It took a few Democrats by surprise when Gov. Bob Ehrlich unloaded Monday on Democratic lawmakers, blasting them for overriding a record number of his vetoes.
"Some of these votes are meant to embarrass me and the administration," said Ehrlich, a former congressman from Baltimore County who in 2002 became Maryland's first Republican governor in a generation. "I didn't leave Capitol Hill to be needlessly embarrassed. ..... I am tired of it. I am tired of it."
Ehrlich, who is preparing a reelection strategy in part based on the state's strong economy, urged business leaders to withhold financial support for candidates who have not supported his administration's policies.
"The era of [lawmakers] shaking you down for checks and then voting against your interests" is over, Ehrlich said at a lunch sponsored by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the Tech Conference Council of Maryland. "Look at how people vote and act accordingly."
Today, state Democratic party officials fired back with a top 10 list of things they say Ehrlich should be embarrassed about. Among them: his aborted plan to sell state open space in southern Maryland to a Baltimore contractor; the $16,000 in contributions he returned to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff; and his erroneous claim on national television that Wal-Mart had never hosted a fundraiser for him. (There's an invitation with the retailer's name on it.)
"Apparently, it's never occurred to Ehrlich that he doesn't need anybody's help to be embarrassed about his abysmal record - he should be embarrassed about a lot of things that have happened in his administration," according to the news release.
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