'Stand Your Man' -- sort of CAMPAIGN 1994

September 11, 1994|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer

James Riley, a Republican candidate for the House of Delegates in District 31, claimed in a recent newspaper advertisement with the headline "Stand By Your Man" that he was endorsed by the Maryland Women's Political Caucus.

But the women of the caucus insist that they are not standing by Mr. Riley -- at least not as strongly as he claimed.

Grace Orlansky, co-chair of the caucus, said the "highly satisfactory" rating Mr. Riley received from the organization based on a survey he completed was not an endorsement.

"There is a fine distinction between a highly satisfactory rating and an endorsement," Mrs. Orlansky said.

"We reserve our endorsements for women."

Mr. Riley, who didn't know the endorsements were reserved for women, said he assumed his high score meant an endorsement.

"I wasn't trying to mislead anybody," he said of the ad. "The future ads will just say I was rated highly satisfactory."

According to the group's newsletter, the Maryland Women's Political Caucus is devoted to promoting "political, legal and social equity for women primarily by increasing the number of women elected and appointed to office."

"Highly satisfactory" is the top rating on the bipartisan survey of candidates running for governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, attorney general and seats in the General Assembly.

Candidates earned their ratings by answering about 30 questions on abortion rights, equal rights, economic equality, and rape and domestic violence.

The group was looking for candidates who support abortion rights and increasing services to victims of sexual assault and incest, for example.

Candidates who scored 80 percent or better rated highly satisfactory, those scoring 70 percent to 79 percent rated satisfactory, and those scoring below 70 were rated unsatisfactory.

Mrs. Orlansky said Democratic Del. Joan Cadden was mistakenly listed in the ratings as unsatisfactory. She should have been listed as satisfactory.

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