Sauerbrey attacks Bentley on her record

August 04, 1994|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,Sun Staff Writer

State Del. Ellen R. Sauerbrey fired another major salvo at U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley yesterday, charging that the congresswoman's record of "flip-flops and misrepresentations" would cost the GOP the governor's race if she is the party's nominee.

Mrs. Sauerbrey, the Maryland House minority leader from Baltimore County, predicted that Democrats would tear Mrs. Bentley apart in the November general election -- if the GOP front-runner wins the Republican primary election Sept. 13.

"The Democrats are lying in wait, hoping that Helen Bentley is the Republican nominee, because she provides them with so much ammunition," she said at a news conference outside Baltimore County Republican headquarters in Towson.

Mrs. Sauerbrey, who trails Mrs. Bentley by a 4-1 margin, attempted to dismantle arguments that the congresswoman should be the nominee based on her name recognition, ability to raise money and presumed "electability" -- what Mrs. Sauerbrey calleda "three-legged stool" that could easily topple.

Flanked by a handful of state Republicans, she banged Mrs. Bentley for refusing to discuss and debate the issues, for lacking experience in state government and for her "cozy relationship" with Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

As examples of Mrs. Bentley's vulnerability as a gubernatorial candidate, Mrs. Sauerbrey cited a litany of controversies that have surrounded the congresswoman, including her outspoken support of Serbia and her vote against the Brady gun-control bill, despite her earlier promises to support the measure.

"By attacking her record, the Democrats are going to pull the most important leg out from under this very shaky platform," she said.

To illustrate her point, Mrs. Sauerbrey resorted to a sight-gag of the stool, with a baby doll made up to resemble Mrs. Bentley sitting atop it.

At the appropriate moment, a campaign aide pulled one of the legs out from the stool, sending it and doll to the ground.

Mrs. Bentley refused to comment on the charges, but said, "They obviously are desperate to make some headlines, since they can't seem to make them otherwise."

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