David MacAnally/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - For the first time in a decade, Congresswoman Julia Carson is in a tough race for re-election. Her campaign started running a batch of positive image ads on the same day National Democrats go after her Republican opponent with the gloves off.
Her yard signs sell love, but there is no love in fliers hitting some 7th District mail boxes attacking Congresswoman Julia Carson's opponent.
"I'm absolutely shocked and appalled," says Republic Eric Dickerson.
The ads were done by the National Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington and not by Congresswoman Carson. Carson told Eyewitness News "I'm outraged by it."
One mailer we were given reads: "What's worse? A candidate for congress who beats his wife, bites his kid, and goes to jail or a candidate who lies about it? Eric Dickerson was accused of doing both."
The Democratic mailer is talking about Dickerson's 1991 domestic violence arrest. The prosecutor later dropped all charges. Last month the Congresswoman brought the old charges up again to Indianapolis Star reporters and now they are back in the fliers.
"I didn't authorize it," said Carson. "I told them no negatives in this campaign and they dropped that piece anyway. I feel very, very bad about that."
Republican Dickerson said he wants a public apology from Julia Carson.
"This mailer tells me we've been right all along, that it's a neck-and-neck race, the Carson camp is desperate to the point the Democratic National Committee is throwing thousands of dollars in this race now to try and save her seat," said Dickerson.
Brian Howey, who writes the Howey Political Report blog calls it "probably the most scurrilous campaign literature I've even seen."
"When you see this dropping in the mail in the last week of the campaign," Howey said, "that tells me they think she's vulnerable and they're going to pull out all the stops they can to save her."
For word-weary voters, one of them told us "I have my opinions about Julia Carson before I received anything like that and they're not good."
Another voter said "I notice all the ad campaigns and they tend to be very negative."
"I've gotten to the point that I'm tired of it all frankly," another voter told us.
Congresswoman Carson says she may send a flier to 7th District voters explaining she didn't authorize this ad. Eric Dickerson demands she call a news conference and apologize.