Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Ehrlich unfairly closing in on O'Malley

The Baltimore Sun continues to justify my claim that it is the worst big-city newspaper in America.

Today, they report that here in Maryland, the Governor’s race is a tossup.

“The Maryland governor's race is a virtual tie less than a week before Election Day, as Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s relentless attacks on Mayor Martin O'Malley's record on crime and schools have eroded the Democrat's support in the Baltimore suburbs, a new poll for The Sun shows.”

I’m guessing the Sun is just PO’ed because their own relentless attacks on Governor Ehrlich apparently aren’t as effective as the ones they highlight the Governor is making on Mayor O’Malley. The tone of the article seems to suggest something nefarious:

“Through expensive television and direct-mail advertising, Ehrlich appears to be convincing voters in the Baltimore suburbs that O'Malley has failed to effectively reduce crime and improve city schools. Using his huge cash advantage, the Republican governor has steadily whittled down the mayor's lead in overwhelmingly Democratic Maryland.”

The Sun then goes into refuting the Ehrlich claims by persuasively showing just how effective Mayor O’Malley has been in reducing crime and improving the city schools. Ha!! Of course not. I mean, how could they? Instead they throw out this little tidbit:

“The mayor has unleashed his own advertising barrage, and is attempting to portray the governor as an advocate for big business and other special interests instead of working families. The poll indicates that O'Malley's message also is effective.”

Huh? Any more effective and he’s asking Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for advice on how to make the campaign close.

The reporters, Andrew A. Green and Doug Donovan, then go to the voter-in-the-street. Remarkably, despite this being as the Sun puts it, an “overwhelmingly Democratic Maryland”, they can’t seem to find any Democrats to get a pulse on what’s going here.
They talk to a Lewis Cave who is voting for Ehrlich – no party affiliation noted. They talk to William Wright who is identified as a Republican but will be voting for Mayor O’Malley. Ehrlich’s support for Bear hunting was cited as one of the reasons.

David Brooks is just mad at Republicans so he wants Ehrlich out. The article doesn’t tell us which party Mr. Brooks belongs to – only that he used to work for UPS and he’s black. A Ms. Dottie Moore is also described as black but says she will be voting for Ehrlich. Although the Sun doesn’t openly say so, I’m going to infer she’s probably a Democrat because she’s quoted as saying "I haven't deserted the Democratic Party".

We also hear from moderate – no party affiliation noted - Diane Newsome who usually votes Democratic but will vote for Governor Ehrlich this time because he won’t raise her taxes. Finally we read the comments of the only other explicitly party affiliated voter in the article - Richard Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz is from Easton and he’s also a supposed Republican but - what are the odds - he’s going to vote for Martin O’Malley. His reasoning though has him coming off as the least informed voter in the lot. Mr. Kurtz voted for Mr. Ehrlich in 2002 so…

"What's changed? A lot has changed for me, as far as stem cell research goes. I'm a heart patient, and I am totally for stem cell research," Kurtz said…and because, as we all recall, Governor Ehrlich Signed a Stem Cell Initiative earlier this year, the Governor no longer deserves…I’m sorry, what was the reason you’re not supporting Mr. Ehrlich again this year? Oh yeah, the Iraq war that Bob Ehrlich has needlessly involved us in.

Anyway, my favorite bit of news from this article is found in the final paragraph:

“O'Malley ...with 49 percent viewing him favorably and 38 percent unfavorably. Those figures have, however, shown what a toll the governor's race and more years of grappling with the city's problems have had on the mayor. Two years ago, when The Sun last asked the question, O'Malley was viewed positively by 59 percent of voters and negatively by just 9 percent.”

Don’t be blaming this on the Governor’s race and two extra years on Baltimore’s payroll. What that poll result is saying is that in two years, an additional 19% of Marylanders have gotten to know Martin O’Malley enough to have an opinion on him – and apparently that whole 19% (on top of 10% of those who used to like him now) view him unfavorably. That just comes from getting to know him…what charisma!!

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