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Extreme Makeover for Ehrlich?


Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan's (D) campaign has become known for sending out snarky--some would say nasty--press releases and statements.

For much of the fall, most were directed at his opponent for the Democratic nomination for governor, Baltimore Mayor Martin J. O'Malley.

But today Duncan's campaign turned its attention to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who in recent weeks has been staking out more moderate positions on some issues.

Scott Arceneaux, Duncan's campaign manager, sent out a statement this afternoon titled, "Extreme Makeover-Maryland Edition." The show, the release said, would be staring Ehrlich.

"The season premiere takes a look at the transformation of Governor Bob Ehrlich from 'Right Wing Robert' to 'Bankroll Bobby,' the phony election year moderate," the statement read.

Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell dismissed the criticism, saying. "Doug Duncan is in a primary, when he becomes relevant, if he becomes relevant, we will respond."

Duncan's campaign made a chart detailing the governor's positions on taxes, higher education, land conservation, school construction, cell stem research and clean air.

"Right Wing Robert," for example, raised state property taxes to record levels, according to Duncan. "Bankroll Bobby" cut "his own tax increase" and then takes credit for giving money back to taxpayers, the chart on the statement read.

"Right Wing Robert" refused to fund stem research, but "Bankroll Bobby" found $20 for stem cell research in an election year, the chart said. (Duncan's campaign apparently needs a proofreader. Ehrlich today actually proposed spending $20 million on stem cell research.)

Arceneaux concludes the statement by saying, "I hope the parking spaces in front of the mansion are clear because we expect the Extreme Makeover R/V to pull up in front of the Governor's mansion in Annapolis any day now. Over the last 10 days, Bob Ehrlich has been attempting a makeover that is truly extreme."

But, Arceneaux concludes, "The critics agree Ehrlich's Extreme Makeover is bad, made-for-TV political theater that should not be renewed for a second season."

Tim Craig

By Phyllis Jordan  |  January 11, 2006; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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I agree with your term. Duncun's campaign really has been snarky and meanspirited toward O'Malley. I like both O'Malley and Duncun, and think they'd both make a great Governor, but I don't like Duncan's negative campaign approach. Its too Republican for me.

Posted by: snarky | January 13, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

top notch reporting, as usual from maryland political reporters/editors...they certainly are carrying the water for the metro desk...

Posted by: Ginger | January 13, 2006 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I think the Duncan campaign deserves credit for showing Marylanders Ehrlich's true stripes. His emails, while a bit on the nose, are helping shape the debate this year. And let's not forget that he continues to be the candidate most rich in substance and policy proposals!

Posted by: noname | January 14, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Would that be fiscal restraint? Anything else? In a state that for the majority of his term was managled by gross overspending, and demands for enormous tax increases to justify the glut induced by tax revenues from a hyperactive economy in the late 90's, I'd say his stripes are quite responsible.

Posted by: Ehrlich's True Stripes | January 14, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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