O'Malley and Ehrlich: Honest talk vs. empty rhetoric

Perhaps I'm just paying more attention to the upcoming elections than in previous years, but it seems that there is an extraordinary amount of emotion clouding a very clear picture this year. Our candidates have a clear record. The choice to vote for Martin O'Malley and Anthony Brown is a "no brainer" for me, and here's why:

Ehrlich raised $3 billion in taxes and fees on Maryland families, including a 58 percent increase in the property tax during his tenure as governor. That's not the "real leadership" Mr. Ehrlich promises in his ad. In fact, Mr. Ehrlich was the biggest spending governor in Maryland history but still failed to fund core priorities like school construction and Chesapeake Bay restoration programs. Ehrlich increased college tuition costs by 40 percent. Environmental groups gave him a "D" grade on his work on the Chesapeake Bay.

In contrast, Gov. Martin O'Malley has been honest with us about the tough decisions we've had to make in this national recession — whether it's helping small businesses create jobs, improving our schools, or protecting the Bay. He froze college tuition rate hikes for four years. The unemployment rate, while still too high, is lower than the national average. He balanced the budget, and we have recently learned that we have a surplus. Governor O'Malley has proven that he works effectively with the federal government to secure much needed funds for Maryland, such as in the recent "Race to the Top" competition. I'll take Mr. O'Malley's honest leadership over empty rhetoric from a typical politician like Bob Ehrlich any day.

Sharon Barolet, Parkville

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