Thursday, February 10, 2005
Another Overzealous Republican Aide?
Probe Sought Of O'Malley Affair RumorsInterestingly, the Free Republic folks did not feel that they owed Mr. O'Malley the type of apology Dan Rather gave after airing a report based on questionable sources.
Assembly Democrats Doubt Ehrlich Aide Worked Alone
By Matthew Mosk and Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 10, 2005; Page A01Maryland's legislative leaders said yesterday that they do not believe that a longtime aide to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) worked alone to circulate rumors about the personal life of Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, and they called for an independent investigation.
Democratic leaders said they were appalled to learn of efforts, as described in Steffen's e-mails, to circulate a story that the mayor had fathered a child with a Baltimore television reporter and separated from his wife.
The governor has denied any knowledge of a campaign to spread the rumors, and he asked his chief counsel, Jervis S. Finney, to determine whether Steffen was part of a conspiracy. Several Democratic state lawmakers said they would not be satisfied with an investigation led by (Governor) Ehrlich's lawyer.
"Anybody [in the governor's office] who says they didn't know about it is full of it," said Del. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County).
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said he expects the governor to take immediate steps to prevent the destruction of documents or computer files that might help in understanding Steffen's role in three state jobs he has held since Ehrlich took office in 2003.
Ehrlich told reporters that he would preserve and make public those records. He said he believes that Steffen was acting on his own when he sent the e-mails and posted messages spreading gossip about the mayor on a conservative Web site, www.freerepublic.com.
Source: Washington Post