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First Click, Maryland:
Final push looks different for O'Malley and Ehrlich

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010:

The Agenda
With four weeks to go until Election Day -- and with far less than that remaining before early voting begins -- the campaigns of former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) early this week look and feel very different.

O'Malley on Monday arrived at the University of Maryland campus in College Park in a bright-green RV dubbed the "On Your Side" Express, complete with a traveling "kitchen table."

RV.JPGThe moniker and prop have given O'Malley ready access to what's emerged as a central theme running through his campaign. With commercials funded by the Democratic Governors Association attempting to reinforce the same message, O'Malley is painting himself as the everyman "fighting for working families" that are having to make tough decisions around the kitchen table, while Ehrlich, he says, is the candidate on the side of big banks, big oil, big tobacco and every other special interest.

Ehrlich, meanwhile, was at a more intimate event in Frederick County, making the pitch that he would be a friend to farmers - and to small businesses, in general - if returned to office.

"You have to have a governor and you have to have a regulatory leadership that understands and cares about promulgating your way of life," Ehrlich told about 30 farmers, reports my colleague Fredrick Kunkle. Ehrlich repeated his contention that state regulations have become punitive in the O'Malley administration, that the state government's hunger for revenue has overtaxed small businesses, and that no one in Annapolis is standing up to the regulatory excesses coming from the Obama administration.

Perhaps more interesting than the content of either candidate's familiar stump speech early this week is the number of times they are being repeated. Ehrlich's stop in Frederick was his first public appearance since Saturday - and his only one scheduled until Wednesday.

During the same time, O'Malley made three stops Sunday, another three Monday and has four planned appearances Tuesday. He posed for pictures with students outside of the Taco Bell in the UMD student union building during lunch Monday, pulled up the RV and shook hands at Afros Cut at a mall in Hyattsville, and today will visit a senior center and crisscross the Baltimore area.

Thumbnail image for Corn roast 2.jpgEhrlich did have a widely attended Republican rally in Baltimore County over the weekend, and either he or his running mate appeared at six events on Saturday and Sunday. But the disparity in the number of public campaign events is familiar to any one who has watched the race unfold over the last six months.

As my colleague John Wagner and I reported over the weekend, O'Malley or lieutenant governor Anthony Brown have attended roughly 35 events in Prince George's County since the beginning of August. Ehrlich in that time has appeared in the county twice.

Ehrlich's campaign says that rather than be on the trail Tuesday, the former governor has multiple private media interviews scheduled today across the state that will enable him to reach voters. But will Ehrlich roll out an RV of his own? Will he have more public appearances in the final four weeks?

"Details of the final push will be unveiled soon," says Henry Fawell with the Ehrlich campaign.

Stay tuned.

-- Aaron C. Davis

News You Should Know

State officials call on firms to temporarily halt foreclosures
"Maryland's governor and attorney general and a Baltimore congressman Monday jointly called on mortgage companies to voluntarily halt foreclosures in the state until the firms can say for certain that they are following state law," reports The Sun's Jamie Hopkins. "The officials were responding to widespread reports that executives with national companies have signed many legal documents for foreclosure cases without verifying that the information was accurate. Bank of America said Friday that it would delay foreclosures in 23 states as it investigated its process, following similar announcements by JPMorgan Chase and GMAC Mortgage. Maryland was not among the states."

Former Lockheed exec to head Montgomery group looking into Pepco
"State regulators are investigating Pepco's reliability after a summer of long outages, and now a high-profile citizens group appointed by Montgomery County is jumping in as well," reports The Post's Michael Laris. "Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has tapped county resident Norman R. Augustine, a University of Maryland regent and former senior Pentagon official, to head the county's Pepco Work Group. Augustine -- a former head of Lockheed Martin, the Red Cross and the Boy Scouts of America -- will chair the dozen-member body, which is supposed to figure out why Pepco has fallen short and what should be done to build a "best in class" utility. It has three to six months to deliver a final report."

BGE rate increase goes to public hearing
"Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has made its case before state regulators to raise gas and electricity delivery rates, arguing that the utility has contained costs for years despite rising expenses to maintain service and reliability, reports The Sun's Hanah Cho. "Now the utility's customers can have their say at a series of public hearings starting Tuesday in Bel Air. Consumer advocates have opposed the rate hike and contend that BGE has been overcharging ratepayers for distribution."


Trust First Click for critical news and analysis you need to navigate Maryland politics each weekday. You can also find First Click on Facebook and Twitter.

By Aaron C. Davis  | October 5, 2010; 8:59 AM ET
Categories:  First Click  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Montgomery group, headed by former Lockheed Martin exec, to scrutinize Pepco
Next: Developer knocks O'Malley for siding with casino foes


Here's some information the WaPo may want to check out a little closer:

From Red Maryland Blog ...

Last week Martin O’Malley took a break from not being truthful about Maryland’s economy to celebrate the ground breaking of a monument to Democrat corruption in the state of Maryland.

Governor Martin O'Malley joined Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore
Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano, and a host of elected officials and
community leaders for the groundbreaking of the new Uplands community…

The site will be developed by Uplands Visionaries LLC, which is a
public-private real estate development consortium led by Pennrose Properties,
LLC and Bozzuto Homes…

Uplands Visionaries, LLC is the master developer and consists of the
following members:
• Pennrose Properties, LLC
• Bozzuto Homes (BA Uplands Homebuilding, LLC)
• Southwest Baltimore Community Development Corporation
• Commercial Interiors (KMJ Uplands, LLC)
• Harrison Development, LLC
• Scientia Uplands, LLC
• Cryor Development, LLC

The name of that last entity is of course the firm owned by former Maryland Democratic Party chairman, and lobbyist Michael Cryor. According to Laura Vozzella, Cryor will net a cool $3 million from the deal.

The ground breaking also calls up the ghost of Ron Lipscomb, the corrupt developer O’Malley so effusively praised his, “commitment to the greater good.”

In 2008, at the time Cryor was serving as party chair, then-mayor Sheila Dixon announced the awarding of the $200 million Uplands project the group, which included Cryor’s firm and her boyfriend Ronald Lipscomb’s contracting company, Doracon.

Dixon awarded the project to Cryor/Doracon despite the fact that an independent city panel recommended the contract go to another bidder. Lipscomb and Doracon, through various LLC’s, gave the Maryland Democratic Party over $200,000, most of which came during Cryor’s tenure as party chair.

And last week there stood Martin O’Malley basking in the glory of Maryland Democrat corruption. Yet another example that while job creating small businesses in Maryland suffer, it pays to be a connected Maryland Democrat.

Posted by: EIEAR | October 5, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

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