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The Rutledge Conundrum

When deciding to run for public office, ones background should be taken into careful consideration. If you had the following credentials, what statewide office would you consider running for: 24 years experience practicing law working in variety of experiences in small business law, criminal defense, felony prosecution in a District Attorney’s office, business litigation, civil rights litigation, and health care litigation; and currently stand firm as a strict constructionist when it comes to Constitutional interpretation. While a person like this lacks elected office experience, they have a wealth of experience that can be directly applied to an important post in the State of Maryland – Attorney General. Our current Attorney General, Doug Gansler, has decided to take legislating as part of his position and currently no Republican statewide has proven to be up to the challenge of competing against him in a general election. A person with this type of a legal background would be a great choice for this position. Especially considering he’s currently running for office and has been rallying conservatives to his cause. Who is this person? Current Republican US Senate candidate Jim Rutledge and I think he should seriously consider a bid for Attorney General.

In 2006, State’s Attorneys Scott Rolle (R) and Doug Gansler (D) faced off against one another in what Republicans were hoping to be a close election. Gansler won with 61% of the vote to Rolle’s 39.9%. The Gubernatorial election was much closer than that.

In 2010, the Republican party needs a candidate who can energize the base and can take on Gansler. Gansler has made a very controversial call, using his post to issue an opinion that out of state same-sex marriages should be recognized by Maryland. This decision and his attempt to force it upon state government renders the legislative decision to ban same-sex marriage worthless because a same-sex couple could go across the border to DC, get married, and return to Maryland legally married.

Gansler has been focused on environmental law for much of his tenure until this opinion. Prior to that, the showboaty former State’s Attorney spent quite a bit of money on showy trials and was reprimanded by the Maryland Court of Appeals in 2003. Rutledge could counter the showiness of the historic Gansler by focusing on his personal experiences as a down to earth litigator who works for the people and believes in a Constitutionally limited government. Rutledge has a diverse legal career that spans the private and public sector and led him into state and federal courts of Maryland and Georgia. His personal experience as an independent attorney with a diverse legal career shows that he’s a man ready to take on whatever challenges face us in the future. His conservative background and believe in a Constitutionally limited government could be a boon in this election as he brings up that Gansler is unwilling to tackle health care reform. Nationwide, the tides of public opinion are supporting opposition and suing the federal government over the recent healthcare reform package. At present, 22 states have joined in the law suit – Rutledge could run on a platform championing this effort and stating that he will support Maryland joining in that lawsuit.

We in the “Not-So-Free” State need someone in the Attorney General’s office who supports our Constitutional rights. We need someone as Attorney General who will fight for our freedoms and defend our State’s rights against any encroachment from the federal government. We need someone in the office who understands their responsibilities in that office and will not abuse them or misuse them. Rutledge could be that man.

The people of Maryland could benefit from Rutledge’s presence as Attorney General, the question is whether he’s willing to step aside from the US Senate primary and run.

Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant

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