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(Photo courtesy of Brian S. Bailey campaign)

Bailey charged with criminal campaign violation over website

A Democratic candidate for House of Delegates has been charged with a criminal election law violation related to a website created to attack another candidate.

Brian S. Bailey was charged with criminal election law violations for failing to use an authority line on a website his campaign allegedly purchased to “publish derogatory campaign material concerning Rebecca Dongarra,” according to a statement released by State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt.

Dongarra is one of nine other Democrats seeking the nomination for three House of Delegates seats in the 12th District that includes Catonsville and portions of Howard County.

Bailey is accused of purchasing the site DongarraForDelegate.com but failing to use a campaign authority line. Furthermore, the state prosecutor alleges that Bailey published a statement on the website that “falsely indicated that ‘this message has not been authorized or approved by any candidate.'”

Bailey, in an emailed statement, said he and his lawyer were reviewing the charges.

“I acknowledge that the Friends of Brian S. Bailey misapplied an inaccurate authority line on a campaign website which failed to properly credit me with ownership and knowledge,” Bailey wrote. “My campaign is about strengthening our economy, protecting society’s vulnerable and investing in our future.  I won’t be distracted from working for middle class families, small businesses, senior citizens, veterans, and for everyday folks, ensuring they receive the representation they deserve and expect.”

The website is currently not active but there are hints it might become active again. Bailey forwarded photos of the site showing that it now carries a campaign authority line.

Bailey and Dongarra have a history of bad blood between them. Both ran unsuccessfully for the Baltimore County in a district that represents the southwest portion of the county. The pair share the same electoral base in this election.