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Homeless paid to flyer for Republican governor

Brian Beutler
Published: Tuesday November 7, 2006

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The campaign to re-elect Republican Bob Ehrlich as governor of Maryland has enlisted homeless people from Philadelphia, PA to pass out allegedly misleading campaign materials in Prince George's County, RAW STORY has learned.

The flyers (see images below) describe three Democrats as “Ehrlich-Steele Democrats”.

“These are Democrats that we support,” said a spokesperson for the Ehrlich campaign.

But Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson contends to RAW STORY that “they appropriated my likeness,” and that he in fact does not support the Ehrlich candidacy. “This is the kind of campaign that [Ehrlich supporter and Senate candidate Michael] Steele seems to run. They're trying to convince people to vote for him because he's an African American,” Johnson said.

The flyers also contain a “Democratic Sample Ballot” that indicates that Ehrlich is the Democratic candidate for Maryland governor. Johnson warns that this is not a Democratic ballot and that Ehrlich is the Republican candidate.

Johnson and one of his volunteers contend that the campaign materials are being distributed by homeless people from Philadelphia who have been offered one hundred dollars, lunch and a bus ticket back to Pennsylvania.

“I talked to several of these people personally,” said volunteer Jim Keary. “They didn't know what party Ehrlich or Steele was with. They were surprised to find out that they were Republicans, because most of them are Democrats. It's a crisis when they'd use homeless people for their political operations.”

The practice continues at this hour.

“It's unfortunate given their close relationship that Democrats have pressured Johnson into giving up his support for Ehrlich,” said the Ehrlich campaign. When asked, however, they denied that Johnson had ever explicitly offered his endorsement.