo ID. But the Democrats, oozing with sincerity let me tell you (I watched some of the Senate debate on MPT) cried "Racism! Disenfranchisement!" and killed that proposal in no time flat. It was sickening to watch.

But the merits of early voting aside, how arrogant and desperate must the legislature be to simply ignore the plain, blatant language of the Constitution and think they'd get away with it? I concede that they've become accustomed to doing it and typically receive a pass from the courts. But this truly stretched the bounds.

Posted by: Brandon | August 25, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Both rulings are losses for Maryland. We need early voting. Fewer registered voters actually vote each year, partially because the voting window is too narrow. We need to increase voter participation, not suppress it.

Perez may have been a great AG.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2006 8:52 PM | Report abuse

What's really enticing about Simms is that he is 80% attorney and 20% politician, which is exactly the reverse of Gansler. He'll make a superb follow-on to our current AG.

Posted by: Montgomery Voter | August 25, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Perez's statement is finally on his web site, and it begins:

"I am deeply disappointed by the ruling that was delivered today by the Maryland Court of Appeals. While I respect the rule of law, I strongly disagree with its assessment. It is indeed regrettable that the fate of my candidacy will be determined in a courtroom instead of at the polls. Although I disagree with the decision, the Court of Appeals makes the rules and I play by the rules."

With all due respect, I think that Mr. Perez still just doesn't get it. The court does not make the rules. The legislature makes the rules. The court just interprets the rules when there's a dispute. Perez thought that he could use the courts to bend the rules of lending laws, of drug importation laws, and finally, constitutional law. But in the end, the courts have disagreed with him every time.

It will be very interesting to see the court's final detailed opinion and final vote.

Posted by: Still doesn't get it | August 25, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Though I supported Perez's candidacy, and in principle, the idea of early voting, I don't hold the decisions against the Court of Appeals, which I have often found to be quite even-handed.

Posted by: Marylander | August 25, 2006 9:26 PM | Report abuse

For the sake of argument, early voting is the best thing to come to Maryland since sliced bread--"there's simply no policy rationale against early voting."

But if it's unconstitutional, it's unconstitutional.

The solution is easy--it's not to have judges make the law up as they go along. It's to change the Constitution.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2006 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed that I didn't get a chance to decide for myself whether or not to vote for Perez. And I read with interest what someone said on another blog about Gansler not having practiced law in MD for 10 years. Is that true? If so, why is he still on the ballot?

For some reason, I don't trust Gansler; I'm voting for Simms.

Posted by: another Montgomery voter | August 25, 2006 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Gansler was admitted to practice in MD in 1989. From 1989-98, however, he never once set foot in a courtroom -- he was in DC.

He has "practiced" in MD since being elected to office as State's Attorney in 1998 -- less than eight years. I think someone needs to take a run at him after this Perez fiasco.

Posted by: No fan of Gansler | August 25, 2006 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually it's not true that Gansler has less than ten years Maryland practice experience. The Perezites have been trying to peddle this line for months based on the fact that Doug was a federal prosecutor in D.C. before he was a state's attorney. Even if those years are excluded (he's been a Maryland bar member for 17 years), his stints in private practice both before and after involved Maryland cases and legal work. Under well established precedent, the ten years need not be consecutive (even Perez has acknowledged that). So there's simply nothing to this "Gansler's not qualified either" stuff.

Posted by: Gansler Wins | August 25, 2006 10:09 PM | Report abuse

How much did Gansler spend trying the sniper who had already been given the death sentence in Virginia?
I hope Simms wins the primary so I don't have to choose between Gansler and a Republican in November.

Posted by: upcounty | August 25, 2006 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I didn't make it clear in the earlier post: I've been a close friend of Doug's for over 20 years, and am a fellow lawyer; I happen to have personal knowledge of his work on Maryland cases during his years in private practice. The people who suggest that he doesn't satisfy the Maryland constitution's qualification simply don't know the basic facts.

Posted by: Gansler Wins | August 25, 2006 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess this means the race is Scott Rolle's to lose.

http://www.scottrolle.com/

Bwahahahahahah...

Seriously, Gansler should run away with it now. The guy is all over the airwaves, he no longer has to worry about splitting MoCo with Perez, and last but not least, he has about 30 x's more cash than Simms.

Eh, Im still undecided, though. Leaning slightly towards Gansler.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

To "Gansler Wins":

Gansler has been Montgomery County State's Attorney since sometime in late 1998 after being elected in November.

He was admitted to the MD bar in 1989. Per his own website, from 1992-98, he was an AUSA in the District of Columbia. Surely, that was not "practicing law in Maryland"?

His website talks about the other three years of his experience as follows:

"In addition to his prosecutorial experience, Doug has practiced civil litigation as a counsel in the law firm of Coburn & Schertler, and worked for two years as an associate at Howrey & Simon."

Howrey & Simon is a large D.C. firm that does little if any work in Maryland -- what did Gansler do there?

Coburn & Schertler is another D.C. law firm (much smaller than Howrey, I will acknowledge) that these days may do some work in Maryland. I have no idea what it did back then.

Remember, Gansler needs ten years. Six were clearly in DC, eight were clearly in Maryland. He needs two out of the other three to have been "practicing law in Maryland."

I doubt seriously that his Howrey work will get him much of anything in terms of Maryland -- he would have been a junior associate who would have been slaving away on some partner's big cases, almost undoubtedly not in MD.

I don't think things are as clear as you suggest, kemosabe. After pulling this stunt with Perez (and don't tell me otherwise, please don't insult my intelligence) I hope somebody takes him out.

Posted by: Huh? | August 25, 2006 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Huh? Glad you can read and excerpt from Doug's website. No substitute for knowing the underlying facts, though. You're just wrong.

Posted by: Gansler Wins | August 25, 2006 11:33 PM | Report abuse

This conversation suggests that Stuart Simms has a chance in the race for attorney general. That's a good thing since he seems to be very well qualified for the position. And to me it's significant that when discussing Simms as a candidate, nobody mentions he is an African American. It's also significant to me that Doug Duncan picked him to be the Lt. Governor candidate. He must have been pretty well vetted, and should pass muster for the AG slot. I can go with Simms. I hope his lack of money doesn't doom his campaign. Gansler has got a lot of cash.

Posted by: AGWatcher | August 25, 2006 11:40 PM | Report abuse

To "Gansler Wins" and "Huh": I was the one who posted the earlier question about whether Gansler also has the same problem Perez does/did re: the 10 year requirement -- and I've read with interest the last few posts.

What are the "underlying facts" regarding Gansler's pre-AUSA, pre-State's Atty experience practicing law in MD? Did he or did he not practice for two years in MD before becoming an AUSA in D.C.? If so, then what are those facts? If not, then why hasn't Gansler been disqualified like Perez?

A rather simplistic view of things, I know -- but it's all a little murky now... Thanks.

Posted by: another Montgomery voter | August 26, 2006 1:01 AM | Report abuse

All this fanciful talk about voting in this candidate or that. This election cycle we only have the right to press some buttons on a screen. That's it. After this exercise in civic duty a machine produces a number based on secret propriatory software owned by two brothers named Urosevich (who we know nothing about). The election outcome is controlled by a private corporation. We are simply told who won the election.

WHO RUNS DIEBOLD ELECTION SYSTEMS? WHO WROTE THE PROGRAMS?

Bob Urosevich is the CEO of Diebold Election Systems. Urosevich created the original software architecture for Diebold Election Systems, and his original company, called I-Mark Systems, can be found in the source code signatures.

Prior to programming for and taking over Diebold Election Systems, Urosevich programmed for and was CEO of Election Systems & Software (ES&S), which counts 56 percent of the votes in the United States. When Urosevich left ES&S, Chuck Hagel took his position. (Hagel then ran for the U.S. Senate, with ES&S machines counting his own votes, but failed to disclose that he had been both CEO and Chairman of ES&S on his disclosure documents).

Bob Urosevich, together with his brother Todd, founded ES&S. Bob then went to run Diebold, while Todd still is a Vice President at ES&S. Diebold and ES&S, together, count about 80 percent of the votes in the United States.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2006 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Thank GOD that Perez is gone!!!! Yeah!! Yeah!!! Now, let's see how the Butcher of Baltimore, otherwise known as Martin O'Malley, whose father in law is the idiot AG for Maryland, Joe Curran, puts a spin on the COA ruling. Perez, an active member of Casa Maryland, would continue the practice of allowing illegal aliens to get drivers licenses in our state and deplete our resources including education and health. Also, Perez thinks nothing of our jails filling up with more and more illegals. Joe Curran is responsible for tens of thousands of illegals getting forged documents and Maryland licenses, and we Marylanders are going to be paying the price very soon. The airlines have already announced that by next year, they will NO LONGER accept a MD license as ID. Who do we have to thank? Joe Curran, his son in law, Martin O'Malley, and idiots like Perez. Scott Rolle is the ONLY candidate worth voting for in the election for AG. Those of us who have lived in Montgomery County would NEVER want to inflict upon the citizens of the state the kind of special interest, and tax and spend government which we have had to suffer with for so many years. Now that Duncan won't have his buddy in the AG's office to protect him, I guess his "depression" will be getting worse. Maybe he and Perez can share medication. Or better yet, maybe they can both move to El Salvador to be among their own kind and leave the American taxpayer alone. Hasta la vista, Perez!!!

Posted by: Citizen Payne | August 26, 2006 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing how some people can make the case just how bigoted, stupid, racist and moronic Republicans can be without us having to say a word?

Thanks, Citizen Payne. I have a busy day ahead of me and you just saved me a lot of work.

Posted by: Wow | August 26, 2006 7:48 AM | Report abuse

To "Gansler Wins," once more, with feeling:

In response to my assessment of Mr. Gansler's own biography, you state: "You're just wrong."

Well, if I was a Gansler supporter, I'd be worried if that's the best you can do. Doug worked for two firms over three years. Unless two of those three years were spent "practicing law in Maryland," by any logical read of the Court of Appeals, he is OUT. There is no way that bare membership in the Maryland bar without actually handling cases in Maryland is going to be sufficient.

I suggest that you actually try presenting some facts rather than simply telling me I'm wrong. Surely someone with the inside knowledge you profess to have should be able to do that, right?

Here's what I suspect at this point -- Gansler put Abrams up to the lawsuit. He didn't expect Perez to be booted off the ballot, because surely Perez was qualified. Instead, it was just a way to distract Perez, to keep him from focusing full time and attention on the campaign.

Now that it's worked, I suspect Gansler is the most surprised person in the room -- and one reason for that is that he may now be at risk too.

I think Gansler ought to be very, very worried. Some Perez supporter is going to come gunning for him, probably very soon. I hope for Gansler's sake he has better facts on his side than "you're just wrong." That has a tendency not to be a very strong argument in court.

Posted by: Huh? | August 26, 2006 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Tom Perez wasn't a very good Councilmember for us in Silver Spring and Takoma Park. He was never around and he always seemed to be focused on statewide office (predatory lending, prescription drugs). His campaign for Maryland Attorney General was a stretch, in my view. Let's hope that the organizations that supported him will back Stuart Simms, who seems like more "can do" guy than Douglas Gansler. And I hope that the AG's race doesn't go into the gutter like the Silverman-Leggett race. Silverman should just run his campaign, not tear down an honorable and qualified man like Isiah Leggett.

Posted by: Jack Russell | August 26, 2006 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Perez and his fellow county council members last week announced that they would keep the tax limitation question which over l3,000 of us signed off the ballot. So we have to go to Court. The question for Perez -- How does it feel to see your efforts off the ballot? Now you feel our pain.

Posted by: H. Stinson | August 26, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If either Phyllis Jordan or Matt Mosk happen to read this, could you please add the Maryland Green Party (www.mdgreens.org) to the sidebar? We have a number of candidates running in the state this year, including Kevin Zeese for US Senate, and Ed Boyd for Governor.

Posted by: MDGreen | August 26, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Huh? claims that Gansler should be very worried and that my "you're just wrong" isn't a sufficient response to the claim that Doug doesn't have 10 years legal experience in Maryland. I frankly don't care to lay it out in this forum, but if Huh? or some other Perez surrogate really plans to challenge Doug, then the facts will come out. Doug's not worried and has no reason to be.

As for the notion that Doug was behind the Abrams suit, that is sheer paranoia. The assertion is based on the fact that Carmen Shepard, who was JOE CURRAN'S DEPUTY, wrote a letter to her old boss urging him to stay out of the Perez issue and explaining why the merits of the question did not favor Perez. As has been reported, Abrams got the letter through a Public Information Act request and probably cut and pasted the legal discussion into his brief (or so I infer from reading his brief on the Court of Appeals site).

The suggestion that Carmen Shepard was secretly in cahoots with Steve Abrams and is lying to cover it up is too ridiculous for words. It happens that Carmen is probably one of Joe Curran's two or three most trusted advisers: She had been in high-level positions in his office for close to 15 years, and served as his top deputy for 7 years. Everything that is said about Joe's integrity and honesty is equally applicable to Carmen, and that's why he trusts her. One of her first cases after leaving the office was to represent Doug in his court of appeals suit. She likes Doug, but to imagine that she's Doug's operative is ludicrous -- she is as loyal a lieutenant to Joe Curran as he ever had, and Joe doesn't have a dog in this fight. She's not working on Doug's campaign and doesn't even live or vote in Maryland. And the notion that she would want to have anything to do with the likes of Steve Abrams is just laughable to anyone who knows Carmen. As Brian Frosh accurately described her, she is "unfailingly honest" and an "excellent lawyer." So Perez's theory is that one of Joe Curran's closest confidantes is lying to cover up legal work with Steve Abrams. For sale: Brooklyn Bridge!

Perez and his minions are going to end up with egg (and worse) all over their face if they orchestrate a challenge to Doug. The lawsuit will fail, it will alienate Joe Curran (whom I also know well), Carmen Shepard, and a lot of the people that Perez presumably wants to believe in his "character." If he wants to lash out with a losing lawsuit against Gansler, it would be political suicide. Whatever, Tom.

Posted by: Gansler Wins | August 26, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I just reread Huh?'s earlier post and had another laugh at the line "Gansler put Abrams up to the lawsuit." Well, that makes a lot of sense. Steve Abrams certainly is the kind of guy who's willing to be a puppet to advance the fortunes of a Democrat in a Democratic primary. What other possible motivation could Abrams have had? Surely not self-promotion. Surely not animus towards Perez. Surely not being a gadfly know-it-all egomaniac. Nope -- he's a Gansler mole. It all makes sense now!

You people are nuts.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

If early voting is unconstitutional, because the constitution states voting can occur only on one day how can absentee voting be legal? Whether one votes "early" or by "absentee" wouldn't they have been counted on the prescribed election day?
....just wondering

Posted by: MD voter | August 26, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

PHYLLIS JORDAN TAKE NOTE!!!!!

I'm one of the few Gansler people who reads this blog and has done so since the beginning of the race. Anyone who pays an ounce of attention to this has figured out that the Perez staffers practically cut and paste things from his campaign website onto this and other blogs under pseudonyms, with various degrees of ham-handed efforts at masking who they are.

Let there be no illusions whatsoever:

If a challenge to Gansler comes, it will come straight from Perez. Only he has the authority to approve a challenge or stop it. So let's all watch and see if "MR. INTEGRITY AND CHARACTER" goes into Mob-boss mode and tries to sanction a political whack of Gansler.

We're watching you, Tom . . . .

Posted by: Gansler Wins | August 26, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't decided who to support in the AG race between Gansler and Perez. They both seemed like good guys to me. Being from Montgomery County, Simms didn't have a lot of appeal for me.

But reading the Gansler Wins response to the question of Gansler's qualifications makes me wonder. When pushed to say where Gansler's ten years of in-state legal practice come from, Gansler Wins says first "you're just wrong" and second, in essence, "trust me, I know more than you."

Not very comforting, honestly. I'm not inclined to believe that Gansler had anything to do with the Abrams lawsuit, that's just nuts. But after having Perez tossed out in what seems like an unfair decision, it is certainly not wrong to ask whether there are any other questions about anyone else's qualifications. At best, Gansler has 11 years, and at worst, 8.

With apologies to the old TV show, 8 definitely is NOT enough in this case. I think this is a legitimate question, and I think in light of everything that's happened in the past 24 hours, I think Gansler ought to answer the question honestly and forthrightly. The rather smug responses of Gansler Wins aren't sufficient, at least for me.

Posted by: Wondering | August 26, 2006 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I echo "Wondering"'s comments. I was hoping that "Gansler Wins" or someone from the Gansler camp could have given me some basic facts -- but instead we get a long, drawn-out explanation of how Gansler wasn't behind Abrams' lawsuit.

Frankly, I don't care who was behind the lawsuit. What I care about is whether Gansler is also facing the same problem -- because the last thing I want is to vote for him, and then see him disqualified -- and then have Rolle take the AG's spot by default. The Republican party chair already said early on that they'd sue if Perez won the Democratic party, so what's to stop them from doing so if Gansler wins? I'm not so worried about the Perez folks as I am about people like Abrams thirsting for more publicity and filing another lawsuit.

So how about it, "Gansler Wins" -- a little more exposition, and a little less "I know the facts, but I won't share them because I'm too good for you.." ?? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: another Montgomery voter | August 26, 2006 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I hope that we don't have another court challenge regarding Gansler's qualifications for the ballot. It's a little late for that; somebody should have been posing that question much earlier in the process. I'm hoping now that, for those who care, there will be a serious debate regarding Simms and Gansler. They have very different styles, no doubt, but both are qualified to be Maryland AG. I'm not persuaded by arguments that we need to have an AG or state office holder who hails from Montgomery County. If Simms has more experience and better temperment than young Doug Gansler, people should vote for Simms.

Posted by: Jack Russell | August 27, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Tom Perez never had a real interest in Montgomery County or his district. His primary focus has always been State level issues, and resources for illegals, never mine the high cost and decreasing services to low and middle income citizens of the county. As a Councilman, it was obvious that he wanted high visibility for future career goals at the State or Federal Level. Truthfully, I think he thought as a Hispanic the court would shy away from denying his run for AG. I am sure it must be embarrassing to Perez, the Hispanic community, District 5, University of Maryland Law School and his law students, that as an attorney and professor, he did not thoroughly comprehend the law, the Maryland constitution, before running for AG. Thank goodness he's gone, he's not qualified.

Posted by: Perez Observant | August 27, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Dear MD Lawyer for Simms--

So, you "decided to keep your powder dry," huh? And now you're *not* saying "I told you so" by posting the comments of those (including me) who previously "abused" you? Please. As to your "powder," you simply lacked the character to stand up and say "looks like I was wrong." I'm not like you. I won't do that. The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled against Perez and so I'm here now, like a man, saying I was wrong in my prediction of how the lawsuit would play out. I disagree with the court's decision, but it is final and must be respected. And while I believe the electorate is the worse for having lost the chance to choose Perez, and the state is the worse for having lost the chance to have him serve as its attorney general, both the electorate and the state will survive, as will Perez.

I never had much of a problem with your candidate. I would have preferred someone for whom the job was their top choice and not a fallback, but as Den Mother says (and you could take some real cues from her approach), Simms is a distinguished public servant. In fact, he will likely get my vote despite the fact that his supporters include you. You need to take a look at yourself, sir, and re-evaluate everything from the ground up. Not lobbing grenades from behind the safe shield of anonymity would be a start. Recognizing that politics can and should be about building people up, not tearing them down, would be an important second step.

Mark

Posted by: Mark Phillips | August 27, 2006 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"And given the state of the polls, I don't think Democrats will need to "steal" any elections, unless by "steal" you mean acknowledging the results of majority rule."

Does that mean y'all have come around to acknowledging that George W. Bush won the state of Florida in 2000 fair and square? ;-)

Posted by: Rufus | August 28, 2006 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Dear Jack Russell: It certainly is important that the Washington, D.C. area in general and Montgomery County in particular have a U.S. Senator if not an Attorney General. A U.S. Senator could help us get Metro funding. Baltimore City has had two U.S. Senators for 25 years. The Post did us a disservice with its endorsement of another Baltimore guy.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Inde;pendent for Montgomery County Executive | August 28, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Readers can evaluate whether the more civil approach was to taunt, as Mark Phillips did after the trial court ruling for Perez, or instead to let Mr. Phillips's rather incivil earlier remarks speak for themselves.

Mr. Phillips said that I "lacked the character to stand up and say 'looks like I was wrong'" following the lower court decision, as he has now done after the high court has spoken. The problem with his suggestion is that I knew, at the time, that I wasn't wrong. So why should I have said so? Turns out I was right all along.

Vote for whomever you like, Mr. Phillips. My man is in a tough fight, but you sound like a Gansler person anyway, so you'll probably have the last laugh.

Posted by: MD Lawyer for Simms | August 28, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Bobbing and weaving as usual, MD Lawyer -- it seems you are beyond redemption. How sad.

If as you claim you "knew, at the time," that your view would prevail, then why didn't you say that? It was, I suggest, because you could not stomach the battle at a time when you looked like you were wrong, could not stand to be in the limelight at what would have been a relatively unpleasant time for you. (Recall, if you will, that at that point the Maryland attorney general and the only judge to address the issue had gone the other way.) Now, with the Court of Appeals behind you, you rush back into the fray. But the times that try men's souls, to draw on Paine, are the days when the chips are down from your perspective. That is not the time to stand on the sidelines, as you chose to do. So take little comfort in your approach, for it is not the one that a worthy man would have taken. Indeed, I suspect that "your man" would say the same -- after all, when fortune dealt him an unexpected blow in the form of having his run for lieutenant governor taken away from him, he jumped right back in against uphill odds (in the form of two candidates who had already been at it for weeks). You would do well to learn from his example.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2006 9:00 PM | Report abuse

That last post was from me, as you probably guessed. I forgot to sign.

Posted by: Mark Phillips | August 28, 2006 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Grow up. You were wrong. I was right. Get a new hobby.

Posted by: MD Lawyer for Simms | August 28, 2006 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Your high-quality reasoning and analysis demonstrate your phenomenal intelligence. You must be quite a lawyer, MD "Lawyer."

Anyway, keep talking; you are almost single-handedly driving me away from your candidate, which is something we both know he simply cannot afford.

Posted by: Mark Phillips | August 29, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

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