Gubernatorial hopefuls at odds over 30-second Steinberg TV ad CAMPAIGN 1994

August 26, 1994|By Thomas W. Waldron Senate candidate attacks opponent

Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg is "the most experienced Democrat" running for governor, according to an endorsement in The Sun, someone who's "hammered away at the need to attack Maryland's deficit."

Prince George's County Executive Parris N. Glendening, meanwhile, has "parochial instincts" and has "erred in making too many expensive commitments to special interests," according to The Sun.

So, Mr. Steinberg got The Sun's endorsement in the governor's race?

Well, no. The newspaper's editorial page embraced Mr. Glendening Sunday.

But that didn't stop Mr. Steinberg from using a select few of the paper's words against Mr. Glendening in a 30-second commercial that began airing on Baltimore television Wednesday.

The ad does say briefly that Mr. Glendening got the endorsement. But left out of the Steinberg commercial were the editorial's salute to the three-term county executive's "forceful PTC and creative leadership" and his "12 years of executive experience."

The Glendening campaign scrambled to produce its own advertisement, scheduled to begin running today, to make sure everyone knows just which candidate was endorsed.

"It's clearly intended to deceive people," Glendening spokesman David Seldin said of the Steinberg commercial. "Some people talk about turning lemons into lemonade. I think he's trying to turn them into champagne."

M. Hirsh Goldberg, a spokesman for Mr. Steinberg, said the advertisement was not mislead- ing.

"What we're doing is raising the visibility of the negatives that Mr. Glendening has, that The Sun expressed concern about," Mr. Goldberg said.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ruthann Aron has gone on television and radio with aggressive advertisements portraying opponent Bill Brock as a multimillionaire who has voted to raise taxes as well as his own pay.

The ads also say the former Tennessee senator has supported higher gasoline taxes and that much of his wealth is inherited.

"Ruthann Aron worked for every dime she has," the television ad says. "She's vowed never to raise our taxes or her own pay. Bill Brock is too liberal with our money. Ruthann Aron is a fighter for Maryland Taxpayers."

Mr. Brock's campaign refused to comment on the specific charges yesterday. "She's misrepresenting his record," said M. J. Jameson, a campaign spokeswoman. "They are picking out pieces that are convenient to their campaign. . . . We want to talk about the issues."

Mr. Brock's wealth is no secret. An heir to a candy company fortune, he has assets of $3.6 million to $7.2 million or more, according to his financial disclosure statement.

Stock in the candy company was his major reportable asset.

While the ads portray Ms. Aron as a populist champion of the underdog, they fail to mention that she is also a millionaire lawyer who made a substantial sum developing real estate in the 1980s. She and her husband are worth between $1.7 million and $4.8 million, according to her financial disclosure form.

As a senator in 1974, Mr. Brock did vote for a 5.5 percent congressional pay raise, according to the Congressional Quarterly Almanac.

In 1972, he voted to raise Social Security benefits, which required a tax increase, that year's almanac said.

He also supported raising the gasoline tax at a public hearing in 1988, but said he did so to help reduce the deficit and to encourage development of alternative energy sources.

"This country is imperiled and it's going to take a whole lot of guts to face this fact and deal with it," he said, according to a hearing transcript.

Frank Langfitt

Bentley steps up pace of her appearances

Republican gubernatorial candidate Helen Delich Bentley took a daylong swing through the middle Eastern Shore yesterday and got an earful of complaints about governmental policies.

In Queen Anne's County, a waterman complained that restrictions on catching rockfish are too rigid.

A Caroline County dairy farmer complained that regulations against farm runoff were too strict.

School finance officers from several Eastern Shore counties, meeting at Chesapeake College, complained that the administrative costs of state regulations robbed school systems of much needed money.

Mrs. Bentley listened, took notes and said she would look into the complaints, but she made no promises.

"It's just fact finding and showing interest," she said of the foray, which a campaign aide said was her third or fourth in the past month.

With the Sept. 13 primary approaching, the 2nd District congresswoman is stepping up the pace of public appearances. She plans a visit to Harford and Cecil counties today and a trip to Western Maryland early next week.

John W. Frece

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