State Del. Cheryl Glenn on Friday called on an anti-Sheila Dixon political action committee to remove her image from a new television ad.
Glenn, an East Baltimore Democrat who has endorsed Dixon, called on the Clean Slate Baltimore PAC to stop using her image in an ad that criticizes Dixon, a former mayor, and current Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake while praising State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, who led the latest poll to become Baltimore's next mayor. The PAC was founded by a former top aide to Gov. Martin O'Malley.
"I want my image removed from this negative ad immediately," Glenn said in a statement. "The tactics of this group are harmful to our city, and Senator Catherine Pugh has denounced Clean Slate Baltimore in the strongest terms possible. Senator Pugh must now tell Clean Slate to remove this ad from the air."
In the ad, the PAC implies Baltimore was better off under O'Malley before Dixon and Rawlings-Blake took office. The city lost more than 12,000 jobs during O'Malley's tenure in office.
"Baltimore, we survived eight long years," it states. The ad then shows Dixon's image and says, "A corrupt mayor," referencing her guilty findings on embezzlement and perjury charges in 2010. It then shows Rawlings-Blake's photo and states, "A weak mayor," referencing her handling of the riots that followed the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
The ad ends by stating, "Catherine Pugh will be ... the mayor we've been waiting for."
Pugh has condemned the PAC and attempted to disassociate herself from its activities.
"I want to be real clear that I don't do negative campaigning and have asked anyone who is doing negative campaigning ... Do Not Use My Name," Pugh wrote on Facebook. "I understand Clean Slate is an independent Group that was not even interested in my candidacy...was not set up for me...but for someone else they thought would win ... I'm running on my vision, my work and my commitment to this city."
The PAC was founded by Alexander M. Sanchez, who was O'Malley's labor secretary and campaigned for him during his failed presidential run. Sanchez's labor union has donated $120,000 to the PAC.
Walter Ludwig, the managing partner of Indigo Strategies, a D.C. firm that does work for the PAC, said Glenn's image was only used because she was standing near Rawlings-Blake in footage chosen for the ad. He said this was no different than images of the criminal defense attorneys standing near Dixon in her footage.
Even so, he said, "As a courtesy, we will be happy to re-cut the commercial and take out Cheryl Glenn."
In addition to opposing Dixon, the Clean Slate PAC is supporting several City Council candidates and Pugh.
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