Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gisriel Gets…What Exactly?

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.


  1. In studying Michael Gisriel's campaign finance report for Jan. 15, which, by the way, was not posted on the Board of Elections website until Feb. 10, I could not find a single contributor or contributing entity that had an address within the confines of LD12. Maybe he moved in so late that he didn't have a friend there. So it's not just a number of contributions from outside of LD12. It seems to be ALL of them.
    I researched his voting record for the single term he was in the legislature representing the Towson area starting in 1987 and until he was defeated for reelection in 1990. Just on that alone, he's not someone who I would want representing me.

  2. Ken,

    I am glad you did the deep dive on his report. I eyeballed it and saw one or two that might have been in LD12. As I didn't have the time to go back and verify, i wanted to exercise some caution in how I described his contributors. 100% out of district is further validation that he has no deep roots in LD12, and lends credence to the carpet-bagging argument that some are making regarding his candidacy.

  3. Honestly, my biggest concern is his disbarrment. I think I've had the conversation with both of you in the meat-space about this, but while I'm all for second chances and growth, Mr. Gisriel has failed to take responsibility for his actions, explain them, and explain what he has done and is doing to heal those actions and prevent similar mistakes.