Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MSM Falls for Poll by Former O'Malley Staffers (Updated)

Both the Post and the Sun ran the results of a poll commissioned by Center Maryland showing Governor Martin O’Malley leading former Governor Bob Ehrlich by six points. But what neither newspaper reported is that Center Maryland is a PR site founded and run by former O’Malley staffers.

In January, we tracked $54,802 in political contributions made by the founders, with $21,312 going to O’Malley and 92% of the money headed to Democrats. Since then, Center Maryland co-founder Martin Knott has given $500 to Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown (6/4/10) and $5,500 to O’Malley in three contributions (an apparent violation of campaign finance law that limits individual donations to $4,000 per candidate); co-founder Howard Libit has given $1,333.33 to O’Malley (in two contributions on 6/18/10 and 8/10/10); and co-founder Tom Loveland has given $500 to O’Malley (8/7/10). None of them gave money to Ehrlich this year. And all of these contributions were made while they were supposedly running a “news site” that reported “straight down the middle.”

This poll is an outlier as almost all the others find O’Malley and Ehrlich neck-and-neck. Given that fact and the above connections, the Post and the Sun should have disclosed the background of those who commissioned it to their readers.

Update: The Post picked up on this almost five hours after this blog post but did not credit us for our research.