Howard Dean (search), the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee (search), called on the head of New York's Republican Party to apologize or resign Wednesday over remarks linking the Democrats to a civil rights lawyer convicted of aiding terrorists.

Dean called Stephen Minarik's (search) comments offensive, and said, "The American people deserve better than this type of political character assassination."

On Monday, Minarik said that Dean's election shows that "the Democrats simply have refused to learn the lessons of the past two election cycles, and now they can be accurately called the party of Barbara Boxer, Lynne Stewart (search) and Howard Dean."

Stewart is a New York City lawyer convicted last week of helping terrorists by smuggling messages from one of her imprisoned clients, a radical Egyptian sheik, to his terrorist disciples on the outside. Boxer is a liberal senator from California.

Minarik issued a statement Tuesday indicating he had no intention of backing away from what he had said.

Republican Gov. George Pataki scolded Minarik on Tuesday, saying his remark was not "within the realm of appropriate political discourse."