Lobbyist doesn't see humor in portrayal in Sauerbrey flier


A headline in yesterday's editions connected a controvers over a political flier to the wrong candidate. As indicated in the article, the flier was published by state Sen. Janice Piccinini's campaign.

The Sun regrets the errors.

A humorous campaign flier portraying Sen. Janice Piccinini as an effective first-term legislator erupted yesterday as a credibility issue between her and an Annapolis lobbyist.

Lobbyist Gerard E. Evans wrote to the Baltimore County senator Wednesday complaining that when he allowed her to use a photo in which he appears, he was unaware that she would add a cartoon word-bubble of him whispering to another senator.

Ms. Piccinini, running in the Democratic primary for the 11th District Senate seat, said she told Mr. Evans everything that would appear and "he thought it was cute."

"My letter speaks for itself," Mr. Evans said yesterday.

In the photograph, Ms. Piccinini sits at her Senate desk while in the background Mr. Evans says to Prince George's Sen. Arthur Dorman, "Yes . . . but can we get it past Janice?"

Across the bottom it says, "Senator Janice Piccinini proves that a first-term senator can be effective."

The flier implies that as a freshman senator, Ms. Piccinini has already become a force to be reckoned with.

In his letter, Mr. Evans asked her to stop using the picture, saying, "I strongly object to being made 'part of' whatever message you are trying to convey to the voters."

Mr. Dorman said Ms. Piccinini did not ask permission to use his picture. "It's pretty dumb -- the implication is that we were trying to get her vote for a bill, but I've never lobbied her or asked for her vote on a bill."

Ms. Piccinini said she had not seen Mr. Evans' letter but was "absolutely stunned" by his objection. Mr. Evans not only permitted her to use the photo but knew "verbatim" what the flier said, she declared. Carolyn Rodis, her campaign manager, said she heard Ms. Piccinini read the flier to Mr. Evans over the phone.

"I called him and told him, and he thought it was funny, that it's going to put a little humor in the campaign," Ms. Piccinini said. "I categorically deny doing that without his knowledge and permission. I can't believe it. Paula got to him."

She was referring to Sen. Paula C. Hollinger, her rival for the Democratic nomination in the Sept. 13 primary for the new 11th District. Redistricting put the two incumbent senators in the same district.

Ms. Hollinger said she has had no contact with Mr. Evans about the flier, which came to her home in a Piccinini mailing. "I can't influence anything like that," she said..

As for her rival's explanation, Ms. Hollinger said, "I can't picture anyone approving something like that . . . Art's a straight-shooter."

Mr. Evans said yesterday, "Paula didn't get to me. I fight Senator Hollinger on issues all the time. Our relationship is a very positive and productive one, and we take nothing personally."

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