Gov. O'Malley's radio ads deal in facts

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The July 3 editorial "Crude smear" criticized Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's recent radio ads that highlighted former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich's paid "government affairs" work since leaving office in 2007.

No one can dispute the facts regarding Mr. Ehrlich's work since leaving office in 2007. As the self-proclaimed "rainmaker" for the Baltimore office of Womble Carlyle, Mr. Ehrlich says he made "a lot of money." That money was made by representing clients that include oil companies, banks that took bailout money, a proposed slots parlor in Anne Arundel County and RJR Tobacco in a lawsuit for marketing its products to Maryland children.

Mr. Ehrlich, who announced that he was taking a leave of absence earlier this month, was advertised by Womble Carlyle as a "government affairs" expert who could assist clients in influencing legislative debates. Mr. Ehrlich has said he didn't register as a lobbyist, but his firm was very clear about the work for which he was hired.

We commend The Post, however, for its investigative work in the July 4 news story "A sticky business tie for Md. GOP." While Mr. Ehrlich has refused to answer questions about his clients over the past three years, he has also refused to address a federal investigation and lawsuit involving alleged fraud by a company owned by his running mate's husband.

Tom Russell, Baltimore

The writer is campaign manager for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

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