The Truth About Ehrlich and Big Oil

Commentary by Ron Miller

Ron MillerGovernor Martin O'Malley convened a panel of experts to assess the possibility of the oil spill from the ruptured BP well in the Gulf of Mexico reaching the Chesapeake Bay, an event he concedes is "highly unlikely." Regrettably, an oil spill has already reached our shores, and the slime is spewing from the ruptured conscience of Martin O'Malley.

Most of you know by now that Governor O'Malley's campaign ran an ad linking his prospective opponent, former governor Bob Ehrlich, to "Big Oil," one of many perpetual bogeymen in the liberal playbook. Columnist Blair Lee summed up the ad:
Maryland voters are used to a variety of low-level political dirty tricks: tearing down lawn signs, phony ballots, running a candidate with the same name as your opponent's and so on. But rarely do we witness a decision made at the very top to purposely deceive voters using a widespread media campaign based on complete falsehoods. But that's what Martin O'Malley just did. Virtually every facet of O'Malley's radio ad is either a gross misrepresentation or a lie.
Let's count the ways O'Malley lied.

He said Ehrlich was a lobbyist - WRONG.

According to Lee, "Bob Ehrlich is not, and never has been, a lobbyist. Nor has he done any legal work for oil companies."

He used Ehrlich's voice saying "Drill, baby, drill" to further embed him with Big Oil - WRONG.

O'Malley lifted from a 2008 radio show Ehrlich's reiteration of current RNC chairman Michael Steele's statement at that year's Republican National Convention. Unconstrained offshore drilling has never been an Ehrlich policy. In fact, while in Congress, he voted, along with the entire Maryland congressional delegation, for an offshore drilling bill that was more restrictive than what President Bush had requested. So Steny Hoyer, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin must be in bed with Big Oil, too, huh? Way to make friends and influence people, Governor O'Malley!

He used Ehrlich's voice saying, "Life's good; we made a lot of money", suggesting his ties to Big Oil were financially rewarding to him personally - WRONG.

This statement was taken from an interview in which Ehrlich discussed the pros and cons of running again for governor. He was referring to his work in the private sector in general, not any money made from Big Oil.

Certainly one of the cons of him reentering the race was being subjected to the tar balls of the O'Malley oil spill washing ashore and fouling up the political landscape.

O'Malley's attempts to smear Ehrlich with oil, and his convening of an oil spill panel, are particularly despicable when you consider he raided the Oil Disaster Clean Up Fund as part of his band-aid and bailing wire solution to close his fiscal year 2010 budget deficit. He doesn't really care about the oil spill or the influence of Big Oil. He's a hypocrite.

I once called this man "one of the most selfish and dangerous politicians in Maryland today", and this act of desperation and duplicity reinforces my opinion. He's trying to distract the voters from the pain he's inflicted on them through higher taxes, bloated budgets, and anti-business policies that have resulted in thousands of Marylanders being out of work.

His slogan, "Moving Maryland Forward", isn't sticking because the hard-working people of Maryland, especially small business owners, know the only way he's moving us forward is toward the edge of a cliff. Maybe he means "Moving illegal immigrants and the net recipients of government aid Forward." That would be more accurate.

I've talked to several small business owners, and they are angry with Governor O'Malley and his cronies in the General Assembly. When the small business owners are angry, they talk to their customers, their friends and their families, and the word gets around.

The polls bear this out; the race between O'Malley and Ehrlich is essentially a dead heat.

A lot can happen between now and the general election. Both men have primary opponents, Brian Murphy on the GOP side and George Owings in the Democratic primary. Ehrlich is naming a running mate this week, and either man could say or do something which changes the race.

For now, however, O'Malley's gone negative and false early and ominously. This well might not be capped for a few months, so get your skimmers out - the slime is coming.

Ron Miller, of Huntingtown, is a military veteran, conservative writer and activist, communications director for the Calvert County Republican Party, and executive director of Regular Folks United, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  Ron is a regular contributor to, American Thinker, and You can also follow Ron on his website, as well as Twitter and Facebook.

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