Share This Page

Missteps vex Md. governor candidate

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 6:36 p.m.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Doug Gansler, the Maryland attorney general who is campaigning for the Democratic nomination for governor, said on Thursday that he should have done more to determine whether there was underage drinking going on at a teenage beach party he briefly visited in June to talk with his son.

Gansler told reporters at a news conference that he stopped by the June 13 party in South Bethany, Del., to meet with his 19-year-old son and discuss travel plans for the next day. A photograph obtained by The Baltimore Sun and published on Thursday shows Gansler amid a group of partying teens. Some of the teens are dancing, and several plastic cups are visible.

Gansler said that while there was loud music, he didn't see any drinking. He said he left soon after talking with his son and saw no reason to call police.

“I think I probably should have done more,” he said at the news conference outside his campaign headquarters.

Gansler's reaction shifted from earlier comments to The Sun, in which he said if he had seen drinking, it wouldn't have been his responsibility to intervene.

He starred last year in a public service announcement for The Century Council, an organization sponsored by the liquor industry that fights drunken driving and underage drinking. In the 30-second video spot, Gansler says parents are the leading influence on their kids' behavior when it comes to alcohol, noting, “It's never too early to talk to your kids about smart ways to say ‘no.' ”

Council CEO Ralph Blackman said he expects the spot will be withdrawn from the organization's YouTube channel.

“We talk a lot about the mixed messages that parents sometimes send to kids. It's a bit of a mixed message for us” to have Gansler's PSA available while his actions are under scrutiny.

Gansler's campaign for the gubernatorial nomination has been going through a rough patch.

The Washington Post published a story last week about Maryland State Police describing Gansler as directing troopers assigned to protect him to bypass traffic by driving on the shoulder and presenting other safe-driving concerns.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.