Frosh is do­ing what at­tor­ney gen­er­als should

The Calvert Recorder - - Community Forum -

In re­sponse to the Oct. 19 let­ter “Wolf would make a bet­ter at­tor­ney gen­eral,” I of­fer the fol­low­ing ob­ser­va­tions:

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Brian Frosh is not some rogue op­er­a­tor. In ad­di­tion to pro­tect­ing Mary­lan­ders from fraud and civil rights vi­o­la­tions, his of­fice is a check and bal­ance against cor­rupt and un­con­sti­tu­tional prac­tices in our fed­eral government. Since the ma­jor­ity in Congress has re­fused to hold the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to ac­count, Frosh has stepped up on our be­half.

His suit against Pres­i­dent Trump for emol­u­ments vi­o­la­tions is in­tended to pro­tect Mary­land venues against fi­nan­cial harm from the Trump In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel, which con­tin­ues to en­rich the pres­i­dent and his fam­ily at the ex­pense of lo­cal busi­nesses. (He is joined in this law­suit by D.C. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Karl Racine on be­half of D.C. busi­nesses.) This law­suit would not be needed if the pres­i­dent had di­vested him­self of his busi­ness in­ter­ests, as pre­vi­ous pres­i­dents have done.

The at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice is not “ac­count­able to no one.” Al­though the Gen­eral Assem­bly ap­proved money and jobs for the at­tor­ney gen­eral’s law­suit, Gov. Ho­gan, in a bow to the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­fused to in­clude it in his bud­get. (He in­stead ex­pects Frosh to di­vert funds from the con­sumer pro­tec­tion bud­get.)

Claim­ing Mr. Frosh’s of­fice lacks trans­parency is un­fair. While I can’t speak to the writer’s per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, I per­son­ally found ex­ten­sive in­for­ma­tion on the law­suits he has filed or joined on the Mary­land Of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral web­site. There is in­for­ma­tion on the emol­u­ments law­suit at www.mary­lan­dat­tor­ney­gen­eral. gov/pages/emol­u­ments/faq.pdf.

The other law­suits have been filed, in con­junc­tion with other states, to pro­tect things that are im­por­tant to Mary­land res­i­dents — for ex­am­ple: our fed­eral tax de­duc­tions for state and lo­cal taxes; women’s con­tra­cep­tive cov­er­age un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act; col­lege stu­dents, from preda­tory for-profit schools; and our air, from meth­ane and ni­tro­gen ox­ide emis­sions. A 2017 end-of-year re­port on th­ese and other ac­tions can be found at www.mary­lan­dat­tor­ney­gen­eral.gov/re­ports/Md_De­fense_Ac­t_Re­port_2017.pdf.

In ad­di­tion, there are fre­quent press re­leases on the at­tor­ney gen­eral’s web­site at www.mary­lan­dat­tor­ney­gen­eral.gov/Pages/ News/All-News.aspx#re­leases.

I, for one, am frus­trated that the ma­jor­ity in Congress lacks the back­bone to stand up against cor­rup­tion, vi­o­la­tion of long­stand­ing norms, and eth­i­cal vi­o­la­tions in the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. If the state of Mary­land has le­gal stand­ing to pro­tect our cit­i­zens in th­ese mat­ters, then At­tor­ney Gen­eral Frosh should go for it. That’s what an at­tor­ney gen­eral is sup­posed to do.

Linda Copeland, Dunkirk

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