Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown's campaign for governor has produced television ads to date providing autobiographical information and policy proposals – nothing that could be construed as "negative."
A new mailing to voters adopts a different tone, questioning fellow Democratic contender Douglas F. Gansler's "puzzling priorities."
"Why does Doug Gansler want a $1.6 billion tax giveaway for corporations when he says we can't afford universal full day Pre-K?" says the mailer, which contains the words "reckless and irresponsible" in large block lettering.
In an interview, Brown campaign manager Justin Schall said, "I wouldn't call this negative. This is a policy contrast. He [Gansler] wants to lower corporate taxes and he doesn't support universal pre-K."
The $1.6 billion figure is a five-year estimate of the revenue Maryland would give up by lowering the corporate income tax rate from 8.25 percent to 6 percent.
Gansler has proposed gradually reducing the rate, beginning with a 0.25 percent cut in the first year. He says the cost of that initial cut would be offset by closing a tax avoidance loophole, and that he wouldn't proceed with the remaining years' cuts unless it was helping expand the business community, creating new jobs.
The mailer says Gansler, the state attorney general, "doesn't share our values" about full-day pre-kindergarten. Schall said Gansler's position on pre-K and corporate taxes represent "two very stark contrasts" between the two candidates.
Gansler's campaign says he favors universal pre-K but that it should be phased in – beginning with the neediest families – to make sure it's affordable and effective.
Gansler spokeswoman Katie Hill called the mailer "blatantly false." She said Gansler "supports universal pre-K, and his plan to lower the corporate income tax rate would bring in much-needed revenue to pay for schools, public transit, and other important programs that Democrats hold dear."
Brown, Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur will face off in the primary on June 24.