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Maryland's top attorney slams McCain on choice of Palin

October 02, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- The Maryland attorney general on Wednesday slammed Republican presidential candidate John McCain for selecting Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Douglas F. Gansler, speaking during the Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council dinner at Hagerstown's BPO Elks Lodge, said McCain's choice was irresponsible, and he questioned Palin's intelligence.

The biennial dinner is a fundraiser for the Labor Council, president Teresa Griffin said.

Gansler, an early Barack Obama supporter, called the upcoming presidential election the most important one in a lifetime, and he predicted an easy Obama victory.

"The minute he's elected, we're going to see our country differently," Gansler said. "It's going to be a new time and a new day for the country."

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Among hopes for the country's future were reminders of the current economic crisis facing the nation. Spokespeople for U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, both D-Md., sat in their places, and a spokeswoman for Mikulski said she was expected to vote Wednesday night on legislation intended to halt the economic meltdown.

Jennifer P. Dougherty, a Democratic candidate for Maryland's 6th District Congressional seat, said working people are frightened and tense about what's going on in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street. Dougherty said that legislation being considered by Congress does not do enough to protect homeowners from foreclosure and puts too much power in the hands of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

"I already don't trust them," Dougherty said.

Dougherty was endorsed by the Labor Council, along with four Washington County Board of Education candidates: Donna Brightman, Jacqueline B. Fischer, Meredith Fouche and Wayne D. Ridenour. Obama and his vice presidential pick, Joe Biden, also were endorsed.

The Labor Council also honored a deceased union member and Hagerstown native, John Crawford, during the dinner. Crawford began working for Eastalco Aluminum Co. in March 1970 and retired in 2006 from the environmental emissions department. Crawford was part of the birth of the union at Eastalco and was the longest continuing serving officer in the Local 7886.

Crawford died of cancer in 2007.

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