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I was planning to vote for Tom Perez in the primaries on September 12th.  His record, along with his promise to go after corporate greed and corruption in the state had impressed me big-time.

What changed my mind?  The courts - that's what.  They helped the corporate big-shots and their protectors knock a good man out of the running by declaring that he hadn't fulfilled the requirements of the job - to have been a practicing attorney in the state of Maryland for the past 10 years.

Since the court announced their decision, I've been wondering who to vote for on the 12th.  There are two candidates left in the race for the nomination as far as I can tell, and I don't know much about either of them though I get a sense that Gansler's no progressive.

A colleague of mine just sent around a note from Perez in which he endorses one of the remaining candidates, and I thought I'd share it here for any other Marylanders who'd planned to vote for Perez, and are now trying to decide what to do.  I hope it helps...

Dear Friend,

Last Friday was a dark day for democracy and the democratic process in Maryland. We saw the continuation of the troubling trend of elections being decided in the courtroom and not the ballot box. Relying apparently on the plain language of the Constitution, the Maryland Court of Appeals struck down an initiative to make the voting process more accessible to the people of Maryland. Then, apparently ignoring the plain language of the Maryland Constitution, the Court of Appeals disregarded the opinion of Attorney General Joe Curran, and a Circuit Court judge, and ruled that the voters will not get the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice in the Attorney General race. History will not look kindly on these actions.

In my reflections of the past few days, I have thought long and hard about the remaining days of the AG's race. I have received many emails and calls asking me about the AG's race, including emails from people saying that they intend to vote for me anyway, because they are so disgusted with the Court of Appeals. I am frustrated too, but now is not the time or place to cast protest votes. The office is simply too important, and the stakes are too high.

Now is the time and place to cast a vote for Stu Simms to be our next Attorney General.

I have known Stu for a number of years, and I know his partners in his firm very well. Stu is a man of vision, integrity and great experience. He is a true progressive. The son of steelworkers, he has confronted struggles in his own life. We are all a product of our life experiences, and Stu's life experiences prepare him for a job in which a principal function is looking out for the underdog, the most vulnerable. Stu is a former prosecutor, but he understands that the AG's office is about prosecuting bad guys, and so much more. He has the breadth and depth of experience that matches the breadth and depth of the job responsibilities. And he is a man of impeccable character and integrity, and the Attorney General sets the ethical tone in the state. He is a very worthy successor to Joe Curran, and I endorse him with great enthusiasm.


I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of support from so many corners. I want to thank my staff and volunteers for their unflinching loyalty to me and to the cause of justice. When we first met, one of my staff members mentioned that he worked FOR Tom Perez. I corrected him immediately, and reminded him of something that I have carried with me throughout my career: prepositions matter. He worked WITH Tom Perez, not for Tom Perez, and we have been a wonderful team that had really hit stride. I am forever grateful for your willingness to drop everything and work for peanuts.

I want to thank all the unions, environmentalists, and other progressives who supported me throughout my campaign. I will cherish the many days and nights I spent with SEIU members across this state talking about the need for health care for all. I recall August 1st, when we spent the entire evening in Prince George's counties attending "First Night" events. We danced to the music of Al Green, who said "Let's Stay Together," in "Good and Bad, Happy and Sad." We had some good and happy times together, and we've endured some bad and sad times over the past few days, but make no mistake about one thing: I may no longer be a candidate for Attorney General, but working together, we will always be champion for working men and women, the underdog, and for the most vulnerable.

Finally, I want to thank my family for putting up with me over these past few months. My wife and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary on Sunday, and she has always been my rock, no more so than now. I was helping my 10 year old daughter with her math homework last night and I came across an assignment she completed in her first day of school yesterday in which she answered a number of questions, one of which called upon her to name one person she considered to be her hero. On her sheet, she listed three simple letters: DAD. It was a poignant, timely reminder to me on what is truly important. She asked me awhile ago: "what happens if you don't win?" I told her that it would be far worse not to try, than to try and not succeed. I believe that today as much as any day.

Thank you once again for all your support.


Tom Perez

So that's it - make sure you get yer butt to the polls on the 12th and vote.  I'm still up in the air on a few of the races but on the AG's race I'm cyrstal clear - Stu Simms is getting my vote.

Originally posted to Alegre on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 11:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips / Flames (5+ / 0-)

    I'm guessing this isn't a burning issue for most kossaks - even for my fellow-Marylanders.  But this is an important office and I hope folks don't take this lightly.

    Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -8.75 / -6.10

    by Alegre on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 11:05:46 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the info (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, Alegre

    Perez came by here before he got kicked out, and actually responded to questions and comments.  So I was planning on voting for him just for that, and was quite bummed when he had to drop out.

    Will collect a Simms sign sometime this weekend.

  •  Simms, my college classmate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, Alegre

    I didn't know him nearly as well as NH-02 Congressional candidate Paul Hodes, but what I do recall is a bright, levelheaded fellow.

    During his brief sojourn as Duncan's running-mate in the gubernatorial race, Simms sent a fundraising letter to his Dartmouth classmates.  I haven't seen anything similar for his AG candidacy, but I suppose there's still time...

    You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen
    Blogging at Peace Tree Farm

    by N in Seattle on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 11:23:45 AM PDT

  •  Simms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, Alegre

    was head of the Department of Public Safety under Glendening.  I worked in IT for DPSCS for 2 years, one under Simms and one under Saar.  I don't know much about Simms but things were much better around there during my FIRST year...  I have the feeling from Saar's recent remarks in the newspaper after correctional officers' murders that she just does whatever her assistant Mary Livers tells her to do and doesn't really know what's going on herself, then lets underlings take the falls.

  •  Thanks for this update (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, Alegre

    I think I was leaning toward Simms after the news, but I'm still so disappointed about Perez.

    Gansler, to me, seems too beholden to other interests and not at all in the mold of Joe Curran, who has been a great AG and the best Dem in Maryland, along with Michael Busch, to stand up to Ehrlick's ickiness. Curran will be missed.

    Perez would have been the best one to succeed him, but if he's throwing it behind Simms, that's the way I'll almost assuredly go too.

  •  I met one of Gansler's attys at the metro (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmtriallawyer, Alegre

    a week and a half ago.  He's running for Gansler's old seat.  Someone asked him about the AG race.  

    "Look, I work for Mr. Gansler, so you're not going to hear me say anything bad about the guy.  But the race is certainly wide open and we have three good people running."

    Without saying anything specific, he told me all I needed to know.

    Anyway, Tom was my councilman, so I know him quite well.  I also thought Simms was an inspired choice on Doug's part, back when he was running for Gov.  So it's an easy decision for me.

    Also, don't underestimate the anger most Marylanders have for Gansler trying the sniper case in MD.  Gansler dismissed the critics as being insensitive to the victims and their families.  There are good, sound legal reasons for additional trials and he could have made that argument without being insulting to his critics.

    In MD, hostility toward the electorate once you're in office seems to be in fashion.  

    •  Gansler was asked about the sniper trial (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alegre, docciavelli

      at my local Dem club meeting.  He tried to blow it off by saying it only cost MoCo around $1700 to prosecute because of all the help they got from the federal government.

      My wife and I, both government attorneys, sat there and thought, "Oh, really, Doug? Does that count the MANHOURS put in on the case?"

      Because the prosecutors', investigators', and paralegals' salaries are paid by the people...meaning that's a lot of manhours to prosecute Mohammed.

      My problem with Doug is that 1. he doesn't have a grasp, and doesn't seem to care, all that much about consumer protection issues and 2. he doesn't really want to by AG...he wants to be governor.

      Guy is ambitious as all hell.

      •  Ambitious? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wmtriallawyer, Alegre

        Yeah, he's got the O'Malley bug.  

        [sarcasm]Remember, 8 years from now Martin's going to be President and Gansler will be Governor.[/sarcasm]

        I think I just laughed so hard I'm peeing my pants.

        But anyways, I'm still a bit bummed that Perez isn't on the ballot.  One of the few truly non-self-interested people I've met in politics.  The guy really gives a shit and that's rare.

        The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. - MD Constitution

        by docciavelli on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 12:54:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Best quote I saw on Tom (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          was in the profile in the Post a few weeks back.

          One of the voters who met him at a meet and greet on the Eastern Shore said of Tom:

          "That guy sounds more like a public servant than a politician."

          Yep, 'tis true.  Whole damn thing is sad.

          Can't wait to read the actual opinion from the CoA on this one...

          Guess they are making a bright line rule that you have to be a member of the MD Bar for 10 years...even though it says "practicing law", not member of the bar.

          So I guess my buddy who lives in VA who has been barred in MD since 1997, but has never lived in MD, and has never done any legal work in MD, can up and decide to move in MD in 2010 and run for AG if likes.

          That's just peachy.

    •  Wow - That Really DOES Tell You (0+ / 0-)

      all you need to know about the guy.

      Think I'll log onto Simms' site and request a yard sign.

      Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -8.75 / -6.10

      by Alegre on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 02:14:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Glenn Ivey is plugging Stu. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's all the info I needed to call this race.  With Prince George's being the battleground, I'd rather have Ivey on my side than Al Wynn--someone who has his hands full with Donna Edwards right now.

    The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. - MD Constitution

    by docciavelli on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 12:48:33 PM PDT

  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure who I would support. I want an AG who is tough on crime. I want someone who will throw people in jail and not let the far left let him be "soft on crime". That being said, as I live in DC, I have no dog in this race.

    I see lots of Gansler ads here. But I also read earlier that that there may be a racial backlash if Simms, MFume, and Legget don't win. I don't know much about Simms's background?

    Will be be "tough on crime"? For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

    by jiacinto on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 01:28:02 PM PDT

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