Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who is still weighing another run in 2010, had two major prescriptions for voters in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District: Vote for Republican candidate Andy Harris and against Gov. Martin O’Malley’s slots plan.
Two Republican voters I talked with at Loch Raven High School - which happens to be a polling station for both Maryland’s 1st and 2nd Congressional districts - said they gladly voted for Mr. Harris and for the slots plan.
This was even after Mr. Ehrlich’s last-minute appeal to voters, via e-mail last night, to “send a powerful message to Annapolis” by voting against slots:
“For four years, I fought to save Maryland horse racing and balance our budget without raising taxes by approving a responsible slots plan. And for four years, the Democratic leadership in Maryland fought us every step of the way.
“Last fall, that same leadership pushed through the largest tax increase in state history and approved a very bad slots plan, making it clear that their prior opposition was just partisan politics. They now want to amend our state Constitution in order to bring slots to Maryland in a way that won’t work and is bad for business. So Maryland families get stuck with a bad slots plan — and a big tax increase.”
So why no twofer for Ehrlich at the polls?
“People are going to gamble anyway, in my view. So you might as well have them spend it here,” said small-business owner Greg Johnston, 51, of Towson.
“I supported them when Ehrlich was there, and I still think slots will provide new funding for the schools,” said homemaker Michelle Railey, 40, of Towson.
- Any other Republican voters out there who voted one for two with Ehrlich: yea on Harris and yea on slots?
— Tom LoBianco, Maryland political reporter, The Washington Times