Wynn Accused of Inflating His List of Endorsements

Democratic Senate candidate Benjamin L. Cardin joins hands during a prayer with Paula Stephens of Baltimore County during services at Reid Temple AME Church in Glenn Dale.
Democratic Senate candidate Benjamin L. Cardin joins hands during a prayer with Paula Stephens of Baltimore County during services at Reid Temple AME Church in Glenn Dale. (By Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)
By John Wagner and Ovetta Wiggins
Monday, September 11, 2006

On the final weekend before Maryland's party primaries, church congregations swelled with candidates, Rep. Albert R. Wynn 's challenger accused him of more sins and Rep. Chris Van Hollen gave his blessing to a state Senate challenger in his district.

Donna Edwards , who is mounting a spirited primary challenge to Wynn in the 4th Congressional District, said that the Democratic incumbent had "sucker punched" voters by exaggerating his support in recent mailings.

The latest example was a "Women for Wynn" mailing that included Montgomery County council member Marilyn Praisner (D-Eastern County) in a list of more than 70 supporters.

In an interview, Praisner said Wynn had contacted her directly seeking permission to use her name. She said no.

But "I got one in the mail, and it has my name on it," Praisner said.

Late yesterday afternoon, Wynn said he called Praisner to apologize for what he said was a clerical error.

At least two labor unions -- the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters -- also have raised questions about Wynn's use of their names on his literature.

Wynn lists the two groups among about 40 that "want to send Al Wynn back to Congress."

"We were surprised that our name was on the literature," said Ellen Golombek , director of government affairs for SEIU.

Curt Clifton , a spokesman for Wynn, said Wynn received contributions from the union and the Teamsters with letters of support for his reelection bid. Golombek said she was looking into whether a check was sent to Wynn last year; none were sent in 2006, she said.

She added that the union "elected not to endorse in this congressional race."

Ferline Buie , president of Teamsters Joint Council No. 55, which represents five local unions in the 4th District, sent a letter to Wynn's campaign Friday asking that his literature be corrected because the union has endorsed Edwards.


CONTINUED     1           >

© 2006 The Washington Post Company