Gansler offers thoughts on Gov. O’Malley, Jim Smith in secretly recorded remarks


Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler appeared at a clam bake last month in Crisfield, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
August 13, 2013

In secretly recorded remarks, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) had a few choice words about some fellow politicians besides his chief rival for the Democratic nomination.

Gansler took aim last month at Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) in a speech to volunteers, but he also relayed some thoughts about Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and former Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. (D).

At the July 15 meeting in Annapolis, Gansler relayed that he had taken part in several July 4th parades around the state and experienced “visceral anti-O’Malley, anti-Brown sentiment,” in part because of series of tax increases in recent years.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Gansler told his audience at the Roger “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center, according to a recording of the private meeting obtained by The Washington Post.

Gansler noted that O’Malley remains relatively popular, however, among Democratic primary voters, who he said are “a different animal.”

Maryland AG Doug Gansler

AUDIO: 'I'm running for governor'

AUDIO: 'His record versus our record'

AUDIO: 'The invisible lieutenant governor'

AUDIO: 'No one's heard of him'

Audio obtained by The Washington Post.

“And so, I’m not running against O’Malley,” Gansler said.

Gansler was asked by an audience member about the influence of Smith, who is now O’Malley’s transportation secretary.

Gansler said that Smith still has more than $550,000 in a campaign account, money which Brown “would like to have come his way.”

But Gansler questioned Smith’s political influence, saying “he’s not much of a factor outside of Baltimore County.”

To underscore his point, Gansler asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they had heard of Smith. About half did, Gansler indicated.

Gansler’s campaign on Monday accused the Brown campaign of illegally recording Gansler’s remarks in Annapolis — which Brown’s aides denied.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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