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Campaign notes

August 02, 1998

The "Sauerbrey Truth Patrol" struck again last week, claiming GOP gubernatorial candidate Ellen R. Sauerbrey is hiding her true education record behind friendly rhetoric.

The truth patrol, launched by the Maryland Democrats to correct what it believes are untruthful or misleading Sauerbrey statements, also criticized her association with "right-wing" Sen. Spencer Abraham, R-Mich.

In response to Sauerbrey's calls to reform education and hire more teachers to reduce class sizes, the Democrats said the former Baltimore County delegate spent most of her career trying to cut education spending.

"Perhaps Sauerbrey thinks that if she ignores her education record, it will go away. For 16 years in the House of Delegates, Ellen Sauerbrey voted on her priorities, which included cutting funding for education," Democratic Party Chairman Peter Krauser said in a statement. "Now she wants to improve education? Who does she think she is kidding?"

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Among the actions cited by the Democrats include:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Her 1994 proposal to create vouchers to help families pay the cost of private education. The Democrats contend it would have cost public schools $227 million in the first year and $908 million over four years.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Her fiscal year 1993 budget alternative that would have cut $169.5 million from education funding.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Her 1994 proposal to cut higher education by 2.8 percent to achieve "drastic tax cuts."

Sauerbrey campaign spokesman Jim Dornan said the Democrats have sought to paint Sauerbrey as an enemy of education by "picking and choosing" votes on legislation that included many other components.

As a former schoolteacher, Sauerbrey is well aware of what needs to be done to reform education, Dornan said. Noting Maryland's high per-student spending ratio, he said student test scores "lag behind the nation."

"Democrats cannot defend Parris Glendening's pathetic record on education and have therefore chosen to distort Ellen's record," he said.

As for the Democrats' criticism of Abraham, who hosted a fund-raiser for Sauerbrey last week, Dornan said: "Spencer Abraham is one of the rising stars of the U.S. Senate. When it comes to extremism, maybe they ought to look at their own house first."

Education tops Wayman's concerns

Republican Kenneth L. Wayman, who has been attacking Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's record on education for months, said the issue is his top concern in his bid to unseat the popular Democrat.

Wayman, who discussed his views last week with Herald-Mail editors and reporters, said school vouchers would put education decisions for children back where they belong - with parents.

"I see nothing wrong with vouchers for parochial and religious schools," said Wayman, a Carroll County software developer.

Wayman, who will have a fund-raiser on Aug. 22 at a home on Clopper Road, said public schools suffer from too much administration and bureaucracy.

He said the money put into the public education system isn't paying off.

Wayman said the U.S. system is the third most-expensive in the world, yet test scores show students rank near the bottom in science and math.

Another important concern of Wayman's is national defense. He said defense is the only part of the budget that has been cut in real dollars in the past several years. Finding dollars for national defense would start with cuts in the Department of Commerce, corporate welfare, and the National Endowment for the Arts, he said.

Wayman said his experiences in Europe and Vietnam distinguish him from the other Republican candidates in the field, although he said he is focusing his primary campaign against Mikulski, not the other GOP hopefuls.

Wayman said he doesn't believe there is a budget surplus, because government borrowing isn't taken into account in the calculations.

He said continued borrowing by the federal government and a net debt estimated between $5.4 trillion and $6.4 trillion does not indicate a surplus.

 

Judge candidates on both ballots

In the only bipartisan race in Washington County this election year, three men are in competition for the two contested seats on the Washington County Circuit Court.

All three candidates for those two seats will appear on both the Democratic and Republican ballots during the Sept. 15 primary, according to Deputy Circuit Clerk Rick Hemphill.

The top two vote-getters in each party's primary will go forward to the general election, Hemphill said.

If those two names are the same in both the Democratic and Republican primary, then only those two names will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot for the two judgeship positions, Hemphill said.

But if candidates A and B are tops with the Democrats and candidates A and C are tops with the Republicans, then all three candidates' names will be on the ballot for the Nov. 3 general election, Hemphill said.

Then the two top vote-getters will fill the positions.

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