Senate Dems Hit Candidate in Key Anne Arundel Race With Mailers About Social Media

    The Maryland Democratic Senate Caucus Committee is out with a new mailer in the District 30 race, battleground territory in the Republican Party’s “Drive for Five,” an effort to break the Democrats’ supermajority in the chamber.

    The mailer focuses on Facebook postings by Ronald A. George, the Republican nominee.

    “Here Is Ron George In His Own Words. Posts.” the mailer reads at the top, before breaking out excerpts of posts from a personal but public Facebook page maintained by the small business owner and former state delegate.

    The mailers direct voters to a website, which contains screenshots of the posts in the mailer and more.

    Most of the posts ― interspersed between snapshots with friends and family ―were still publicly available on Wednesday.

    George is in a competitive race with Democrat Sarah Elfreth, a first-time candidate who has been endorsed by Sen. John C. Astle (D), who is vacating the seat after a failed bid for Annapolis mayor in 2017.

    The mailings have been funded by the Maryland Democratic Senate Caucus Committee separate from Elfreth’s campaign. As a legislative caucus committee, the organization does not have to provide candidate-by-candidate breakdowns of spending. The next report campaign finance report detailing the group’s spending is not due until after the election, but the committee retained more than $458,000 cash on hand last week.

    The most recent mailer, expected to reach voters on Wednesday and Thursday, includes portions of seven Facebook posts from George.

    In one post, sharing a Washington Post story about an appeals court decision casting doubt on the state’s assault weapons ban, George wrote that “Liberal legislators destroy families, jobs and abhor the constitution. They want to redefine Freedoms and basic rights. Our country and our state are not their own little SimCity computer game!”

    In another gun-related post, George posted, “No wonder why so many Democrats want to ban all guns. Why would they trust anyone with something they cannot trust themselves with?” before listing a number of U.S. shootings he alleged were committed by Democrats. He ended the post saying: “Honestly, it’s not always a Democrat … Other times it is a Muslim extremist. But clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns. Oh, and not one NRA member, Tea Party member, or Republican conservative was involved in any of these shootings and murders.”

    Another of the posts shared a meme comparing former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to “Adolph Hitler” (misspelling the first name of the genocidal Nazi party leader).

    A theme in many of George’s Facebook posts is disdain for the state teachers’ union.

    In one post from Aug. 10, 2016, he shares a video of students failing to correctly answer basic questions. “These students are DUMB and if you think that is unkind, blame the ones who made them that way, The Teachers Union,” George wrote.

    In another post, he wrote that schools were no longer teaching about the Founding Fathers and American Revolution but started history courses with the Civil War and racism. “Until our nation, no other nation put into law that rights are INATE from God and cannot be infringed upon. As our people turn from God they have become social engineers that believe that our founders foundation is flawed and stands in the way of progress. Without a doubt, Government run schools are brainwashing children with your money and we are doomed,” George wrote in the post from Sept. 13, 2015.

    The Maryland State Education Association has endorsed Elfreth in the race.

    On Wednesday morning, George’s campaign Facebook page shared a new 30-second endorsement video from Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. that features the two Republicans walking together near the State House.

    “Ron George is someone I can count on to move my bipartisan agenda forward,” Hogan said in the video.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines most recently worked for Bethesda Beat covering Montgomery County. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at the Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.