State Sen. Jim Brochin has a new television ad out in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County executive. The 30-second spot reviews Brochin’s accomplishments in the Senate.
What the ad says: The ad is narrated by Yara Cheikh, an activist on education issues in the county and supporter of Brochin’s campaign. It opens with Cheikh sitting on a porch and flips back and forth between images of Cheikh and Brochin talking with people at a park, near water and around tables. Cheikh makes a series of statements about Brochin’s record, including that he:
- “Stood with us to build new schools.”
- Protected parks and green spaces.
- Has a 100 percent pro-choice voting record.
- Helped pass a ban on fracking.
- Effectively stopped off-shore drilling.
- Is the only candidate to vote to ban assault weapons and take guns away from domestic abusers.
The ad closes with Cheikh imploring viewers: “Please vote for a true Democrat: Jim Brochin for Baltimore County executive.”
The facts: Brochin has joined constituents in calling for Baltimore County to build replacement schools, most recently for Dulaney High School in Timonium.
Brochin was a cosponsor of a bill that became law last year that bans fracking, a controversial form of drilling for natural gas that was once considered for Western Maryland.
On the gun bills, Brochin voted for a 2013 assault weapons ban, but he made several failed attempts to amend the bill to weaken it. Brochin was cosponsor of a 2009 bill that allows judges to require subjects of temporary protective orders to give up their guns.
Fellow Democratic candidate Johnny Olszewski Jr. voted against both bills when he was a state delegate, but has said he regrets those votes. The other leading Democratic candidate, County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, did not have an opportunity to vote on either bill.
On the off-shore drilling issue, Brochin voted for a bill that became law this year that sets liability standards for drilling companies, should there be spills or other environmental damage.
Analysis: Brochin’s latest ad is factual, but he leaves out some information, such as the fact that he tried to weaken the assault weapons ban.
The ad also implicitly criticizes Almond by saying Brochin is “the only candidate” to vote for certain gun control bills. But Almond simply didn’t have the opportunity to vote yes or no on those bills because she wasn’t a member of the legislature.
Brochin may be stretching his claim about “effectively stopping” off-shore drilling, which appears unlikely in Maryland anyway. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke testified before Congress last month that “there are no known resources off the coast of Maryland.”
Maryland’s delegation in Congress, Gov. Larry Hogan and state Attorney General Brian Frosh have been urging Zinke to officially take the state out of a federal plan to lease offshore waters for drilling.