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On the Campaign Trail - March 27

March 26, 2012

Ethics complaint targets Garagiola
A Potomac, Md., lawyer has filed an ethics complaint against state Sen. Robert J. Garagiola for failing to list past earnings on a state financial disclosure form.
Randa Fahmy Hudome said she heard a radio ad on the topic about a week ago. She filed a complaint with the Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics on Monday and emailed copies to reporters.
John Delaney, one of Garagiola’s Democratic opponents in the 6th District Congressional race, attacked Garagiola about a month ago for not reporting more than $200,000 in earnings as a lobbyist with Greenberg Traurig from 2001 to 2003.
Garagiola said it wasn’t deliberate; the wording on the financial disclosure form seemed to ask about income derived from a business he owned.
He noted that he also didn’t disclose income from his current employer — the law firm of Stein, Sperling, Bennett, De Jong, Driscoll, PC — in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and pledged to amend earlier filings so they’re accurate.
Hudome said she doesn’t believe Garagiola’s claim about the wording. She said legislative staff members help lawmakers fill out forms; she did that as a counselor for U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham, R-Mich.
Hudome, a Republican, said she’s motivated by accountability and transparency, not politics.
Garagiola’s campaign responded with an email comment from Sean Rankin, his campaign manager: “Randa Hudome and her husband, Mike, who are certainly part of the Who’s Who in Washington DC Republican circles, just fired the first shot of the general election campaign, which I think confirms that Republicans and Roscoe Bartlett know that they are running against Rob Garagiola in the Fall and would seem to tip the hand of Roscoe Bartlett and his polling as to our Democratic Primary, but as polling and turn-out are two different things, we are going to continue focusing exclusively on our field operation and turning out our ID’ed voters for early voting and Election Day next week.”

Democratic delegate field narrowed
On April 3, Democrats will choose their delegates to the national convention, but the field already has been narrowed.
In the 6th Congressional District, 13 women filed for three female delegate spots and 24 men filed to be one of three male delegates.
For delegates committed to a presidential candidate, Democrats send their choices to the candidates for approval — in this case, President Barack Obama, who is unopposed in Maryland.
Elizabeth Paul of Hagerstown is one of the three female delegates on the ballot. Claudia G. Martin was among those not chosen.
Washington County men who didn’t make the cut for male delegate include Brian Beall, Willie Conyers, Del. John P. Donoghue, Jereme Weston Leazier, Jason A. Malott and Peter E. Perini Sr.

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— Andrew Schotz

“On The Campaign Trail” will run periodically. Send campaign news and tips to Andrew Schotz at andrews@herald-mail.com.

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