Pay to play in Prince George’s; Post editorial suggests PG officials solicited bribes; wants prosecutors to review

Pay to play in Prince George’s.
Post, 4 May 2010 (Editorial).

Summary: References recently reported lawsuit (Post, PG-Politics) against council member and county executive candidate Tony Knotts (D-8) and others, including council members Camille Exum (D-7) and Marilynn Bland (D-9), who is also a candidate for clerk of the circuit court.

Defense statements:

  • “A politician’s request for campaign fundraising assistance or donations in exchange for a political favor is . . . not unlawful or independently wrongful,”
  • trading donations for political favor “is something that occurs daily in the political arena.”

Post’s conclusion:

Trending: Red Maryland Radio: The Final Episode

Actually, it is wrong, and illegal, for politicians to solicit bribes, which is what some of these allegations suggest happened. It’s worth noting that most of the major players in this drama — Mr. Johnson; Mr. Arrington; Ms. Exum; and Ms. Bland — have shown questionable ethical judgment in the past. That, and the gravity of Mr. Luthra’s allegations, should be enough to merit the scrutiny of the U.S. attorney in Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein; the Maryland state prosecutor, Robert A. Rohrbaugh; and the Prince George’s County Attorney, Glenn F. Ivey.

Full editorial

Comment: Every elected official involved in this case is a Democrat.  So far, no Republicans have filed or even announced as candidates for any of the county offices involved.  There is no evidence that the state or county Republican parties have commented on previous reports about this case or will mount any challenge to the apparent corrupt practices and officials in Prince George’s County.

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