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Sauerbrey addresses chamber

May 29, 1998|By GUY FLETCHER

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

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Sauerbrey

Ellen R. Sauerbrey came to Hagerstown on Thursday, and she brought her verbal arsenal with her.

Speaking to members of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland gubernatorial candidate lashed out at what she called the "underachieving" administration of Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

"We are not living up to our potential," she said.

Sauerbrey said the governor should be leading the charge for regulatory reform, fewer taxes and other pro-business measures aimed at bringing more high-paying jobs into Western Maryland and the rest of the state.

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"Maryland is underperforming and it's time for a change," she said.

In denying the charge, Glendening campaign spokesman Peter Hamm said Sauerbrey's solutions are worse than what she sees as the problem.

"She continues to be the Ellen Sauerbrey who's got a radical, extremist agenda that supports big business at the expense of working families," Hamm said.

Sauerbrey, a Baltimore County Republican, lost to Glendening, a Democrat, by 5,993 votes in the 1994 gubernatorial election in which more than 1.4 million people voted.

Since then, the state has "done a little better" economically, but only because it has been propped up by a surging national economy, she said.

"A rising tide lifts all boats, but we're basically treading water," she said.

She specifically cited the lack of new jobs in the high-paying manufacturing and technology sectors of the economy, a common complaint in Washington County.

"There's no reason why Western Maryland cannot focus on attracting good, high-paying industries," she said.

She said there is no incentive for such companies to come to the region, or to the rest of the state, because of high taxes and fees state residents must pay on income, inheritance and real estate settlement.

Meanwhile, tight regulations make it difficult for businesses to move here, and as a result many companies take their jobs to neighboring states.

"We can't tolerate that and I won't tolerate that as governor," she said.

Hamm said regulations provide needed protections for consumers, workers and the environment. He said he has yet to hear of one regulation that Sauerbrey embraces.

"We look forward to an honest debate of precisely what laundry list of regulations Ellen Sauerbrey wants to do away with," he said.

Hamm said the state has reduced or eliminated 15 different taxes during Glendening's term. He said those cuts will return $2.2 billion to state residents over five years.

"The governor is very proud of his record of cutting taxes," Hamm said.

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