Robert Ehrlich Picks Up Washington Post Endorsement

Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich has picked up an important endorsement in his bid for reelection. The Washington Post has endorsed Ehrlich for a second term, giving his opponent Martin O’Malley a slap in the face. Maryland is a heavily Democratic state where statewide Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 and in Baltimore City the ratio is 8 to 1. Baltimore’s current Mayor, Martin O’Malley, has a dismal record in the City and is running on outright lies about his record. The Post gives many reasons for the endorsement. I have decided to add my own in order to illuminate what the state faces should it foolishly elect O’Malley.

Baltimore City schools have the poorest statistics of any state school system and the crime in Baltimore is worse than in New York City. O’Malley has been caught cooking the books with regard to crime statistics and uses creative accounting methods to report his crime. In his ads he tells viewers how well the city is doing and that the Governor’s own State Police validate his numbers. I am not well versed on this process but it seems to me the State Police can not go into Baltimore and account for crimes that have been under reported or ignored by the City Police Department. It seems that the State Police validate that the numbers submitted all balance out, not that they are necessarily accurately reported. In other words, they do not go out and witness the crimes first hand.

As for the school system, the city has the highest drop-out rate, the lowest graduation rate and city students perform worse on achievement tests. A school system administrator is no longer employed because he used school system money to take his staff on a fishing trip in Ocean City. The school system was millions of dollars in debt and the state had to bail them out. No one in the city, including O’Malley, has ever accounted for the missing money or how it was spent. Eleven schools in the city were failing and required intervention. The state tried to step in to solve the problem but O’Malley insisted he needed more time. He got the time through the legal system and now those students are suffering another year of poor performance and inadequate education.

Despite these problems the teacher’s union has endorsed O’Malley. it would apear that the traditional union support for Democrats is so strong and habitual that teachers place that bond above the welfare of the children who deserve a good education. O’Malley says he wants to do for the state what he has done for the city. If crime and education are any indication of what he brings to the table the state does not need him despite the unwavering support of the teacher’s union and their personal agenda that trumps the welfare of the kids.

This year, as was widely reported, Maryland was in a spot with regard to electric energy. In 1999, the Democratically controlled legislature led by a Democratic Governor, enacted legislation that would deregulate the electric industry. A deal was made with Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E) that capped rates at the 1993 level. The rate cap expired this year and the result was a 72% increase for the cost of electricity for BG&E customers. The Public Service Commission (PSC) was reporting the increase for a year prior to the rate cap expiration but the legislature failed to act and people who do not pay attention were caught off guard. This quickly became a political issue with everyone blaming Ehrlich. Ehrlich was in the Congress at the time this deal was made and the people who were blaiming him, especially State Senate President Mike Miller, were all involved in the fiasco. Ehrlich tried to reach an agreement and he had a plan that would phase in increases and save people money. O’Malley sued and won and the state was forced to take a deal that cost more money and left people with no method to opt out of the plan by paying the full increase up front. The PSC was fired (that was overturned by the court) because they were blamed for the fiasco right along with the Governor. Little mention was made in the TSM (Terrorist Supproting Media) of the fact that Ehrlich and the current PSC had nothing to do with the original deal and that those in Annapolis throwing darts were the ones who gave us the mess. It must have seemd like a good idea in 1999 but then again all deals seem good when companies are donating lots of money. While O’Malley blows his trumpet for the little guy he never mentions that his brother-in-law sat on the 1999 PSC and had a hand in giving us this mess. It is also important to note that Ehrlich vetoed the items that the legislature came up with in regard to these issues and his vetoes were overridden by the legislature. All of the items enacted over the Governor’s veto were overturned (except the rate plan) by the courts on the grounds that they violated the State’s Constitution. It seems that the legislature does not know much (or more likely does not care much) about the law and the State Constitution. One of the Post’s concerns with regard to O’Malley is that he would bring the state back to one party rule which, with this legislature, is a recipe for disaster.

It is surprising that the Washington Post has endorsed Ehrlich, not because Ehrlich does not deserve it but because he is a Republican. The Post is a liberal paper and they almost always endorse the Democratic candidate. For the Post to endorse Ehrlich two dynamics must be in place. First, Ehrlich is doing a good job and second, they are not impressed at all with O’Malley. The first would not matter if the second were not true. The Post has endorsed some real losers in the past.

This makes two endorsements from papers that traditionally go Democrat. The only other major paper (if you can call it that) left to publish endorsements is the Baltimore Sun. I will probably have a heart attack if the Sun endorses Ehrlich. They do not like him and they would endorse bin Laden before they endorse a Republican, especially Ehrlich with whom they have had a stormy relationship. As an aside, the Sun will likely endorse Ben Cardin over Michael Steele in the US Senate race. The Sun’s last election assessment of Steele was that the only thing he brought to the ticket was the color of his skin. This, from a liberal publication. The Sun’s endorsement is due out the Sunday before election day which is the day papers traditionally endorse candidates. The fact that the Post and the Montgomery Gazette have endorsed Ehrlich early shows that they feel strongly and they want the him to have time to benefit from the endorsements.

Robert Ehrlich will be reelected and Michael Steele will be the next Senator from Maryland.

Washington Post Endorsement

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