Sfikas ad draws rebuke from business CAMPAIGN 1994

September 30, 1994|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Sun Staff Writer

The leaders of four Maryland business organizations have scolded state senator-to-be Perry Sfikas about a campaign commercial that focused on industrial pollution in his East Baltimore district.

In a letter sent after Mr. Sfikas' victory in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, the four business leaders said the commercial sent forth an anti-business message at a time when jobs are needed in Baltimore. The ad, which aired on WBAL radio, urged voters to elect Mr. Sfikas to stop the "poison" being produced by industry in the 46th District, which takes in parts of Dundalk and the Hamilton area as well as Southeast Baltimore.

"We are especially dismayed at both the tenor and the tone of recent political ads . . . which played on citizen fears of the dangers posed by manufacturers and other industries located in your area," the letter said in part. "We believe the citizens of the 46th District seek more, not less, job growth."

The Sept. 14 letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Sun, was signed by Donald P. Hutchinson, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee; Champe McCulloch, president of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce; Robert O. C. Worcester, president of Maryland Business for Responsive Government; and William Wycoff, chairman of the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce.

"We decided it was something of an indictment of business," Mr. Hutchinson said. "We thought it was unfortunate because job creation ought to be of primary import to any elected official in Baltimore City."

Mr. Sfikas, a member of the Baltimore City Council since 1991, said he was willing to meet with the business leaders to discuss their complaints. "We need to make sure we have a healthy economy," he said. But he added, "I'm not going to compromise on the environmental stuff. We need to protect the people's health. That is absolutely critical."

Mr. Sfikas is unopposed in the November election.

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