Looks like the so-called "disputed" Allan Kittleman quote in the Team Howard Slate mailer was, in fact, properly sourced and completely accurate.
In short, Kittleman said it. Moreover, the Watson campaign and allies - contrary to claims otherwise - used the corrected story.
Based on the original Baltimore Examiner print article (dated 10/7/2006), it appears as though the Kittleman quote used in the now famous mailer (a JPG of which can be found here) was indeed 100% on point. The quote language from both the original print article and the corrected article, which can be found online, is identical.
The quote, as written by the Examiner Staff Writer, reads:
“ ‘I think that allowing people who are responsible, like teachers and principals, to carry concealed weapons would make individuals think twice about attacking someone,’ said Howard County state Senator Allan Kittleman, R-District 9.”
That sentence appears verbatim on one of the KittlemanFacts.com mailers, the one with the quote from a mother from Ellicott City who asked: "What was Allan Kittleman thinking?” A picture of the piece appears at the end of this post.
The only difference between the original print article and the corrected online article exists not with Kittleman’s quote, but with the preamble leading into his remarks. The mailer uses the language found in the online, corrected article that was published on October 7, 2006:
“At least one state senator said arming educators with guns in response to a string of national deadly school shootings is an idea worth considering.”
The original print article features a harder-charging lead-in paragraph:
“At least one state senator said teachers should start arming themselves with guns in schools to protect themselves and others from violent acts.”
The key point here is that, in both versions of the article, original and corrected, the Kittleman quote is the exact same. And yes, the mailer used the corrected version.
This raises several questions…
1. Did the Kittleman campaign know that his quote was, in fact, accurate? If so, when did they know this? If they didn’t know, that is poor due diligence on their part. If they did know, then why did they falsely accuse the Team Howard Slate of putting out misleading information?
2. Does Kittleman still stand by his quote? If yes, why? If not, why not?
3. Does Kittleman also stand by the position, appearing later in the same article, where he states that, “I am currently a supporter of reducing the restrictions on people who carry concealed weapons.” If yes, why? If not, why not?
4. Will the Kittleman campaign apologize to the voters of Howard County and/or the Team Howard Slate for stating, non-factually, that the quote in the mailer was inaccurate?
So there you have it. The quote stands as yet another example of Senator Kittleman’s more conservative stances. One that I am certain his campaign would rather not discuss, as it would add to the perception that some of his beliefs are out-of-step with the majority of Howard County voters. Definitely not a topic they would like to touch during the same week fellow Republican and current GOP gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.
A JPG version of the original print article can be found here:
The quote from the corrected article can be found here, on the mailer:
Stay tuned, as more will follow.