Jim Smith on the radio for O'Malley
Gov. Martin O'Malley is airing a new spot on Baltimore radio this morning, this one featuring friend and political ally Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr.
Smith is wrapping up his eighth year as a popular county executive and has been campaigning hard for O'Malley, a fellow Democrat, all through the election season.
Four years ago, Smith unleashed what was considered one of the most effective television commercials of the year, a spot in which he said then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. had gone years without talking to him or returning his calls. Smith accused the Republican of being out of touch with one of the largest counties in the state -- charges that Ehrlich never refuted.
Smith recently reminded county residents about the snub with this door hanger.
In the new radio ad, Smith talks taxes and spending. More on the content after the jump.
The minute-long spot opens with Smith saying, "I wanted to talk to you about taxes, spending and the truth."
He goes on to say that O'Malley "cut over $5 billion in government spending," though he protected education.
* Check: O'Malley and the Board of Public works cut $1.6 billion from state budgets that had been approved by the legislature. He also used $4.5 billion in federal tax dollars instead of Maryland tax dollars. So "government spending" might be a bit too broad, since federal money does come from the government.
Smith also promises that O'Malley has "no new taxes" in the next state budget he is preparing, should he be elected.
* Check: No real way to verify this, since the governor's budget won't be presented until next year. However, O'Malley has said in several interviews that his draft of the budget includes no new sources of revenue,
By contrast, Smith says, Ehrlich "proposed the biggest spending increase in Maryland history." He said Ehrlich was responsible for $3 billion in taxes, tolls and fees and increased tuition by 40 percent.
* Check: The state did develop about $2.9 billion in new revenue during Ehrlich's tenure, but that includes tax bills he vetoed and the Democrat-led General Assembly overrode. Tuition, set by the Board of Regents after receiving the university budget from the governor and legislature, rose 40 percent during Ehrlich's time as governor.
The ad concludes with Smith saying O'Malley is "a governor we can trust. .. He's a governor on our side."
Specifically, O'Malley may be a governor of Smith's side. After decades of public service, as a judge and county executive, Smith will be looking for work come January. Could a state post be on the horizon?