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District 12 Candidate Cited for Election Law Violation

Brian Bailey’s campaign allegedly created a website in the name of House of Delegates opponent Rebecca Dongarra, and it solicited derogatory material, authorities say.

Brian Bailey. Credit: Screenshot from Brian Bailey campaign website
Brian Bailey. Credit: Screenshot from Brian Bailey campaign website
Mud-slinging is not unheard of in a political campaign, but it’s landed Maryland’s District 12 House of Delegates candidate Brian Bailey in trouble.

Bailey, a Democrat from Lansdowne, has been charged with a criminal election law violation after allegedly posting “derogatory campaign material” against opponent Rebecca Dongarra, a fellow Democrat from Catonsville. The site was missing a required attribution that showed Bailey’s campaign was responsible for it, according to The Baltimore Sun.

State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt said Monday that Bailey’s campaign had created the domain DongarraForDelegate.com, where unauthorized comments were made about Dongarra. The website is currently down.

Bailey does not deny the claims, and stands by what was said about Dongarra.

“I acknowledge that the Friends of Brian S. Bailey misapplied an inaccurate authority line on a campaign website which failed to properly credit me with ownership and knowledge,” Bailey says in a public statement. “I stand behind its contents.”

But, The Daily Record reports that the questionable webste may become active again since it has been modified. The proper campaign authoritzation can be seen in screenshots Bailey sent of the site.

“My legal counsel and I are reviewing the specific charges against me and are expecting this issue to be adjudicated in the District Court of Maryland following the Primary Election,” Bailey says in the statement. “My campaign is about strengthening our economy, protecting society’s vulnerable and investing in our future. I won’t be distracted from working for middle-class families, small businesses, senior citizens, veterans, and for everyday folks, ensuring they receive the representation they deserve and expect.”

This is not the first time Bailey has been in competition against Dongarra, according to the Baltimore Sun. The two were opponents in the Democratic primary for the District 1 seat in 2010 -- Dongarra finished second with 24.8 percent of the vote, Bailey had 17.3 percent.

“Quite frankly, I’m shocked that Brian is behind it,” Dongarra told the Sun in a phone interview. She was familiar with the website. “It’s terribly disappointing, is what it is.”

The primary election is June 24. Early voting begins June 12.

A full list of candidates can be viewed here.


Buzz Beeler June 06, 2014 at 06:54 PM
You sure you're not talking about the east side of Baltimore County. These guys should package their responses into a robo message.

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