Schurick verdict could be a 'teachable moment'

While the guilty verdict against former Gov. Robert Ehrlich's ex-campaign aide Paul Schurick is still fresh in people's minds, I'd like to remind readers that his conviction is not a referendum on our political persuasions ("Schurick convicted," Dec. 7).

I am not alone in saying that Mr. Schurick's attempt to disenfranchise African-American voters was disgraceful. In my view, the jury responded swiftly and reasonably.

Unfortunately, instead of restoring our confidence in the system and reminding us that his dirty campaign style and misconduct have no place in Maryland politics, many people seem to be taking out their score cards.

As Sun reporter Annie Linskey noted in her article, Mr. Ehrlich's campaign robocalls could provide ammo for Democrats. This might produce the unintended effect of energizing some voters but further alienating others who already feel disillusioned by partisan politics and blame games.

When you engage in a fight with a pig, you get muddy. What Mr. Schurick failed to achieve in keeping people away from the ballot box, the chattering class will likely accomplish if this incident simply becomes more partisan political fodder instead of a teachable moment.

John Hagenbrok, Baltimore

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