Sarbanes on education

The Baltimore Sun

Michael Sarbanes, a longtime civic activist and son of retired U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, began airing his second television commercial of this year's City Council president race this week, focusing on edu cation. The 30-second spot will be aired on all lo cal network affiliates through the Sept. 11 Demo cratic primary, according to the campaign. This is the third television ad in this year's four-way Demo cratic primary for City Council president.

What the ad says: The ad begins with a group of chil dren smiling and laughing. "They're Baltimore's fu ture," Sarbanes says. "And the City Council should do more to help them."

The camera focuses on Sarbanes standing and talk ing. "Put accountability in our schools for every student's success," he says, as text on the screen says "Accountability in our schools."

"Organize businesses, churches and communities to support our kids with after-school programs so they stay safe," he says. Text on the screen says: "After school programs so kids stay safe." "And get families involved because the best education al ways begins at home," Sarbanes says as the camera pans to him, his wife and three children walking in front of their Irvington house, and then him hold ing his 3-year-old daughter.

"A better Baltimore starts block by block, and to gether we can make it happen," he says.

A male narrator says, "Michael Sarbanes, new lead ership for Baltimore."

The facts: There isn't much to fact-check here. The ad is broad and focuses on general themes related to Sarbanes' education vision. Sarbanes' campaign platform has included organizing churches and businesses to partner with schools. His schools platform includes a call for greater accountabili ty in reviewing the school system's budget. "A better Baltimore starts block by block" has become a cam paign mantra of sorts for him, and something you hear from him a lot.

Sarbanes also hints at his dissatisfaction with the way the City Council president's job has been han dled with respect to children's issues when he says, "The City Council should do more to help them."

Analysis: This is an issues-oriented ad, focusing on education, considered the second most important issue to voters in this year's election, after crime. Sarbanes focuses on broad themes and goals, rath er than specifics.

We see his wife, three children and Irvington home, as in the first ad.

His father, the retired senator, and his brother, re cently elected U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, do not ap pear in the commercial.

Sarbanes makes no mention of his opponents, in cluding the incumbent, City Council President Ste phanie C. Rawlings-Blake.

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