Glendening ads criticize Sauerbrey's record, fund-raising Campaign Ad Watch

October 30, 1998|By Thomas W. Waldron

In the last week of the campaign, Gov. Parris N. Glendening has begun airing five new ads sharply criticizing Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey and highlighting the support he is receiving from fellow Democrats.

What the ads say: In the hardest-hitting of the five, Glendening attacks Sauerbrey for wanting to "change Maryland's abortion law" and for opposing three civil rights bills. It also says she raised $100,000 in campaign contributions from "polluters" and $80,000 from gun shop owners who want "to legalize concealed weapons." The ad concludes: "The new Ellen Sauerbrey? No different from the old."

Another spot criticizes Sauerbrey for proposing cuts in state education funding while a member of the House of Delegates. The ad lists parts of Glendening's record on education and says he was endorsed by "Maryland's teachers."

A third includes statements of support from four prominent Democratic officials, including former Gov. William Donald Schaefer. The ad concludes: "The team that works for Maryland."

The facts: Sauerbrey says she would not seek to reverse the state's main abortion-rights law. But she also says she would try to limit state-funded abortions for poor women, to require parental consent for teen-agers seeking abortions and to ban certain late-term abortions. Sauerbrey did vote against the three bills mentioned in the ad, including a 1991 rewrite of the state's fair housing law. The "law against hate crimes" would have required State Police to keep data about crimes committed against people because of their sexual orientation. The "civil rights bill" would have expanded protections against sexual harassment, but died in the Democratically controlled General Assembly.

Regarding money from "polluters," Sauerbrey has accepted at least $40,000 from companies or individuals cited by state or federal authorities for violating environmental standards. The Glendening campaign is also counting $67,000 that the family of poultry mogul Frank Perdue raised last summer at a fund-raiser at his home. Perdue Farms Inc. has been fined by the state for water pollution violations. The ad does not point out that Perdue gave generously to Glendening during the 1994 campaign.

The head of a Maryland gun dealers group has attempted to raise $80,000 from the organization's members for Sauerbrey, who has been staunchly opposed to gun control. In a fund-raising solicitation letter, the gun dealer did suggest that Sauerbrey would work to make it easier to carry "concealed weapons," but Sauerbrey has disavowed the appeal.

On the education front, Sauerbrey did propose cuts in state spending on education in 1992 to help close the state's budget deficit that year. Glendening has been endorsed by the state's two leading teachers unions.

Analysis: Glendening continues to hammer Sauerbrey's conservative record as a legislator on issues such as abortion, environmental protections and gun control. The attacks on the sources of campaign contributions echo charges lobbed by both sides in recent weeks. Sauerbrey, for example, has criticized the governor for soliciting funds from companies that have received state financial assistance.

Glendening, who is locked in the tightest statewide race in Maryland, has tried to generate support among traditional Democratic voters by campaigning with more popular Maryland political figures such as Schaefer, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. Touting the Democratic "team" may undo some of the damage caused by Sauerbrey ads that highlight negative comments made by other Democratic officials about Glendening.

Pub Date: 10/30/98

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