Running the ball passed to them by Baltimore County GOP Chairman Steve Kolbe, Maryland’s Republican Party has called on a long list of state Democrats to return campaign donations received from convicted tax cheat Richard Stewart, appointed by Governor O’Malley to the Redistricting Advisory Committee and Maryland Stadium Authority.
As of this writing, Congressman Elijah Cummings is the first state Democrat to step up and indicate that he will return the $1500 he got from Stewart.
I am always pleased to see the state’s beleaguered but scrappy minority party go on offense. Still, in reading the state party’s release, one wonders why Executive Director David Ferguson is the one quoted, rather than State Chairman Alex Mooney.
Is it because Mooney is transitioning from being chairman to a mere congressional candidate? I doubt it. Mooney is no shrinking violet when it comes to publicity. And, Red Maryland even busted him trying to solicit funds for his federal campaign account while calling himself chairman.
No, I think it has something to do with the fact that Mooney once refused to practice what the state GOP is now preaching.
In 2006, Mooney refused to give back a $1000 donation he received from disgraced lobbyist “Casino Jack” Abramoff, despite the fact that other state Republicans – including Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele – refunded Abramoff-tainted money.
The Gazette newspaper reported in 2006 that Mooney had received a total of $18,000 in Abramoff donations since 1998.
Let’s hope that Mooney does run for Congress. The more I read, the more apparent it becomes that the state GOP needs a party building chairman who lacks Mooney's baggage and will take the job seriously.