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Ehrlich releases a 'Road Map' and a new TV ad

John Wagner

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.

Ehrlich: "Annapolis...

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."

By John Wagner  |  September 16, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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Next: Md. Dems highlight divide between Ehrlich, Murphy


Are you kidding me? It feels as if Bob Ehrlich lives in his own world sometimes.

Bob Ehrlich so desperately wants us to forget his failed term as Governor where he raised taxes, raised fees and increased government spending. In this plan he's decided to promise tax cuts and more spending.

This document is filled with old failed ideas that Maryland didn't want them and won't want now.

Posted by: JoshPG | September 16, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

This is a plan to take us backwards. It is a testament to the pandering Bob Ehrlich has done for the last few months.

He has promised everything to everyone, and we know he will not be able to deliver. His record (he'd like you to forget it) speaks for itself.

O'Malley has done a lot of good things despite the recession, and I want him to keep working for me.

Posted by: MarylandMatt | September 16, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Former Gov Ehrlich wrote this plan just so that he could say he has a plan. I think he forgets that he isn't a challenger but a defeated Governor looking to have his job back. He governed during easier times and didn't do much.

Frankly, I don't trust him. He sounds like another dirty politician willing to do anything to get elected. He comes cross sleazy and dishonest.

I like the current Governor. He made lemonade even though he was given lemons.

Posted by: Mike_Facts | September 16, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Ehrlich is very bold. Everything I read says that he increased spending AND taxes last time he was in office, but now he's saying he would do the opposite?

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

You tricked me once, and I won't make that mistake again. I'm voting for Mr. O'Malley

Posted by: Rakerman | September 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Just more pandering by Bob Ehrlich. He has promised nearly $1 billion in new spending without offering any ideas on how to pay for any of it and I saw a news clip last night where Ehrlich even said: "The more detailed proposals have to wait for later in the campaign and, quite frankly, on Nov. 3." So basically he's saying that he will not be honest with Marylanders until after the election on how he would pay for all of his big spending ideas. The truth, he has no idea.

Posted by: InformedMarylander | September 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

If all of Bob's ads are going to be this (no substance, full of promises he can't keep, with that ridiculous slogan) - I think he's going to lose.

We must expect more from our leaders. I think there's a reason why his ad doesn't mention one of his (old) ideas he has recycled in this roadmap.

Bob just want to pull the wool over our eyes.

Posted by: Asiana | September 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"spending would instead be based upon "what citizens are willing to pay for core government services"

Bob Ehrlich is a real tool. What about the car registration fee increase he passed? I'm sure we all want free governemnt services. It will be a happy day in Maryland when this idiot loses again.

Posted by: geevill | September 17, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

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