Glendening speaks in ad Campaign Ad Watch

October 09, 1998|By Thomas W. Waldron

For the first time this campaign, Gov. Parris N. Glendening speaks to voters in a new TV ad, comparing his record on the environment with Republican challenger Ellen R. Sauerbrey's.

What the ad says: In the 30-second ad that has begun airing on stations in Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore, Glendening contrasts his actions last year in dealing with the outbreak of the toxic Pfiesteria organism in the Chesapeake Bay with some of Sauerbrey's votes on environmental issues during her 16 years in the House of Delegates. The ad touts the "tough action" Glendening took to deal with Pfiesteria after being told, "Governor, people are getting sick." It quotes Glendening saying, "I know that we've done the right thing to protect the Chesapeake Bay." The commercial says Sauerbrey "opposed" Glendening's actions on Pfiesteria and says she voted against the "clean air act" and other environmental measures. It also notes that the League of Conservation Voters named Sauerbrey "the worst environmental legislator in Maryland."

The facts: Glendening declared a health hazard and temporarily closed some Eastern Shore waterways that had been hit with major fish kills because of Pfiesteria. Some people who had come into contact with the water reported health problems, and scientists have since linked some of those problems to the microscopic organism. Sauerbrey at the time said Glendening had unfairly blamed chicken farmers' handling of manure for the problem and had kept the Pocomoke River closed too long. She has voiced concerns about the nutrient-control bill Glendening pushed through the General Assembly this year to combat Pfiesteria.

Sauerbrey did vote against the 1993 clean air act in the General Assembly, and the League did rank her the worst legislator on their checklist of environmental votes.

Analysis: This marks the first time in this campaign that Glendening is heard speaking in his ads, a move that some political analysts say is necessary to help the governor connect with voters who may have a negative impression of him. In previous ads, a narrator or Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who has a more positive rating from voters in polls, made the case for Glendening's re-election, a move that analysts said might not resonate with undecided voters. The ad repeats assertions about Sauerbrey's voting record on environmental matters from an earlier commercial, assertions that are essentially accurate.

Pub Date: 10/09/98

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