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Cardin defends his committee attendance record
Del. Jon S. Cardin speaking about his revenge porn bill at an Oct. 30, 2013 news conference at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore. (The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)

Cardin defends his committee attendance record

Del. Jon S. Cardin Thursday issued a statement defending himself against claims that he was absent from a large majority of votes taken by his committee during the past legislative session.

“Let’s get the facts straight. Over the course of my twelve years in public service, I have a nearly 100% attendance record in both committee and on the house floor,” Cardin, D-Baltimore County, said in a statement. “I have been there to vote in committee, to debate each bill and pass important legislation and to protect Maryland families. I have always done my job and this past legislative session was no different.”

The statement issued by Cardin, who is running for attorney general, comes two days after the Baltimore Sun reported missed votes on 121 of 164 bills that the House Ways and Means Committee voted on. Cardin declined a request by the paper for an interview but in a statement blamed his opponents for what he called “political attacks.”

Cardin is running for the Democratic nomination for attorney general against Sen. Brian E. Frosh, D-Montgomery, and Del. Aisha N. Braveboy, D-Prince George’s.

“As my opponents find themselves down in the polls and anxious for attention, I fully expect these political attacks to continue,” Cardin wrote in his statement. “But they’ll find that many Maryland families are just like mine – with busy parents working to balance their professional responsibilities and family responsibilities, wishing there were more hours in the day.”

Cardin said he missed meetings so that he could be home with his pregnant wife and young daughter. At least one legislator told the Baltimore Sun that Cardin missed meetings to campaign for attorney general.

Jon Cardin

Del. Jon Cardin, D-Baltimore County, speaks about the importance of a bill that would close a loophole allowing purchasers to take possession of handguns before the state completes mandatory background checks. Background: Rev. Alvin Gwynn Sr., pastor of Friendship Baptist Church and president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. (The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)

The newspaper also pointed out that Cardin failed to attend some hearings on bills he sponsored including a bill that he said was important because it would close a loophole allowing people who want to purchase handguns to take possession of the weapons if the Maryland State Police hasn’t completed their background checks in within the required seven-day wait period.

That bill died in committee.

Here is Cardin’s complete statement:

“Let’s get the facts straight. Over the course of my twelve years in public service, I have a nearly 100% attendance record in both committee and on the house floor.  I have been there to vote in committee, to debate each bill and pass important legislation and to protect Maryland families. I have always done my job and this past legislative session was no different. 

“I am proud to have just completed the most successful legislative session of my career.  Together, we passed Breanna’s Law, ‘good Samaritan’ drug policy reform, anti-patent troll legislation and we criminalized the form of online sexual harassment better known as ‘revenge porn.’  These were major victories for Maryland families.

“And while I spent my days serving all of Maryland families in Annapolis, I also have a responsibility to my own family – and there were nights where I needed to be home with my expecting wife and our young daughter.  I don’t regret making that choice.  

“That being said, through communications with my Chair, I made sure there was not a single instance where I missed a vote that would have affected the outcome of a bill.  I am proud of my work as Chair of the Election Law Subcommittee to block voter ID schemes that would have made it more difficult for minorities to vote.  I am also proud of the work we did through the entire Ways and Means Committee to pass meaningful tax reform and education policy.

“As my opponents find themselves down in the polls and anxious for attention, I fully expect these political attacks to continue.  But they’ll find that many Maryland families are just like mine – with busy parents working to balance their professional responsibilities and family responsibilities, wishing there were more hours in the day.   

“I’ve dedicated my career to protecting Maryland families, and as Attorney General, I will work tirelessly to stay two steps ahead of anyone seeking to do them harm.  This campaign will be about those ideas to make sure Maryland families are protected and treated fairly.”

One comment

  1. Concerned Voter

    The other legislators vying for the same position managed to do their jobs and vote.

    Nothing against Delegate Cardin and his family, but I would rather have an attorney general that has time to do his job than one who doesn’t. I hope he has many years ahead to spend as a stay-at-home dad.

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