Ehrlich releases a 'Road Map' and a new TV ad
Former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) on Thursday morning released an 18-page "Road Map to 2020" and an accompanying television ad, touting his plans to reduce taxes and spur job creation, among other initiatives, if returned to office.
The plan includes some new initiatives, but much of the document's content will be familiar to those who have closely followed Ehrlich's comeback campaign against Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). Ehrlich, for example, includes his pledge to repeal a 2007 increase in the sales tax and to block any expansion of the sales tax to additional services that legislators contemplate.
The "Road Map" also incorporates a small business plan that Ehrlich released earlier the campaign. And it calls for expanding charter schools, restoring a portion of state aid for local road projects and ending furloughs for state employees, including law enforcement personnel.
The plan also includes several initiatives Ehrlich has not detailed on the campaign trail, including something he is calling "Value for Dollar Budgeting."
Under that initiative, the plan says, the state would no longer build upon a "baseline" budget each year, but spending would instead be based upon "what citizens are willing to pay for core government services."
The plan is more ambitious but somewhat reminiscent of a "Strategic Budgeting Initiative" that Ehrlich pursued while in office.
The plan also calls for reforming Maryland's medical malpractice system, another priority of Ehrlich's previous administration. Ehrlich called a special session of the legislature on that issue in 2004, only to veto the bill that lawmakers produced.
The "Road Map" also includes plans for transportation, farming and the environment -- including a new promise not to divert money from a fund created in 2007 to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Lawmakers have taken money from that fund in recent years to help balance the state's general fund budget.
The new television ad, which is airing in the Baltimore market, has the same feel as Ehrlich's introductory ad, in which he appeared in a solid blue shirt with backdrops in Annapolis and other parts of the state.
Besides touting his plan, which Ehrlich holds in a binder, he tell viewers that leaders in Annapolis are planning a "massive tax increase."
Democratic leaders have denied that this is the case.
O'Malley has not categorically ruled out tax increases in a second term but has said it is something he will work to avoid. He has accused Ehrlich of being a "scaremonger" on the issue of taxes.
The complete text of the ad, as released by the Ehrlich campaign, is below.
If they have their way,
we're facing a mountain of debt
and a massive tax increase.
Employers will continue to leave our state,
taking their jobs with them.
The next four years will impact the next decade,
So we've put together a roadmap to 2020.
A plan that brings jobs back to Maryland by reducing spending and lowering taxes.
Let's make the Maryland we love not just good, but great.
Now let's get down to work."
September 16, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
Save & Share: Previous: First Click - Maryland: Elections Board explains vote delays
Next: Md. Dems highlight divide between Ehrlich, Murphy
Posted by: JoshPG | September 16, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MarylandMatt | September 16, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mike_Facts | September 16, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rakerman | September 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: InformedMarylander | September 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Asiana | September 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: geevill | September 17, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse