Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Former Ehrlich Aide's Wild Accusation: Underage Intern Got Wasted in Rep. Andy Harris' Office, Chief of Staff Supplied Booze

Former Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich once employed Joe Steffen, a shadowy GOP operative who later became known as "the Prince of Darkness." At one point, Steffen's job was to target Democrats for firing from government jobs, and he was ultimately canned for spreading rumors about Martin O'Malley. Mr. Steffen now writes a Maryland politics blog, and a Maryland Juice reader forwarded us a WILD new blog post from the so-called Prince of Darkness.

Joe Steffen is alleging that Congressman Andy Harris' Chief of Staff bought booze for an underage intern's goodbye party in their Congressional office. According to Steffen, the intern supposedly got trashed and was then thrown out of the program -- on her last day. Steffen also claims Rep. Harris's Chief of Staff tried to blame the whole affair on another aide. You should read Mr. Steffen's accusations at his blog. He claims his version of the "facts" is supported "by three very reliable sources." We reprint some excerpts from his piece below, but you'll have to read the original to see his full accounting of the alleged events:
A little background: Kevin Reigurt is Andy Harris’ Chief of Staff, a top gun position that involves him overseeing Harris’ Washington DC office....

Late last summer (and I’d previously heard bits of the story – can you guess which parts were just recently brought to my attention?) Kevin Reigurt did something that boggles the mind....
Buying alcohol for a party to be held in Andy Harris’ office, a party celebrating the impending departure of an 18 year old? The very party which led to said underager getting smashed and thus making her impending departure immediate?....
And then there’s Andy Harris....

What the Hell, Congressman?

You’re a family values kinda guy, right? A Mr. Do-the-Right-Thing because it’s the right thing? That being the case, why the Hell is Kevin Reigurt still your Chief of Staff? The way I see it, you either tacitly approve of your top guy feting underage interns with alcohol ... or are lacking in the area of spinal fortitude.  It’s either some failure of morals or leaderhship....

Which one is it, Congressman?

Seriously.  Which one is it?
Notably, this is not the first time Joe Steffen has been quick to write about potential GOP scandals. Last December, Steffen wrote a blog post cheering on the guilty verdict against an Ehrlich campaign aide. The Baltimore Sun's Michael Dresser wrote at the time:
Joe Steffen, Ehrlich's longtime political enforcer who became known as the "Prince of Darkness," published a response on his blog entitled "Justice Comes A' (Robo) Calling" that takes a harsh view of Schurick's use of election night calls to influence African-Americans on whether to vote.

Steffen, who was run out of the Ehrlich administration after he was linked with an attempt to spread rumors about then-Mayor Martin O'Malley, has since become openly disenchanted with Ehrlich and many of the former governor's closest aides. The former "Prince" has become a prolific blogger on political topics, and his former boss is a favorite target.
But we should not dismiss Mr. Steffen's claims just because he has a score to settle. For example, an area blogger recently wrote the following post titled Why I Read Joe Steffen's Blog:
If you know nothing of Maryland Politics, you don't know who Joe Steffen is.

He's a Republican political operative, formerly Bob Ehrlich's aide, who is currently on the outs with the party, who is also known by his nickname, the "Prince of Darkness."

I think of him as Lee Atwater writ on a state wide basis.

That being said, he tends to be rather more chatty about the comings and goings of Republican party politics in the state (In fact, it was imprudent postings on a BBS that were traced back to him which got him fired by "Bad Hair Bob" some years back), and so, despite my profound disagreements with him on issues of policy, I read his blog and I hear a lot of good inside baseball.

Case in point, he outs Republican party stalwart David Nawrocki for sending campaign emails from his work account.

It seems like a minor thing, until you realize that Nawrocki works for the Social Security Administration, which makes his email a criminal violation of the Hatch act.

Maryland Juice hopes to learn more about Joe Steffen's story soon. We make no claims about the accuracy of his story, so you'll have to dig into the details yourself as we try to find out more. We also hope for Mr. Steffen's sake that his sources are solid, because them's fightin' words!

No comments:

Post a Comment