DiPietro angry over Sfikas ads alleging absenteeism on votes CAMPAIGN 1994

September 10, 1994|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Sun Staff Writer

At first, Anthony M. DiPietro Jr. tried to shrug off the slick, attention-grabbing brochures with his name under the picture of an empty chair.

He had, after all, weathered four campaigns to represent Southeast Baltimore in the House of Delegates and thought he )) had seen just about everything. But then came the next brochure, followed by a series of aggressive radio ads by his main opponent in Tuesday's primary -- City Councilman Perry Sfikas. And they got on Mr. DiPietro's nerves.

So yesterday, Mr. DiPietro, one of three Democrats seeking the 46th District Senate seat vacated by gubernatorial candidate American Joe Miedusiewski, fought back. He hired a lawyer and went to court to stop the ads.

But a judge refused to grant his request for an injunction.

"I must be doing something right -- I was elected four times. I have really thick skin, you know," said Mr. DiPietro, pinching his arm. "But I can't stand to be called a thief."

The four-term delegate, who is known for helping organize the "I Am An American Day Parade," became infuriated by the ads that charge he has missed 2,300 votes during his tenure. "They're blatant lies," he complained.

Mr. DiPietro acknowledges missing some votes when he was called off the House floor or was ill. But he says he voted on all major bills.

Not true, says Mr. Sfikas, D-1st.

One of the brochures says that Mr. DiPietro missed key votes on making carjacking a crime, tightening drunk driving laws and anti-pollution measures. It concludes, "After missing 2,300 votes, Tony DiPietro wants a promotion. If this was your work, would you get a promotion? Say No to a candidate who accepts public paychecks but does not do the public's work."

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