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October 25, 2006

Doug Gansler at the bar

I've had my share of fun with Doug Gansler, the Montgomery County State's Attorney, now running for Attorney General of Maryland. But who knows what to make of this latest allegation that he is ineligible to serve as Attorney General, because he hasn't practiced law in Maryland for the requisite 10 years? (That was the requirement that led Maryland's highest court to strike Tom Perez, Gansler's challenger, from the Democratic primary in August.)

Stephanie Dray, our newest member of the Maryland Blogger Alliance, brings you the basic details of the controversy. As far as I can tell, the problem in the Perez case was that he was a member of the Maryland Bar for only 5 years. In the Gansler case, the question is whether time spent practicing in D.C. and as a federal prosecutor while a member of the Maryland Bar counts as practicing in Maryland.

The Washington Post quotes the Republican opponent, Scott Rolle, as saying, "It's a constitutional question that must be resolved." Rolle's campaign manager is the attorney for the plaintiff who's challenging Gansler's eligibility. What a small world!

To add to the merriment, Rolle claims that Gansler has referred to Rolle's home county, Frederick, as "Fredneck." Gansler's denial is peculiar: "Gansler denied ever uttering the phrase. 'The reporter knows it,' he said during the debate. 'It's rank hearsay.'" Objection overruled.

For more background, see the MoCoPolitics blog, which sees a real problem for Gansler, even though the writer supports him.

UPDATE (10/29): A judge rules in Gansler's favor.