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June 17, 2010

GOP launches all-out response to O'Malley oil ad

Officials at all levels in the state’s GOP mobilized to mop up perceived damage from Gov. Martin O'Malley's newest attack. The 60-second spot connects the likely Republican nominee, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., with Big Oil and the gushing spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The first response came from Ehrlich campaign spokesman Andy Barth, who called on O'Malley to issue an apology for an ad that "intentionally misrepresents the truth."

Next the state GOP sent out a missive asking O’Malley to return donations they say he received from oil companies. We wonder if the GOP would also want Ehrlich to do the same. A quick check with the Center for Responsive Politics shows he's taken oil money including $500 from BP when he was a congressman in 2000. (Ehrlich was not alone; BP coats members of congress with funds and handed out $42,500 that year alone.)

Minutes after the party e-mail came a statement from Ehrlich himself, writing that O'Malley's attack “debases the office we both seek.”

He then asks “Has the O’Malley campaign no decency?”

It is possible that a simple miscommunication is causing the heightened rhetoric. Ehrlich goes on to defend himself against a claim that O'Malley's ad never made.

Ehrlich says: “To suggest that I somehow favored or caused the Gulf oil disaster and now call for more coastal drilling is untrue, and Martin O’Malley knows it.”

We listened to the ad a few times and didn’t hear O’Malley’s camp blaming his predecessor for the spill or saying that Ehrlich somehow supports pouring oil in to the Gulf of Mexico.

Ehrlich has said that he wants to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling, but has not responded directly to questions about other coastal drilling. Barth, a spokesman, has said Ehrlich would not favor additional drilling off Virginia's coast for the time being.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 6:25 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Political ads


O'Malley is so scared that he has no choice but to tell lies. The Sun Paper and all of the local media will give him a pass. This paper and the local big 3 news outlets absolutely sickens me.

The blog post from Bob...

As a MD taxpaper I'm saddened by the tone and content of the O'Malley campaign radio attack ad. If it fails to paint Gov. Ehrlich as cozy with big oil - which it does - what's the gain? There isn't any. Stick to the issues that matter most to Marylanders: lower taxes and more/saving jobs. Transparent negativity in a campaign is bound to turn off supporters and will result in a backlash.

O'Malley didn't say verbatum that Bob Ehrlich caused the oil spill, but it was pretty obvious to everyone that it was their intention. Clearly reporters at the Sun aren't that dense? They have no problem reading into what Bob Ehrlich does and doesn't say--for instance in the Facebook story they claim Ehrlich does not necessarily support the AZ immigration law simply because he only said what it did.

Really Annie, how can the Sun say O'Malley didn't say this and Ehrlich's responding to what wasn't said when the Sun's reporters are reporting what wasn't said!

Even in this article, the sun cannot help but attack eurlich. The o'malley ad is embarrassing and insulting.

The current governor is trying to use "energy" once again to dupe the voting public. Remember his "promise" NOT to let BGE raise our rates? Remember how he said he COULD stop the rate increase by placing HIS people on the PSC. How did that work out for the "working families" of Maryland? Anne I have a suggestion for you: Why not go and interview those folks that sat down with the current governor at their kitchen table and ask them now if they are better off?

This is all O'Malley can come up with. What a joke. Stick to the problems of Maryland. Like the FLOATING 2 Billion DOLLAR deficit that HIM and the DEMOCRATS have got us in by BLOCKING SLOTS 4 yrs ago....

What a piece of work.

Ehrlich is a standard Republican: pro business, anti regulation, pro oil, anti environment. Republicans have begun a campaign of apologies to BP for the nasty things being said about this wonderful, humanitarian corporation. Ehrlich has to go along for the ride.

Ehrlich and most of his Republican colleagues in the Congress have been strongly anti-environment for decades. Ehrlich loathes environmental protection and voted to allow big oil to skirt around tougher regulations for oil rigs. Thus, he is responsible for the oil catastrophe in the Gulf since he supported easing environmental laws. Cheney pushed these exemptions in 2001 while Ehrlich was in Congress and he allowed them. PERIOD.

AGAIN, THERE WAS NO LIE!! Do Republicans only hear and comprehend what they want to? Listen to the ad - it does not say what Andy Barth or Whrlich says it does. They are the deceivers and liars in this scenario. Ehrlich has never held a job that wasn't political or paid for by his political backers. That is a truth that cannot be denied. He wants back into politics to pay them back for their past support.

The ad and the Sun's response are equally disgraceful. But why is anyone surprise by either?

The Truth about big oil contributions:

Where is the outrage that the Sun (and the Post) should be showing? If Ehrlich had run an ad that was even half as misleading and despicable as O'Malley's attack ad, the hue and cry would be heard all over the state. So much for the watchdog role the Sun likes to claim; more like a lapdog when it comes to Democrats.

Did I miss something. Is there off shore oil drilling in the Chesapeake Bay? Are there oil pipelines running from MD to the rest of the country? This is politics at their best (or worst actually). Tell people that something is wrong and make the other guy responsible for it.

But never mind that Baltimore City has one of the worst Crime Rates in the country. Never mind Baltimore City has one of the worst School systems in the country. This did not happen over night and the two people most directly responsible for fixing those problems are the mayor and the President of the City Council.

So what did the voters of our fine state do? Elected the Mayor governor, and the President of the Council mayor.

We know where she went. now it is Martin's turn to go.

Of course you can believe this because it came from O'Malley camp...The same bunch of mules that said that they would reduce your BG&E Bill, and would not raise taxes, and would curb the special interests. O'Malley's not capable of telling the truth.

Nobody in their right mind could conclude that O'Malley claims Ehrlich caused the oil disaster. What he was saying is that Ehrlich (and most other Republicans) is trapped in the "drill, baby, drill" mindset and that mindset is what enabled the disaster to happen.

No one can point to the supposed "lie" in the ad.

The GOP will always be on the wrong side of this issue. It's almost inherent that the GOP will resist regulations and/or set up governmental agencies that give a pass to corporations.

They firmly believe in the saying, "The government that governs least governs best.", not being able to accept the notion that profit motives will, at times, result in short cuts being taken that put safety and/or the environment at risk. It happens all the time.

The Gulf oil spill is an extreme example of what can go wrong when employee safety is not paramount and when cutting costs on the project time line is more important than "doing it right."

That's why best business practice (BBP) should be put into writing in the form of regulations. BBP should include keeping employees safe, a production process that is well-designed and maintained, and procedures that maintain or improve the environment.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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