Volume 14, Issue 40 ~ October 5 - October 11, 2006


In Maryland’s Election for Governor,
Let’s Get It On!

In this issue, we publish our interviews with Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley. First, we thank each of them and their staffs for making time for Bay Weekly in recent days.

Only once since the early 1990s has a gubernatorial candidate said no to our request for an interview. She lost that election, surely her punishment. (No it wasn’t Kathleen Kennedy Townsend).

We hope that the space we are devoting this week to Maryland’s most significant election helps voters size up the candidates while shedding light on their views on Chesapeake Bay and policies they offer. Thus far in this election campaign, there has been considerably more heat than light.

As we write this, representatives of Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley are meeting to talk about candidate debates.

By the time you read this, we hope, the contestants in Maryland’s 2006 gubernatorial election will have settled on at least two face-to-face candidate debates. So far, the candidates have appeared just twice under the same roof, with little or no opportunity to engage one another.

Maryland voters have been shortchanged.

The debate about debates is tiresome. Like the old baseball movie It Happens Every Spring (with Ray Milland as the professor who discovers a formula to rub on baseballs so that they that repel wooden bats), we’ve been watching the rerun of It Happens Every Election.

You know the plot: Candidate A says the opponent is ducking and hiding. Candidate B says that’s a lie and he, or she, will meet any time, on any stage.

It’s not unusual for incumbents to play hard-to-get. Nor is it unusual for candidates to say they want the debates over by mid-October. (That’s so that if they blunder badly on stage, they’ll have two-plus weeks to recover.)

October is upon us, which is why we’re pleased to see candidates finally getting serious about getting together. We’ve long since grown weary of political discourse consisting of harsh and misleading attack ads.

Ehrlich and O’Malley, youthful political hotshots both, don’t seem fond of one another. Besides illumination, televised debates promise great theater.

After reading what they have to say for themselves in our pages, you can look forward to seeing how they stand up to each other.

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