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Ehrlich highlights Columbia company's job losses

Ehrlich car 2.jpgAs Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) continued to tout job gains in Maryland last month, former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) on Thursday put a spotlight on a Howard County company that has shed nearly two-thirds of its employees in recent years.

Ehrlich took his comeback campaign to E&G Classics of Columbia, a manufacturer of automotive restyling products, including grilles, vents and trim products.

In 2004 and 2005, when Ehrlich was governor, the company had about 250 employees. Today, that number is down to 86, company officials said.

"That's not progress," Ehrlich said at a brief news conference following a tour of the business. "That's not how we measure progress in the state of Maryland."

In an interview, Lynn Eash, a part owner and general manager of E&G Classics, said state policies -- including a spike in unemployment insurance rates -- have made it more difficult to balance the books. But Eash blamed the loss of employees largely on the national recession, which he said hit his industry before many others.

"I think it's just the general economic problems," he said.

In campaign stops in recent days, O'Malley has cited as evidence of progress under his leadership a report that shows Maryland added 35,800 jobs last month. Economists have said such gains were largely offset by an influx of unemployed people who resumed their job search after having left the labor force.

Ehrlich also used his stop in Columbia to continue chiding O'Malley for Northrop Grumman's decision to relocate its corporate headquarters to Virginia rather than Maryland.

"Maryland was never even in the game," Ehrlich said. "I don't want Maryland to be treated like junior varsity."

O'Malley has said the relocation of the defense giant's headquarters is a victory for the entire region and congratulated Virginia officials.

By John Wagner  |  April 29, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
 | Tags: Martin O'Malley, Northrop Grumman, Robert Ehrlich  
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Its good to hear that the owners of E&C Classics aren't buying Ehrlich's BS. They said at Ehrlich's own news conference that their job losses are because of the national economy, not Maryland.

And as for the Northrup Grumman issue, does Ehrlich read the newspaper? If he did, he would see that Maryland was very much "in the game," and that NG chose Virginia over Maryland because of the property, not economics.

Stick to the links, Bob.

Posted by: hamsandwich | April 29, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Erhlich is an idiot. Do some research before tossing dud bombs. Hey, Erhlich, does recession ring a bell?

Posted by: jckdoors | April 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

im glad o'malley wasn't suckered by Northrup Grumman like virginia was. virginia gave them $14 million in incentives, plus is stuck with their crappy non-performing software. virginia lost big time on the deal.
if ehrlich is so concerned about jobs for marylanders, why did he bus in homeless people from pennsylvania to work the polls during his last election?
there are plenty of homeless people here in maryland that need jobs, even temporary one day jobs.
Those are the only jobs ehrlich brought to maryland when he was governor. and some of those homeless people were on the news claiming they didnt even get paid for it.
if ehrlich really wants to help maryland, he'd move out of state.

Posted by: MarilynManson | April 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if when Ms. Eash mentioned the unemployment rate hike Ehrlich said "I signed the bill that did that!"...

Posted by: unrest | May 1, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

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