MARYLAND MATTERS: Up the down staircase with Baron

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Former nonprofit leader and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jon Baron launched his second 2-minute advertisement on Monday, which featured Baron walking up an escalator in the wrong direction to illustrate his reiterated argument: that implementing the same policy prescriptions and government programs will not work but evidence-based solutions will.

The video opens with Baron holding a newspaper in his left hand and a coffee mug on a plate in his right, rushing out of a Metro station. “Apologies for the multitasking, but every minute counts when you’re as… important as I am,” Baron quipped.

While staying in place as he walked up an escalator that was moving down, Baron addressed “fellow Marylanders.”

“We can’t just keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing for decades — rolling out one unproven government program after another and expect a different result,” he said.

His running mate, former TV reporter Natalie Williams, suddenly appears next to Baron, but unlike him, she is going down the escalator in the right direction. She told him that he was going the wrong way.

“It’s like walking up the escalator — we’re not getting anywhere!” Baron said, halting his ascent up and throwing both of his hands in the air, letting the escalator move him down instead.

While moving up the escalator of the Metro station with Williams in the next scene, Baron said he plans to partner with businesses to provide effective job training to every adult in fast-growing industries like healthcare and technology, contending that job training has been proven to increase income earnings by as much as 40%.

He also said he would work with employers who provide paid internships to trainees.

“Under our plan, the state pays for the training, the employer pays for the internship and the economy gets skilled workers — everyone benefits,” Williams said.

The spot ends with a behind the scenes blooper with Baron running out of breath while walking up the escalator, showing exhaustion by sticking his tongue out. “Jon, what are you doing?” Williams said.

“This is tough,” he said.

The Baron campaign said the ad would first be seen as part of “a significant ad buy on Facebook” and would also go on the candidate’s various digital platforms. The campaign said it would begin airing ads on TV soon.

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