Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Laura Vozzella's Ehrlich Obsession

So, it's been nearly three years since Bob Ehrlich stopped being governor of Maryland but the Baltimore Sun's Laura Vozzella can't quite get over it.

The Cordish Cos. has picked a surprising ally in its bid to put slots at Arundel Mills mall: Team Ehrlich.

Bob Ehrlich pushed hard for slots while governor but sharply criticized how Martin O'Malley pulled it off. Yet to help make his case for slots in Anne Arundel, Cordish has tapped Ehrlich communications guru Paul Schurick and others at Womble Carlyle.
Now this apparently will be news for Ms. Vozzella, but once people leave government office they still need to get a paycheck. Mr. Schurick works for Womble Carlyle, a fairly significant law and lobbying firm. One is hard pressed to understand why, exactly, the Cordish Company selecting Womble Carlyle is newsworthy... because it really isn't... unless your real agenda is to try to perpetuate a hypocrisy smear directed at Governor Ehrlich over his sponsorship of slots while he was governor and his principled opposition to the dog's breakfast of political payoffs that the O'Malley regime eventually enacted.

In fact, one would think that if Cordish was hiring a firm for reasons other than competence then hiring Womble Carlyle, who lists Governor Ehrlich as the head of its Baltimore office, to lobby the O'Malley administration would not be among the best moves possible.

The fatuous nature of Vozzella's column is clearly evident in this bit of nonsense:

Finally, Womble Carlyle has a client other than governor-in-waiting Ehrlich!
I seems like her nose is a bit out of joint because Mr. Schurick told her that the firm doesn't reveal its client list.

"We don't discuss our client relationships with anyone other than our clients," Schurick said.
Just to help Ms. Vozzella out, I think we can safely conclude that Womble Carlyle has more clients than Governor Ehrlich:

Established in Winston-Salem in 1876, the firm now comprises 530 lawyers in eleven offices, including Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Greensboro, Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, NC; Atlanta, GA; Greenville, SC; Tysons Corner, VA; Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD and Wilmington, DE.

In fact, their press release archive would let anyone who was interested identify quite a few of their clients.


Anonymous said...

Why should people let up on Erhlich? He and his wife are constantly bashing the current Governor on their WBAL right wing hour.

streiff said...

He's a private citizen right? I know you goes aren't really big on that whole First Amendment thingy unless it involves trashing recruiting stations or harassing ROTC students but it really applies to everyone.

If Bob Ehrlich had anything to do with the contract Vozzella discusses, which, according to her, he doesn't, then it might be valid.

If O'Malley had proposed Ehrlich's slots plan and Ehrlich had then opposed it, there might be room for an allegation of political opportunism.

But, the facts of the matter are quite different. Whether you like them or not doesn't really make any difference.

Duke hoops fan said...

Ms. Vozzella would do well to come up some new schtick. Channeling Mike Olesker isn't doing anything to help her credibility.

justdafacts said...

The recently approved slots plan was nearly identical to a plan Gov. Ehrlich agreed to in September 2004.

Gov. Ehrlich ageed to a slots plan via a constitutional amendment specifying locations. The only differnece was he failed to deliver his own caucus, thereby sealing its fate.

No doubt Laura Vozzella is acquainted with the 19th century lineage and vast modern day empire of Womble Carlyle, streiff. Its Baltimore office, however, appears to be engaged in little more than Gov. Ehrlich's perpetual campaign. They lawyer for BWI master concessionaire BAA, and they flacked last summer for the Baltimore realty duped by the bizarre Clark Rockefeller, but there isn't much work product beyond that.....

Oh yeah, I almost forgot they flacked for Alan Fabian until Gov. Ehrlich became part of the story, at which point they dropped him to save their own skin.

- Steve Lebowitz

Mark Newgent said...

Of course, as you are wont to do, you are spinning the facts beyond what they mean. As the stories yo link to clearly say Ehrlich was not a fan of referendum and backed it reluctantly as he saw it was the only way past the Park and Rec guy who runs the House of Delegates.

O'Malley went with the referendum because he saw it as the easy way out, not out of any principled stand (if he has any principles beyond his own ambition)

Since we are on the subjects of hypocrisy and slots its was your boy who pulled the flip flop. Remember a his statement on slots being "morally bankrupt way" to fund education:

"Mayor Martin O'Malley had a principled position on slots. Legalized gambling might work to buck up Maryland's ailing horse industry, but slots, he said in 2005, are 'a pretty morally bankrupt way' to fund education. Now, Gov. Martin O'Malley proposes to open slots palaces across the state to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for, um, education.
A change of heart? Not really, the governor tells me: 'I just don't see how I can ask the legislators to compromise if I'm not willing to do so myself.'"

Bob Ehrlich is a hypocrite becaue he reluctantly after much argument compromised his initial position to get slots, but O'Malley is not even though he flip flops in the wind to take whatever the easiest political position he can find? Nice try

Of course, for O'Malley "morally bankrupt" is a synonym for not paying back the special interests who supplied the foot soldiers for his campaign.

And, the plan was not "nearly identical" no matter you twirl the facts.