WASHINGTON – Maryland Sen. Benjamin Cardin will chair a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week on legislation to address deceptive election practices.
Cardin is a co-sponsor of the measure with fellow Democrats Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New York Sen. Charles Schumer.
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler and Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson are scheduled to testify at the hearing in Washington on Thursday. The measure would criminalize the distribution of false and deceptive campaign literature.
Last year, Maryland Democrats were outraged at campaign tactics Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele used in his failed bid for the U.S. Senate. Just hours before polls opened, campaign workers distributed fliers around heavily black Prince George's County falsely indicating that Steele, who is black, was endorsed by Kweisi Mfume, a Democrat and former head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Mfume had run in the Democratic primary against Cardin, who defeated Steele for the seat.
Representatives from the NAACP and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund are scheduled to testify at Thursday's hearing.