'Sleazy' casino call irks city delegate

August 06, 2012|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

Gwyn Eppard of Baltimore said the tip-off that something was fishy came when the woman caller purporting to represent the campaign of Del. Sandy Rosenberg didn't know the lawmaker's party but launched into a pitch for a casino in Prince George's County.

"That made me kind of suspicious," she said.

 Rosenberg, a Northwest Baltimore Democrat, said the call did not come from his campaign. "I certainly did not authorize anybody to call on my behalf," he said. "I certainly don't pay money to solicitors to pay people."

The call, which Rosenberg called "pretty sleazy," is one more sign of an increasingly nasty battle over a proposed gambling expansion in Maryland, which will be the subject of a special session of the General Assembly starting Thursday. Opponents and proponents of a Prince George's casino have been filling the airwaves with ads either trashing the idea or holding out the promise of a bounty of jobs that would be created if gambling comes to National Harbor on the Potomac River.

Eppard said the woman who called her asked whether she would vote for Rosenberg before flunking the test on the delegate's party affiliation.

"I got the impression she was working for  him," she said.

Eppard said the woman was talking so fast she was hard to understand but she recalled that the caller seemed to want a casino in Prince George's. She said she then called Rosenberg to complain about what she thought was an incompetent campaign worker. Rosenberg, who said he's undecided on the casino issue, told a reporter about the call.

When a reporter dialed the number Eppard recovered from her caller ID, he heard a recorded announcement.

"We called you to participate in a conversation about current events, and your opinion matters," it said. "If this call was inconvenient to you, we sincerely apologize."

Then the line cuts off abruptly. Perhaps our opinions don't matter that much.

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