Lawmakers Monday were reminded not to use state resources to advocate for or against referendum questions that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Dea Daly, ethics adviser to the Maryland General Assembly, told lawmakers in an email that they may not use official letterhead or send email from their state accounts that calls for " The success or defeat of a ballot question, except in responding to an inquiry regarding the ballot questions."
The email also contains a three-page ethics opinion on the subject that outlines other topics that may not be contained in official correspondence including:
- A member’s political campaign (whether past or future).
- The election or defeat of an official of, or candidate for election to, the governing body of a political, quasi-political, or non-public entity.
- Contributions for the member’s campaign fund, for the campaign of another, or for the success or defeat of a ballot question.
- Soliciting volunteers for an election campaign or a ballot question.
[A copy of the ethics opinion is attached to this post.]
Bromwell, a Perry Hall Democrat, emailed constituents an 800-word letter explaining his vote on expanded gambling during the special session in August. At the end of the email, Bromwell asked voters to join him in voting for Question 7.
The same message appears on Bromwell's blog on Patch.
In an interview with Patch last week, Bromwell said he would take the issue to legislative ethics officials for advice. The three-term legislator said he had not intended to violate rules governing the use of the state email account.
"I can see how someone would take it like that," said Bromwell. "If I've done something wrong, I'll apologize."