Thanks to a gentleman I know, I may have found out where the Gilchrest charge about Andy Harris voting for drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants may have come from. This article from a website called wryoak.com points to a budget bill from the 2005 session, HB340. Part of those millions went to a group called CASA de Maryland, long known as an advocate for illegal immigrants. It was a small part – just $100,000 to renovate a building into a new facility in Montgomery County – but it was indeed in there. (CASA de Maryland is no stranger to monoblogue, they also made news back in May.)
Apparently the purveyor of wryoak.com is no friend of Andy Harris or Bob Ehrlich as he (or she) writes “from a bar in Annapolis”, even making the tenuous connection between Harris and the Log Cabin Republicans through Harris’s pollster Arthur Finkelstein.
Now I warned Harris about making blanket statements a few weeks back:
Also, a blanket statement raises an opportunity for a Democrat-sprung trap. If you recall, the minimum wage was increased because the Democrats attached it to an Iraqi funding bill, not as a stand-alone measure. I can see a tax increase slipped into some bill along the line just to trick Harris into voting for it – a “gotcha” moment.
In this case, the trap snapped on Harris during the primary season, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the campaigns of Frank Kratovil, et. al. have that one filed away should Harris survive the primary against Gilchrest. (And speaking of pollsters, I’d love to get my hands on the current polling results for this race!)
So the mystery has been solved, and now my readers know a little more about the struggles that go on when the stakes are high politically.
Crossposted on Red Maryland.
Late edit: One thing that I meant to point out (also in Harris’s defense) is that Wayne Gilchrest can make the same charge about any member of the State Senate since this bill passed 47-0 on first reading and 46-0 on second reading. This request was likely slipped in along with 50 others and at the time CASA de Maryland wasn’t in the spotlight yet.