Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

The rule must be “When I intended to write the letter”

Posted by Ed C on Saturday, January 5, 2008

I am a big hockey fan (in fact, as of 8:07 AM this morning, FedEx is telling me that my Sidney Crosby Winter Classic vintage jersey is on the truck and should show up sometime today.) In hockey, the rule (32.2, 2006-07 Official Rules) is that a play is not over when the official blows the whistle, rather it is over when the official intended to blow the whistle. Maybe the state democrats use this same interpretation when it comes to the state’s constitution. It’s not when a letter was written or dated that is important, but rather it is when the democratic leadership decides they intended it to be written.

How else can anyone explain the fact that an assistant House Clerk backdated a document and the Maryland Attorney General defends it? Five GOP lawmakers are seeking to overturn the $1.3 billion tax hike passed during the recent “special session” due to procedural violations of the state’s constitution.

From the Baltimore Sun, Independent probe called for in session suit:

At issue is whether House or Senate legislators or staffers did anything improper in drawing up documents related to a five-day break the Senate took during November’s special legislative session. The state Constitution requires either body to seek the other’s approval if it takes more than three days off.

During depositions on Friday, the House of Delegates’ chief clerk, Mary Monahan stated that a document that was prepared on Nov 12th was backdated to Nov 9th, the last time the Senate was in session.

Feeling sick with the flu, Monahan asked Colleen A. Cassidy, an assistant House clerk, to prepare the document on Addison’s behalf, Monahan testified. Monahan said she told Cassidy to seek the legal counsel of the speaker of the House for advice on what date to put on the document. The clerk dated the document Nov. 9, the last time the Senate was in session, not Nov. 12, when the document was being created. It was not clear from the testimony whether Cassidy spoke with the attorney for the speaker.

And the Attorney General’s office view on the potential falsification of official state documents? – In the words of Gary Larson – Move along folks, nothing to see here:

“We are defending the case as completely pointless and useless,” said the [MD Attorney General’s] spokeswoman, Raquel Guillory. “We are the ones in court on the opposite side of the aisle, saying the case is without merit. So why would we go to someone else and say, ‘Investigate this?'”

Why indeed? First the Attorney General fought to block the deposition of the Chief Clerk, Mary Monahan for weeks and then we find that dates are really just nuisances when items are entered into an official state record. Does the Attorney General represent just the Democrats or the people of Maryland?


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