Here is an interesting news story from the East Coast: it was revealed that the Attorney General of Maryland, Douglas Gansler, was present at an underage party where alcohol was being consumed. Of course, in this day of cell phone cameras, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, this didn’t remain an unreliable rumor. Gansler claims that he was only there briefly to talk to his son, who was at the party, about plans for the following day (what, he couldn’t have sent his son a text?).
From the Baltimore Sun:
Gansler, a Democrat who is running for governor, said this week that he stopped by the Delaware beach house to talk briefly with his teenage son and then left. He said he does not remember whether he saw anyone drinking. But even if he had, Gansler said, it was not his responsibility as a parent or a high-ranking law enforcement official to intervene.
“Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party,” Gansler 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.”
Gansler has publicly advocated against underage drinking, appearing less than a year ago in a video for the Century Council, a nonprofit that works to combat both teen drinking and drunken driving.
“Parents, you’re the leading influence on your teen’s decision not to drink,” Gansler said in a video filmed as part of the organization’s “Ask, Listen, Learn” initiative to persuade parents to talk to middle-school children about drinking. “It’s never too early to talk with your kids about smart ways to say no.”
Century Council’s CEO and president Ralph Blackman, upon learning that Gansler had been at such a party, said, “Let me pick myself up off the floor here.”
I should point out that in our state, Illinois, it is a class A misdemeanor to host a gathering or otherwise allow underage people to consume alcohol. And that goes up to a Class 4 felony if the alcohol consumption results in injury or death.