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Cardin accuses critics of intimidating volunteer, violating reporting rules

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Del. Jon S. Cardin, a candidate for attorney general, has accused two Baltimore lawmakers of intimidating a campaign volunteer and an anti-Cardin committee of violating campaign finance rules.

In a letter to State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt over the weekend, Cardin accused Del. Maggie McIntosh and Sen. Lisa A. Gladden of "formal voter intimidation" at a North Baltimore early voting site Thursday. Cardin wrote that the two lawmakers told his volunteer to leave a polling station on East Cold Spring Lane because they "did not like an opponent of theirs to have representation at early voting." Cardin also accused the lawmakers of removing his campaign signs.

McIntosh, a Baltimore Democrat, denied the accusations Monday and called Cardin's claims "desperate."

"This is just imagined," she said. "When I heard of this, I was dumbfounded. I know of no incident with Cardin's workers. I did not ask anybody to leave the poll, and I certainly didn't touch anybody's signs."

McIntosh, who supports Sen. Brian E. Frosh for attorney general in the June 24 Democratic primary, added that Gladden — another Frosh backer — wasn't even with her while she was at the polling station on East Cold Spring Lane. Gladden, also a Baltimore Democrat, couldn't be reached for comment.

Davitt's office said it could neither conform nor deny an investigation.

Andy Carton, Cardin's campaign spokesman, said a volunteer "reported being verbally harassed" at the poll and the campaign "drafted a letter to report the incident to the appropriate authorities." He acknowledged the volunteer erroneously confused Gladden with state Sen. Joan Carter Conway.

Conway said she was at the polling station at the same time as McIntosh but didn't talk to Cardin's supporter. "Maybe to them, all black women look alike," Conway said.

Also Monday, Cardin filed a request for a temporary injunction in Baltimore City Circuit Court against a political action committee that has been running negative advertisements on television and in mailings against him. Cardin accused the Marylanders for Integrity in Government PAC of failing to file a campaign finance report by Friday's deadline.

The PAC has been running advertisements that criticize Cardin, a Baltimore County Democrat, over missing committee votes in the General Assembly and misusing police resources during a stunt marriage proposal. One mailer said that "Cardin put Maryland citizens at risk for his benefit," noting that the night of the marriage proposal stunt there were six shootings and seven other gun-related crimes in Baltimore.

After Cardin filed the request for the injunction, the PAC posted its campaign finance report, showing $150,000 in donations from labor unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees International. Cardin then dropped his request for the injunction.

Carton called the actions of the PAC a "far more pressing issue" than the complaint with Davitt's office.

"A pro-Frosh PAC, Marylanders for Integrity in Government, was violating campaign finance laws by refusing to disclose its donors," he said in an email. "It was only after we filed a complaint against them that they finally disclosed their donors. I would hope that Senator Frosh would repudiate the illegal actions of his supporters."

Attempts to reach the PAC's officers or its lawyer were unsuccessful. A campaign aide for Frosh said he is not working with the PAC and does not know who is responsible for either its ads or its campaign finance reports.

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

twitter.com/lukebroadwater

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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