The Maryland Senate race this year will be one of the most interesting in a long time. Black Republican Lr. Gov Michael Steele faces white Democrat Congressman Benjamin Cardin, winner of a contentious primary fight in which he deafeated black contenders. The New York Sun reports:
Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who posted racially charged comments against his opponent on the Internet, the congressman's campaign said Saturday.
The staffer's blog includes references to Oreo cookies. Mr. Cardin's opponent, Republican Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, who is black, has said people threw Oreos at him during a 2002 debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.
In a statement, Mr. Cardin, who is white, also condemned comments written by the female staffer on her blog that he considered derogatory to Jews.
"I am deeply offended and disgusted by the blog's racial and anti—Semitic overtones," the 10—term congressman said. "The staff person responsible was promptly dismissed and will have nothing to do with my campaign."
A spokeswoman for Mr. Steele, Melissa Sellers, criticized the blog.
"It is deeply disturbing to learn that a staff member of 10—term Congressman Ben Cardin would keep a blog chronicling racial prejudices toward Lieutenant Governor Steele and others," Ms. Sellers said. "This is the kind of attitude and gutter politics that Marylanders are sick of and why they are ready for change."
Ed Lasky 9 18 06