Glendening goes after Sauerbrey's record Campaign Ad Watch

October 20, 1998|By Laura Lippman

With the election two weeks away, Gov. Parris N. Glendening has released the first television commercial to focus on the civil rights and abortion records of Republican challenger Ellen R. Sauerbrey. A new ad released yesterday again criticizes her environmental record.

What the ads say: In the 30-second spot on civil rights and abortion, five votes are noted, ranging from the Fair

Housing Act of 1991, which Sauerbrey opposed, and an amendment to a 1983 abortion bill, in which she is described as voting "to deny abortion to poor women even in cases of rape and incest." It also mentions her opposition to a "crackdown" on hate crimes.

The second ad jumps from Sauerbrey's court challenge to the 1994 election results - "I am conceding nothing" - to her voting record on the environment. The 30-second ad also mentions that the League of Conservation Voters named her the state's worst legislator in 1994.

The facts: Sauerbrey did vote against the fair housing law, which required Maryland to conform to federal standards. She also voted against a measure that would have allowed workers in job-discrimination cases to collect more damages.

But the "Civil Rights Act" that she opposed in 1992 was a bill that would have allowed sexual harassment suits to be brought in Maryland courts, instead of federal ones. It failed by one vote in the House. The so-called crackdown on hate crimes was a bill that merely required state police to track hate crimes committed against people because of their sexual orientation.

As for abortion, Sauerbrey voted to deny Medicaid funding for abortions if a woman failed to report rape or incest "promptly." The measure failed.

Sauerbrey was named the state's worst environmental legislator. She also voted to limit liability for oil spills in the Chesapeake Bay. She has explained that vote by saying shippers were threatening to cut off oil deliveries to Baltimore.

But the 1986 vote, characterized as "against notifying the public about toxic poisons in neighborhoods," was a vote against a bill requiring that signs be posted on lawns when pesticide has been applied.

Analysis: The Glendening ads include slightly overheated rhetoric, as evidenced by the attempts to characterize Sauerbrey's vote on Medicaid funding and pesticide signs.

But the civil rights issue might be the key to energizing African-American voters, who Glendening must reach if he is to win re-election, according to Keith Haller of Bethesda-based Potomac Survey Research.

Abortion also is a core issue for traditional Democrats. While the vote noted was on a minor amendment that failed, the Glendening campaign is obviously hoping it will remind voters of Sauerbrey's staunch opposition to abortion.

Four years after her court challenge to the 1994 election outcome, some voters are still bothered by Sauerbrey's refusal to accept the election results. The "I am conceding nothing" ad taps into those feelings.

Pub Date: 10/20/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.