Maryland’s Michael Steele was just elected chair of the RNC as many of you have heard. You may remember Steele’s “Scarlet R” imbroglio and the delightful ad he ran about puppies when he ran for Senator, but what I remember best is his campaign’s “recruitment of out-of-state homeless men to hand out misleading campaign literature in African-American neighborhoods” (from TPM):
On the eve of this month’s election, the mailers began landing in Prince George’s mailboxes. One was a glossy red, black and green flier — the colors that represent African American power — sporting pictures of County Executive Jack B. Johnson, his predecessor, Wayne K. Curry and past NAACP president and former U.S. Senate candidate Kweisi Mfume.
Above the pictures of the three Democrats the flier read, “Ehrlich-Steele Democrats,” and underneath it announced: “These are OUR Choices.”
None of the three candidates had endorsed the governor, and only Curry had declared his support for Steele.
There were other fliers, too. A similar “Democratic” guide with Ehrlich’s and Steele’s photo on the front appeared in Baltimore. Another distributed in Baltimore County identified the Republican candidate for county executive as a Democrat.
Of course, these stunts didn’t work so well: Steele was crushed by Ben Cardin and Ehrlich lost badly to Tommy Carcetti even after the whole serial killer hoax debacle in Baltimore.
Update: I forgot about the whole oreos story too:
According to numerous reports in the Washington Times, Steele was “pelted” with Oreo cookies, which signifies a racial slur for being black on the outside and white on the inside.
Times reporter S.A. Miller is one of the writers who referenced the incident in news articles on more than one occasion. Miller told WTOP he attended the event in 2002 and saw Steele get hit with cookies.
When pressed, Miller said he couldn’t swear in court that Steele did get hit with cookies because he didn’t actually see it happen.
On Tuesday, Steele told WTOP that he was never hit with Oreos and said the incident has been exaggerated.
I like this part especially from an Ehrlich spokesman:
“It was raining Oreos. They were thick in the air like locusts. I was there.”