Howard County Maryland Blog

Convention of States in Maryland

HoCo Times Political Ads

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, September 8, 2006

Being the last week of the primary elections I fully expected this weeks Howard County Times edition to be full of political ads I was disappointed. 

With a circulation of 20,000 I am surprised more candidates didn’t take advantage of the exposure. 

However, the Times did do its continued coverage of various races providing free publicity for many of the candidates.  There were a lot of letters pro and con for various candidates also providing free publicity for the candidates.

The only ads I saw were for:

John White for U.S. Congress in the GOP Primary.  This is a a color ad based soley on illegal immigration and features an endorsement from Ivan Betancourt, President of the Howard County Republican Club.  Ivan hails from South America and is a naturalized US Citizen and an all around great guy.  It is a large three column ten inch ad.

Jim Fitzgerald for Sheriff in the Democratic Primary.  This is a black and white three column 5 inch ad.  It includes an endorsement from States Attorney of Howard County Tim McCrone, Howard County Police Officers’ Association, Columbia Democratic Club, Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions, and the Howard County Sheriff’s FOP.

Greg Fox in the Council District Five Primary.  The largest and most impactful ad was his  full page full color ad. 

Greg pulled out the big guns with support from Governor Bob Ehrlich, Lt. Governor Michael Steele (“Greg has the character and integrity required for public office.”).  It is also accompanied with photos of Greg with Bob Ehrlich, Michael Steele, Allan Kittleman, and the Fox mascot with Kendall and Bob Ehrlich.

Of course he has the continued support of State Senators Allan Kittleman and Sandy Schrader (no surprises).    Finally it touts his endorsement by the Howard County Times.

Warren Miller in the Republican Primary for House of Delegates District 9A.  This is a five column five inch black and white ad.  It was paid for by the one of his many supporters, the Maryland Realtors PAC.  It touts Warren’s commitment to affordable housing, protecting homeowners, buyers, and small business, and his work on “Brownfields” laws.

William Donald Schaefer for Comptroller in the Democratic Primary.  This is a classy ad and is the second best in that it really grabbed my attention in its simplicity and straight forward message.  But kind of looks like a memorial.  It touts his lifelong public service.

Notably missing was an ad from Guy Guzzone or the slate he is running on.  What is he doing with his $150,000?  He could have bought any page in the Times that he wanted.

Also, I expected an ad from Ken Ulman just to put the final nail into Harry Dunbar’s campaign.  It will be very interesting to see how many protest votes Dunbar picks up on Tuesday.  It will be very telling for the General Election.

I paged through the paper five times.  I don’t think I missed any ads.  Let me know if I did.

As I said, Times covered some of the contested primarys so a lot of candidates got free press.

  • Dunbar v Ulman – County Executive
  • Fox v Livesy – Council District 5
  • Feldmark v Sigaty v UNCommon, X – District 4
  • Turner, Quinter, Guzzone, Basu and Pendergrass – House of Delegates District 13
  • Becker and Bernhardt v Titman – County Circuit Court
  • Cave v Fitzgerald – County Sheriff
  • 3rd Congressional District

Then of course their was the plethora of letters to the editor.  Some seem planted.  You decide which ones.

  • Three pro Livesay Council District 5
  • One anti Fox Council District 5
  • Marna McLendon (former States Attorney) against Livesay and for no one
  • Kathleen Sappington for Greg Fox
  • Angela Beltram (COPE – I think this is the 3rd letter in a row) against Guzzone and Ulman following up on her promise to remind voters who voted to pass the comp-lite legislation.
  • One for Peter Beilenson for US Congress
  • Two pro Titman for Judge
  • One pro Fitzgerald for Sheriff
  • One pro Cave for Sheriff
  • Two pro Sigaty for Council District 4
  • Three pro Feldmark for Council District 4
  • One pro Dyer for Board of Education
  • Two pro Ulman for County Executive
  • One pro Zou for Board of Education
  • Two anti Hollinger for Congress
  • One anti Guzzone for House of Delegates

13 Responses to “HoCo Times Political Ads”

  1. jen said

    Is support the same as an endorsement? Is Ehrlich endorsing Fox? Or just wishing him well in his future “endeavors”? I wasn’t sure if Ehrlich really was supporting him as THE candidate… or whether it was a greeting card kind of ‘best wishes’ thing?

  2. hocomd said

    The Gov. and Lt. Gov will not endorse anyone in a contested primary unless the candidate is the incumbent. However, the Gov. and Lt. Gov. came as close as they could without stepping over the line.

  3. Mary Smith said

    To recap:

    a. Fox responded with overboard ire at comments made on this site.

    b. Then he conducts a phone poll that contained “if this were true” questions.

    c. Then he places an ad in the paper with what looks like endorsements from top level Maryland Republicans, when these Republicans are not endorsing him.

    The facts are looking a lot like character issues, ie., saying one thing while doing another, a trust issue.

  4. Dear David:

    I am a moderate Republican. I met with the Hartleb family last night and they suggested I talk to you about blogging and getting the word out about my candidacy these last few days. I am running for the Republican nomination for the 3rd Congressional District. You can reach me at the following numbers: campaign: 410-799-3925 cell: 443-858-6000 home: 410-799-0222. Look forward to talking to you.

    Eugenia Ordynsky

  5. hocomd said

    I will tell you this Mary.

    1. You asked for a response, you threw down the gauntlet when he didn’t promptly respond. When he saw your comment he came back with a forceful response. I noted the passion in his response.

    2. Neither you or I took the poll. We don’t know for sure what was asked. However, if I asked 300 people “Knowing that Wayne Livesy switched …. to…. and switched back to… would you be more inclined to vote for him… doesn’t matter” and 180 of them came back and said more inclined or not inclined we would have a different story.

    3. Ehrlich and Steele would not have given Greg Fox those quotes in the midst of a primary if they did not know what his campaign was going to do with them.

    The facts are looking a lot like running a smart and effective campaign. Augment your strengths, relationships, and your opponents weaknesses.

  6. Mary Smith said

    God Bless Republicans. You are providing more than your share of the entertainment this primary season.

    Throwing gauntlets, now, am I? Ok, Sir David, Master of Spinton. Some voters are going to believe what they want, and you are ever so good at providing a basis for people who are too tired to analyze. The facts remain – three strikes. If Fox wins, citizens loose. Which is not to say that if Livesay wins, voters will win. No.

    It’s a, b, c, David, in order to avoid reader confusion with the numbering beside the comments.

  7. hocomd said


    Gauntlet referenced your comment:

    “I read a reply from Greg Fox on the issue, but I cannot name the newspaper. He danced around, sounded like a politician who wouldn’t commit.”

    No offense intended.

    Sir Spinton

  8. MBT said

    Mary – here’s a guantlet for you: something that is REALLY important – Fran says that she is better looking than you – perhaps we can have a poll!

  9. mary smtih said

    OMG, can someone tell these people that this is not the Jerry Springer site.

  10. Interesting. In the Columbia Flier (different from the Howard County Times), we had ads from:

    Chuck Cave – Sheriff
    Jim Fitzgerald – Sheriff
    John White – Congress
    William Donald Scahefer – Comptroller

    I’m not exactly sure, and am also surprised, why none of the District 13 candidates bought an ad, especially on the Democratic side. The top four candidates (Quinter, Guzzone, Turner, Pendergrass) are all sitting on gobs of money. Since they all need to make it out of the primary first if they hope to spend that money for the November election, I agree with you, what are they waiting for?

    To also show the difference between the two papers, other than an “At A Glance” blurb about Jim Adams droppin out, there is not a single solitary mention of the District 5 or District 9A races in this week’s paper, either in the news section or in the letters to the editor.

  11. hocomd said

    At a meeting with the Howard County Blog alliance it was pointed out that many of the candidates who didn’t advertise in the Thursday edition of the HCT were probably going to have large spreads in the HoCo edition of the Baltimore Sun. I agree. Remains to be seen.

    The comment on my question of how many protest votes Harry Dunbar may pick up could be overshadowed by the drop off in votes for this primary race – in other words how many no votes or the differential between 2002 and 2006.

  12. Perhaps the candidates see little purpose in running advertisements in a newspaper that doesn’t write any stories about them. I think many Democrats see the newspaper as a Republican newspaper, advertising is more expensive, and it is so thick your adverts tend to get lost. On Sept. 14th the front page is filled with Republicans. In 9A they have failed to write about the changing demographics and the fact that there are now only 1,454 more Republicans than Democrats in 9A. “Oz”

  13. always i used to read smaller articles or reviews which also clear their motive, and
    that is also happening with this piece of writing
    which I am reading now.

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