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Ehrlich And O'Malley Square Off For Second Time

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Plenty of questions were asked during today's Maryland governor's debate, sponsored in part by WAMU. But both Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Gov. Bob Ehrlich accused each other of not answering those questions.

Ehrlich was asked how he would make up hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue if he repeals an increase in the state sales tax that O'Malley approved. O'Malley wasn't impressed with his predecessor's answer.

"I believe the answer to the...last question, asked repeatedly, was that he has no idea how he would make up the 700-800 million [dollar] shortfall," he said.

Ehrlich responded in kind when O'Malley was asked how he would fund the Purple Line mass transit project in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, which O'Malley wants constructed as light rail.

"You did not get an answer to your question. TIF's do not get you there. The only thing that gets you there is a massive gas tax increase, or some major infusion of dollars into the transportation trust fund," Ehrlich said.

There was nothing but disagreement on several other topics, including state pensions, illegal immigration, same-sex marriage and utilities. Pepco struggled to restore service after several thunderstorms over the summer. O'Malley talked of creating service standards for utilities, and went after Ehrlich for utility rate hikes.

Two more debates will be conducted next week. Election day is less than three weeks away.

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