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Known By The Company You Keep

By way of reminder, this blog has endorsed Mike Hough for delegate in District 3B so we aren’t disinterested observers. Mike should be in the House of Delegates at this moment were it not for the actions of a handful of Vichy-Republicans from my own Washington County.

The contrast between Mike, who is running on a conservative, pro-growth agenda, and Charles Jenkins, whose campaign seems to be composed, equally of two parts — hoping to be mistaken on the ballot for popular Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and sniveling because he has to face an opponent in the primary election — could not be more stark.

Having said that, Jenkins is nothing if not consistent. During his inaugural session in Annapolis he sided with the Democrats against most Republicans in supporting SB 118 and SB 119 which raised the threshold of a jury trial in a civil case from $10K to $20K, an action loudly panned by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland Tort Reform Coalition. This past weekend he held a fundraiser at the home of Mr. Michael Parrotte.

Mr. Parrotte is a founder of AGV Sport of Buckeystown. While AGV Sport’s main line of business revolves around motorcycle racing it has an interesting avocation: filing lawsuits against small businesses.

According to the Maryland Courts website, AGV Sport has been a plaintiff in 22 lawsuits in the past two years. We can’t view filings but they are against operations like Toppings Pizza of Frederick and Liturgical Publications, Inc. over, we are told, advertisements and flyers sent to AGV Sport via fax.

Maybe these two cases are an anomaly and LRP Publications did something really, really bad but the image it leaves, while neither illegal or immoral, is rather unseemly.

Curbing the use of lawsuits has long been a touchstone of Republican and conservative politics. And in the absence of the actual court filings we obviously can’t characterize the litigation filed by AGV Sport as abusive or frivolous.

Having said that we can say that Jenkins owes an explanation for those lawsuits. This should pose little burden on Jenkins or his campaign if he attempted anything approaching due diligence before agreeing to this fund raiser.






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