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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 05/12/2010

O'Malley's (negative) opening salvo

By editors

Since Bob Ehrlich announced his campaign for governor in Montgomery County last month (in O’Malley’s hometown), the Democrats have been doing their best to shut him up, by filing a complaint with the state elections board that his weekly show on WBAL in Baltimore amounts to a campaign infomercial. Disclosure: I made an appearance on Ehrlich’s show in 2008.

Now Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has jumped into the fray. Going negative right out of the gate, his campaign aired an ad on Ehrlich’s show that uses an audio recording that has been pointed to by Democrats in the past to criticize the former governor for saying the state had a surplus when he left office. This also continues a line of attack pursued by Democrats in fliers handed out at January's Tea Party rally on Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis, not the best venue for scoring points against Ehrlich, who remains a favorite with the movement. O’Malley took ownership of the negative ad on WTOP radio, dismissing Ehrlich as a right-wing disc jockey.

In a year in which many Democrats are very much in trouble across the country, I have to wonder: Are O’Malley and his party afraid of running on their record in Maryland? Why open your campaign with these shots against Ehrlich?

Technically, and officially, he has not filed for office, and it’s perfectly clear he can continue hosting his show till he does. The Blame Ehrlich (or, at this point, Kick Ehrlich) game can only go so far. This year, your record actually matters.

Yes, Ehrlich raised the cost of living for Marylanders. But so has O’Malley.

Kenny Burns blogs at Maryland Politics Today. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By editors  | May 12, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Maryland  
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I don't surpluses and deficits are going to be the primary drivers of an election here. Most Marylanders are smart enough to know that in the Ehrlich years, almost every state was doing well, and running a surplus. Now it's 2010, and almost every state is seeing crushing shortfalls. O'Malley (so far) seems to be handling it better than most.
What a lot of people do remember is Ehrlich trying to sell state parklands off to corporate pals, and they also see his new comments about killing both the (Baltimore) Red Line and the (DC) Purple Line.
If O'Malley had a radio show, he'd keep it too, I don't blame Ehrlich for keeping that inherent advantage. That will be ancient history by November, since they have to shut the mic off when he files (July 1?).

Posted by: vtavgjoe | May 19, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

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