In Govs Election, Time For Policy Not Process
A political operative for Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is foolish enough to call Rep. Bob Ehrlich a name while talking to an aggressive reporter. He gets fired.
Boom. Smack. Slash. Another page-one story about Townsends campaign for governor in disarray.
About the same time last week, headlines crackled with stories about heavy-hitter Democrats wringing their hands over Townsends blunders and about her supposedly tepid endorsement from Baltimore Mayor Martin OMalley.
Whoops? There goes another week of Townsend not telling Maryland voters who she is.
Enough. Stop. Give us a break. With less than six weeks remaining in an extraordinarily important election, we get a steady diet of nuts-and-bolts stories rather than the bread-and-butter information Marylanders need to make up their minds.
Campaign process stories are fine for a while, but there comes a time when candidates need to be smoked out about what theyll do for us. And to us.
Our brethren in the news media arent totally to blame. Townsend and her strategists (Laurel and Hardy?) have given process-loving reporters an irresistible target.
But as we enter the stretch-run of this campaign, we need more. So we ask these questions of our gubernatorial candidates:
Ms. Townsend, just what do you have beyond the Kennedy name to offer? And please dont tell us that running Maryland is your indispensable destiny after eight years in a largely ceremonial job.
Its up to you to break through the clutter and give Marylanders the reasons why they should give you their vote. If we were going to the polls tomorrow, voters would know more about your campaigns blunders than about why they should hire you.
As for you, Mr. Ehrlich, weve watched you riding high on the wave of ambivalence toward Townsend. And we know the press loves a close election.
We know you favor gambling as a cure-all for what ails the state economy. But what about the growth, congestion and environmental problems that concern many of us?
You blame sewage treatment plants for fouling the Chesapeake. But are you prepared to commit the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary for local upgrades?
Youve claimed that nitrogen pollution is a serious Bay problem. Yet youve endorsed legislation to delay for two years the requirement by poultry farmers to develop a plan to reduce farm pollution runoff.
You say on your Web site that the Bay must be preserved and protected. But why, given your voting record on environmental issues, should we put you in charge of its protection?
Have you had an awakening similar to Sauls on the road to Damascus that we should know about?
To both of you we say, time is short. Talk to us.