Glendening camp cries foul over ad Curry spot for Rehrmann blasts governor's record on Prince George's schools

July 10, 1998|By Greg Garland | Greg Garland,SUN STAFF

Gov. Parris N. Glendening's campaign is crying foul over an ad Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry is running on five Washington-area radio stations that attacks the governor for failing to support the county's public schools.

In the ad, Curry says Glendening has "shortchanged the children of Prince George's County."

Curry urges listeners to vote for Eileen M. Rehrmann, Glendening's opponent in the Democratic primary, saying she "will not be ashamed to stand up for our children."

Peter Hamm, the Glendening campaign's spokesman, said the governor's camp is buying $61,000 of radio time for a "set-the-record-straight" ad that will start running on the same radio stations today. Hamm said the Curry ad distorts the record.

He added, "This governor has tripled the annual school construction funding for Prince George's County since he took office," from an average of $7 million a year from 1988 through 1995 to an average of more than $18 million a year from 1995 to the present. Hamm also said the administration pledged before a federal judge to spend $35 million on school construction this fiscal year, and in each of the next three years, to settle Prince George's 25-year-old school desegregation order.

Curry dismissed the Glendening camp's complaints. "The ads are straightforward and informational," he said.

Curry dipped into his $1 million campaign war chest to pay for the ads attacking Glendening. He would not say how much he has spent on the ads.

Hamm said the Glendening campaign's research indicated Curry's campaign has purchased $89,000 in radio time for its spots.

Ross K. Goldstein, deputy director of the state election board's Candidacy and Campaign Finance Division, said a candidate's campaign committee can transfer only as much as $6,000 in funds to another candidate's campaign in an election cycle.

However, Goldstein said, there is no limit on what a political campaign committee can spend on ads promoting another candidate in an election, as long as the expenditure is made independently.

"The key is that there's absolutely no coordination, discussion or prearrangement with the candidate or anyone authorized to represent the candidate," Goldstein said.

George F. Harrison, Rehrmann's campaign spokesman, said Curry chose to run the radio ads on his own.

"This is Wayne's doing," he said. "We weren't involved."

However, Harrison said, Rehrmann welcomes any support Curry offers.

Curry, who succeeded Glendening as executive of Maryland's second largest jurisdiction in 1994, has been a vocal critic of the governor. He endorsed Rehrmann, the Harford County executive, last month.

Pub Date: 7/10/98

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