ELECTION 2022 Anne Colt Leitess aims to keep the post as States Attorney in Anne Arundel after showing Wes Adams the door in 2018; ATTORNEYS PLUNKING DOWN BIG BUCKS IN ADVANCE AUCTION SALES FOR PLEA DEALS?
NEWS AND COMMENTARY ON THE SCIENCE OF POLITICS
By Kenneth C. Rossignol
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
ANNAPOLIS, MD. – The campaign finance report filed for 2022 by the campaign of Anne Arundel County States Attorney Anne Colt Leitess shows contributions of $82,165.00; a bank balance of $104,689.75, and expenditures of $919.09. The report listed an outstanding loan balance of $164,047.50 and was submitted to the State of Maryland by John A. Potthast, treasurer, and Steven Neal Leitess, chairman. The loan total of $164,047.50 to the campaign committee came in the form of five loans from Anne Colt Leitess and Steven N. Leitess, all of them in 2018.
In other words, Leitess and her husband loaned her campaign effort the money to beat Wes Adams, who defeated her in the 2014 election and win back her old job. Wes Adams blamed his 2018 loss on former President Trump as Republicans also lost the county executive posts in Howard and Anne Arundel Counties but reelected Republican Gov. Larry Hogan by a large margin. Hogan won for several reasons, among them the propensity of the Democrats to put up a politically correct vision of an ideal candidate rather than a candidate with the ability to win an election.
Anne Colt Leitess reported in her filing that she spent out of pocket $75.00 for the Anne Arundel Bar Association Mailing List. In contrast, some states make it illegal for attorneys to contribute to the campaigns of prosecutors, Maryland, always intent on upholding its preeminent role in a ‘culture of corruption, does not.
Thus, one can conclude that in order win back her old job that pays the same as a Circuit Court Judge, over $174,000 per year, Leitess loaned her campaign the money to run. Then she sent out fundraising letters to attorneys who practice in Anne Arundel County to pay large sums of money into her campaign fund and eventually have her campaign pay back the money she and her husband loaned the campaign committee. In the meantime, she has collected the annual salary, which is more than the amount she loaned her committee.
ANNE ARUNDEL VOTERS FINISHED WITH WES ADAMS?
Adams showed that he couldn’t accept his rejection by the voters of Anne Arundel County in 2018 by plunging into the 2020 race for Circuit Court Judge. He lost—big time.
Judges are appointed to the Circuit Court to fifteen-year terms and must run in the next election following their appointment by the Governor in both the Democrat and Republican primaries. Unaffiliated voters are disenfranchised and cannot vote. Democrats, despite their pompous preaching about wanting all votes to be counted, consistently turn down all efforts to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in Maryland judicial elections.
Wes Adams, who became employed as the county attorney by the Democrat Charles County Board of Commissioners after being booted out as States Attorney in Anne Arundel County, couldn’t win in the GOP 2020 primary for Judge.
According to his campaign reports for 2018, Adams spent over $40,000 on Scott Strategies for mailing services. Translated, that is what most voters call ‘junk mail.’ Adams was able to entertain motorists with billboards engaged for him by Scott Strategies to the tune of $7,881.00, which may have paid for two billboards in prime spots or multiple billboards on back roads with minimum exposure. Adams spent about $2,000 on online advertising, showing that his understanding of 21st-century political campaigning is nil.
In a letter to the editor of the EyeonAnnapolis.com, Adams made this pitch to voters: “Over the course of my career, I have been recognized as a top homicide prosecutor in the State and a champion of victim’s rights. My legal arguments have stood the test in our highest courts and I have taught lawyers and judges locally and nationally on trial tactics and strategy, rules of evidence, and witness preparation, and I have worked with the legislature drafting and developing new, effective criminal laws and rules of evidence.”
The voters answered his pitch by giving him the boot. Again.
As of this writing, only Anne Colt Leitess has filed for election as Anne Arundel County States Attorney in 2022.
TEMPEST IN THE ANNAPOLIS TEAPOT
The blog aminerdetail.com examined the character of Wes Adams when writing about the race for Judge, quoting lobbyist Bruce Bereano in an interview with the Capital Gazette that Adams had lied to him about his desire to run for Judge. Bereano beefed about the broken promise and Adams allegedly going back on his word, finding him unfit for any office. Isn’t lying to a lobbyist about anything the same as lying about your weight when renewing your driver’s license? Bereano has a great deal of experience with false statements, given his conviction in federal court.
SHOULD PROSECUTORS BE EXTORTING DEFENSE ATTORNEYS INTO FORKING OVER CAMPAIGN BUCKS?
The New York Times explored the practice of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance of soliciting funds from attorneys in an article in 2017.
“Donations to district attorney candidates from defense lawyers are legal in New York and have been going on since the 19th century. Yet the practice has drawn new scrutiny in recent weeks after critics raised conflict-of-interest questions about Mr. Vance’s decisions not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein and members of the Trump family in separate cases. The defense lawyers in the two cases were big contributors to Mr. Vance’s campaign.
So fierce was the public reaction that two write-in candidates jumped into the race and took a combined 9 percent of the vote — some 18,000 protest votes that marred what was supposed to be an unopposed glide to re-election. “Mr. Vance established a vetting system to ensure his prosecutors were not aware of campaign donations and to weed out gifts from defendants and victims involved in pending cases, his aides said. But when it came to defense lawyers, a senior official in his office made a case-by-case decision about whether the donation created a conflict of interest and should be returned.”
NEW FAIR ELECTIONS CAMPAIGN PROPOSAL IN ANNE ARUNDEL
With a Facebook page, the above entity is promoting a change to the charter of Anne Arundel County to achieve some sort of Utopian vision of fair elections. A poster on the page, Will Wheatley, provided the following comment:
“I used to think this was a great idea that would fix a lot of the problems with the way we conduct elections. Sadly, after the last few election cycles, one thing has become clear. When the government is in charge, there are politicians involved, and when there are politicians and power involved, they will cheat and lie and backstab to control the money.
What happens when one party gets control and starts to restrict access to the opponents?
It is, in fact, my opinion that groups like this are totally aware of what they are doing and are doing it for that reason. Power and Control. I hope you fail hugely.”
The Anne Arundel County Fair Elections Campaign page is sponsored by the Progressive Maryland Inc. Progressives are never progressive or fair in any election, but they are entertaining.
ELECTED OFFICIALS WITH NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH THEIR MONEY
Anne Arundel Democratic Senator and former Delegate, Pamela G. Beidle of Glen Burnie, Md, provided a credit card payment of $500.00 on January 12, 2022.
PUTTING A PRICE ON JUSTICE
Andrea Chamblee, of Maryland, provided a credit card donation of $50.00 on January 12, 2022.
Dana Rengers of Virginia contributed $250.00 to the campaign fund of Leitess on January 12, 2022.
Judith Hiaasen of Plantation, Florida, donated $100 via credit card on January 12, 2022.
Barbara Hiaasen of Davie, Florida, donated $100.00 using a credit card on January 12, 2022.
While it is understandable that the family members of the murder victims of the Annapolis Gazette would want to thank Leitess for the successful prosecution of the killer, it would have been far classier for Leitess to have turned down their contribution with the explanation that she did the job the taxpayers hired her to perform, to bring them justice. It appears that with the donations all made on the same date that the contributions may have been organized and perhaps solicited.
Get Out of Jail Free Card?
REPEAT OFFENDER DWI DRIVER WHO KILLED A MIDSHIPMAN IN FATAL CRASH AND CONVICTED IN ANNE ARUNDEL MIGHT HAVE FIGURED INDEMNIFICATION AGAINST FUTURE PROSECUTION WAS INCLUDED IN HIS THOUSAND-DOLLAR DONATION
Patrick Britton-Harr, of 2 Compromise St, Annapolis, Maryland, donated $1,000.00. The New York Daily News provided this account of the conviction of Britton-Harr for a fatal drunk-driving crash in 2007: “A day before he was to stand trial on charges of driving drunk at 120 mph on the Baltimore Beltway, a former Annapolis man admitted guilt yesterday in a high-speed drunken-driving crash that occurred a month and a half later and killed his passenger, a Naval Academy midshipman.
“I was unaware how my actions affect other people,” Patrick Tormay Britton-Harr, 23, of Pensacola, Fla., told Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Joseph P. Manck before being sentenced to nine months in jail for negligent manslaughter. MORE
Patrick Britton-Harr is now developing a new charter air club.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Britton-Harr was previously arrested for DWI in Baltimore County before the fatal crash in Anne Arundel that killed Midshipman Charles B. Carr IV.
The following donors listed on the Maryland Campaign Finance report filed on January 12, 2022, also are listed in Maryland records, websites, and ads as attorneys. Scroll down for pdf of full list of campaign donations:
Elizabeth Lynn Adams is listed in Maryland court records as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel of the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission. Her contributions for this election cycle amount to $650.00.
Nathaniel Baldwin is featured on Super Lawyers with an office in Oakton, Va., with an aggregate amount of donations in the cycle of $800.00.
Charles Mario Lilio Blomquist is listed as providing a donation on January 10, 2022, in the amount of $250.00. Maryland court records show Blomquist as a prosecutor with the Office of the State Prosecutor.
Bowman Jarashow Law, LLC, of 162 West Street, Annapolis, Maryland, provided $100.00 to the campaign on December 7, 2021. Their website describes their firm as follows: “The attorneys at Bowman Jarashow have deep ties to Annapolis. Ron Jarashow began practicing law in Anne Arundel County in 1976. He has also served as a Maryland Circuit Court Judge. Jeffrey P. Bowman is a passionate trial lawyer with nearly 15 years of experience representing clients in Annapolis.”
Brian G Thompson, P.A. 201 N Charles St, Suite 2600, Baltimore, Maryland, provided the campaign a donation of $1,000.00. The firm’s website provides this note about the donor: “Brian Thompson is one of the founding partners of Silverman Thompson and chair of the firm’s Criminal Defense Practice Group.”
Christopher D. Buck of Frost & Associates LLC is an active attorney with many cases in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. Buck provided donations in the total amount of $350.00 with the last on December 10, 2021.
Steven M. Sindler Attorney at Law, 1130 Annapolis Road, Suite 101, Odenton, Maryland donated $100.00 on November 16, 2021.
Michael David Steinhardt, of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC, 808 Landmark Dr Ste 227 Glen Burnie, Md., provided a donation of $500.00 on January 12, 2022.
John Slowiak, of J. Marcus Slowiak, PA provided a campaign donation of $50.00 on January 11, 2022.
Andrew Slutkin, of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White contributed $1,000.00 on January 10, 2022.
Steven Silverman, of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White contributed $1,000.00 on January 10, 2022.
Monica L. Scherer, of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White donated $200.00 to the political campaign committee of Leitess on January 11, 2022. The firm’s website says that Scherer is a senior partner in the firm and heads the family law practice at Silverman Thompson.
John Ryan is a founding partner in the law firm of Ryan, Drewniak & Upshaw, P.A. and concentrates his practice in the areas of family law and small business practice, according to his website. Ryan used a credit card to make a donation to Leitess campaign fund in the amount of $250.00 on January 11, 2022, which must have been a busy day for credit processing.
Former Deputy States Attorney William Roessler retired following the loss of Leitess to Wes Adams in 2014. Even though Roessler moved to Florida, he is keeping his wallet in Maryland politics and Law & Order by donating $250.00 to Leitess, his old boss, on January 10, 2022.
Ronald M. Naditch PA Attorney at Law in Annapolis, Md, on November 16, 2021, sent a check to the Leitess campaign in the amount of $250.00.
Gregory P. Robinson, JD LLC, 1610 West Street, Annapolis, Md., provided a campaign donation on January 11, 2022, of $50.00 via credit card.
Hillman Brown & Darrow PA, of Annapolis, donated $200.00 as of December 9, 2021.
Hyatt & Weber P.A. participated in the funding of the campaign ready to steamroller anyone who dares to file against Leitess in the 2022 election by adding their check for $1,000.00 on December 14, 2021. Hyatt & Weber has a legion of attorneys staffing four offices in Maryland. The following is from their website: Many say Hyatt & Weber’s the firm that has what it takes to hit the ground running, fix problems some said couldn’t be overcome, and conquer the most complex legal issues businesses and individuals face today. Let’s put our insider’s perspective and experience to work for you.
Iliff Meredith Wildberger & Brennan PC, of Pasadena, Md, provided a political campaign contribution to Leitess on November 30, 2021, in the amount of $100.00. Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. enjoys a reputation for excellence as Maryland personal injury attorneys committed to providing quality legal representation and achieving the best possible results for our clients.
Greg Jimeno, of Jimeno & Gray P.A. contributed $250.00 via a credit card payment on January 8, 2022.
Michael Johansen, of Rifkin Weiner & Livingston, contributed to the campaign fundraiser effort mounted by Anne Colt Leitess to ensure her continued hold on the job of States Attorney in Anne Arundel County by paying $200.00 via a credit card on January 11, 2022.
Jonathan Kagan, of Kaken Stern Marinello & Beard LLC got his $1,000.00 contribution in on January 12, 2022, to the growing war chest to fuel the campaign and provide the funds to pay back the loans made by Leitess and her husband to the campaign committee.
James Keatts / Keatts and Horton LLC, Glen Burnie, Md, provided campaign donations in the amount of $100.00 and $300.000 on December 9, 2021, and again on January 3, 2022. From the firm’s website: Mr. Keatts is a Former Assistant State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County who has dedicated his practice to criminal defense and has handled thousands of cases within this decade.
Amy Kushner Kline, of Reisterstown, Maryland provided a campaign donation to the Leitess committee on October 14, 2021 via a credit card payment.
Stephen P. Krohn P.A. of Market Street in Annapolis, Maryland, provided a donation of $100.00 on January 12, 2022. The attorneys at Stephen P. Krohn, P.A. offer family law services to individuals in Anne Arundel County, Central Maryland and the Upper Shore.
Scott MacMullen, of Scott MacMullen Law LLC, contributed $500.00 via a credit card to the Leitess campaign on December 9, 2021.
STAFF AND PROSECUTORS IN OFFICE OF ANNE ARUNDEL STATES ATTORNEY
Deputy States Attorney Brian Marsh provided donations on October 14, 2021, December 9, 2021, and again on January 8, 2022. Each of the donations were for $1,000.00.
Assistant States Attorney Carolyn Grammas, provided donations on January 11, 2022 in the amount of $950.00.
Assistant States Attorney Megan Mickler provided two donations, first on October 14, 2021 and again on January 12, 2022 for a total of $250.00.
Assistant States Attorney Ann Maureen Potthast, provided three donations for a total of $6,000 through January 9, 2022.
Assistant States Attorney Colin M. Kelly provided a donation of $250.00 on January 4, 2022, via credit card to Leitess campaign committee.
Assistant States Attorney William M. Katcef, made a total of $490.00 in donations to the campaign committee of his employer.
Assistant States Attorney Jaymi Sterling and her husband Ben made a total of four contributions totaling $800.00 between October 14, 2021, and January 12, 2022.
Assistant States Attorney Jason Steinhardt, Trial Team Leader for Felony Narcotics contributed three times to his boss’s campaign with a total of $1,000.00 as of January 12, 2022.
Assistant States Attorney Maria Roma Stamidis, Special Victims Unit, hired in 2018, contributed to the campaign fund for her boss twice, once for $50.00 on October 13, 2021, and again on January 7, 2022 for $250.00.
Assistant States Attorney Kate Smeltzer was sworn into her post on February 6, 2019, by the Anne Arundel County Clerk of the Circuit Court Scott Poyer. Smeltzer donated $50 to her boss’s campaign fund on October 7, 2021 and got one more in for the end of the year on December 31, 2021 in the amount of $250.00.
Assistant States Attorney Janet Harrison, donated on October 14, 2021 the sum of $75.00.
Sharon S. Jones, of Huntingtown, Md, works as a case manager since being hired in 1990. Jones made a total of $150.00 in donations to the campaign of her boss.
Jocelind Julien, of Columbia, Maryland who works as a Mediator for the States Attorney, paid over $25.00 of her funds to eventually pay back the loan of her boss on January 11, 2022.
Public Information Officer Tia Lewis donated $100.00 to her boss’s campaign fund on October 12, 2021.
John A. Foster, Management Assistant II, provided a campaign contribution total of $100.00 on October 12, 2021 payable by credit card.
Casey Hall, administrator, victim/witness advocate, donated a campaign contribution on January 10, 2022 in the amount of $100.00.