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Some serious discussion in governor's race, please

July 15, 2005

In the tempest-in-a-teapot department, this week Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan asked Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich to apologize for holding a fundraiser at a Baltimore Club that has never had a black member.

Ehrlich claimed he was not aware of the club's membership.

After The (Baltimore) Sun broke the story of Ehrlich's fundraiser, Jim Smith, the Baltimore County Executive and a Democrat, said one of his supporters had held a fundraiser for him there. Smith also said he was unaware of the club's lack of black members.

Even if Ehrlich were a racist, he would have to be mighty stupid to purposely do something like this during a campaign.The best bet here is that his campaign staff failed to check out the club beforehand, for which someone should be chatised.

Duncan impressed us more with his recent discussions on the importance of education to Maryland's economic future.

Duncan, who opposes the legalization of slot machines, said that instead of debating that for the past three years, Maryland's lawmakers should have been working harder on the state's school system.

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Where the revenue will come from for those additional improvements and school construction is an issue that should be part of this discussion.

The Herald-Mail has supported legalization of slots at the state's horse tracks, but if there is another, better revenue source, Duncan should began that discussion now.

It probably would not be as provocative as implying that his opponent is a racist, but it would be a greater service to the citizens of Maryland, who need more substance and less political rhetoric.

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