"Gutter Politics"?

With charges flying over televised political ads, Maryland is the scene of a controversy brewing over the oldest form of political advertising: the flyer. CBS News Investigative Producer Laura Strickler has the details. -- Ed.
(CBS)
Maryland Democrats say the distribution of this flyer on the left brings "gutter politics to a new low." Democrats say the campaign literature suggests that prominent black Democrats Kweisi Mfume and Jack Johnson endorsed black Republican Michael Steeleand Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich who is running for re-election. But both Mfume and Johnson have endorsed Steele's opponent Benjamin Cardin. The materials were distributed leading up to election day in Prince George's County, Maryland.

The brochure reads on the front "These are OUR choices" next to pictures of Mfume, Johnson and one official who did endorse Steele: Wayne Curry. Inside is a sample ballot with Steele and Ehrlich's names checked off.

Steele's campaign would not return calls asking about these materials. Ehrlich's campaign spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver says they helped pay for the campaign literature but would not say how much they spent, how many were printed or where they were distributed. DeLeaver denies that the brochure indicates that the men pictured on the front endorsed the candidates listed inside.

Cardin spokesman Oren Shur responded by calling this "a blatant lie."

Maryland GOP officials say that they had no knowledge of the campaign literature.