Zirkin’s Fact Is Fiction

I was surprised that Sen. Bobby Zirkin responded to my column describing his record during the 2017 General Assembly with a discursive 1300-word treatise that veered into unrelated and false ad hominem attacks and misinformation about his policy positions.

Zirkin opens his column with the totally false claim that my employer, Open Society Foundations (OSF), supports the BDS movement. In fact, BDS boycotts OSF. Regardless, I wrote my column and I write this letter speaking only for myself, not on behalf of my employer, but it’s telling that Zirkin responded to my fact-based concerns by smearing me and my employer — falsely.

Several times, Zirkin refers to those criticizing his record as taking shots “from the cheap seats.” It’s an interesting choice of words from a guy who accepts tens of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and then — coincidentally or not — fights tooth and tong for a bill proposed by that industry, despite opposition from the Attorney General, the ACLU, and countless others with direct knowledge of the issue.

If Zirkin hopes to continue representing the 11th district, he might spend less time dismissing those who question his record (or slandering them) and more time squaring his deeds in Annapolis with the values of his constituents back home.


  1. Evan Serpick says

    I wanted to mention 2 more things:

    On my claims that his fight to reverse a Court of Appeals ruling intended to make bail more fair were motivated by campaign contributions from the bail industry, Zirkin claims “Serpick does not understand any of this.” If he won’t take my concerns seriously, maybe he’ll take seriously those of former Maryland Attorney General and U.S. Attorney Steve Sachs, who noted in a Baltimore Sun op-ed that Zirkin is the second-highest recipient of bail industry campaign contributions in the country and scoffs at his claims that contributions don’t affect his actions. “I suspect that the bail bond industry, not known for its naivete, wouldn’t have spent so handsomely if it believed Senator Zirkin’s pieties,” Sachs wrote.

    As Zirkin noted, he did lead the successful effort to ban fracking in Maryland—an admirable cause—but it’s worth mentioning that Zirkin only championed that cause after a natural gas company planned to dig a pipeline in Zirkin’s backyard—I don’t mean in his district, but in the actual backyard of his house. If only the bail industry had egged Zirkin’s car, maybe he wouldn’t have been so ready to do its bidding.

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