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Ethics And Bobo?

It is interesting when something from over two years ago becomes news again. Two years ago, fellow blogger Bill Santos was running for the Columbia Council from Wilde Lake and, during his election, Delegate Liz Bobo had sent out an email in support of Santos’ opponent which Santos had highlighted in a post on his blog. In his post, he had included the email address that the email was sent from – Delegate.E.Bobo@house.state.md.us. At the time, I made the following comment in response to Bill’s post.

I’d be curious if there is any ethical issue with Ms. Bobo using her official Government email (which it appears she did from what you show) for political purposes such as this? Granted this was a non-partisan race and I don’t have a problem with her advocating for a particular candidate (the merits of her argument aside), but it still seems somewhat questionable to me that she would use her official State Delegate email for this purpose…

I made the comment and never heard another word about it. Even Santos, in response to my comment, said he didn’t even think about the email address Bobo used to send the email attacking him. And I forgot about it until I read this story on Explore Howard.

A former Columbia Association board member has filed an ethics complaint against state Del. Elizabeth Bobo claiming she improperly used her state office and e-mail to influence CA elections.

Jud Malone, president of Columbia Tomorrow, a local group supportive of General Growth Properties’ downtown redevelopment plan, filed the complaint March 26 with the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics. In his complaint, he cited e-mails from 2007 and 2008 in which Bobo, a Columbia Democrat, endorsed candidates in CA elections using her official state e-mail.

In his complaint, Malone cited ethics rules against using the legislature’s e-mail system for non-public purposes and to influence campaigns.

By the way, Malone is not some Republican trying to go after a Democrat for partisan political purposes. According to the State Elections Campaign Database, Malone has donated money to Democratic County Councilman Calvin Ball, County Executive Ken Ulman, and Democratic Delegate Shane Pendergrass. As far as I can tell, he has never donated to a Republican in Maryland. Unfortunately, you have to search for the donations yourself as the website does not allow for direct links to individual donation searches.

Posted by Dave at 8:25 am
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