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The gubernatorial campaign of Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley wasted little time today trying to capitalize on rate-relief legislation passed early this morning by the Maryland General Assembly.

A fundraising solicitation sent to supporters by email declared that "Maryland families secured a powerful victory the fight against giant energy company profits, corporate greed, and Bob Ehrlich's failed Public Service Commission that sought to saddle Maryland's families with a shocking 72 percent rate increase in our utility bills."

The email also trumpeted the role that O'Malley's running mate, House Majority Whip Anthony G. Brown (D-Prince George's), had played in securing the votes and that O'Malley had testified on the legislation in Annapolis.

"While Bob Ehrlich sat on the sidelines, refusing to work with legislature, members of the House and Senate stood together with us to provide real rate relief for Maryland families now," the email said.

Ehrlich, meanwhile, expressed his dismay at the legislation that won final approval with veto proof majorities in both chambers and urged lawmakers to try again. "Clearly I don't like what they've done," Ehrlich said on Baltimore's WBAL radio. Lawmakers "need to come back again to get a better deal."

Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan applauded the General Assembly's efforts in an e-mailed statement.

"The legislation passed yesterday is a good first step; however, no one should declare 'mission accomplished.' Much of the hard work, like reigning in the energy monopolies that are operating in an unregulated environment, remains to be done. We can not accept the status quo and allow consumers to continue to shoulder the burden of the failures of electricity deregulation. "

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  June 15, 2006; 11:48 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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