Sunday, October 9, 2011

Former MD Senator Mike Lenett Sues Ex-Employee & Five John Doe Defendants // 2010 Campaign Rewind

An astute reader sent Maryland Juice word of a very interesting lawsuit going on in Maryland. Former State Senator Mike Lenett is suing his ex-legislative aide Virginia "Ginger" Ramsey. Mr. Lenett formerly held the District 19 State Senate seat in Montgomery County, but he lost the 2010 Democratic Primary to current D19 Senator Roger Manno.

On September 6th, Mr. Lenett filed a civil lawsuit in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. In it he alleges that an intentional tort has been committed against him by Ms. Ramsey and five additional unnamed "John Doe" defendants. This could be a suit for fraud, battery, or any number of intentional torts, but Maryland Juice has a pretty good hunch that this is a libel/slander/defamation lawsuit. First, in Maryland the deadline to file a lawsuit for libel/slander/defamation is one year. The September 6, 2011 filing date of this lawsuit is just a few days shy of one year from the September 14, 2010 Primary.

More importantly, during the course of Mr. Lenett's unsuccessful re-election attempt last year, Ms. Ramsey published a website and email blasts about her former boss. Her writings did not present a flattering picture of Mr. Lenett. But Ms. Ramsey eventually outed herself to her email list, noting that Sen. Manno was getting blamed for the content on her website. I re-print her 2010 email below:
July 11, 2010

Dear District 19 Voters:

I decided to identify myself because Mike Lenett is telling everyone that he is a victim and District 19 Reporter is part of his opponent’s campaign. TRUTH IS THE ONLY VICTIM HERE.  Lenett has known since the first email in July 2009 that I am District19Reporter. I haven’t seen his opponent since before March 2009. Lenett is lying when he accuses his opponent of dirty tactics because of my emails. So let me be very clear: What I have written is entirely my doing and not directed or influenced by any person, party, or group other than myself.

My name is Virginia “Ginger”  Ramsey. I worked for Senator Len Teitelbaum for 10 years and Lenett for 2 ½ years, when Lenett fired me. Lenett denied me the use of more than a month’s unused earned leave, (you can read all about it at so a year ago I decided to tell his constituents what he had done and what kind of person he was. Within 3 hours of sending the first email I received a call from the Attorney General who said Lenett identified me and told her to tell me the emails were illegal. She determined that they were not, and informed Lenett of the fact – more than a year ago.

People who work in the General Assembly see the real legislators. Voters see and hear what the candidates want them to see and hear.  I worked in the Senate for 13 years and know all the back channels, maneuvering, back-stabbing, power struggles and cooperating that goes on. Watching and hearing about Lenett’s Machiavellian and dishonest behavior caused me to speak out so you would be aware of what this man really does. As I have repeatedly written, everything reported by District19Reporter can be verified.

During the decade I worked for Senator Teitelbaum I saw the real teamwork among the 4 legislators representing District 19. Senator Teitelbaum and Delegates Heller, Mandel and Petzold met regularly to discuss the district, co-sponsored each other’s bills, carpooled, and cooperated with each other to keep the District running smoothly. THAT ALL CHANGED when Lenett was elected. NO MORE REGULAR MEETINGS. NO MORE TEAMWORK. Lenett viewed the delegates as future competitors and did what he could to kill their bills for the sole purpose of preventing a potential rival from achieving success. To gain favor with a Proctor & Gamble lobbyist he even turned against his mentor. It was and is and will always be all about Lenett and power.

When Lenett first started, the Washington Post had an article about him describing how he was so power-grabbing, dismissive and abrasive that none of the other senators liked him, so didn’t applaud per tradition when his first bill passed. Recently the Gazette called him one of the least-influential senators, and said he was maniacal, untrustworthy and had colleague problems. He is still disliked by most of the senators. He didn’t get the support of any of the senators he worked most closely with for four years on the Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee.

Lenett spent over $180,000 of his own money to buy the 2006 election.  That kind of money buys a lot of signs and name recognition.  Name recognition gets votes (which is why George W. Bush got elected). He has loaned his campaign another $200,000 of his own money to seek reelection.  He wants power so much that he is willing to BUY it. Is that what you want?

Lenett is also duping senior citizens. The bills he sponsored to attract their attention failed, as he knew they would. He passed a few inconsequential bills (like extending a senior study commission that didn’t do anything and whose meetings he didn’t attend - by 6 months).  He knows he can reach a huge number of voters in one place by going to Leisure World, so he practically lives there. Don’t be fooled, Seniors. Ask yourself, “Does he really care about me or does he just want my vote?”

Obviously Lenett will say that I am doing this because I am a disgruntled former employee. The firing didn’t cause me financial hardship. I’m a senior citizen myself and wanted time to travel and enjoy my grandchildren. I was going to retire anyway, just not right then. I stuck around because I liked the General Assembly, and I’m ashamed to say that I got sucked in and drank some of Lenett’s Kool-Aid. The reason I am sending the emails is because I see Lenett getting away with misrepresenting himself, distorting the facts, blaming others, violating ethics and elections rules, and taking credit for other legislators’ bills. He is also inflating the importance of and even changing the titles of his bills to get your votes.

Please take a good look at the postings on the website It’s all true. And I can prove it.

I will be happy to answer any questions.

Ginger Ramsey

Mr. Lenett at the time retaliated against with a website called its The Truth About Roger Manno at Unfortunately, both websites are now offline, but Maryland Politics Watch called the situation a "nuclear war." Notably, Ms. Ramsey's comment on Mr. Lenett's ability to self-finance his campaigns also indicates he has the ability to self-finance litigation. However, truth is always a defense when facing charges of libel/defamation/slander.

Maryland Juice will report more on this story soon. We hope to discover the exact nature of the allegations, and we are very curious to see who Mr. Lenett thinks the five as-of-yet unnamed defendants in this case will be.

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