Ehrlich, O'Malley discuss the Redskins and P.G.
The Maryland gubernatorial candidates held at debate at The Washington Post's offices this week. You can watch it here. There were at least two questions about sports, at least one of which will be of mild interest to D.C. fans.
"As governor, what would either of you, if anything, offer the Redskins to stay in Prince George's County," one of the moderators asked.
Now, to me, this question comes out of nowhere. The Redskins would need to be offering P.G. County and Maryland something to get out of their agreements, which run through 2027, and the team has steadfastly denied interest in such a move. So I have no idea why the state of Maryland would need to offer incentives to the team to stay, unless we're talking about somehow extending the existing arrangements past 2027. Regardless, here are their answers.
Bob Ehrlich: "Well, the owner of the Redskins is an Ehrlich fan and a contributor and I'm proud of that fact, so we'll have those discussions. Obviously, having two franchises in Maryland is fantastic. There are issues with regard to the stadium. As we all know, traffic is a mess, it's an all-day affair, and Redskins fans are some of the best in the country, we know that. So that would have to be a function of discussions with Mr. Snyder and with the relevant players in Prince George's County and the players in Annapolis as well. Obviously we love having two franchises located in Maryland. I understand it's the Washington Redskins, and RFK was a fantastic environment for professional football, I've been to a number of games there. But as I said, there's no clear answer to this. We'll see where the franchise wants to go, where the owner wants to go, and what the taxpayers have to say about it as well."
(As point of fact, Snyder appears to have given $4,000 to the Ehrlich 2010 campaign.)
Martin O'Malley: "I don't know what the answer is to that question, but we would like to keep the Redskins stadium, and the Redskins playing in Prince George's County."
Neither answer strikes me as particularly earth-shattering, but this actually led to a strong press release from the O'Malley camp, which I'll excerpt here:
EHRLICH WOULD ALLOW TOP DONOR SNYDER TO MOVE REDSKINS BACK TO DC
Admits in Second Debate He Doesn't Care About Prince George's Jobs Moving Out of State
Among the many differences between the candidates in yesterday's second gubernatorial debate, none was perhaps more shocking than former Governor Bob Ehrlich's admission that he would allow Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, a top donor to Ehrlich's campaign, to move the beloved franchise out of Maryland and back to the District of Columbia. Such a move would cost Prince George's County hundreds of jobs and would violate the terms of a binding 30-year contract between the Redskins and the State of Maryland....
"I don't care how close Bob Ehrlich is with Redskins owner Dan Snyder or how much money Snyder has given to Ehrlich's campaign. What he's proposing would be a slap in the face to all Marylanders and would ship Prince George's County jobs out-of-state," said Tom Russell, O'Malley-Brown campaign manager.
I mean, I once thought about getting into politics, but I would have trouble using Ehrlich's above quotes to write an angry press release about how he would allow Snyder to move the Redskins to D.C. and how he doesn't care about losing P.G. County jobs. My own failing, I suppose. I also think a Maryland candidate could possibly gain more votes than he'd lose by proposing the Redskins move back to D.C., which neither candidate came close to proposing, that I could tell.
The other sports question went like this: "In one sentence, how do you propose we can make the Baltimore Orioles better?"
Ehrlich: "Power hitting first baseman, another starter and we're gonna be there."
O'Malley: "Practice, practice, practice."
I assume the rest of the debate was more enlightening.
| October 15, 2010; 12:59 PM ET
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