Don Quinn’s honorable military service


A report published earlier today (and later removed) on This Ain’t Hell (TAH) showed a FOIA reply on service records related to Don Quinn, who failed in a bid for the State Senate and currently serves on the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee. These records and the post, written by a blogger on that site, indicated (incorrectly from all appearances) that Quinn had served but had not served as a combat veteran.

Quinn posted a Release from Active Duty document today that looked legitimate (people who are guilty of stolen valor have been known to fake those sometime but Quinn’s appears to be the real deal) that shows overseas service, among other things. This contradicts the FOIA reply.

Yes, I did send the FOIA reply I obtained to TAH in an attempt to try to sort out the discrepancy between that reply that he didn’t serve overseas and the pictures online of him in DCUs (desert camo uniforms) along with a Third Army combat patch on his right sleeve in one picture. Additionally, the lack of awards and schools for someone who was a NCO seemed weird. I didn’t have any plans to publish anything here at all on the subject and I didn’t intend it as a pitch for a story to TAH unless there was actually something there (I would’ve written a post myself instead of shopping it to someone if that was my goal.)

I know there are nuances with the records from the National Guard and Regular Army based on my own records and a case earlier this year when I was shopped a story on a candidate in Washington County who had done initial entry training on active duty but no other service that was shown on the FOIA request (since National Guard service records outside of active duty days would only be at the state level.) Maybe the USAR has a similar situation or maybe there are some problems in St. Louis that need straightening out. I would urge Mr. Quinn to check that out and get it fixed.

I would also note that Quinn can authorize a release of his complete records to anyone (with personal info redacted.) Delegate-Elect David Vogt, as a part of his abortive congressional campaign, posted his whole service record online and sadly it might be a good idea if other candidates did likewise. It’s sad that this question even comes up ever but that is a byproduct of the scum who actually lie about their service. As I noted when I blogged about Anne Arundel County’s Steve Barr, who lied about being a POW in Vietnam, it would probably be a good idea if the state looked at penalizing those who receive tangible benefits from stolen valor. Another good idea might be mandating that the state MVA allow veterans to verify their service and get that status denoted on a driver’s license, like other states are doing.

I apologize to Don Quinn for setting this chain of events into motion. It was not my intent for any of this to come out unless it was  vetted further and verified. I will note that I never accused Quinn of embellishing his service. I did look into it, but with good reason honestly (based on his track record in other areas.)

Quinn’s record of apparently untrustworthy statements and actions is what caused this research to be started in the first place. The fact that he falsely claimed to have a degree when he didn’t (also reported on by The Sun and The Capital Gazette) is the only thing that made me look into this issue. Additionally, questions about Quinn’s residency and the fact he didn’t register to vote until the day he filed for office were an issue in his primary. Additionally, I noted Quinn’s involvement in a Find Local Pot website, and despite his denials and spin, the local media agreed with that I wrote.

Quinn devoted a good deal of time to writing a screed about me on his website before on the pot website issue and he ranted about me again today (understandably so in this case.) Of course, his primary opponent’s campaign ranted about what I wrote about them before as well. I won’t respond to what Quinn wrote today in the heat of the moment other than to say I don’t personally dislike him. I’d even be open to meeting him for a cup of coffee or tea to clear the air in a cordial fashion.

I don’t think he or Eric Knowles would’ve been able to beat Senator Astle. Quinn proved that he couldn’t beat Astle and Knowles couldn’t beat Quinn. I understand a potential candidate for 2018 is moving into the district and this person has actually gotten elected to office before on more than one occasion. It would be good for the GOP if they had a good candidate to face Astle. All bets would be off with a wide open field if Astle were to retire after this term.

One other thing to note: Don Quinn is a public figure. He ran for office in 2014 and is an elected member of the AA County Central Committee. He has said multiple times he is a candidate in 2018.

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

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  1. Signing up to any part of the military takes personal courage. Training alone can be dangerous and you don’t know where they may send you. So I respect his service. I don’t agree with some of the people on that blog who were attacking him in the comments for joining the Reserves. They go into harms way, often, and play a vital role in supporting combat troops. Don is a brave man.

    The This Ain’t Hell blog was completely irresponsible. They should have called Don and asked for his permission to get his full file before publishing. I condemn them for that horrible work of “journalism”.

    However, Don is an elected official and a candidate for office. He has no right to complain that a member of the press, public, or potential rival campaign filed a freedom of information request for his military records. This is done often and should be done more. We need to keep an eye on our politicians. Don should be angry at the Military Archives. They don’t seem to be very good. What is the point of the Freedom of Information Act if they can send you inaccurate information?

    Don has no right to be angry at you or me. He should be angry at himself. We didn’t put those Washington State plates on his car. The guy was running for a high office in our State, but was showing up at a candidate forum in his car with license plates from 3000 miles away. People don’t like carpetbaggers. It was a legitimate thing to report on.

    Likewise, we didn’t register the domain. We didn’t build his website. There it was, hiding in plain sight for anyone to find with a simple google search. He got very defensive and angry when you reported on it. Why? I wasn’t bothered by the site. Yet, if it bothered him that you reported on it, why did he set it up in the first place? Why was he ashamed of it?

    Don got angry when near the end of the primary I put up some Facebook posts attacking him for a few things including his fake business award and fake offices. But why did he think that that wasn’t fair game? He was running as a businessman. Why shouldn’t we ask questions about his businesses? That happens all the time in politics. I noticed that Quinn owns the domain He appears to have his sight set on higher office down the road. He better grow some thicker skin. And he should stop blaming others for his own mistakes.

    Don got upset with me and personally attacked me when I called him out for his flyer about Astle. Why was he so rattled by me publishing his material to a larger audience? Was that flyer only supposed to be seen by certain segments of the district? Did he think that was realistic? I thought his attacks on Astle were bizarre and unfair. He made the decision to run his campaign that way, not me.

    He certainly has no right to be angry about you reporting on the fake college degree. He made the decision to claim that he had the degree. It is too bad that no one caught that before the primary.

    I have been very critical of Don these last few months. But I don’t think I have been running a scorched earth campaign against the guy. I have pointed out issues that actually exist. If they had not existed, I would have had nothing bad to say about the guy. And I don’t think I need to cease pointing them out because he has already announced that he is a candidate once again. I think it would be a complete disaster to give him another primary victory. A good candidate could win that seat next time, especially if Astle retires.

    And despite what he thinks, I don’t hate Don. As I said, I appreciate his military service. He worked extremely hard in his campaign. He really put his heart into it. I would assume that he is a good father/step-father. I appreciate the fact that he is so involved in the community. I appreciate the fact that he works hard to run a small business. But I would ask him to appreciate the fact that as a candidate for public office, people don’t just have a right, but they have a responsibility, to look into candidates when they make claims about their business affairs, educational achievements, and military record. And I hope Don sees this message, especially since he blocked me on Facebook. I don’t hate you. I don’t even dislike you. I am sorry that an irresponsible website attacked your military record. I have raised some concerns about you as a candidate and your campaign. But that happens in politics. It goes with the territory.