EDITOR'S NOTE: This video is the first of four we are posting before the Nov. 2 General Election. Both Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and his Republican rival, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., agreed to sit down to answer questions from Patch readers, but Ehrlich had to cancel. That's why the quality of the two videos differs. We did our best to reschedule with Ehrlich but ultimately had to settle for a less intimate setting.
In this video Ehrlich discusses politics and the use of negative ads in the campaign.
"If you don't vote you can't complain," Ehrlich said. "It's an angst ridden environment out there."
He said voters are most concerned about the economy.
"Last time, it was, people could not wait to vote against the war and Republicans," Ehrlich said. "This time I think people are going to vote for jobs."
Because we were not able to sit down with Ehrlich to directly ask him questions, we have less to fact check in this video then we did for O'Malley.
Claim: "We like the way (the polls are) going. It's going pretty rapidly toward zero. … Negatives do work. Although people regardless of age say they don't like negative ads, they can work."
FACT: True. Negatives do work. O'Malley's campaign has been flooding the airwaves with negative ads about Ehrlich's leadership. The polls may have been tighter when Ehrlich answered this question, but The Baltimore Sun's latest survey, released on Sunday, showed that O'Malley has expanded his lead to 14 points.
Claim: "I'm certainly not going to put up with (race baiting) from the guy who supervised the mass arrests of a lot of innocent people in Baltimore city."
FACT: True, regarding the mass arrests. When O'Malley was mayor of Baltimore his police department implemented zero-tolerance policing practices that led to the arrests of thousands who were never charged with crimes. The ACLU and the NAACP sued and won a settlement of $870,000 for practices that the city abandoned after O'Malley became governor. O'Malley's response: stricter law enforcement measures ushered in a decade of rapidly declining crime in Baltimore between the time he took office in December 1999 and left two terms later.
Whether O'Malley has been "race baiting" in the campaign is open to interpretation. Washington Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane, a longtime conservative observer of O'Malley, said the governor has played the race card in this year's election when the governor said this about Ehrlich: "I'm tired of people putting down the achievements of poor children and children of color." O'Malley went on to accuse Ehrlich of talking "in very coded language about the kids who aren't succeeding."
Kane wrote that O'Malley's comments were meant to "pander to black voters, specifically in Prince George's County and (his) home base in Baltimore.
But Kane and Ehrlich seem to be the only ones who took offense to O'Malley's comments.
Claim: "Last time, it was, people could not wait to vote against the war and Republicans. This time I think people are going to vote for jobs."
FACT: True. The war did drive Democrats to turn out in the 2008 election that ushered in a Democratic sweep with the victory of President Obama and a Democratically-controlled Congress. The sluggish economy, however, appears to be the main reason why incumbent Democrats are expected to see big losses on Nov. 2.