Sunday, November 18, 2012

HOLY MACKEREL: Gov. O'Malley Asks Prince George's Dems to Withdraw Greg Hall's Name For Tiffany Alston's MD House Seat

BACKGROUND: Just days ago, local news outlets were abuzz with news that Greg Hall, the choice of the Prince George's Democratic Central Committee (PGDCC) to replace Delegate Tiffany Alston (D24), had previously been involved in a drug-dealing gun-shootout that resulted in a dead child. The PG Democratic Central Committee had appointed Hall to replace Alston after she copped a plea on criminal charges involving misuse of government resources. Maryland Juice highlighted a few news articles indicating that the PG Dems were uncomfortable with the revelations and began changing their vacancy appointment process to preempt this kind of a problem in the future.

O'MALLEY ASKS PG CENTRAL COMMITTEE TO WITHDRAW HALL'S NAME: But now, The Washington Post is reporting that Governor Martin O'Malley is asking the Prince George's Democratic Central Committee to withdraw Hall's name for the District 24 seat, and it sounds like they are inclined to listen (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has asked Prince George’s County Democrats to withdraw the name of businessman Greg Hall to replace Tiffany Alston in the House of Delegates until the state’s attorney general rules on whether the seat is actually vacant....

Assistant States’s Attorney General Dan Friedman had advised the General Assembly that Alston’s seat was vacant upon her conviction. But an Anne Arundel County judge last week agreed to modify Alston’s one-year suspended jail sentence to probation before judgment, essentially striking her conviction....

[PGDCC Chair Terry] Speigner said the 24-member panel is already scheduled to meet Tuesday. At that meeting, he said “we will comply with the governor’s request to rescind Hall’s nomination.” He said the committee would do what O’Malley asked.

O'MALLEY DODGES BULLET: Governor O'Malley may have caught a very lucky break with the sudden legal ambiguities about whether Tiffany Alston has been suspended from the legislature or not. After all, if Hall's nomination for the vacancy had proceeded, O'Malley himself would have had to ultimately appointment him to the D24 seat. It seems pretty easy to imagine how O'Malley's rivals could have used this issue either in a primary or a general election.

Even more interesting to think about is what will happen to Tiffany Alston. Did she just find a way to stay in office? We shall know soon enough!


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