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September 27, 2010

Ehrlich attacks DLLR handling of jobs report

Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. and the general assembly's two top GOP leaders this morning sought to put more pressure on the O’Malley administration by releasing a stack of emails they believe shows a coordinated effort to hide a negative jobs report.

“I want to tell you I’m angry,” said Senate Minority Leader Allan Kittleman. “Live on your record. Be held accountable on your record.” Kittleman and House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell are mulling a launching some type of formal inquiry -- the promised more details this afternoon.

The electronic messages show top staff at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation attempting to do damage control after a downbeat jobs report was briefly posted on their website.

The erroneously posted report, titled “Maryland’s Market Stalls During July,” stayed online for several hours in August – long enough for a GOP party staffer to notice that it was markedly different in tone than the upbeat words Gov. Martin O’Malley was using to describe the state’s condition.

Writing to his communications director at 3:01 p.m. Aug. 20, DLLR Secretary Alex Sanchez asked: “Is it down? Call me as soon as we know who posted outrageous info on the site.”

Six minutes later Communications Director Bernie Kohn, a former editor at The Sun, replied: “It is down.”

Kohn later that afternoon emailed several other staffers: “Are we sure that removing that post removed all traces of it that anyone could pull up on a search engine? Whatever we can do to make it disappear, we need to do it. That’s coming straight from the top.”

Posted by Annie Linskey at 1:44 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: jobs, jobs, jobs
        

Comments

Will we get to see all the dialog at some point? It would be nice to get a complete picture.

They need a dose of damage control. Yikes.

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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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