Thursday, October 24, 2013

OH BOY: Sun Posts Photo of Doug Gansler at Beach Week Underage Drinking Party // Another Wild News Cycle Brewing?

The Baltimore Sun's Erin Cox & Michael Dresser just posted a crazy new story about Doug Gansler that threatens to create another mayhem-filled news cycle for Maryland's Attorney General. The mainstream media previously went wild with news that Gansler may have ordered his detail of state troopers to break traffic rules. But the story was beginning to die down, and Gansler tried to put things to rest this week by paying a speeding ticket he was alleged to have ignored.

Now The Sun is out with a new story highlighting Doug Gansler's visit to his son's beach week party last June, where underage drinking was apparently rampant (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: When Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler arrived at a house party of teenagers in June, he pushed through the crowd, past youngsters dancing on a table and a smattering of red plastic cups. One of the revelers snapped a photo. As the night wore on, teens at the South Bethany rental home posted tweets, photos and videos of a bash labeled the "eviction party" for its intensity — a celebration where underage participants later confirmed many were drinking alcohol....

"Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party," Gansler said. "How is that relevant to me? … The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no...."

During his brief stay at the teens' party, he was captured in both a video and a photo posted online. He did not dispute the authenticity of those images....  Gansler was part of a group of parents who paid for a weeklong stay at a six-bedroom beach house after their sons' graduation from the private Landon School in Bethesda....

"I don't remember much, but it was one of the best parties I've been to, hands down," said one attendee....

ANALYSIS: Put aside for a second whether you think Gansler's apathy about the beach week drinking is a big deal or not. Either way, you must admit that the optics of this are just horrible coming off of the wave of negative press regarding the State Trooper story. Unfortunately for Gansler, there is video footage and photos of him in the presence of the drunken revelers, though The Sun only published one photo example (see image below and note that I circled Gansler in yellow).  A few Maryland Juice sources suggested that the barrage of negative stories in the press must have been leaked by one of Gansler's rivals (or his rivals' allies). But they provided various explanations and conclusions for the timing of these stories. One source wondered whether all of these hits were coming too early in the 2014 election cycle and would be better released closer to the election. But another source suggested that a rival campaign might be trying to define Gansler (who may be unknown to much of the electorate) early in the cycle or encourage him out of the race. And yet a third source suggested that there could just be an endless folder of opposition research being trickled out throughout the course of the campaign. Either way, Maryland Juice's previous prediction that we were headed into a negative gubernatorial race may be quickly proving true. Just look at the photo that The Baltimore Sun released:

More on the heated Maryland Governor's race soon!

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