Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Attorney General Doug Gansler Accuses Lt. Governor Anthony Brown of "Trading" Domestic Violence Bill for Insider Favors

Maryland Juice just received the following press release from the gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Doug Gansler accusing rival candidate Anthony Brown of sinking domestic violence legislation to curry favor with Annapolis insiders:



SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND -- As a member of the House of Delegates, Anthony Brown withdrew a bill he wrote to help combat domestic violence after being appointed Vice Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  He said at the time in 2003, “I just don't think in my first year as a vice chairman I should introduce a bill that's going to pit me against my Chairman,” Del Vallario who opposed his bill. (Daily Record, January 4, 2003)

Delegate and Lt. Gov. Candidate Jolene Ivey, a strong advocate for combating domestic violence, pointed out that “Lieutenant Governor Brown says in this campaign that he will combat domestic violence, but in the House of Delegates he chose to cave to insider pressures instead of protecting women and families.  This is a pattern with the Lieutenant Governor – he plays to the powerful and special interests at the expense of the people of Maryland.”

Brown’s failure on domestic violence is particularly glaring because it came after a series of high profile cases that made clear the need for reform and change. 

In 2000, after a highly publicized case in which a judge reduced the sentence of a cop killer, then Delegate Anthony Brown introduced legislation limiting a judge’s authority to reconsider a sentence to one year after sentencing except in extraordinary circumstances. (Washington Post, February 4, 2001). In 2001, Brown reintroduced this legislation, offering testimony from a rape victim who was not notified when her attacker went back to court and had his seven-year prison term wiped off the books, as well as testimony from a battered wife whose ex-husband pleaded guilty to second-degree assault after beating their son, was ordered to stay away from his family and surrendered 13 guns to federal authorities, and 14 months later the judge erased his conviction.  (Baltimore Sun, March 14, 2001)

But in 2003, after being placed on the committee that had jurisdiction to actually move his legislation, he chose to not take on the Chairman of the committee and dropped his legislation initiative.

That May, just a month after the close of the legislative session, a former convict was arrested in the stabbing death of his girlfriend, nearly 20 months after he was paroled from a reduced prison sentence for fatally shooting his wife. (Washington Post, May 23, 2003)

“He traded buddying up to the chairman over protecting the victims of domestic violence.  The women and families of Maryland will not let him get away with standing here today to pontificate about domestic violence when his past shows he abused our trust on this issue,” said Ivey.

Brown’s failure on this issue stands in stark contrast with Doug Gansler’s work – both as a State’s Attorney and as Attorney Generalhttp://douggansler.com/preventing-domestic-violence/

"I can count on one hand the number of times the Lieutenant Governor showed up in seven years for the Governor’s Family Violence Council meetings, despite being on the committee. I should know I chair the committee,” said Gansler.


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