Doug Gansler, the Maryland attorney general who's campaigning for the Democratic nomination for governor, said Thursday he should have made more of an effort to investigate whether there was underage drinking going on at the teen party where he was photographed.
Gansler, Maryland's chief law enforcement official who has outspokenly advocated for harsher penalties for underage drinking, was pictured in the midst of teenagers at a "beach week" party in Delaware last June. The photos also show red cups, which are commonly associated with drinking parties, scattered around and two shirtless boys dancing with a girl on a tabletop.
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According to the Baltimore Sun, Gansler was there
because he and other parents organized and paid for a weeklong trip for their teenage sons who had just graduated high school. The party occurred on the final night of the trip.
The attorney general originally said he stopped by the party briefly to see his son, who was supposedly DJing upstairs, and then left without inquiring about any underage drinking. At first, he told the Sun he had no moral responsibility to intervene.
"Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party," he said. "How is that relevant to me? … The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no."
But Gansler changed his tune at a press conference Thursday, admitting he made a "mistake" and "should have done something differently."
"Perhaps I should have assumed there was drinking going on, and I got that wrong," he said. "There could be Kool-Aid in the red cups, but there's probably beer in the red cups."
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