Bob Ehrlich's new ad, "Remember," can be viewed here. This ad is significant for a few reasons.
First, it is Ehrlich's first "negative" ad of this cycle. O'Malley went negative with those ridiculous "Bob Ehrlich caused the oil spill" radio spots last summer, and launched attack ads in the Baltimore-Washington TV markets just prior to the primary. The ads the RGA is running on Ehrlich's behalf have a negative tone to them, but they were not produced by the Ehrlich campaign.
Second, Ehrlich invokes the memory of the 2006 BGE rate increase - and O'Malley's inability to deliver on his promise to roll back the rate hikes. I am skeptical as to whether raising the BGE specter is a wise campaign tactic. The rate increases took effect years ago, and have since been absorbed by most ratepayers. People are concerned about jobs and the economy now, not something that happened in 2006.
Further, Ehrlich raising the issue now gives O'Malley a chance to fire back his own volley of blame, while touting the fact that he succeeded in negotiating two modest credits for ratepayers. So, while O'Malley didn't keep his promise, Ehrlich's ad gives him an opening to claim that at least he did something - and Ehrlich didn't. I think that mitigates the issue's effectiveness.
These strategic concerns notwithstanding, I think mentioning the BGE rate hike here is OK. The ad's broader purpose is to undermine O'Malley's believability - just as O'Malley tried to do to Ehrlich with his "Credibility" ad which launched before the primary. It underscores this point by referencing the 7,000 jobs recently lost, juxtaposing the news with O'Malley's own rosy rhetoric about recent job creation successes.
All in all, another well-produced, effective TV ad by Team Ehrlich.