GOP ad la­bels Jeal­ous ‘di­vi­sive’

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - By Luke Broad­wa­ter

The Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors As­so­ci­a­tion this week con­tin­ued its mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar at­tack ad cam­paign against the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee for Mary­land gover­nor, Ben Jeal­ous.

With the air­ing of a new $1 mil­lion ad called “Too Di­vi­sive,” the RGA will have spent around $3.2 mil­lion to at­tack Jeal­ous on Mary­land TV screens. That far out­paces what Jeal­ous and a po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee sup­port­ing him have been able to muster thus far.

The 30-sec­ond RGA spot high­lights neg­a­tive com­ments about Jeal­ous by other Democrats, in­clud­ing quotes from for­mer House of Del­e­gates Ma­jor­ity Whip Bill Cox, for­mer Bal­ti­more City Coun­cil­woman Rochelle “Rikki” Spec­tor and for­mer Mary­land House Speaker Casper Tay­lor.

All of these for­mer elected of­fi­cials have cat­e­go­rized Jeal­ous as too far to the left and pre­fer in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan.

“Even fel­low Democrats know Ben Jeal­ous is too ex­treme for Mary­land,” the ad says.

Although neg­a­tive in tone, the ad ac­cu­rately quotes Mary­land Democrats who have en­dorsed Ho­gan over Jeal­ous.

A fa­vorite of pro­gres­sive Democrats, Jeal­ous has strug­gled to gain sup­port of the cen­trist wing of his party. Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot and Mont­gomery County Ex­ec­u­tive Isiah “Ike” Leggett, among oth­ers, have de­clined to en­dorse him.

The RGA ad does not men­tion, how­ever, that there are many Mary­land Demo­cratic lead­ers who strongly sup­port Jeal­ous’ elec­tion, in­clud­ing U.S. Reps. An­thony Brown, Eli­jah Cum­mings, and John Sar­banes.

Jeal­ous this week be­gan air­ing $150,000 of his own ads in the Wash­ing­ton mar­ket.

His three 30-sec­ond spots high­light three dif­fer­ent sup­port­ers — a teacher, a nurse and a busi­ness­woman — who sup­port Jeal­ous be­cause of his plans to in­crease fund­ing for Mary­land’s schools, his pro­posal to con­vert the state to a sin­gle-payer health care sys­tem and his ex­pe­ri­ence as a ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist.

One of these ads over­states Jeal­ous’ role in say­ing he helped cre­ate 1,000 jobs, but they oth­er­wise ac­cu­rately state his plat­form. (While at the ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist firm Ka­por Cap­i­tal, Jeal­ous in­vested in firms that have a to­tal of about 1,000 em­ploy­ees, but those busi­nesses had some staff prior to in­vest­ments by Jeal­ous and oth­ers at Ka­por.)

The RGA’s con­tin­ued neg­a­tive ads against Jeal­ous — com­bined with Ho­gan’s own high-dol­lar ad­ver­tise­ments that have been run­ning for weeks — are likely to drown out the Demo­crat’s much smaller ad­ver­tis­ing ef­fort.

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