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Grasso Using County Photo, Seal for Campaign Materials

John Grasso’s quixotic campaign for Anne Arundel County Executive is already getting off on the wrong foot.

Grasso’s campaign launched a Facebook page for his run County Executive. Take a look at some of the features of this page.

If that photo of John Grasso looks familiar to you, it should; it’s the same photo taken on behalf of Anne Arundel County Government as his official picture on the County Council website.

That’s actually not the most egregious thing that Grasso is doing with his Facebook page right now. Take a look at this:

Admittedly, I’m not entirely certain where they swiped the image from or what this is supposed to be a jar of. But the fact is that it’s not the biggest issue with the image. The problem with the image comes with the use of the County Seal. That’s a no-no for campaigns or any other venture that is unrelated to the business of the County Council. There was an entire issue about this two years ago with Councilman Peroutka:

Now, a few months into office, blurred lines between Peroutka’s public life and private affiliation have captured the attention of the county Ethics Commission.

Peroutka, R-Millersville, used the county seal and his official title in a handful of videos — including the schools funding bill — posted on the institute’s website. He also ended videos with a plug for his organization.

An ethics opinion in May advised the councilman take the videos down because they could violate county law, stating the prestige of office is not “for the entity’s private gain.”

Obviously, Grasso’s use of the county seal here would constitute an attempt to use the prestige of office in pursuit of his private gain, which would be his election as County Executive and the salary bump therein.

We probably won’t be able to get an answer on why Grasso is improperly using his county headshot or the county seal from the man himself since we saw how the cowardly Grasso hung up the phone to avoid questions on last week’s Red Maryland Radio. But Grasso’s ethical lapses this early in the campaign are just another in a series of unforced errors Grasso has made in the early stages of an already doomed campaign.






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