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Ducking Douglas: Gansler Dodges Questions About His Driving Habits

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BELTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ)—Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler names his running mate in his bid for the Democratic nomination in the governor’s race. He selected Del. Jolene Ivey from Prince George’s County. The 52-year-old is the first Democratic African-American woman to run for lieutenant governor.

But interest in the announcement was eclipsed Monday by a report that Gansler has made inappropriate demands of the troopers assigned to drive him to appointments.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the accusations and his response.

A Washington Post report paints a picture of disregard for the rules of the road.

Troopers assigned to drive Gansler wrote him up for telling them to run lights, speed and use lights and sirens in non-emergency situations to get him to his appointments on time.

Gansler ignored questions about the report at his running mate announcement in Beltsville on Monday.

Both coming  . . .

“We’re going to talk about lieutenant governor right over here,” he said.

Reporter: “Are you reckless and irresponsible?”

And going . . .

“It’s a great day for Maryland. It’s a great day for Jolene Ivey, a great day for the women of Maryland and Prince George’s County,” Gansler said.

Gansler shut the door on reporters Monday afternoon, but in a statement Sunday said, “The picture being painted is not an accurate reflection of reality. I deeply respect the troopers, the job they do protecting me and the public. A few of the 18 troopers who have provided me protection felt my backseat driving made them uncomfortable. For that I apologize.”

“Yes, along the way we’ve made some waves,” said Gansler.

In his announcement for governor last month Gansler said he’s not a candidate who goes along to get along, but UMBC Public Policy Chairman Don Norris says he should address this issue head on.

“I don’t think it is doing him any good at all. The average citizen is going to take a look at that and say ‘Wait a minute. I want to be punctual too, but does that give me the right to run red lights without penalty?'” Norris said.

The Gansler campaign considers this a political attack, but state police stand by the information in the troopers’ reports.

Gansler is running against Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the 2014 Democratic primary.

A spokesman for the Brown campaign says it had nothing to do with the report.

The attorney general met with State Police Superintendent Marcus Brown in late 2011 about the incidents, and Gansler says he considered the issue resolved.

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