ANNAPOLIS – The big sad eyes of a black Labrador retriever stare up at Prince George’s County voters from the front of an ad slamming county executive candidate Michael Jackson, whose sheriff’s deputies infamously killed a local mayor’s two dogs in a botched July 2008 drug raid.
“You shot my dogs. You shot my dogs,” the ad reads.
But the ad, which says it was paid for by the 1199 SEIU Political Action Fund, arrived in some households Thursday, two days after the Democratic primary election in which Rushern L. Baker III defeated Jackson, the current county sheriff. Baker is now running unopposed in November’s general election.
A union of healthcare workers, 1199 SEIU sent the mailing that reminds voters of the invasion staged by the Prince George’s County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office into the home of Cheye Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights.
Calvo’s two black labs were shot, and he and his mother-in-law were handcuffed while the police and the sheriff’s office ransacked the house for a package of drugs addressed to Calvo’s wife, Trinity Tomsic. Later, authorities admitted Calvo and Tomsic were caught in the middle of a smuggling scheme in which drugs are shipped to innocent neighbors and intercepted, often, before the packages are collected.
Jackson could not be reached for comment.
An earlier ad, which also says it was paid for by 1199 SEIU, urges voters to “take a look at Sheriff Michael Jackson’s brutal record” and lists incidents involving the sheriff’s office that date from September 2006.
James Adams, Baker’s communications director, said the campaign did not have any input into the ads and could comment only on its own campaign materials.
“SEIU represents thousands of working families in Prince George’s County, and they have the right to advocate on their behalf,” Adams said. “We have been the target of so many attacks. We have chosen not to address those kinds of attacks on us.”
Attempts to reach 1199 SEIU for comment were unsuccessful.