Maryland: NRCC Tests ‘Soft on Crime’ Poke at Kratovil

Posted December 14, 2009 at 6:44pm

The National Republican Congressional Committee on Monday accused Rep. Frank Kratovil (D), a former Queen Anne’s County state’s attorney, of being soft on crime to the point that he put residents of his Eastern Shore-based district at risk.

NRCC spokesman Andy Sere pointed to the case of Dontell Lamont Guy, a violent offender who twice came before Kratovil on various assault, gun and drug charges and is now on Queen Anne’s County’s wanted lists. Sere said Kratovil’s “criminal-coddling— was the reason Guy didn’t receive a tougher sentence when he came through the court system in 2004 and 2008. Sere speculated that Kratovil was too busy campaigning in 2008 to pursue a harsher sentence and said that’s why Guy is on the run today.

The release may be the first shot in a “soft on crime— offensive against Kratovil, who won one of the closest races of the 2008 cycle and faces a tough rematch against state Sen. Andy Harris (R). Republicans say they have at least 10 more cases in which a criminal whom Kratovil dropped charges against has reoffended since the end of the last campaign.

Kratovil spokesman Kevin Lawlor called the NRCC release a rehash of a GOP campaign tactic that Harris employed last cycle.

“They tried this tactic a year ago and it failed miserably then,— Lawlor said. “Now they are at it again, criticizing the Queen Anne’s County state’s attorney’s office for successfully prosecuting and incarcerating a defendant.—

Lawlor released a letter from 2008 in which a bipartisan group of law enforcement officials and state prosecutors defended Kratovil’s record as state’s attorney.