More on the Andy Harris Underage Drinking Scandal

Joe Steffen reported the underage drinking scandal in Andy Harris’ office first, then I wrote about it here at Inside Charm City. After it was reported here, FishbowlDC, WBAL-AM, Patch, The Baltimore Sun, and various other news outlets picked the story up.

Let’s recap the events of today related to this story.

Steffen reports that an underage intern in the office of Rep. Harris last summer was dismissed early from her internship program due to getting drunk at a going away party thrown for her in the Harris office. Steffen reports that Harris Chief of Staff Kevin Reigurt procured the alcohol consumed by the underage intern and that when she was dismissed from her program, Reigurt made a scapegoat out of another staffer, Laurel Schmuck (daughter of Peter Schmuck), who Steffen said was fired. Steffen also reported that Peter Schmuck confronted the congressman over the issue.

The Baltimore Sun reported that:

When the incident was brought to light, Harris, a Republican, disciplined his chief of staff, Kevin Reigrut, though Nawrocki would not say what action was taken.

WBAL Radio reported seemingly conflicting information:

“When it came to Rep. Harris’ attention that alcohol was being consumed in the office, he immediately made it clear that no alcohol is to be consumed by any one in any of his offices,” Harris spokesman Ryan Nawrocki told WBAL News.

Nawrocki would not say if Reigurt was disciplined, but he does say Reigurt remains Harris’ chief of staff.

Nawrocki also told WBAL News that Schmuck was not fired because of this incident.

Was Reigruit disciplined or not? Did the nuance in the differing statements from Nawrocki relate to when he talked to John Fritze of the Sun and when he talked to WBAL?

Both the Sun and WBAL say that Laurel Schmuck denied being fired. WBAL even ran her statement:

“I left Congressman Harris’s office in good standing several months after giving notice that I would be accepting a graduate fellowship in California in August. That was my only reason for leaving. I remain on good terms with the Congressman and appreciated the opportunity to work for him.”

That appears to be the only comment Laurel Schmuck made on the matter. The other facts as reported by Steffen don’t appear to be questioned by Schmuck or by anyone in Harris’ office.

Fritze of the Sun goes on to talk about “several” other drinking scandals in Hill offices but manages to only mention one (Rep. Larsen’s office) while leaving out the one in Rep. Palazzo’s office. I wonder where he got the idea for adding in that tidbit?

Cardin to face new primary challenger?

Prince George’s County Democratic State Senator C. Anthony Muse says he will announce “in two to three weeks,” whether he will challenge U.S. Senator Ben Cardin in the primary election in April.

Muse told WBAL’s C-4 Saturday that a potential campaign has “very positive momentum” based on months of traveling the state meeting with voters and potential supporters.


Muse, who is a Baltimore native, is a minister and was an outspoken critic this year of legislation that would legalize same sex marriage.

Cardin has already filed to get on the ballot to run for a second term.

Five other Democratic challengers have also declared their candidacy.

Cardin was endorsed by President Barack Obama last week.

Republican candidates or potential candidates include Dan Bongino, Robert Broadus, William Capps, Rick Hoover, Pat McDonough, and Corrogan Vaughn.

Herman Cain wins Maryland Straw Poll

Earlier this afternoon, it was announced that Herman Cain won the straw poll at the Maryland Conservative Action Network’s Turning the Tides conference in Annapolis “by a wide margin.”

Counting walk-ins and preregistrations, there were at least a couple of hundred people in attendance.

UPDATED: Pat McDonough is back in the U.S. Senate race now?

Delegate Pat McDonough of Baltimore County set himself up in past elections to possibly run for multiple offices and ended up remaining a delegate. Earlier this year, he said he was looking at running for U.S. Senate or for Congress. In July, he announced he would be running for the U.S. Senate.

Sometime after that he backed off that announcement.

Today, McDonough was working the room at the Maryland Conservative Action Network conference in Annapolis during the lunch break. He and volunteers were handing out a flier (click here to view) touting him as the next senator.

McDonough didn’t participate in a Senate candidates panel at the conference earlier in the morning. Participants in that panel included Dan Bongino, Robert Broadus, William Capps, and Corrogan Vaughn (Rick Hoover didn’t appear either but was on the list.)

Sources close to conference organizers tell me that McDonough was not on that panel because he hadn’t been in the race at the time they put it together. Apparently this flier may be the first public indication that he is, for now, definitely in the race.

It seems odd that McDonough didn’t try to get here for the candidate panel since he was here at lunch working the room and also because he is speaking in a breakout session this afternoon with Neil Parrott to discuss the petition drive against in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

UPDATE: I wasn’t there but I heard McDonough still seems to be uncertain about whether he is running or not, according to someone in the petition panel he was on during a breakout session. This would seemingly contradict the flier he was handing out.

Maryland Democrats Attack Rick Perry

The below release comes on the heels of Governor Martin O’Malley praising Rick Perry.

September 26, 2011

Contact: Matthew Verghese
Office: 410.269.8818


ANNAPOLIS – As Rick Perry heads to Maryland for a fundraiser in Baltimore, the Maryland Democratic Party will be holding a conference call with press on Tuesday, September 27 at 2:15 p.m. EDT with Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis and Rita Haecker, President of the Texas State Teachers Association, to discuss Perry’s disastrous record and his agenda, which will hurt the middle class, seniors and students while protecting millionaires and big business.

Rick Perry and the rest of the GOP presidential hopefuls are wedded to positions that are far-right, divisive and out of the mainstream. They don’t have any new ideas that will create jobs in Maryland or help working class Americans. These Tea-Partying Republicans would dismantle Social Security and Medicare, rollback critical protections for consumers and promote economic policies that will lead the country back into recession.

Please RSVP to Matt Verghese at [email protected] for the call passcode
Lt. Governor Anthony Brown
Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton
Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis
Rita Haecker, President - Texas State Teachers Association
Press call on Rick Perry’s Disastrous Record
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 2:15 p.m. EDT
Contact Matt Verghese at [email protected]

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