Lawrence Scott Strikes Again
So-called “Republican consultants” and their work against Republican candidates has been a topic of discussion here at Red Maryland and on the Red Maryland Network. Specifically, on The Broadside, we discussed the case of consultant Kevin Igoe, who worked for the campaign of Independent U.S. Senate candidate, Rob Sobhani against the Republican nominee Daniel Bongino. Igoe, a former executive director of the Maryland Republican Party and Maryland delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention, took $10,000 from the Sobhani campaign, according Federal Election Commission records.
However, we can’t discuss shady Republican consultants without talking about one Lawrence Scott. Our colleague Greg Kline has chronicled Scott’s chicanery over the last several years.
This past election, Scott worked on behalf of Democratic judicial candidate, David Densford. Densford defeatedattorney Joe Stanalonis. Judicial elections are supposed to be non-partisan. However, for all intents and purposes the 7th Circuit Judicial race in St. Mary’s County, morphed into a partisan race.
Governor O’Malley appointed Densford to the bench in 2011. Densford, according to state campaign records, is a donor to Democratic candidates, including O’Malley. Stanalonis, a conservative Democrat, was essentially the Republican nominee. The St. Mary’s County Republican Central Committee, former Governor Bob Ehrlich, and Ehrlich’s Appointments Secretary and Change Maryland Chairman, Larry Hogan. All endorsed Stanalonis. Why the county Republican committee did not run a candidate is unclear.
Indeed, during the race, Densford painted Stanalonis as a Republican (see page 16), and Stanalonis issued mailers highlighting Densford’s ties to O’Malley.
Densford paid Scott’s consulting firm Scott Strategies, over $50,000 according to state campaign finance records. Densford’s campaign issued robocalls and mailers featuring another Scott client, St. Mary’s County Commissioner, Cynthia Jones, a Republican.
The Densford-Stanalonis race became unusually contentious for a judicial campaign. Stanalonis accused Densford of masterminding a complaint with the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee. The committee issued a report finding that Stanalonis violated standards of conduct in contested judicial elections. The committee holds no legal power to sanction candidates.
Three members of the committee conducted the inquiry and issued a report in August. One of the authors wasformer delegate and attorney Timothy F. Maloney. Maloney, a Democrat, has strong ties to O’Malley. Maloney served on O’Malley’s transition team, O’Malley’s Appellate Court’s Judicial Nominating Commission, and he represented former Public Service Commission member, Max Curran (O’Malley’s brother-in-law) and PSC public relations manager Chrys Wilson during the very heated political battles between Democrats and Ehrlich over the PSC in during Ehrlich’s term. Also, Maloney wrote the consulting contract with Shoppers Food Warehouse, which led to the indictment and trial of disgraced State Senator Ulysses Currie.
Interestingly, Maloney just happened to represent Lawrence Scott in a motor tort case in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court this past April, one day after the primary election.
Whether there is any illegality here, is open to question. However, there is a strong appearance of impropriety with Maloney authoring a negative opinion of Stanalonis, the opponent of Scott’s client.
It can be argued that Stanalonis wasn’t technically a Republican. However, the fact that a Republican central committee, former Republican governor, and one of his cabinet secretaries endorsed him, made him the Republican-backed candidate. And the Democratic donor, Densford, surely had no qualms campaigning against Stanalonis as such.
In fact, the nitpicky MJCCC report authored by Maloney contains a footnote stating, “Judge Densford won the Democratic primary, and challenger Joseph Stanalonis won the Republican primary”.
Either way you slice it, Lawrence Scott worked for a Democrat against a Republican.