Democratic gubernatorial candidate American Joe Miedusiewski will begin airing his second radio "attack ad" today, a 60-second spot that accuses party front-runner Parris N. Glendening of "exaggerating his resume."
Although unstated in the ad, Mr. Miedusiewski, a state senator from Baltimore, said the allegation refers to Mr. Glendening's claim that he was a police commissioner when he served on the city council of Hyattsville in 1973 and 1974. Mr. Miedusiewski contends Mr. Glendening was nothing more than a liaison with the police force on budget matters.
"This is a pattern within the Glendening campaign: making exaggerated claims that just aren't true," Mr. Miedusiewski, a veteran of 18 years in the General Assembly, said in an interview. "This is going to become an issue: the credibility of Parris Glendening."
The Glendening campaign dismissed the ad as simply "more negative campaigning" by Senator Miedusiewski. Glendening press secretary David Seldin said the three-term Prince George's County executive stands behind every claim he has made, including references to his Hyattsville police work.
Hyattsville Mayor Thomas L. Bass also backed Mr. Glendening's claims.
He said the city, then with a population of about 12,000, had a commissioner form of government in those days and each commissioner had a different responsibility: police, public works, parks and recreation, and finance. Mr. Glendening was in charge of city police, and "was actively engaged in working with the department in a wide range of public safety issues."
Mr. Glendening even had a gun, a badge and a police radio at his disposal, the mayor said, although he added that he did not believe Mr. Glendening ever used those tools.
"If I was going to run a negative campaign [against Mr. Glendening], I'd pick on something other than that," said the mayor, who acknowledged he is backing Mr. Glendening for governor.
Mr. Miedusiewski said he wrote the ad, which is in the format of the old television police show, "Dragnet," and begins with the show's distinctive "Dun, da dunt dunt" theme music.
Baltimore crime cited
As did his initial radio ad criticizing Mr. Glendening's alliance with Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, Mr. Miedusiewski's "Dragnet" ad reminds listeners that Baltimore has the worst crime rate in the state and Prince George's has the second worst.
It then says that, as governor, Mr. Miedusiewski would put more police on the streets and more criminals behind bars.
Mr. Seldin replied: "What has American Joe Miedusiewski done in all his years representing Baltimore in the state legislature about Baltimore's crime problem? If I were him, I wouldn't be talking so much about Baltimore's crime problem."
The ad is scheduled to run on two dozen radio stations throughout the state from today until next weekend, when it will run only on Eastern Shore stations in an effort to reach vacationers, and then will resume statewide for a week.