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Ehrlich ad hits O'Malley on utility rates, job losses

John Wagner

Former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) launched a new television ad Friday that makes that argument that Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has not delivered on promised electricity rate relief and that he is "making stuff up" about the state's economic progress.

The 30-second spot, which is airing only in the Baltimore market, attempts to undercut one of O'Malley's most powerful arguments against Ehrlich in their 2006 campaign: that O'Malley would deliver rate relief for BG&E customers at a time when Ehrlich had become too cozy with the industry.

"Never happened," the narrator says in the new Ehrlich ad, which goes on to note that the head of the commission that regulates utilities in Maryland received a sizable pay increase under O'Malley.

The O'Malley camp was quick to release a list of concessions his administration secured from BG&E in recent years, including two one-time credits -- of $170 and $100, respectively -- that BG&E's 1.2 million residential customers received on their bills during O'Malley's tenure.

The ads also hits O'Malley on federal unemployment data released this week that showed that despite a higher rate of job growth than in most other states, Maryland lost a net 5,700 jobs in August. (A higher figure cited in the ad does not account for modest job gains offsetting some of the losses.)

The ad includes footage in which O'Malley proclaims: "The fact of the matter is our economy is doing much better now."

The footage appears to have been shot before the latest jobs report. Prior to that, federal numbers had shown five straight months of job gains in Maryland -- a fact that O'Malley repeatedly touted on the campaign trail.

"Four years ago Martin O'Malley mislead us," the Ehrlich ad concludes. "Now he's just making stuff up."

Responding to the ad, O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell said it was "baffling that Bob Ehrlich would raise the subject of BGE electricity rate hikes."

"The BGE rate hikes were a major boondoggle of Bob Ehrlich's failed term as governor, and a big reason why Maryland voters fired him with cause in 2006," Russell said.

By John Wagner  | September 24, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections, John Wagner  
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Comments

The point is that what OMalley did was like throwing bread crumbs to the masses, just ONE time credits. We already pay among the highest utility rates in the country, what good does a one time credit do? Sure you can try and do all that wonderful weatherization stuff, but who can afford to do it? If Ehrlich or OMalley cared about everyday people they would force the power companies to decentralize and give real incentives to individual homeownsrs and businesses to install solar, wind, and geothermal. Give BGE and PEPCO the boot.

Posted by: VikingRider | September 24, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

The point is that what OMalley did was like throwing bread crumbs to the masses, just ONE time credits. We already pay among the highest utility rates in the country, what good does a one time credit do? Sure you can try and do all that wonderful weatherization stuff, but who can afford to do it? If Ehrlich or OMalley cared about everyday people they would force the power companies to decentralize and give real incentives to individual homeownsrs and businesses to install solar, wind, and geothermal. Give BGE and PEPCO the boot.

Posted by: VikingRider | September 24, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

We fired Ehrlich four years ago because he could not govern. Republicans do not know how to govern.They only know how to help themselves and those who fund them and give their family members well paying jobs.
Ehrlich is a liar and trying to have a peeing contest with O'Malley because he is jealous and a lousy loser. As governor he immediate set his henchmen upon state government workers to fire those who didn't vote for him and then lied through his teeth pretending he barely knew the "Prince of Darkness" who did his spying. Poor Prince of Darkness, pushed aside by Bobby Blowdry as someone Bobby barely knew even though he worked for Bobby for long time. This alone is why only rightwingers will vote for him. The Republicans destroyed their credibility in Maryland with their dirty dealing and this is why they only have one federal representative in the whole state and he is 80 years old. Ehrlich ought to try working for a living or just keep lobbying for his wealthy friends. fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | September 24, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Look, we had Bobby boy for 4 years and it didn't work very well for MD voters, except for the rich. Let him go back to being a Rush Limbaugh wantabe and let's get on with making MD a better place for everyone, including the rich, but not only for the rich. Bye Bobby

Posted by: kinsman_bob | September 24, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that cute?

You can't even see Kendall's lips move.

Posted by: krickey7 | September 24, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Martin O'Malley has done more for Maryland than Erlich could even dream possible. Martin has run a visible, transparent government - Maryland was named top state in the country for the way it provides information to its citizens - its all there you just have to look and read.
Erlich was secretive, was cozy with Marvin Mandel, and could very well have violated all of our rights of privacy with his wildcat wiretap policies.

Bob Erlich is an opportunist who ran a failed administration while pandering to big business and developers in exchange for financial backing.

Let's hope that the citizens of Maryland can clearly see the positive results of the current administration and not be prey to those with nothing more than partisan rhetoric.

Posted by: politcoterp | September 25, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Gov O'Malley has done a darn good job in the face of massive unemployment, Wall Street theft, and bringing jobs to our state. National statistics show that Maryland is far above the poverty level and we are doing good in spite of everything else. When Ehrlich's ads claim we are heading for massive tax increases, he completely ignores his own massive tax increases. Everytime I flush my toilet I think of Bobby's "flush fee". When I renew my license tags, I think of Bobby for nearly tripling their cost. I cannot name one constructive thing Ehrlich did that was beneficial to our state. O'Malley never put spies in our state office buildings, nor did he fire the best port manager we ever had and put his unqualified friend in his place, nor did he put another unqualified friend in charge of transportation in Baltimore who got rid of bus stops without informing Baltimoreans who rode them to work. Bobby did all of this. Republicans nationwide have become a frightened bunch of ultrawhite haters afraid of losing their white privilege and that attitude is directly responsible for so much hatred today. It's not the Democrats who are screaming like morons in the streets,nor are the Dems refusing to help the leader of our nation, the man we elected to do just that. Ehrlich is no politician, just someone looking for celebrity and an easy way to make a living. Go back on hate radio Bobby, maybe Limpballs can find you a place next to him.

Posted by: papafritz571 | September 25, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I prefar Bob Ehrlich as a governor to Martin O'malley. Even though I'm a long time democrat, I'm going to change my loyalty for the first time. They must go.

Posted by: yorkn72 | September 25, 2010 3:33 AM | Report abuse

To me it seemed like Governor O'Mallet put his dukes to fight BGE. He fought them and continued to fight them. Now he is going after PEPCO so that they are more responsive to power outages.

I recall when Bob Ehrlich was Governor that BGE, PEPCO, the PSC and Governor Ehrlich were a foursome on the golf course. By the time they reached the back nine BGE and PEPCO were in good shape.

I love golf, but not so much for it to be a place for a Governor to work out sweet deals for BGE and PEPCO.

Posted by: hankdickey | September 25, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Uh, Am I missing something? Under whose tenure did BGE rates skyrocket by more than 70%? And I never saW a picture of O'Malley at a golf tournamen with BGE executives.

I am not particularly thrilled with him either, but give the man credit for helping the state hang on during extraordinarily difficult financial times, whereas I give credit to Erlich for nothing. but a monumental electric bill and putting aside the needs of the middle class and not so well off citizens of the state in order to suck up to corporations and developers,

Posted by: Frustratededucator | September 25, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I am a registered MD Independent. I feel that O'Malley did nothing for my still exorbitant BGE bill. Two one-time credits... that's a band-aid to look like something was done. Get Real.

I think that Ehrlich may just have my vote. But I'm still up in the air this election. Something needs to be done and it's called fair competition.

Posted by: silvertide1 | September 25, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I am a registered MD Independent. I feel that O'Malley did nothing for my still exorbitant BGE bill. Two one-time credits... that's a band-aid to look like something was done. Get Real.

I think that Ehrlich may just have my vote. But I'm still up in the air this election. Something needs to be done and it's called fair competition.

Posted by: silvertide1 | September 25, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

O'Malley has a way with numbers he should open a culinary school because he's fantastic a cooking the books.

Posted by: cheverly1 | September 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a pickup truck ad.

Anyway, i 'remember' differently. Bob Ehrlich rubber-stamped the rate hike with his cozy regulators in a closed meeting (decreed illegal, btw) while O'Malley at least got in the ring to fight. I'm amazed that the campaign chooses to highlight one of ehrlich's biggest failures. "making stuff up"?! people aren't stupid...they DO REMEMBER: the truth.

Posted by: allardcranston | September 25, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

so answer me this you fanatical OMalley supporters. How many alternative energy projects e.g. wind, solar, geothermal, etc., have gone operational in Md. since OMalley took over FOUR years ago? I think NONE.

Posted by: VikingRider | September 25, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Let's compare:
- O'Malley gives a raise to someone who negotiated an $187 million refund to all BGE customers.
- Ehrlich appoints his ice-dancing pal Greg Maddalone to a $70k job at the ports administration, despite having no experience or college degree.

Posted by: stinklet | September 25, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Ehrlich may have brought in the ice skaters and other inadequate appointees but O'Malley has allowed those same Ehrlich hires to continue in state government the same Ehrlich practices that he campaigned against. O'Malley is just as suspect as Ehrlich when it comes to governing Maryland. Can we get 'other' added to the ballot.

Posted by: tobmore | September 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

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