Democratic-sponsored ad features Libertarian candidate in Maryland’s 1st district

Amanda Carey Contributor
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A new ad was circulated via mail earlier this week to voters in Maryland’s 1st Congressional district. The mailer, which discloses in the bottom right-hand corner that it was paid for by the Democratic Congressional Committee (DCCC), features a candidate named Richard Davis.

There’s just one problem. Richard Davis is not a Democrat. He’s not even the Republican in the race. Davis is the Libertarian nominee for Congress.

As Democrats face the possibility of significant losses on Election Day, desperation seems to have set in. And as an attempt to retain Democratic numbers in Congress, a new trend has taken hold on the campaign trail: sending out ads that promote third-party candidates in the hope of siphoning votes away from the Republican.

The ad’s headline, “Is Richard Davis out of touch with Maryland?,” runs next to a drawing that looks like a Revolutionary War-era patriot. “He’s a complete outsider who thinks that the government threatens our freedoms,” it reads.

Maryland voters are then cautioned that Davis “would be a vote for the Tea Party by cutting government spending, drastically reducing the size of government across the board [and] getting rid of all programs not mentioned in the Constitution.”

In other words, the ad cautions Marylanders against every Tea Partier’s dream: a congressman who actually believes in limited government and the Constitution. And since Maryland’s 1st district is already relatively conservative compared to the rest of the state (it went overwhelmingly to McCain in 2008), such statements won’t go unnoticed.

The incumbent congressman representing that district in the U.S. House is Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil; he’s also considered to be one of the most endangered Democrats this year. In 2008, he narrowly defeated his Republican opponent, Andy Harris.

This year, he faces Harris again and according to RealClearPolitics, the race stands at a virtual tie. Richard Davis is a dentist in Hurlock, MD, who has never before run for public office.

But the 1st district of Maryland isn’t the only place Democrat-sponsored ads promoting third-party candidates have been floating around. It has been well documented elsewhere as well.

Just yesterday, Democratic Illinois U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias admitted that his campaign was behind a mailer that was sent out touting Libertarian candidate Mike Labno. The cover of the mailer features a picture of Republican candidate Mark Kirk, above the headline, “Not a Conservative?”

Inside the mailer is a picture of Labno with the words, “Conservative Mike Labno, the only pro-gun, pro-life candidate for U.S. Senate.”

Last week, Democratic Congressional candidate Bryan Lentz of Pennsylvania acknowledged he knew his campaign staffers were involved in getting the Tea Party candidate, Jim Schneller, on the ballot. Lentz is also in a close race with his Republican opponent, Pat Meehan.

And as The Daily Caller previously reported, Republican Congressional candidate and former NFL player Jon Runyan also faces a Democrat-recruited Tea Party candidate in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional district. Although incumbent Rep. John Adler has denied any involvement with the third-party candidate, evidence suggests otherwise.

In response to the accusations, the Democratic National Committee recently released a statement saying, “Republicans have no one to blame but their own ideological intolerance for the bloody civil war on their side.”