Gansler says immigration stance of supporter in campaign video does not reflect his views


Douglas F. Gansler announced his bid for governor last month in Rockville. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
October 3, 2013

The gubernatorial campaign of Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) on Thursday disavowed views on immigration expressed in 2010 by a retired Montgomery County police officer who appeared in a recent Gansler campaign video.

Retired officer Mike Mancuso was among more than a half-dozen people who offered testimonials about Gansler in a nearly six-minute video released a few days before Gansler’s 2014 campaign launch last month.

“He could have gone the large law-firm route, but he came to Montgomery County to help people,” Mancuso says of Gansler in the video, referring to his decision to pursue the office of state’s attorney in Montgomery before he became attorney general.

The blog Maryland Juice reported Thursday that in 2010 Mancuso wrote a couple of opinion pieces in local papers, including The Washington Post, in which he accused Montgomery officials of not doing enough to address the county’s No. 1 budget problem: “an ever-increasing population of illegal immigrants that is rapidly depleting our tax dollars and services.”

Gansler spokesman Bob Wheelock said Thursday that Mancuso’s sole contribution to the video was speaking about “Doug’s record and accomplishments in the late 1990s when Doug was the state’s attorney for Montgomery County.”

“Mr. Mancuso’s later views on immigration certainly do not reflect the views of the attorney general and his campaign for governor,” Wheelock said. “Indeed, Doug has been a national leader on immigration reform and worked tirelessly to ensure passage of the Dream Act here in Maryland.”

The Dream Act grants children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition rates at public college tuition under certain circumstances.

In his piece for The Post, Mancuso said illegal immigrants have “a free lunch and a lot more in Montgomery County.”

“There are no restrictions on enrolling their children in schools, qualifying for in-county college tuition, obtaining medical, dental, mental health, prescription drug, housing, food and energy assistance, job opportunities and training, and more.”

Wheelock added that Gansler’s campaign does not associate the views of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) on issues such as same-sex marriage and gambling with those of any of his individual supporters.

Gansler faces Brown and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) in the June Democratic primary.

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