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Baltimore mayor visits, addresses labor dinner

October 07, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley addressed a group of hundreds at the United Labor Dinner in Hagerstown Wednesday with a message for labor families - oust President Bush from office next month.

O'Malley, attending a dinner honoring longtime area labor leaders Charles W. "Woody" McNemar and Connie A. Jones, used his time Wednesday to rally support for the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry and the campaigns of other democrats on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

O'Malley, at the Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council event at the Elks Lodge on Robinwood Drive, called this year's presidential election the most important in his lifetime, and one that will affect the direction of the nation "for the next 40 years."

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He urged those in attendance to help distribute Kerry/Edwards literature, volunteer to make phone calls and engage friends and neighbors in conversation about the 2004 election.

"Talk about what the (Democratic) party represents and what this country really represents," he said. "It's not about maintaining tax cuts for the most wealthy Americans."

O'Malley attacked President Bush, saying he squandered a budget surplus left behind by President Clinton and allowed jobs to leave the country. He also criticized "McCarthy-like attacks" on anyone who disagrees with policies of the current administration.

"That's not a record to run on," O'Malley said. "That's not a record working families should vote for."

He praised Kerry and his running mate Sen. John Edwards for what he said was a platform that labor families should support. O'Malley said he believes Kerry will provide tax relief for middle-class citizens, increase incentives to companies that keep jobs in the country and increase money for first responders - police and fire and rescue personnel - responsible for keeping Americans safe.

"I know, as well as you know, we could be doing a lot more if we had a Democratic president," he said.

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