An email sent to constituents Monday was supposed to be like countless others he's sent over the last 10 years, according to Del. Eric Bromwell.
But it was 17 words in a nearly 800-word message explaining why the Perry Hall Democrat voted for expanded gambling that caught the eye of a local blogger and has the incumbent delegate vowing to "make it right" if need be.
At issue is an email in which Bromwell explains why he voted for expanded gambling during a special session in August and why he will support Question 7 to ratify the expansion in November.
Bromwell posted the same message on his blog on Patch Tuesday.
Both contained the last sentence: " I hope you will join me in voting to keep Maryland money and Maryland jobs in Maryland!"
Bromwell said the email "is a way of opening dialogue with my constituents."
"I voted against raising taxes and fees and [expanded gambling] is a big alternative to raising taxes and fees," said Bromwell. "I voted for it then and I still think it's the right vote. I wanted my constituents to know why I voted that way."
On his blog, the sentence is not an issue. But as part of an email sent from his state delegate account, Bromwell may have crossed the line into politicking from his state office—a practice frowned upon in state ethics law.
The line was first reported by blogger Jeff Quinton on his Quinton Report blog.
"At best, Bromwell is guilty of the appearance of impropriety by sending a message calling on his constituents to vote for a ballot question using state resources. At worst, it’s a violation of the law," Quinton wrote.
"If [Quinton] is right, I'll make it right," Bromwell said.
Bromwell, in an interview, said he would take the issue to the ethics counsel for the legislature for a determination.
"I can see how someone would take it like that," said Bromwell. "If I've done something wrong I'll apologize.
"That's not what [the state email account] is for and it's not what I'm trying to use it for," Bromwell said.