WASHINGTON -- A television ad attacking Representative Roy P. Dyson, D-Md.-1st, for taking "special interest" donations is being denounced -- not by Mr. Dyson but by his opponent, Republican Wayne T. Gilchrest, who says he wants the ad canceled.
The ad, slated to run in Salisbury and on cable television throughout the district for a week starting today, is the handiwork of the Free State Republican Fund, a Maryland-based political action committee dedicated to electing Republican candidates.
"Roy Dyson: Bought in Washington, paid for in Maryland," declares the 30-second spot, charging the 1st District congressman has received $400,000 in campaign donations from "big labor" and "corporate high rollers" as well as "special interest groups of every kind."
"I think it's bad, extremely poor taste," said Mr. Gilchrest, who won the GOP nomination for the 1st Congressional District Tuesday night. "These guys are renegade Republicans," he said.
The GOP nominee, who says he wants to avoid negative campaigning in his race against Mr. Dyson, said he is working with a lawyer from the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Federal Communications Commission to prevent airing of the ad. "We're going to try and do what we can to keep it off television," he said.
Mr. Gilchrest said he learned that the ad is slated to run on WBOC-TV Channel 16 in Salisbury during the evening news broadcasts through next Wednesday.
But Albert E. Bullock, chairman of the fund and former head of the Montgomery County GOP Central Committee, said he planned to go ahead with the political ad. "I'm not sure it's even legal for [Mr. Gilchrest] to ask me," he said. "We're an independent group."
Mr. Bullock said he believed that the ad would help to defeat Mr. Dyson and that the group planned to run another anti-Dyson TV ad -- which he declined to describe -- probably in October.
"I think [Mr. Dyson] is a disgrace," said Mr. Bullock. "The people of Maryland deserve better."
Mr. Bullock said the committee is not working with any candidate or committee. "We're doing this on our own -- for our contributors and for the people of Maryland," he said.
Christopher Robinson, Mr. Dyson's campaign manager, said the ad represents a "negative campaigning tactic [that] will not work in Maryland's 1st Congressional District."
Mr. Robinson acknowledged that the congressman received donations from organized labor, which is "an important constituency. In Maryland, it means letter carriers and retired federal employees." But he denied that the congressman enjoyed much support from big business.