Jon Cardin says he was victim of 'most negative smear campaign'

Lawmaker says he plans to return to private life

July 30, 2014|By Luke Broadwater | The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County State Del. Jon S. Cardin, who lost the primary campaign for attorney general, says he was the victim of the "most negative smear campaign in a Democratic Party primary in Maryland's modern history." 

In a Facebook post this week, Cardin, who runs his own law practice, also said he plans to return to private life, after losing last month to Montgomery County State Sen. Brian Frosh.

Frosh, whom Cardin calls a "good Democrat" in the post, will face Republican lawyer Jeffrey Pritzker in the general election. 

Cardin received criticism during the primary campaign over his misuse of Baltimore police resources during a stunt wedding proposal; missing nearly 75 percent of his committee votes during the 2014 General Assembly session; and touting the endorsement of a Baltimore rapper facing human trafficking charges. 

Some of these charges were made in negative mailers funded by labor unions that supported Frosh. 

In a Facebook post shortly after the primary, Cardin called the campaign "disgustingly negative."  He also ran commercials before the election accusing Frosh of smearing him. This week, Cardin posted a message to Facebook that acknowledged that "even missing one vote is too many votes," but repeated his position that the votes weren't close and he missed them to spend more time with his family. 

"If nothing else, I hope my loss illuminates on transcending a system where control and bullies trump transparency and principle," he wrote. 

The Frosh campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 


The entire text of Cardin's Facebook post is below: 

July 29, 2014

Friends and Constituents of the 11th Legislative District:

For twelve years, I have had the honor of representing you in the House of Delegates. Thank you for putting your trust in me by electing me three times. This year, I ran for Attorney General and lost. For four weeks, I endured the most negative smear campaign seen in a Democratic Party primary in Maryland’s modern history, including accusations that I neglected my duties in the House of Delegates. Given the election results, it is clear that many believed the accusations. I made a mistake by not responding directly to the allegations when they were made. Now, I would like to set the record straight.

Rather than focus on issues or qualifications, several personal attacks were made on me. By far, the most captivating negative attack was that I was a slacker, that I had missed “75% of the votes” in the General Assembly. This is politics; I should have expected the other side to create a disparaging and disingenuous narrative to stick against me. Even so, I put my work ethic up against anyone’s in Annapolis. Over my 12 years in Annapolis, no one worked harder or tried to use his powers of persuasion to get legislative leaders to see alternative perspectives more than I. I was present for both Committee and House floor votes well-over 90% of the time, the 2014 session excepted.

This year, while I missed nearly no floor votes, no hearings, debates or amendments, I did miss nine committee voting sessions totaling 119 votes – all combined, less than 2 ½ hours of time. The majority of these voting sessions occurred after 5:00pm with an unprecedented three voting sessions late on Friday afternoons when I head home to observe the Jewish Sabbath. Each evening except one I was with my wife, dealing with serious pregnancy health matters and/or my two year old daughter while my wife went to the doctor alone. Needless to say, this was a difficult time for me and my family. The one voting session I missed, while not with family, I was in the community presenting legislative citations at the Baltimore Child Abuse Center and Maryland Israel Development Corporation.

As democrats, we have not only taken policy positions on more inclusion of men into nurturing responsibilities, but we actively champion legislation that requires male involvement in family matters. Ironically, when it came to demonstrating belief through modeling behavior, my party backers used it as a weapon to destroy me. As a working parent in a part-time citizen legislature, I balanced my family responsibilities with 119 non-controversial votes.

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