Update 13 August 2007: REGRETABLY, THE BAY NET was not able to reach Nanjemoy Community Center director, Meg Romero or event coordinator Sarah Black for their comments before the deadline for the article below describing the unfortunate incident involving Mr. DeGiorgi at last Tuesday’s National Night Out festivities.
The Bay Net was able to reach Ms Black this afternoon, but she politely transfered the call to Ms Romero without additional comment. Ms Romero stated that she was too busy to take any questions. She suggested that The Bay Net refer its questions to the county media relations office and further stated that she had no comment to make about the incident. When The Bay Net contacted the Charles County media relations office to see if they wanted to submit any comments to this update, they also declined to comment at this time.
Commissioner Patterson was not approached for comments because, as far as The Bay Net can determine, she had no knowledge of or participation in the incident involving DeGiorgi. The photo of Commissioner Patterson was used with this article because she handed out school supplies at Nanjemoy’s National Night Out for a short while and because her apparel was a visual representation of the festivities.
While comments are welcome, we ask that they have a basis in the article.
10 August 2007: SOURCES AT THE NANJEMOY Community Center during the National Night Out celebration told The Bay Net that Nanjemoy resident, Johnnie DeGiorgi was evicted from the festivities Tuesday for handing out school supplies which included a campaign flyer. DeGiorgi will challenge incumbent commissioner Edith Patterson for the 2010 district 2 county commissioner’s seat.
“If all is as it appears, this is a clear breach of important First Amendment rights,” La Plata attorney, Kurt Wolfgang told The Bay Net.
DeGiorgi, with Yvonne Posey to assist, came to the Nanjemoy community Center prepared to hand out 20 bags of school supplies which he’d purchased for that purpose. When DeGiorgi asked the event’s coordinator if he could set up a table among the festivities to hand out the supplies, he was given permission to put a table in the hall. All the designated available table space inside the center was taken.
The coordinator, whose name DeGiorgi didn’t mention, then asked if the bags of supplies contained any campaign literature. When DeGiorgi freely disclosed that they contained one campaign flyer the coordinator flatly stated that he couldn’t give the bags away with the literature inside.
DeGiorgi and Posey were stunned. The Nanjemoy Community Center already contained several other politicians giving away items with political messages on them. Maryland Delegate Peter Murphy was handing out rulers embossed with a political message. Commissioner’s Board Vice-President Edith Patterson (D – district 2) and Reverend Lowell Hancock of Oak Grove Baptist Church were handing out school supplies on behalf of the Western Charles County Community Association. Last year, Patterson herself handed out campaig