GOP hits Glendening on trust

October 17, 1998|By Thomas W. Waldron

The Maryland Republican Party has begun airing a radio commercial on behalf of Ellen R. Sauerbrey that attacks Gov. Parris N. Glendening's trustworthiness, partly by quoting other Democrats.

What the ad says: The 60-second spot, which is running in the Baltimore, Washington, Hagerstown and Salisbury markets, uses critical comments from fellow Democrats to attack Glendening. For example, it quotes Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry saying, "People don't trust Parris Glendening." The commercial includes similar comments from Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.

It also refers to Glendening's distancing himself from President Clinton last month when details of his affair with a former intern were released, then trying later to close that distance. "Even Glendening's biggest supporters were embarrassed," the ad says.

The commercial also reminds listeners of Glendening's involvement in creating special pension benefits for himself and some top aides before he left office as Prince George's County executive.

"Parris Glendening: If his own party doesn't trust him, why should we?" the ad concludes.

The facts: Many Democrats over the years have raised questions about Glendening's trustworthiness, and the three officials quoted in the ad have had public disagreements with him. But all three have endorsed Glendening for re-election, citing policy differences they have with Sauerbrey.

Glendening did upset many prominent Democrats when he canceled a fund-raiser last month with Clinton, and skipped an appearance in Montgomery County with him.

Shortly after Glendening took office, newspapers disclosed a special early pension plan that would have benefited Glendening and some of his top aides. After the pension plan was ZTC publicized, Glendening said he would forgo the early benefits. Ultimately, the Maryland attorney general issued an opinion saying that Glendening should not have been classified as eligible to receive them. Glendening has acknowledged making a mistake in the matter.

Analysis: The hard-hitting attack makes no mention of policy nor does it mention Sauerbrey. Instead, it focuses entirely on the issue of character. Polls show that a substantial number of voters have concerns about Glendening's integrity. The ad may reinforce that feeling among some.

Pub Date: 10/17/98

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