It's an affront to voters to keep running false ads

October 13, 1998|By Michael Olesker

TUESDAY morning questions: 1. Why do politicians run television commercials after they've been proved fraudulent? Ellen Sauerbrey accuses Parris Glendening of "building stadiums instead of schools." Glendening put $270 million into two football parks, yeah - but he also put $633 million into school construction. Sauerbrey says D.C. Metro expansion into Maryland's suburbs will mean crippling gasoline taxes. "Even the House Speaker says it means higher taxes. Up to 50 cents a gallon," the Sauerbrey ads claim. The House Speaker, Casper Taylor, calls this misquote "a bold-faced, belligerent lie." But the ads continue to run. Is there an assumption that voters are too dumb to care about facts?

2. Have we got people in the legal system to replace a man like Bob Watts? The good judge, who died last week, wasn't just a student of the law. He was a healer, a seeker of common ground, a gentle soul even in the most unsettling times.

3. Is there a betting line on Ray Miller returning as Orioles manager? Don't be too quick with your money. Among O's execs, there's increasing talk that Miller's not the right guy, that he hasn't the stature to deal with high-paid veterans, and that the team's late-season rollover is the tip-off on his lack of control.

4. Are there any listeners out there who don't understand that our right-wing radio talk show hosts - you know who they are, the boys pathetically donning their Rush Limbaugh-wannabe costumes - are nothing but front men for the Republican party? They're entitled to a political point of view, but how is it possible, in their consistent blasting of all things "liberal" and Democratic, that there's never a whisper of criticism of anyone Republican?

5. Remember four years ago, when Glendening became governor while winning only three jurisdictions? He might not win those three now - certainly not by such big margins - and it's a clear reflection of political trust. He's never overcome the pension deal, the campaign money, and the slot machine controversy with Kurt Schmoke.

6. Speaking of whom: Does Schmoke's endorsement of Glendening carry any weight, after the bellicose blasting he gave the governor last spring during Schmoke's springtime flirtation with Eileen Rehrmann?

7. Want to make your taste buds give you a standing ovation? The Cafe Madrid Restaurant, on Broadway at the northern tip of Fells Point, has wonderful Spanish food and charming atmosphere.

8. Ever wonder how Rouse & Co., the morning jocks on WQSR-105.7 FM, have lasted long enough to celebrate their 10th anniversary on Baltimore radio? Simple. They've shown you can be funny, and cutting edge, and still keep it good-natured.

9. Happy you bought those Ravens' season tickets? Actually, despite that deflating loss Sunday, these guys may only lack one thing: a sense of how good they can be. There's some spectacular talent there just waiting to explode.

10. Whatever happened to those rumors of Kweisi Mfume running for mayor of Baltimore? And the rumors of Carl Stokes running? Is everybody waiting for Schmoke to make up his mind about campaigning for a fourth term?

11. Been to Westminster lately? Walk along parts of Main Street, and you think you're strolling through a Norman Rockwell painting.

12. Is that really Ross Pierpont campaigning for Barbara Mikulski's U.S. senate seat? What joy! What happiness! Pierpont's been in every political race since the changeover to electricity, and he never wins, but he always livens the debate.

13. Speaking of which: What's holding up televised gubernatorial debates? Whoever stands in the way of Glendening and Sauerbrey meeting should be held accountable. We need more than 30-second commercial spots, sometimes disconnected from reality, to find out what these candidates really stand for.

14. What's the talk about putting Mike Flanagan back in the Orioles' broadcast booth? Flanagan's fine, but the current color guy isn't the real problem. The ballclub may never get another first-rate announcer, as long as ownership is weighing every word for signs of parochial loyalty.

15. Been to the new Barnes & Noble at the Inner Harbor? You'll love the care taken by the Cordish Co. to incorporate so much ambience and history of the community into the new setting.

16. Anybody getting phone calls from Linda Tripp? That grand jury meeting in Ellicott City may not be able to indict her on criminal charges - there are legal technicalities - and, unfortunately, there are no criminal charges for violating the laws of common decency.

17. How's this for opposing pitchers on opening day of the World Series: ex-Oriole David Wells vs. ex-Oriole Kevin Brown. We're not eating our hearts out around here, are we?

Pub Date: 10/13/98

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