Labor union to run ads favoring Glendening

September 26, 1998|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF Sun reporter William F. Zorzi Jr. contributed to this report.

Coming to the aid of a staunch ally, the national AFL-CIO is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to run a series of television commercials touting Gov. Parris N. Glendening's record on education.

With polls showing the Democratic governor running neck-and-neck with Republican challenger Ellen R. Sauerbrey in his bid for re-election, the labor federation jumped into the campaign this week with ads in the Baltimore, Washington, Hagerstown and Salisbury TV markets.

Naomi Walker, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, said the labor federation would run the series of four ads for several weeks and continue to watch the race as the Nov. 3 election draws closer.

"It's certainly a race that's very important to us," said Walker. "Governor Glendening has been very instrumental to working families in getting some significant educational reforms."

Walker said the ads focus on education because polls have shown it to be a top concern of voters.

The commercials, financed independently of the Glendening campaign, are so-called "issue ads" -- which do not directly advocate a candidate's election but deliver messages designed to help a specific campaign.

A Glendening spokesman said yesterday that he had no information about the commercials.

Such independent campaigns are often fiercely negative, but scripts provided by the AFL-CIO showed only positive themes about different aspects of Glendening's education record.

Joyce Lyons Terhes, chairwoman of the state Republican Party, said this is the first time she has seen the AFL-CIO intervene with ads in a Maryland governor's race.

"Puff pieces don't bother me, but I don't know how long the puff pieces are going to last before they start getting nasty," Terhes said.

She said that if independent ad campaigns begin to attack Sauerbrey, the state Republican Party might have to recruit sympathetic third-party groups to run ads against Glendening.

Pub Date: 9/26/98

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