House used in Bentley ad is misleading, Democrats say

Anti-Ruppersberger spot takes aim at SB 509

October 30, 2002|By Andrew A. Green | Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF

A political advertisement in the 2nd Congressional District race identifies a waterfront home in eastern Baltimore County as one of the properties that would have been condemned under C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger's failed neighborhood revitalization legislation, even though the home was removed from the final version of the bill.

The television ad is being run by Republican candidate Helen Delich Bentley, Ruppersberger's opponent.

It shows Del. James F. Ports Jr. standing in front of the stone home at 101 Punte Lane and saying, "The county executive would have taken this home and torn it down and turned it over to a developer for a profit."

The home was in the original version of the bill Ruppersberger championed in the 2000 legislative session, known as Senate Bill 509, but it was taken out before the bill passed. The legislation, which would have expanded the county's condemnation powers, was later defeated in a referendum.

Ruppersberger campaign spokesman Rick Binetti called the ad "misleading," and added: "They can't even get their facts right."

Ports defended the ad: "He can't negate the fact that his original intent was to take this beautiful stone home with a waterfront view," he said. "His original intent was to take that and turn it over to developers."

Bentley's campaign manager, Michael S. Kosmas, denied the ad is misleading.

"That was part of Dutch's original 509 plan," Kosmas said. "It went through numerous modifications, but that was what Dutch Ruppersberger conceived of."

John H. Horne, president of the Hawthorne Civic Association and a SB 509 supporter, disagreed. That particular house was originally included because of plans - later dropped - to build a marina nearby, but it is hardly indicative of the intent of the bill, he said.

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