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O'Malley ties Ehrlich to 'birthers' in fundraising pitch

Thumbnail image for Ehrlich mug.jpgAs former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) continues to mull whether to get back in the ring, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has started taking some swings.

The latest came in a fundraising solicitation Thursday in which O'Malley seeks to tie Ehrlich to the "fringe right-wing base" of the Republican party -- a difficult spot from which to win elections in a state where Democrats enjoy a 2-to-1 advantage in party registration.

"On his weekly radio show, Ehrlich regularly embraces the same conservative interests that cheer against an economic recovery, and gave us the 'birther' movement and the 'death panel' myth," O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell asserts in the solicitation.

The "birthers" promote the idea that President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States. The rumor that Obama's health care proposals would create government-sponsored "death panels" have been spread by Sarah Palin, among others.

In recent weeks, Ehrlich has said his party must reach out to independents to win statewide elections in Maryland.

"The O'Malley campaign never lets reality get in the way of a fundraising letter, but we're grateful for the publicity for the radio show," Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said Thursday, noting that the show Ehrlich co-hosts with his wife, Kendel, airs on WBAL in Baltimore from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

Fawell said that Ehrlich has yet to make a decision about running for governor again and that his decision-making process is continuing.

O'Malley's solicitation is part of a late-hour fundraising push by legislative and statewide candidates in advance of the start of Maryland's annual legislation session on Wednesday. Officeholders are not allowed to raise money during the session, but the ban does not apply to challengers.

"The Legislative Session begins next week and campaign finance laws will prevent us from raising funds during those three months," Russell wrote. "Meanwhile, Robert Ehrlich and the Republicans will be rallying their fringe right-wing base for dollars."

The complete text of the solicitation is below.

As I write this, we're just $40,000 away from hitting the $500,000 fundraising goal we set to keep up with the GOP onslaught we expect in the new year from former Governor Ehrlich and others.

We've had an amazing response so far -- but we need one last push now to meet our goal before our online fundraising shuts down at the January 10 deadline.

Can you pitch in? If you're the person to put us over our $500,000 goal, Gov. O'Malley will autograph a campaign sign for you to show his thanks:

http://www.martinomalley.com/January10

John, now's the time to step up and give. The Legislative Session begins next week and campaign finance laws will prevent us from raising funds during those three months.

Meanwhile, Robert Ehrlich and the Republicans will be rallying their fringe right-wing base for dollars.

Despite these difficult times, we've made real progress in the last three years. We can't let the right wing throw that progress away and move us backward. On his weekly radio show, Ehrlich regularly embraces the same conservative interests that cheer against an economic recovery, and gave us the "birther" movement and the "death panel" myth.

We can't let the Republicans win back the state house this fall. And what we do right now, this week, will help determine what happens in November.

Help Gov. O'Malley enter the legislative session on a high note. Contribute now:

http://www.martinomalley.com/January10

Thanks so much for your support, and for being part of our campaign.

Tom

By John Wagner  |  January 7, 2010; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Governor , John Wagner  
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Next: Steele to GOP critics: 'Get a life' or 'fire me'

Comments

Wait a minute, I thought it was the right wing that ran dirty campaigns. Or at least that is what the left says. Bull, people were just to star struck to see that the left was doing it too.

Posted by: apearson54 | January 7, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

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