Revelation about Dyson draws mixed response Gilchrest may draw some votes away

October 14, 1990|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Sun Staff Correspondent

EASTON -- Charles Newcomb sat in his pickup truck in downtown Easton yesterday and discussed the latest revelation concerning Representative Roy P. Dyson, D-Md.-1st, and his ties to defense contractors.

"I think this is going to open up a whole new can of worms," said Mr. Newcomb, 67, who lives on a farm outside Trappe. "I think he's had so many strikes against him it's hard for him to argue that out."

One day after an unsealed federal affidavit showed that Mr. Dyson hada close working relationship with defense industry consultants later convicted in the Pentagon probe case, political officials and voters weighed the impact of the news.

For some Dyson supporters, the unsealed affidavits were a rehash of old news, and they continued to back the congressman.

"That's not going to stop me from supporting" Mr. Dyson, said Chestertown Mayor Elmer E. Horsey. "I guess congressmen raise money from a lot of places."

And Bob Benzin, 33, of Easton, who works for the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co., brushed aside the news story. "It's no different than what a lot of other people have done," he said. "Mr. Dyson, regardless of his problems, he's had excellent constituent services."

Still, some voters said news of the affidavit were pushing them toward the camp of Mr. Dyson's opponent, GOP candidate Wayne T. Gilchrest.

"I don't think I'm going to vote for Dyson," said John Neet, 25, of Easton. The latest story, he said, "doesn't surprise me at all."

Wiretap information in the affidavit released yesterday shows that Mr. Dyson personally contacted defense consultants to say that their radar weapons system was included in legislation that had passed the House Armed Services Committee.

Mr. Dyson, a committee member,took the lead on pushing the radar system designed for Navy ships,

A poll just completed by The Sun shows that Mr. Dyson is favored by 48 percent of 1st District voters, compared with 42 percent for Mr. Gilchrest.

Mr. Dyson could not be reached yesterday. His campaign manager, Christopher Robinson, defended on Friday the congressman's actions, saying that calls he made to defense contractor lobbyists were not "unusual."

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