Over the weekend Maryland Lt. Gov and Senate hopeful Michael Steele attended a homecoming for the Army National Guard. While he was speaking to two mothers who sons died in Iraq, Steele noticed someone was filming his conversation. He was being filmed by a Democratic operative, sadly, something that is not new to him. Steele is calling on Congressman Ben Cardin, Sen. Schumer, MD Dem Chairman Terry Lierman, and DNC Chairman Howard Dean to apologize for what occured this weekend. If you would like to voice your opinion, the contact information for those named above will be after the letter:
October 4, 2006
Dear Congressman Cardin, Governor Dean, Chairman Lierman and Senator Schumer:
For several months, I have been trailed by Democrat operatives filming my public events. At these events – speeches, press conferences, county fairs and parades – my every word and move has been recorded.
I realize this has become a part of modern campaigning and I welcome the scrutiny. In fact, I always make a point to say a friendly hello to whomever the Democrat Party sends to follow me. However, recent actions have crossed the line from political activity to an invasion of privacy.
On the morning of September 30, I participated in a homecoming ceremony for the Army National Guard 243rd Engineers. The event – as fitting for the occasion – was non-political. Republicans and Democrats joined together to welcome home brave men and women returning from Iraq and I attended in my official capacity to spend time with the troops and their families.
While speaking with two mothers whose sons had died in Iraq, I noticed the ever present Democrat operative filming our conversation. A conversation with parents who have lost a loved one in combat is private in nature and has no place in partisan politics, and certainly not in the smear campaign you have waged against me even before I entered the race for United States Senate. The filming of this conversation demonstrates a callous disregard for families who have lost a loved one and is an indefensible invasion of privacy.
Unfortunately, I have come to expect such ugly, gutter politics from you. Congressman Cardin, while saying you have expressed outrage to “all concerned parties” for the racist comments on your senior staffer’s blog, you have yet to apologize to me. Chairman Dean, your personal pollster, Cornell Belcher, advocated racist attacks to “knock” me down and “discredit” me, and yet I have received no apology from you. And, Senator Schumer, your staffers pled guilty to a crime when they stole my credit report and violated my privacy and that of my family, but I have had no apology from you either.
I did not think until this past Saturday, however, that such ugliness would intrude upon the return of our troops from Iraq. As I told your colleague, Congressman Steny Hoyer, who attended the event, this action represents a new low in Maryland politics and has no place in this campaign.
My campaign is focused on having a conversation with the voters of our state about the issues affecting Maryland and I am committed to building bridges over that which divides us. But, ugly partisan political tricks only work to divide our communities and represent the very type of political behavior voters are sick of.
If your respective organizations are as concerned as I am about the use of such poor judgment by your staff(s), you would take immediate steps to hold all responsible parties accountable.
I eagerly await your prompt response.
MICHAEL S. STEELE
Congressman Ben Cardin
Ben Cardin for Senate
22 Bloomsbury Avenue
Catonsville, Maryland 21228
Governor Howard Dean
Chairman, Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Senator Chuck Schumer
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
120 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Mr. Terry Lierman
Chairman, Maryland Democratic Party
188 Main Street, Suite 1
Annapolis, Maryland 21401