Tuesday, October 7, 2014

They Meet on the Same Stage

(TV Hill) – The men who want to be the next Governor of the State of Maryland have largely been defined by political advertisements. The few chance encounters have been at forums where they have only brushed shoulders in passing (the Green Party Candidate has been a presence but, not really a factor).

WJZ-TV served as a backdrop for a debate cosponsored by Baltimore Sun. Within an hour Larry Hogan and Anthony Brown need to established their credentials where polls show there is a sizable undecided voter base (Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/post-poll-anthony-brown-leads-larry-hogan-by-9-points-in-maryland-governors-race/2014/10/06/46e2bf20-4d6e-11e4-8c24-487e92bc997b_story.html).

In politics there are several ways to do this, define yourself or be defined by your opponent. There is a sizable difference in money with Hogan the Republican nominee opting to use public financing.

If you’ve been near a television here’s what you know “Hogan will take away a woman’s right to choose…instead of paying for pre-K. Hogan will give corporate tax breaks to out of state businesses.
On the other side “they (O’Malley-Brown) haven’t met a tax they didn’t like…they even taxed the rain…more people have left the state.” These simple tag lines are nuanced and play to evils that each side have waged on ad wars.

Vic Carter of WJZ-TV and Andy Green of the Baltimore Sun were tasked to cut through the sound bites   It came during a question about the economy. The questioner pointed to a comment from the State Comptroller who suggested the state’s finances were not where they should be.and clear up the confusion. It wasn’t long after the opening that the two opponents wanted to one up each other.

Brown disagrees with the comptrollers assessment of the state’s economy. During the Hogan rebuttal the debate gets heated, “it’s not what people say but, what people do.” Brown responds forcefully, “let’s talk about your record…the only plan is your so call plan to streamline government, and it’s riddled with errors. The back and forth gets intense, but the moderators suggest it’s time to move.

For me this deserved to be flesh out. The "one-upmanship" has gone on too long. A lot of issues surrounding the topics covered taxes, K-12 education, the economy, the Chesapeake Bay, hand guns, immigration, gerrymandering, women and the Maryland business climate can give you predictable answers. Isn’t this about leadership and how you move the ship of state?

I’ll give you list of one liners which will be chronicled later. Let me say again this job is about leadership. Here are some questions each candidate needs to answer about dealing with tough issues: When do you feel it’s prudent to buck the party line? What’s the greatest predictor of your style of leadership, raising your finger to see if its popular or practical? You each have been in a role of follower, beyond the people you might put in your cabinet who are good sounding boards – i.e. religious leaders, business leaders, civic leaders or others etc… and why?

I won’t have a seat at anyone’s debate this go round. I’d love to have this questioned answered by both campaigns. “Each of you has had interesting things occurring in your life by the mates you have selected because you have had to blend families. What lessons have you learned in this process, are there any lessons from this that you would apply to leadership.

Let’s start with Mr. Hogan, your wife is of Asian descent, have people expressed surprise at your choice? Have you heard things that make you pause?

Mr. Brown, you’ve been through a divorce while in office – that must have been the most quiet in Prince George’s County – talk about how you dealt with your children when starting your new relationship and making it work?

These are very personal questions. I’m guessing this is not a polling question or an automatic staff response(it’s personal we’re not going to answer). Some may ask why go this route? It may seem personal but, this deals with adversity, leadership, and that thing we hope each man has – compassion.

Now for those one liners:


“I’m not a professional politician.”

“This is the largest exodus of taxpayers.”

Regarding the implementation pre-K education, “He doesn’t have a plan to pay for.”

“It’s not what people, but what people do.”

“We need to stop blaming farmers we’re going to push back,” regarding cleaning the Chesapeake Bay.

“(My) Commercials are positive, he chooses to distract.”

Regarding crime in the state…“Heroin is the number one problem…and Maryland is the leader.”

What do you like about your opponent, “spinning the numbers?”

“Women are concerned about the economy.”


The choice, “do we favor those at the top.”

“There will be no new taxes under my administration.”

“Hogan wants a $300 million dollar tax giveaway.”

“Remember the Erhlich administration.”

“We agree just not on the facts.”

 “Let’s talk about your record…the only plan is your so call plan to streamline government. It’s riddled with errors.”

Regarding the Chesapeake Bay, “we stand in two different areas, you stand in the Susquehanna River.” Answering the charge the problem is the Conowingo Dam and debris in the Susquehanna River.

Regarding tone of the race – “I think it’s fair to show contrast.”

Immigration – “We will protect them.”

Crime – “We’ve driven down crime…you have to understand what’s working.”

What do you like about Republicans? – “The Chesapeake Restoration Program.”

 How do you help women? “Raise the minimum wage, make sure women are able to get protective orders and educational opportunities.”

“Marylanders do a have choice.”

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