Former head of the Maryland Stadium Authority Alison Asti is considering a bid for Attorney General or for Judge in Anne Arundel County according to MarylandReporter.com. Asti said, "I am nonpartisan and impartial and I don’t cave into political pressure...That would be a difficult race, but it’s just something I’m considering doing, and my background would be well-suited for that,” I agree that her experiences do make her uniquely qualified to be Attorney General and personally, I am hoping she runs for Attorney General. Here's why.
First, on Asti. She has a wealth of experience in law. She was the President of the Maryland Bar Association from 2007 to 2008. Previously, she had served as President of the Baltimore City Bar, Baltimore Women's Bar, Maryland Bar Foundation, and the Baltimore City Bar Foundation. She is also a member of the ABA House of Delegates, the Maryland Law School Board of Visitors, the University System of Maryland Foundation Board, and the Anne Arundel County Red Cross Board. She is State Chair of the American Bar Foundation Fellows, President of the Pasadena Horse and Pony Association, and Chair of The Daily Record Editorial Advisory Board. She's experienced as a leader in law in Maryland.
For 17 years she served on the Maryland Stadium Authority - first as a General Counsel and later as Executive Director from 2004 until 2007 when O'Malley asked her to step down for what appeared to be political reasons. The Maryland Stadium Authority is a public organization that owns the Baltimore and Ocean City convention centers, Oriole Park, M&T Bank Stadium, Unitas Stadium, Ripken Stadium, and the Hippodrome Theatre. While on the board, she was a part of the committee that helped petition to return the NFL to Baltimore - as a Ravens fan, that's a big deal.
Asti currently runs her own consulting firm and has seen the problems facing the people of Maryland. She's dealt with enormous budgets and has more law experience than many candidates I've seen for Attorney General, being a member of the Maryland Bar Association since 1979.
Now, her experience makes her a qualified candidate for Attorney General - but why challenge Gansler? Gansler's legislating by decree to elimiate the effectiveness of state law is one reason. Gansler by a judicial opinion decided that same-sex marriages performed out of state were valid in Maryland, despite court precedent saying otherwise. Gansler also has been pushing to eliminate contested elections for sitting judges. The point was to give an appearance of more impartiality on the court - in reality it would remove one of the few opportunties Maryland voters get in deciding who is on the court and providing opportunities for those with minority opinions to get on the Court. Otherwise, it would merely be a matter of appointment by the Governor and a vote for retention or removal. This would be followed by another gubernatorial appointment and so on. In 2008, Gansler received an 88% from ACORN for his support of their policies. He has never fully investigated the potential ACORN scandal exposed in Maryland. Gansler was a showy lawyer on the Montgomery County State's Attorney office - and was reprimanded in 2003 for his actions. According to the reprimand, he violated the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct based on certain comments he made to the press.
Gansler's record shows that he's a shallow and power hungry. He, like our incumbent Comptroller, appear to have the Governor's mansion on the brain based on their actions. To quote myself from a previous article on this topic:
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.
And that's the truth. If Asti can position herself right, she can be that candidate. In a Republican friendly year, with her experience, and the right campaign message - Asti could take on Gansler and win.
Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant