Contacting and Thanking Voters – On line and at their front door

Russians bought at least one Facebook ad that targeted voters in Baltimore during last year’s Presidential election. The ad made reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday.

Under Maryland law, each campaign finance entity responsible for publishing or distributing campaign material through the Internet must keep a sample copy on an electronic medium that can be produced as a facsimile.

Is this ad covered by the existing law? Can we enforce this law against a foreign group? Can we regulate Facebook or does that authority belong to the federal government?

I’ve asked Attorney General Frosh for legal advice.


Mailings, automatic phone calls, and personal contact have little effect on a voter’s decision in the general election.

That’s the conclusion of a study done by two political science professors that a good friend shared with me.

Two days ago, I knocked on the door of an 89-year old man who lives next to the Forest Park Golf Course.

I introduced myself, and he responded, “I know who you are.”

I asked, “How do you know me?”

“I read the newspaper, and I get your newsletter every April.,” he said.

I doubt that my constituent has read the professors’ study.

It’s more likely that he knows what Tip O’Neill said.

“People like to be asked and people like to be thanked.”

My father said that as well.




Knowing my own name

“I found my father on Facebook before Catholic Charities did.”

Thomas Diepenbrock decided at age 40 to try to find his birth parents.

He was testifying on House Bill 22, which, according to its supporters, would “expand the rights of adopted adults to know their original identities, as well as their medical and ancestral histories.”

He continued, “I desperately wanted to know what my birth name was on the original birth certificate.  I am legally barred from knowing my own name.

“It was shocking and revealing to learn that my children have ice blue eyes because my birth father does.

“I just wanted to know where I came from.”

I always try to have a witness who personalizes the issue my bill addresses.  You can’t do it  better than this one did.

In this instance, the technology outran the law, as Facebook rendered obsolete the statute, the product of a compromise in 1999.

  • My Key Issues:

  • Pimlico and The Preakness
  • Our Neighborhoods
  • Pre-Kindergarten
  • Lead Paint Poisoning