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October 6, 2010

Ehrlich would cut education dollars (still)

Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. this morning repeated a pledge made last week that he if elected governor he would cut an education grant that goes *primarily* to Prince George's and Montgomery counties and Baltimore city.

"It is not part of the baseline," he said. "If the dollars are there, we'll fund it," he said. Asked if the dollars would be there he said: "Of course not."

His words come hours before Prince George's County Executive-elect Rushern Baker and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett plan to hold a news conference criticizing him for that call. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose city also stands to lose money, is not planning on participating, according to the press release.

Separately , Ehrlich told business leaders that a pair of polls showing his opponent, Gov. Martin O'Malley, with a sizable lead was driven by "weeks of negative ads" from the governor's team. Ehrlich hinted that his campaign is preparing his back. "That gets fixed tomorrow," he said.

The Republican former governor also offered a new answer to an old question about how he would work with Democratic leaders in the General Assembly. "We are going to medicate Miller and defeat Busch," he quipped. )

See how much the state's counties received from the GCEI after the jump.
GCEI Funding


Fiscal 2011


School System






Anne Arundel




Baltimore City
























































Prince George's




Queen Anne's




St. Mary's




























Posted by Annie Linskey at 10:09 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010


Martin O'Malley has NEVER fully funded this index with state funds. He did not fund it at all in 2008, only partially funded it in 2009, and used stimulus dollars to fund it this year. Moreover, Ehrlich made record investments in schools while governor, to the tune of over 1 BILLION dollars. O'Malley is just a liar.

Mr. Ehlich has promised to cut billion in state revenues, end furloughs, and pour largess upon various interest groups. His website suggests that he will pay for it by "cutting waste" and using "baseline budgeting." However, he did nothing like this for his first four years in office, leaving any voter with a memory longer than three years to be suspicious of just how Mr. Ehrlich will pay for all of the promises he's making.

Moreover, of course, it is utterly irrational to believe that there is so much "waste" in the State system that can be unilaterally eliminated by the governor -- since no other governor, INCLUDING MR. EHRLICH, has ever been able to eliminate before.

Apparently part of Mr. Ehrlich's plan for paying for all of his promises will be to to balance the budget on the backs of poor children. Because the children in Prince George's and Baltimore are mostly black, this plan should be quite pleasing to the frothing racists who (to judge from the comments in the Sun) make up the backbone of Mr. Ehrlich's suburban supporters.

However, that also won't be enough to pay for Mr. Ehrlich's promises; he needs to come up with about a billion dolalrs a year to do the things he says he's going to do.

The fact remains that (a) Ehrlich presided over record-breaking growth in the state budget, while O'Malley has had the least budget growth of any governor in over 60 years; (b) Neither Ehrlich nor O'Malley caused the global economic collapse that has essentially coincided with O'Malley's term in office.

Ehrlich's campaign this time can be summarized as follows:

(1) Everything bad that has ever happened to you is Martin O'Malley's fault,


(2) I will cut taxes and increase spending and pay for it by doing things that I didn't do last time, that won't add up to the necessary amount, and that won't pass the Democratic legislature.


(3) Again, everything from Icelandic bank collapses to black holes to myasthenia gravis is Martin O'Malley's fault, and how dare he not repair the budget I broke?

Rocket88, how does raising the salaries of public school teachers suddenly make education better for Maryland's students? It doesn't. Does this mean that all of the lame teachers will suddenly be fired and replaced by better teachers because they will come for more money? No. It's simply a handout to the teachers unions to buy their powerful voter base.

And using your own premise, anything that could be blamed on Ehrlich can also be blamed on the Democratic legislature by which he was handcuffed for his 4 years. Until Maryland has a Republican led legislature (which it never will), the Democrats are always going to share the blame.

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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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