Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is quite the party crasher. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate, who is at odds with Gov. Martin O'Malley in his primary battle against Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, is pictured in Thursday's Baltimore Sun at a wild high school party.
Gansler is standing in the center of the photograph with his cellphone out in a crowded room filled with shirtless, dancing teens.
The photo, posted to Instagram by one of the attendees, was taken at a Delaware beach house that Gansler and other parents rented for their children for a week to celebrate their graduation from the Landon School in Bethesda. Gansler told the Baltimore Sun that he stopped by the house for a few minutes that night to talk to his son about when they would leave the next morning. Gansler said his son was not drinking at the party but that he couldn't remember whether he saw other underage teenagers consuming alcohol.
"Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party," Gansler told the Sun. "How is that relevant to me? … The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no."
Gansler, who has served as attorney general since 2007, has previously spoken out against underage drinking. Party attendees interviewed by the Sun confirmed that many of the teenagers were drinking at the house. "I don't remember much, but it was one of the best parties I've been to, hands down," one anonymous attendee told the paper.
Thursday's story is the latest in a string of negative headlines for the gubernatorial hopeful. Last week, the Washington Post published a lengthy account of Gansler's allegedly inappropriate behavior as a passenger in and driver of state-issued vehicles. The story, which included details about the Democrat ordering state troopers to speed and run red lights, has generated days worth of follow-up pieces, including stories in various publications across the state on Wednesday reporting that Gansler paid an overdue speeding ticket that was part of the initial Post story. Gansler also took heat in August when the Post published comments he made to supporters claiming that Brown, his chief rival for the Democratic nomination, was relying on his race in the campaign.
Early polling shows Brown with a double-digit lead over Gansler in the primary race.