The only announced candidate for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor of Virginia has been the target of an unsigned campaign flier that alleges he pushed for a "liberal Virginia judiciary" and is a friend of "dope pushers and booze merchants."
"It is indeed scurrilous," state Sen. L. Douglas Wilder of Richmond said of the flier. "I don't denounce it as being racist. I denounce it as unwholesome, illegal and not conducive of open political discussion.
"It demeans not just me but other Democrats too," said Wilder, who is black.
The flier, billed as a "confidential draft" from Wilder to "all state senators and delegates of both parties," purports to spell out why his bid for higher office "is necessary to assure victory for the entire slate of Democrats in next fall's elections."
The one-page, single-spaced flier alleges that Wilder has consistently voted against raising the minimum legal drinking age to 21 and pushed for a "liberal Virginia judiciary" that lets "our defense attorney friends' dope pusher clients off with lighter sentences than their victim drug users receive."
It alleges that he and Del. Mary Sue Terry (D-Patrick), a candidate for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, depend on a constituency of "homosexuals, the women's libbers, the proabortionists, the religion haters, the liberal media, the slick defense lawyers, the dope pushers and the booze merchants."
It also claims Wilder not only aspires for the lieutenant governor's slot next year, but the governor's mansion in 1989.
"If you liked the American Civil Liberties Union running the Virginia prison system under Gov. Charles S. Robb, you are going to love the outfit I let run the prisons under the Wilder administration," the flier said.
Wilder said he received the flier in a plain white envelope mailed from Northern Virginia. He said at least two Democratic delegates have received similar fliers.
Wilder said the flier did not surprise him, "but it would be good to nip in the bud early on, so we can have a campaign geared to issues."