Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., who has already started airing television commercials in Montgomery County, launched his 30-second cable ad for governor in the Baltimore region on Thursday.
The spot borrows some elements of the earlier ad but customizes it for the Baltimore market, where the Democratic candidate for governor is not as well known as in Montgomery, which he has represented in the General Assembly since 2003. The new commercial is airing in the city and in Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties.
What the ad says: The ad introduces Madalenoas a husband, father and state senator. It then quotes The Baltimore Sun as calling him a “budget expert” and a “fierce” critic of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.
Against the backdrop of what appears to be a Baltimore street scene, the voice-over says: “Rich has achieved real results for people across Maryland.” It cites legislation he supported to ban assault weapons, protect Planned Parenthood and provide 80,000 more nutritious meals in public schools.
The ad then pivots to a statement that Madaleno is running for governor to “do the things Larry Hogan won’t” — raising the minimum wage to $15 and fully funding public schools. It also says he will take on “this guy” as a picture of President Donald Trump flashes on the screen.
The ad concludes with the phrase “progressive vision, proven results.”
The facts: Madaleno's claims about his legislative accomplishments are reasonable. Though he wasn’t the lead sponsor of the assault weapons ban adopted in 2013, he co-sponsored it. The claim about in-school meals refers to legislation he sponsored and that Hogan signed this year. His claim of protecting Planned Parenthood involves a 2017 measure he sponsored and that Hogan allowed to become law without his signature.
The claim that Madaleno would fully fund schools and that Hogan won’t depends on one’s definition of “fully.” Hogan proposed cuts to one education funding index his first year. Madaleno fought him and helped make that funding mandatory. Hogan has fully funded schools under current formulas since then. But a commission on which Madaleno serves has said more funding is needed. That will be a major issue facing the next governor.
Analysis: As in his earlier ad, Madaleno uses pictures of himself with his husband to convey that he is the only openly gay candidate in the field. Unlike his first spot, Madaleno takes on Hogan by name and uses Sun coverage to validate his identity as a “fierce Hogan critic.” It is a clear message to Baltimore-area Democrats that if you don’t like Hogan, Madaleno is your guy.