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Democrats pounce on Ehrlich endorsement

Ehrlich MCEA1.jpgFormer Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) came under heavy attack by Democrats Thursday as he picked up the endorsement of a modest-sized state employees union.

Ehrlich used a state office complex in Baltimore as a backdrop as he accepted the endorsement of the Maryland Classified Employees Association, which claims 9,700 active and retired state and county workers as members.

At a news conference, the Republican challenger knocked Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) for furloughing state employees as a means to balance the budget, saying he does not believe in the practice of unpaid leave.

Erhlich MCEA2.jpg"Political leaders should never beat up on the people who wake up your state and put it to bed at night," Ehrlich said. "We should be thanking you, not furloughing you."

Even before the endorsement was announced, Democrats started trying to discredit it.

The Maryland Democratic Party put out a news release pointing out that the union's executive director, David Boschert, is a former Republican delegate from Anne Arundel County who is running to get his seat back this year.

"It doesn't take much to figure out what backroom deals were made to throw this endorsement to Ehrlich and what empty promises Boschert conveyed to the membership on behalf of one of his buddies," said Democratic Party chairwoman Susan Turnbull.

Ehrlich dismissed that attack as one of several "shenanigans" Democrats were pulling in response to the endorsement.

"The opposition is always trying to find ways to sabotage a positive campaign," said Boschert, who appeared at Ehrlich's event in Baltimore.

Shortly after the event, O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell blasted Ehrlich for "election-year pandering at its worst" for promising to avoid furloughs.

Russell accused Ehrlich of planning to lay off state workers, pointing to comments made by the former governor in January on his radio show: "I'd much rather restructure. ...If you're going to restructure a number of jobs, you do it. But furloughs is really a slow bleed."

"Governor O'Malley has been honest about the tough decisions we've made together to cut spending and at the same time keep our workers on the job," Russell said. "Like every family in our state that has had to tighten its belt, Governor O'Malley has asked our state employees to do more with less over these last four years and they have delivered results for the people of our state."

The 9,700 members of the Maryland Classified Employees Association include about 4,700 current state employees that work in almost every state agency, said Stephen J. Schaefer, the union's president.

The largest union of state employees, AFSCME MD, is expected to make an endorsement in the governor 's race later this month. That union represents about 30,000 workers, according to spokeswoman Maureen O'Connor.

By John Wagner  |  September 2, 2010; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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Comments

WoW

.. how to turn a POSITIVE endorsement into a negative realm, just because the DEM's only know negative - listen to Mayor o'Malleys ads... revolting!

Nice reporting job by the Post... any question WHO they'll be endorsing in Nov???


Posted by: robof4 | September 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Ehrlich's campaign promises are vacuous and dishonest: he couldn't deliver when he was Governor, and the economy was better during his term than it is today. What makes him think or anyone believe he'll magically produce more jobs and less taxes? Either he's naive or telling folks what they want to hear - and Mr. Ehrlich is certainly not naive. The Post will wisely endorse O'Malley as the most capable candidate that has kept our state competitive, while having to make hard choices. I'll take our Triple A Bond Rating, Top Schools, vibrant biotech industry (along with Maryland's numerous advantages to its residents) over Ehrlich's empty promises anyday.

Posted by: kloo2006 | September 2, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I know you'll find this hard to believe John but could it be possible that David Boschert thinks that Ehrlich is simply a better choice in November? I guess the benefit of the doubt only goes to Democrats indicted for felonies.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | September 2, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

FURLOUGH O'MALLEY!

"Democrats Pounce on Ehrlich Endorsement"

What kind of a title is that? If it had been an endorsement for O'Malley, I know the com-Post wouldn't have worded it that way.

It's funny that Susan Turnbull would so immediately dismiss the endorsement. The same person that rebuffed all of the polls showing Ehrlich and O'Malley tied. Here's news for you: O'MALLEY HASN'T HAD A POLL ABOVE 47% YET. If that doesn't signal he is in trouble, the liberals are kidding themselves.

Posted by: skinsdude | September 2, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Ehrlich didn't furlough anyhone under his watch, OMalley is very quick to axe state employees who already are paid less and have fewer benefits than federal or private sector workers do. And what backroom deals did the Maryland State teachers union do with OMalley and the Dems for their endorsements?

Posted by: VikingRider | September 2, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley believed that state employees would vote for him no matter how bad he treated us. He furloughed state employees while finding money for pay raises for his friends, hiring his cronies and even buying swamp land.

When a state has severe budget problems stop buying swamp!

Posted by: VinceCalvino | September 3, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Here's the philosophy of the members of the MCEA "I don't care about my fellow state employees who might be fired under Ehrlich, I'm too important to be fired". If Ehrlich wins, many of these MCEA members will be fired by Bob and they will look lovingly back on the days when they were only furloughed.

Posted by: unrest | September 3, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

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