Glendening, Townsend tout record Campaign Ad Watch

August 27, 1998|By JoAnna Daemmrich

The re-election campaign of Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has begun running a new television commercial touting the administration's accomplishments.

What the ad says: The 30-second spot that began running yesterday on Baltimore television stations portrays Glendening as a quietly effective governor. It features a series of laudatory newspaper blurbs beneath shots of Glendening and Townsend in the State House, in a school classroom and chatting with people on a street. The commercial highlights four key achievements in the administration's first term: cutting income taxes, increasing spending on education, reducing handgun sales and enacting legislation to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

The facts: Glendening worked with the state legislature to cut income taxes by 10 percent over five years. Maryland's surging economy allowed the legislature to accelerate the tax relief this year, and Marylanders will see a 5 percent reduction in their next tax bill.

On the education front, the governor brokered a $252 million deal in 1997 to help Baltimore's beleaguered public schools. He also pushed this year for millions more to education poor children across the state and to build and repair schools.

Handgun sales in Maryland fell by 25 percent in 1997, the year after a Glendening administration-backed law went into effect limiting purchases to one handgun a month. Some gun dealers maintain that was the result of a business slump, not the new law.

After last year's outbreak of a fish-killing microbe in the Chesapeake Bay, Glendening led the effort for new pollution controls. The legislature, at Glendening's urging, passed a bill requiring Maryland farmers to adopt plans to reduce nutrient pollution - which scientists have tentatively linked to outbreaks of toxic Pfiesteria.

Analysis: The commercial spotlights action on issues of concern to many Marylanders, and it presents Glendening as a governor who has followed through on promises he made. The latter appears to be aimed at countering charges by Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey that Glendening is not trustworthy. "It seems to me the first evidence of the governor's campaign trying to get that particular message across, that we made these commitments and followed through," said Donald F. Norris, a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "He has a record to run on. ... The campaign has got to stress the positives."

Pub Date: 8/27/98

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