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Md. Dems complain to FCC about Ehrlich

Ehrlich hand.jpgThe Maryland Democratic Party filed a complaint Thursday with the Federal Communications Commission alleging that former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) improperly used the airwaves to promote the interests of a slots applicant who was being assisted by Ehrlich's law firm.

In April, during a regular appearance as a political analyst on Baltimore's WBFF-Fox 45 TV, Ehrlich said that Cordish Cos. had "followed the law ... dotted their i's, crossed their t's" in applying for a slots license in Anne Arundel County.

Media reports in March disclosed that Cordish, a Baltimore-based company, had hired Paul Schurick and others in Ehrlich's firm to help build community support for the proposed slots casino. Schurick was Ehrlich's communications director and now works with him in the Baltimore office of his law firm, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.

At the time, Cordish was seeking passage of a zoning bill before the Anne Arundel County Council and a slots license from a state commission. Both have since been secured.

"It is clear that Governor Ehrlich was obligated to inform the station of the fact that he was being paid to promote the position of the Cordish Company and that the station was obligated to disclose that fact to viewers," Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Susan W. Turnbull says in a letter to the FCC requesting an investigation.

Henry Fawell, an Ehrlich spokesman, declined to discuss the specifics of the complaint.

"The complaint itself doesn't deserve the dignity of a response," Fawell said. "The staff of the Maryland Democratic Party is paid to fake outrage. ... I would encourage them to keep their training wheels on a little longer."

Whatever the merits of the Democratic complaint, it signals that Ehrlich foes have been scouring his activities of recent years. The closer Ehrlich gets to announcing a rematch with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), the more of their work we are likely to see.

By John Wagner  |  February 4, 2010; 11:31 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Anne Arundel , John Wagner  
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Next: Foes of Arundel Mills slots say they have signatures to force November vote

Comments

Methinks someone should remind Bobby Haircut of what "Conflict of Interest" means.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 4, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Almost nobody wants a casino at Arundel Mills or any other suburban shopping mall, but these clowns got it through. Now the blame game begins.

Posted by: Rob_A | February 4, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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