A one-time lawmaker should be expected to know and follow the law. That is a reasonable enough starting-point.
Meet Michael Gisriel, disbarred attorney, long-time lobbyist and (relatively) new resident of Maryland's 12th State House of Delegates District. A completely unremarkable fellow, except for the fact that he wants to be one of the three Delegates elected from the 12th. Pump your brakes, Mike.
You might have seen his signs around town…or received one of his direct mail pieces featuring what appear to be photographs of the candidate from the ‘90s. His slogan is “Gisriel Gets It Done!”
So what has Mr. Gisriel gotten done lately?
“The respondent, Michael Gisriel, having been found in violation of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.15, 3.1, and 8.4, was disbarred.”*
“Gisriel’s conduct, which constituted violations of many of the Rules of Professional Conduct, exacerbated by his hubris in the handling of the $1,000 check, warrants disbarment.” (5 – 2 majority, filed on June 18, 2009)
*[Rule 1.1 (Competence), Rule 1.3 (Diligence), Rule 1.4 (Communication), Rule 1.15 (Safeguarding Property), Rule 3.1 (Meritorious Claims and Contentions) and Rule 8.4 (Misconduct)]
His direct mail piece, presented as a “Report from Annapolis!,” is further evidence that Mr. Gisriel has lost the plot. Running as an uber-insider, especially when one is a non-incumbent, is rarely a sound idea. His listed accomplishments involve such action verbs as “attended…spoke…spoke….and met.” These are typical hallmarks of success for a lobbyist…. at least good for billable hours. (possible new slogan: “Gisriel Gets Paid in Full"?)
His January 15, 2014 campaign finance report shows a number of contributions from individuals and organizations outside of the 12th District. His is not a grass-roots campaign. It barely even qualifies as Astroturf.
The only upside to his highly improbable nomination and election would be the joy I would experience calling my local friends on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 to see who among them wants to run for his seat in 2018.
Welcome to the 12th, Mr. Gisriel.
Stay tuned, as more will follow.