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Who's Watching Those Ads?

Governor

Among the discouraging news for Republican candidates in The Washington Post poll that showed Democrats leading are a couple of questions that go to the core of the advertising campaigns Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Senate candidate Michael S. Steele have spent millions on.

Much of Ehrlich's television campaign has centered on tagging his opponent, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, with the city's failures, particularly its low test scores in schools and high crime rate.

In a June poll, the Post asked voters if they believed O'Malley had made things better or worse in Baltimore. About 41 percent said better, 11 said worse and 40 said there had been no change.

The Post asked the question again last week, after the onslaught of Ehrlich ads in both the Baltimore and Washington media markets. This time, 44 percent said O'Malley had made things better, 9 percent said worse and 39 said no change.

Steele, meanwhile, had pitched himself as an independent change agent who can deal with both political parties. But when asked who would be more open to the ideas of political moderates, 39 percent of the voters said Steele, while 48 percent named his Democratic opponent, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin

By Phyllis Jordan  |  October 29, 2006; 6:36 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Comments

I know my TV ads are doing well when the Post editors try to balance them off by running a long puff piece on Leggett on the front page of the Style Section with a big color picture, which doesn't even contain a quote from me. Just before the 2004 elections the Post ran a long editorial called "Ficker's Folly" where they excoriated me for placing a charter amendment on the ballot to compel the council to stick to the county property tax limit. They said we should instead elect council members who would stick to the limit.
They lied. The joke's on us. Now they write a feature on a caretaker guy who led the fight for the largest tax increase in county history, the 20% increase in the county income tax. "I have made tough decisions, often standing alone," Leggett jokes when he is quoted when talking about his leadership for the tax increase. In this campaign he has been calling for a 50% increase in the gas tax. And he recently sent out a county-wide mailing saying we should not adhere to the county property tax limit. With the county's five year budget plan assuming that we will violate the county property tax limit each of the next five years with an assumed l8% increase in property tax revenues next year, it is clear that A VOTE FORF LEGGETT IS A VOTE TO RAISE YOUR OWN TAXES. I have pledged to stick to the county property tax limit while in office and that galls the Post editors no end.
Where in the article is the talk about Lewggetts developer baggage? The fact that he tells some folks in public he would enact a building moratorium "five minutes after I'm elected County Executive" while taking $20,000 from the developers of Crown Farm and over $l,000 from each of 44 developers. His fundraiser this week was a developer-collection event. I have NEVER taken a dime from a developer.
The Post's coverage has been so biased in this campaign that it does not even approach fairness. The paper uses its muscle and favoritism in a ratio of 25 inches of coverage for Leggett and l for the rest. Terrorists would have given coverage thatis more fair in their paper.
Voters who want an accurate view of the candidates shold tune in to news channel 8 on Tuesday at 4.p.m. for the debate. My ads have supposedly smoked Leggett out and he has reversed himself, as is his habit, to agree to show up. If he doesn't, he will be the first county executive candidate since the office was created in l970, to turn down a live TV debate. Watch this debate and see who has a vision for the next four years. It isn't Leggett. P.S. I'm on Plotkin at l0 a.m. on Tuesday too l500 am. Leggett wouldn't agree to a joint appearance.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Independent for Montgomery Countyn Executive | October 29, 2006 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Ike Leggett may be a "nice guy" as the Washington Post says, but he wasn't so nice to the taxpayers in 1992 when he required us to pay for nearly a million dollars in attorney fees to defend him in a sexual harassment trial. What really happpend in that 19 day trial? And, why did we have to pay for it? The alleged crime was committed outside of the office, so why was it our responsibility? And if there was no truth to the suit, then why did his wife divorce him so soon after? Ike may be a nice guy, but not to taxpayers. To us, he is just another tax and spend candidate who sees the tax base in Montgomery County as ripe for the picking. Montgomery is headed for a disaster if it doesn't start treating the middle class as "working families", and start protecting our incomes and properties from runaway taxes used to fund day labor centers for illegal aliens. As the sign says, We Like Ike. However, it would seem we like him more when we are expecting a hand out from the government, drawn against the future of the taxpayer.

Posted by: How Nice? | October 29, 2006 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Please excuse the two previous posts from Robin Ficker. He had an unhappy childhood...and it's still going strong.

Posted by: Keith Annesley | October 29, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

If Robin spent half as much time going door to door as he spends at washingtonpost.com he might have actually had a chance to win.

Posted by: Marylander | October 29, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I agree with How Nice....

As a Montgomery County citizen that reads the Washington Post, I am concerned about Ike Leggett's capability to lead and manage the county.

I have read that he manages by group consensus and cannot make a decision by himself.

I think that the County Executive should be someone who is a decision-maker and is not tied to the current politicians.

We need a change in leadership and someone with a business background.

Leggett should remain as a college teacher because I do not think that he is capable of being County Executive.

I'm voting for Chuck Floyd for County Executive.

Chuck Floyd is a CEO and leader who can make the hard decisions. He has the "will and the backbone" to challenge the County Council and to protect our citizens.

Posted by: Vincent | October 29, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

So, I understand that Michael Steele wants to institute a nationwide embryo registration database to help track unborn babies and to facilitate embryo adoption.

I think this is a good idea. Every woman would have to carry a unborn child carrier card and visit the database website each month to document the disposition of their potential unborn child.

Undocumented alien females need not apply,

Posted by: Thank Goodness I Am A Man | October 29, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks against to che for his off-topic nonsense.

He is correct about DU's linkage to disease (if we're talking about the Democrat Underground, that is).

Posted by: Rufus | October 29, 2006 6:19 PM | Report abuse

We had somebody talk to Linton Weeks, who wrote the piece on Leggett today. Weeks said the article was published before the election rather than after because Leggett was going to be one of few African-Americans in the U.S. eho would be leading a majority Caucausian electorate. This l and l/2 page ad was the politics of racism pure and simple.

Posted by: Heard from Linton Weeks | October 29, 2006 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone putting out estimates as to how many House and Senate seats Maryland Republicans are going to lose this year?

Posted by: Marylander | October 29, 2006 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Please excuse the 8:48 posting from Robin Ficker. The other kids were mean to him.

Posted by: Keith Annesley | October 29, 2006 11:16 PM | Report abuse

So the majority of folks think that O'Malley either did nothing or made things worse and that's good news somehow...Ok.

Posted by: Rufus | October 30, 2006 7:54 AM | Report abuse

is apparently beyond poor Rufus' comprehension.

Listen, Ruf, if O'Malley's work in Baltimore polls at 41-11-40, and then you spend a million bucks or so trying to make O'Malley look bad, and the end result is 44-9-39, that's what we in Reality World call "a waste of a whole lot of money."

Got it, or should I run through that again more slowly?

Posted by: Basic math | October 30, 2006 8:15 AM | Report abuse

It looks like we have some way off topic post's here. Does the post actually moderate these things at all to at least try and make people talk about the subject at hand.

Ok, here is what I think about that Ehrlich ad: well its pretty clear he has given up on getting any votes in Baltimore. Frankly if I was from Baltimore I would read through the attack on O'Malley as leading to the inevitable conclusion that Ehrlich thinks: 'Hey, Baltimore Sucks!'

One thing that I am actually excited about is that to my mind you cannot solve Baltimore's problems as the Mayor of Baltimore, but the Governor of Maryland just might be able to do something. What the heck has Bob Ehrlich done for Baltimore? I think that O'Malley a guy who clearly has always had a bright future in whatever field he chose to be in, and who grew up in Rockville, was willing to stick his neck out to try and help out our much maligned northern neighbor with some good old fashioned Montgomery County smarts is both risky and noble. Trust me there are not alot of guys who grew up in my home town who would take on that challenge. There are just much easier ways to turn a dime.

Posted by: DCDave | October 30, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Ficker has been around longer than lead paint. I remember as a kid his posters that were festooned upon telephone poles with the "I" in his name turned into something else. Why does this guy run a last minute campaign? If he worked as hard as he does keeping drunk drivers on the road with running for office he could be president of the United States

Posted by: Jimmy | November 12, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

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