Monday, December 28, 2015

Did Brian Griffiths Buy Himself A Panel Seat At The MD-6 Debate?

Brian Griffiths has been named as one of the panelists at the first MD-6 debate. Is his placement on the panel the result of a sale to Red Maryland?

Griffiths certainly doesn’t deserve the nomination. As his primary work within the MDGOP, he ground the Maryland Young Republicans to nothing for several years for his own benefit, reducing the organization to a few non-paying Executive Board members and one local club. As the head of Red Maryland, he oversaw one of his staff take payments from one of the campaigns in a race that writer was covering. That same writer was on the Editorial Board for the vote on which candidate in that race they was endorsing. Surprise, they endorsed the candidate who was paying him.

During this entire time, they did not disclose the financial connection between the campaign and Red Maryland.

While he led the both organizations, he gave Red Maryland a free sponsorship to the MDYR convention. When challenged by the new YR administration, they just sent a sponsorship fee in response.

At the event notice for the debate, it was also announced that Red Maryland was a paying sponsor to the event. Was this a “free sponsorship” akin to Red Maryland’s “sponsorship” of the MDYR convention? And if it was actually paid for, it creates a conflict of interest for the moderator - the conflict between serving the public by running a fair debate and rewarding Red Maryland for the payment by giving Griffiths extra time.

Griffiths presence creates additional integrity issues as well. Griffiths has concealed previous conflicts of interests, as well as implied he would accept payment to slant his own material in favor of whoever paid for Red Maryland advertising. So, if someone had paid for ad time (or favorable coverage), he wouldn’t disclose it. It is also possible he would slant his questions or provide a paying candidate extra airtime. After all, one of his editors was being paid by now-Governor Hogan at the time the editors endorsed him, with the full knowledge and denial of the rest of the board.

I will only mention in passing his petty small-mindedness, his baseless shots at the new successful leaders of the YRs and his status as joke among GOP activists.

By any measure, Brian Griffiths doesn’t belong as a panelist on Friday night public access, let alone at an important debate.
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