Opinion: Holding Candidates Accountable For Their Behavior

We are writing in response to a recent Maryland Matters article regarding the recent Democratic Party meeting where Baltimore Women United (BWU) spoke about the accusations against Del. Curt Anderson. The article incorrectly states that BWU is calling for Del. Anderson to decline his nomination. We have called for a quick resolution to the Ethics Committee investigation of the complaints against Del Anderson, and that the State Democratic Party move immediately to develop a policy that addresses candidates with such accusations.

There is indeed another group of voters inside the 43rd District who are calling for Anderson to decline the nomination should the ethics investigation not be completed by the Aug. 28 deadline for candidates to decline their nomination.

 

Del. Curt Anderson

The article also states that the Legislative Black Caucus opposes BWU’s position, suggesting that Del. Anderson is being unfairly singled out because of his race. Del. Glenn suggest that other legislators with similar accusations–notably former Del. Charles Barkley, a Democrat from Montgomery County–have not received the same scrutiny.

Del. Glenn’s point only underscores our demands that the Maryland Democratic Party adopt for investigating and policy for sanctions against candidates with these allegations; and that the state ethics committee should prioritize these investigations and resolve them as quickly as possible. It is unacceptable that more than five months after complaints were filed with the committee, not a single determination has been made public.

Maryland is not the only one addressing this issue. According to a recent article in The New York Times, candidates in Pennsylvania and other states are still running for office with allegations against them (and in one case, running even though he was expelled from the legislature for such actions!). What message does this send to women voters who make up the core of the Democratic base?

So while we’re excited about the working group the Democratic Party has put together to come up with a policy for these instances, we call on that process to take place immediately so that legislation can be introduced in the next General Assembly session as needed to be ready for the 2020 elections. All candidates at all levels need to be held accountable. Voters should be voting for candidates who share and live our values.

Charly Carter and Denise Gilmore

Baltimore Women United

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