The independent issue ads begin.....

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The Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative Inc. launches Tuesday what appears to be the first of the independent issue ads in this year's governor's campaign.

The radio spot focuses on the differences between Governor Martin O'Malley and former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the area of health care. Vincent DeMarco, president of the Initiative, told Center Maryland that the ad will run for at least two weeks on Baltimore area radio stations (including WBAL-AM, WWIN-AM, WWIN-FM, and WOLB-AM). The Initiative has committed at least $40,000 to the effort.

Click here to listen to the radio spot.

The Initiative also put together a chart comparing the two candidates on health care issues, which can be found here.

"We at the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative do not endorse candidates, and we are proud of the fact that Democrats and Republicans supported Governor O'Malley's 2007 health care expansion legislation. But, we have an obligation at election time to inform voters about how candidates stand on key health care issues," DeMarco said in a statement. "If Mr. Ehrlich were to change his position and endorse the federal and state health care laws enacted over the past few years, we would stop airing these ads and praise him for doing so."

During this campaign season, Center Maryland is trying to provide as much original source information as we can about the race. We encourage other groups that are planning independent issue efforts to send along their advertisements, and we will share the information with our readership.
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