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Posted at 7:47 AM ET, 03/ 3/2010

Robert Ehrlich's revisionist history

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Lisa Polyak
Baltimore

Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s Feb. 28 Local Opinions commentary, “In Maryland, out of touch on marriage and more,” revealed far more than his personal view on marriage recognition for same-gender couples. It forebode a plan to wrap his expected gubernatorial bid in the same homophobic fear-mongering that accompanied the 2004 U.S. elections.

In his piece, Mr. Ehrlich asserted that he “led efforts to give nontraditional couples access to benefits to which I believe they are entitled, such as medical decision-making authority.” In the real world, then-Gov. Ehrlich vetoed the Medical Decision Making Act, a bill passed in 2005 by the General Assembly that would have granted same-gender couples basic protections like the ability to make medical decisions, ride in an ambulance together or share a room in a nursing home. His explanation for this veto? It “could lead to the erosion of the sanctity of traditional marriage as already codified in Maryland law.”

Thankfully, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed this measure after taking office, affording some security to couples denied the myriad protections that accompany a marriage license. Mr. Ehrlich’s uncompassionate conservatism and his treatment of families like mine failed to win over the electorate in 2006, and it has no place in Maryland today.

The writer was a lead plaintiff in Deane and Polyak v. Conaway, a 2007 court case challenging Maryland’s ban on same-sex marriage.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | March 3, 2010; 7:47 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, same-sex marriage  
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Comments

Bob "Governor Abrasive" Ehrlich, our not-lamented, one-term 'Tom Delay' hatchet style governor is clearly "Running fuh guvnah" as we used to say in New York. Second Term?? No way, Bob! Ehrlich actually went to the State House and lectured our representatives on being nice--and then proceeded to break every rule of civility along the way. First, we had to amend the Maryland Constitution to prevent him from selling off state lands for pennies on the dollar to his political crony. Then he used nefarious political hacks to fire 'unfire-able' state workers--who sued and got their jobs back plus a lot of taxpayer money.

During his first campaign, Ehrlich and Michael Steele personally met with Johns Hopkins administrators and promised to be an education team if elected. Were they? Heck no, they cut Sellinger funding to private colleges and forced tuition increases at state schools for the first 3 years of their administration. Then to great hoopla, they then threw money back in the pre-election year--but not enough to even equal the level before they cut it.

And no Prince Georges' resident will forget that he and Michal Steele hired homeless men from Philadelphia, bused them into Maryland, and sent them to PG County to hand out lying election flyers--one saying that Ehrlich and Steele were Democrats!l the other listing prominent Democrats as endorsers when they weren't. Ehrlich's wife Kendal and Michael "king of sleaze" Steele actually met the men and gave them their blessing. I'll actually go out and personally campaign against that blot on the state.

Posted by: commonsense101 | March 3, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Ehrlich needs to join the 21st century.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 3, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ehrlich was a great Governor who came into Maryland with a deficit and left it with a surplus. Did he appease everyone? Of course not. JHU is mad they didn't get their cut of state dollars even when they have a $1 billion endowment? Laughable. Isn't their lead lobbyist real close to some of the state's top Democrats?

Lisa, in your editorial you did not compare Bob Ehrlich to Paris Glendenning, his immediate predecessor. Why is that?

Posted by: h20andoil | March 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Well said commonsense101. Ehrlich was a disaster as governor and deservedly lost his bid for a second term. The only reason he won in the first place was because the MD Dems ran their version MA's Martha Coakley, the dim bulb Kathleen Townsend Kennedy.

Posted by: checkered1 | March 4, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I was one of about 7000 State of Maryland political appointees (versus several hunded in Virginia.) I did a very good job and had an excellent review from my supervisor. I did not have a policy-making position. Yet, I was fired by the Ehrlich administration because I was appointed by a Democratic governor. I had one hour to gather my things and was escorted out by a policeman. No severance, nothing except humiliation.

The Administration tried to get me to resign - so that I would miss the first 5-10 weeks of unemployment - but I refused. I also made certain that the threatened negative letter was not placed in my employee file.

At the time, my daughter was disabled from an accident and this firing ruined me financially and personally. I was an excellent, dedicated and creative employee whose position had no impact on policy as it was only operational.

If Bob Ehrlich runs for Governor of Maryland again, I will work as hard as I can for his opponent. No one shoukd be treated like I was, nor like the hundreds of others like me. My particular position required a great deal of knowledge about the area in which I worked and it took me years to gain this knowledge.

No wonder the State of Maryland is in trouble; all qualified people, appointed by a sitting governor, get canned whenever there is a change of administrations.

Posted by: carolineC1 | March 5, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Bob "Police State" Ehrlich and his domestic spying agenda of enemies list will never be forgotten or forgiven. He is a real POS.

Posted by: tomniederberger | March 9, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

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