Background Checks: The Democrats Doth Protest Too Much
Governor Larry Hogan has decided that from here going forward prospective appointees to the Maryland General Assembly are going to be asked to submit to a background check. And Democrats sure are hot under the collar about it:
Gov. Larry Hogan is asking people nominated to fill vacancies in the General Assembly to undergo background checks before taking their seats, infuriating Democratic leaders.
Two people recently nominated to fill seats in the House of Delegates — Baltimore’s Nick J. Mosby and Montgomery County’s Jheanelle Wilkins — have not yet been sworn in. Both were asked by the governor’s office to submit to background checks. Neither has complied.
“He doesn’t need to hold anybody up for a background investigation. I just don’t believe that’s appropriate,” said Baltimore Del. Cheryl Glenn, a Democrat who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus.
A Hogan spokesman said the background check was voluntary…..
Glenn said she learned of the requests for background checks when she asked about inviting Mosby and Wilkins to the Legislative Black Caucus annual breakfast with Hogan, which is planned for Thursday.
Glenn said prospective lawmakers have never been subjected to background checks before — whether they were elected by voters or selected by a party central committee, which is what happens when vacancies occur between elections.
She said it was “very troubling” that the governor suddenly determined a need for background checks. She noted the two prospective delegates are African American.
“Why create a new standard for these persons who were rightfully elected by their central committee members?” Glenn asked. “You can’t have a double standard.”
What’s troubling is the fact that Democrats are troubled by this.
Let us take you back to ten days ago when Gary Brown, Jr. was indicted on corruption charges related to his involvement in a campaign finance scheme in Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s election bid. Brown, of course, was set to take the oath of office as an appointee to the Maryland House of Delegates the day after his indictment came down. If Brown’s indictment had come down a day later, he would already have been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.
Do we know if a background check would have pinged Brown if one were conducted prior to his selection by the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee? It’s hard to say. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other candidates who would have issues in their past that they glossed over during the Central Committee selection process that came to light after their appointment to the General Assembly. And while Democrats are trying to accuse the Hogan Administration of both hyperpartisanship and racism when it comes to the appointment, these background checks will be applicable going forward to all appointees of all parties of all races from all districts.
So what are the Democrats ultimately concerned about? Why are the Democrats protesting so much about a simple request for a background check, one that as the Administration notes isn’t even required under state law? Why are Democrats afraid of what a background check will turn up in the past of Nick Mosby, Jheanelle Wilkins, Bilal Ali , or future appointees?
Ultimately, I would prefer that background checks not be required for appointees. The best way to fill these vacancies is not through appointments but through special elections as I have contended for years. But the fact of the matter is that Baltimore City Democrats violated the trust of the Governor and violated the trust of all Marylanders when they appointed somebody like Gary Brown to the seat. Combine that with the fact that the Maryland Democratic Party remains a cesspool of corruption and Governor Hogan is left with no choice but to ask for the background check as a means of protecting taxpayers from seeing more corrupt individuals enter the Maryland General Assembly.
The Democrats clearly have something to lose from these background checks, for they protest too much.