Union's ads criticize Ehrlich

Health care labor group spends $1 million against governor

Maryland Votes 2006

October 10, 2006|By Doug Donovan | Doug Donovan,Sun reporter

A health care union supporting Mayor Martin O'Malley is launching two television commercials today as part of its $1 million effort to help the Democrat's election campaign against Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

The TV commercials, in addition to three radio spots already airing, are being paid for by 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East for broadcast in the Baltimore and Washington markets.

Two radio ads and one television commercial attack Ehrlich's health care policies by highlighting his opposition to state legislation passed this year that attempted to force Wal-Mart to pay more for employee health care. In July, a federal judge voided the legislation because it violated federal law - which Ehrlich aides point to as proof he acted properly.

One of the radio ads and one of the television commercials feature young black men to highlight lead paint poisoning. In the radio ad, which a union official said is airing on stations with mostly black listeners, a young man says "kids in my neighborhood" are being poisoned by lead.

"I guess where Bob Ehrlich is from they don't really have to face that problem," he says. "Why else would Governor Ehrlich cut funding for lead paint removal?"

A female voice then states: "Bob Ehrlich wasn't looking out for our community when he did that."

The television ad echoes the same criticism and features an African-American boy scrawling black lines on paint-chipped walls. The lines are used to symbolize the "thousands of Maryland children" the narrator says are poisoned by lead paint.

The third radio ad attempts to tie Ehrlich to President Bush by saying: "George Bush and Bob Ehrlich have created a health care crisis."

Ehrlich spokeswoman Shareese N. DeLeaver said the governor "has a solid record of making health care more accessible and affordable."

"He invested a record $4.7 billion in Medicaid, giving an additional 80,000 low-income Marylanders access to health care," she said.

doug.donovan@baltsun.com

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