Top Democrat's visit spurs harsh attack on DeJuliis campaign Ehrlich says Fowler came as 'attack dog'; CAMPAIGN 1996

THE BALTIMORE SUN

When Donald L. Fowler showed up in Towson yesterday to stump for 2nd District congressional candidate Connie Galiazzo DeJuliis, not many local people knew who he was. But her rival, Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., changed all that.

Though the name of Fowler, the Democratic national party co-chairman, isn't exactly a household word, his brief appearance at the old courthouse prompted Republican Ehrlich's harshest attack yet on DeJuliis.

In a statement issued several hours before Fowler's appearance, he painted Democrat DeJuliis as a tool of "the nation's labor bosses" and a slave to political action committee money.

He also included virtually every other GOP bogyman, from "the liberal ideologues at EMILY's List," a politically active group of Democratic pro-abortion rights women, to "her political soul mate," Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

Why the harsh attack? Because, said Ehrlich campaign manager Bob McKinney, Fowler came "as an attack dog" to savage the congressman's reputation for national political reasons.

"It's not really about the 2nd District. It's about the Democrats trying to get back into power," McKinney said.

Fowler offered a very different explanation.

TTC Ehrlich is frustrated, Fowler said after speaking to several dozen DeJuliis supporters. "It's just a sign that he's going down the tubes," he said. "It's encouraging."

Fowler had nothing kind to say about Ehrlich's record, attacking him for opposing the minimum-wage increase and for his votes to cut college loans and school lunches. He also criticized Ehrlich for voting to block release of the preliminary ethics report on House Speaker Newt Gingrich's controversial college course.

Fowler said part of his reason for aiding DeJuliis was "so that Democrats can recapture control of the U.S. House of Representatives and we'll get rid of Newt Gingrich."

DeJuliis, meanwhile, stressed her campaign themes of supporting the working class and "taking back our government from the extreme right wing."

She noted that Ehrlich has had prominent Republicans, including House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, come to the district to speak and raise money for him.

Next week, House budget committee Chairman John R. Kasich of Ohio is scheduled to appear at a Hunt Valley luncheon fund-raiser for Ehrlich.

But McKinney said that's not the same. "We didn't bring him in to bash her and then leave," he said. "John Kasich isn't going to be talking about Connie DeJuliis."

Pub Date: 10/04/96

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