Supporters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler are asking a court to impose sanctions against Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and his running mate for failing to disclose earlier that they did not intend to raise money during the 90-day General Assembly session.
Daniel M. Clements, the lawyer representing two Gansler backers in a suit that sought to bar Howard County Executive Ken Ulman from raising funds during the session, told the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court that it was "stunningly inappropriate" that Brown disclosed his ticket's intent to refrain from accepting donations before the session ends in a letter to the Washington Post.
Statewide officials, including Brown and Gansler, and state lawmakers are forbidden by law to raise money while the legislature is in session from January to April. Late last year, the State Board of Elections ruled that Ulman, as a county official, was not covered by the ban even though he was on a ticket with Brown. Gansler's running mate. Del. Jolene Ivey of Prince George's County, is covered.
Clements, himself a Gansler supporter, filed the suit Dec. 26 seeking to overturn the board's ruling and obtain an injunction to prevent Ulman from raising funds. On Jan. 8, Brown and Ulman asked the court to dismiss the suit but did not say Ulman was not planning to raise money.
Brown wrote a letter to the Post on Feb. 15 saying he and Ulman "never intended" to raise funds during the session. Previously Brown's campaign had said it was holding open the option of raising money.
Clements told the court that Brown and Ulman, both lawyers, violated the rules of professional conduct by failing to disclose their intentions earlier. The Gansler supporters' attorney asked the court to impose $17,200 in sanctions to compensate him for the expense of pursuing the lawsuit. He also asked the court to order payment of an unspecified amount in sanctions to the elections board to cover its expenses in defending against the suit.
Justin Schall, Brown's campaign manager, declined to comment.