Did a MD GOP candidate lie about having a college degree? #integritymatters


On his editorial board questionnaire for The Baltimore Sun (screenshot at the bottom of this post), Maryland State Senate candidate Don Quinn indicated he has a B.S. from Washington State University. His Linkedin profile (screenshot also below) indicates he has a B.A. in Political Science and Government from Washington State University and was there from 2008-2012. Other candidate profiles online, including this one, indicate that he graduated in 2014.


Here’s what an official in the Office of the Registrar had to say when asked:

Donald Quinn has not received any degrees from Washington State University.

There is also no listing for Quinn in the online commencement guides at WSU. I’ve laid out the facts and I’ll let my readers decide whether Quinn lied. (The screenshots below are in case any changes get made now that I’ve written this.)

Quinn was also recently in the news when he was blasted on Red Maryland Radio last week for a palm card his campaign was distributing that seemed to attack his opponent, Senator John Astle, over his large gun collection.

Here’s the portion of the card with that claim:


Quinn, who won the GOP primary by a narrow margin over Eric Knowles in June (despite being endorsed by both Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele), encountered controversy during his primary campaign as well.

Among the things that I reported on Quinn before the primary:

  • Quinn’s residency was called into question and he was driving around a vehicle to events with Washington state plates.
  • He also only registered to vote on January 8, 2014 – the same day he filed to run for State Senate in District 30. He was still apparently registered in WA until then.
  • Quinn registered the domain name for the website FindLocalPot.com and before I pointed that fact out the website also had a copyright notice for his business on the site itself (that disappeared after my report.) Quinn claimed he just did the site for a client he didn’t name despite all the evidence to the contrary. Of course, after Quinn responded in the comments on that story, several comments were left using different names but the same IP address blasting me. These comments stopped when I pointed out the IP address being identical for all of them.
  • The Capital Gazette published a Fact Checker piece that largely agreed with what I wrote about the pot website.  In that piece Quinn claimed he had taken a leave of absence from his business in January, which doesn’t match his spin in the comments on my original piece. Of course, the business was registered in Wyoming and that state dissolved the whole company in January for non-payment of taxes.

As a result of all of this Quinn, a candidate for Senate, took to his campaign website and published a screed attacking a lowly, obscure blogger (me.) It’s a pretty amusing rant to read despite all the falsehoods in it (and yes I saved a copy of it in case it disappears too.) I’m sure the Knowles campaign would’ve been surprised to know about me supporting Knowles after all the abuse they heaped on me when I questioned the timing of when Knowles endorsed Steve Schuh for County Executive.

I stated clearly more than once before the primary that I gave Knowles and Quinn both no chance to take down Astle in November. Knowles’ defense of Michael Peroutka since and Quinn’s attack on Astle for gun ownership show they both would have run into problems in the general election campaign.

This is an issue that should matter to voters, activists, and officials in both party, since it’s an issue of integrity. This is the reason vetting of candidates is a crucial issue for the Republican Party in Maryland.  Otherwise you end up with candidates like Janice Fountaine or you have a state party that attempts to get Michael Peroutka to run for Attorney General.

With all this being said, I would hope generally the Republicans running for the Maryland General Assembly make gains this year. I just don’t expect it to happen in District 30 (I didn’t expect it to there no matter who won the primary.) I’ll be focusing primarily on Democrats and the O’Malley-Brown machine’s attempt to get a third term as governor for the rest of the campaign season this year.

The promised screenshots are below the fold.



Baltimore Sun:


Palm Card:


Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton