Forward reporter Beth Schwartzapfel gives us the latest from the Cardin-Steele contest:
In the final hours of the tight race for the Maryland Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Paul Sarbanes, a flier in support of Republican candidate Michael Steele in his fight against Democrat Ben Cardin has garnered accusations of anti-Semitism. Emma Jean Thompson, co-pastor of Integrity Church International in Landover, Maryland, yesterday released a flyer which read, in part, “Ben Cardin Promises to attack Jesus Christ, Pastors, Churches and Christians and to Take Away Black’s [sic] Freedom If He Is Elected.” The flier was distributed following a press conference yesterday at which Thompson, who is African-American, endorsed Steele, who is also black. Cardin is white and Jewish.
The incident echoes the opposition that Steve Cohen – a Jewish Democrat running for the U.S. House in Memphis – has encountered from black Christian leaders in that city. (As well as the opposition that New York City Council member David Yassky faced from black leaders when he tried to win the Democratic nomination for a U.S. House seat representing a majority-minority Brooklyn district.)
The National Jewish Democratic Council called the flier a “thinly veiled anti-semitic attack against Cardin,” and called on Steele to condemn the flier and reject Thompson’s endorsement. So far, there’s been no word about the flier from the Steele campaign. No one at the campaign, nor at Integrity Church, was available for comment.
The Maryland race is considered to be “leaning Democrat,” but the race has been tightening; the most recent poll, released by pollsters Mason-Dixon on November 3rd, had Cardin leading Steele by only 3 percentage points, 47 to 43.