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Gansler’s controversial Beach Week exacerbates faltering campaign

Can Maryland’s Attorney General and gubernatorial hopeful Doug Gansler now add “professional party crasher” to his list of credentials? Recently, photos have surfaced of Gansler amidst a horde of sweaty, possibly inebriated teens at a Beach Week party in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Gansler was there to pick up his son, who was the party’s DJ, and both quickly left. Gansler told reporters that while he thought “there could be Kool-Aid in the red cups,” he knew that “there’s probably beer.” However, he did nothing to shut down the party. While Gansler’s son claims he was not drinking and could not remember whether any other party attendees were, it seems that Gansler knew there was some form of underage drinking going on at the event.

Wearing a white dress shirt and a befuddled expression, the Gansler in photos of the party practically screams a bewildered and ultimately ineffective parent. This has left voters with teenaged children conflicted. Would they have done the same in such a situation? Does Gansler have a greater moral responsibility than the average citizen?

Gansler certainly doesn’t think so. After being questioned on his inaction, Gansler told The Sun: “Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party… How is that relevant to me?” He also defended himself, saying that he was “no different from any other parent.” While he is a parent, he also happens to be Maryland’s top law enforcement officer, giving him far greater and different responsibilities than your average mom or dad.

Gansler, whose campaign for governor recently took a hit when he supposedly asked a state trooper to run a red light, is once again under harsh scrutiny. In his role as Attorney General, a position he has held since 2007, Gansler has repeatedly spoken out against teen drinking. This “Beach Week party scandal” has painted Gansler as a hypocrite to some voters.

Gansler may have done what some parents would do (pick up their child and then close their eyes and back away slowly), but has he failed to meet the requirements of an effective law enforcer, not to mention a governor?

It’s up to the voters to decide, and in the aftermath of the released party pictures, things have not looked bright for Gansler. Early polling has shown Gansler’s opponent, Anthony G. Brown, cruising ahead with a double-digit lead. Gansler’s campaign has gone off the rails as fast as a Beach Week party gone wrong, and it looks highly unlikely that he’ll be able to get back on track in time to win the election.

Article by Jadie Stillwell, MoCo Student staff writer

Image from NPR

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