Negative Ad Campaign Targets Md. Candidates - NBC4 Washington

Negative Ad Campaign Targets Md. Candidates

PG Voters Receive Negative Political Mailings



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    Current County Executive Jack Johnson has endorsed Sheriff Michael A. Jackson to be his replacement.

    Jackson has been the sheriff in Pringe George's County for the last eight years. He's running against four other challengers in the democratic primary.

    But despite the endorsement, Jackson's campaign and several others are taking a hit from flyers that went out to voters. The mailings, from Service Employees International Union, make several claims about candidates in Prince George's County.

    One flyer criticizes Jackson and his department about the shooting of two dogs during a drug raid two years ago.

    SEIU local 1199's political action fund paid for the mailings. The 1199 branch represents hospital workers in Prince George's County.  A union official told the Gazette Newspaper that the ad campaign is critical of those who have not worked strongly to solve problems involving the county's struggling hospital system.

    State Sen. David Harrington is also a target of the flyers. One accused him of neglect and turning his back on the hospital.

    Harrington responded: "I'm stunned that SEIU has gone to this great length when I've been a champion of labor." He called the accusations in the mailers "totally false."

    The union endorsed Maryland Del. Doyle Niemann, who's running for re-election. But he called the fliers unfair, because most candidates don't have the money to fight back.

    "They come day after day, same thing over and over again, carefully written and manipulated to create these negative impressions; you can’t compete with that. I think it’s totally distorted the political process," said Niemann. 

    He is now returning a $1,000 contribution to his campaign.

    SEIU's local political action fund paid for the $200,000 advertisements.

    News4 called and e-mailed representatives from the union, but have not heard back.

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