BEING A mayoral candidate can be hazardous to your health.

Things got a little ugly on the campaign trail yesterday with five days to go to the Democratic primary election:

* State Rep. Dwight Evans slammed U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah for saying he would consider raising taxes to pay for after-school programs.

* U.S. Rep. Bob Brady appeared outside a company once owned by millionaire Tom Knox to criticize Knox's treatment of the workers.

* A political-action committee tried - with little success - to put an aggressive anti-Nutter ad on the air.

* And Fattah attacked the media, promising a surprise surge on Election Day.


The anti-Nutter movement continued yesterday, the same day a Daily News/Keystone poll showed him leading the pack by 10 points.

The political-action committee One Step Closer tried to air an ad slamming Nutter's proposal to use "stop, question and frisk" police tactics to seize illegal guns.

The original version of the ad - which flashes images of the civil-rights struggles of the 1960s - featured a narrator saying that Nutter's plan would suspend constitutional rights. That charge was edited out of a later version.

As of last night, at least one station refused to air the ad.

NBC 10 spokeswoman Eva Blackwell said the station had rejected the ad. 6ABC spokeswoman Caroline Welch said the station was still reviewing the ad. A Fox29 spokeswoman said the ad was also under review there.

Shawn Fordham, a consultant to One Step Closer, said CBS 3 had aired the ad.

Fordham said the group was trying to come up with a revised ad to air on 6ABC and was in negotiations with the station.

One Step Closer appears to be financed in part by past contributors to Mayor Street, Fattah and Brady. Fordham - a longtime aide to Street - would not disclose recent contributors.

Nutter had little response to the group's ad or to a Knox mailing that called him "part of Philadelphia's failed political system that has ruined our city."

"All of this is just a distraction from the real issues that matter to Philadelphians," Nutter said. "I think everybody has known for a long time what color I am and where I come from. I have an extensive record of service, and I think we need to stay focused on what really matters to Philadelphians."

Brady, meanwhile, continued his assaults on Knox, appearing outside the Kasser Distillery in North Philadelphia. According to a Philadelphia Inquirer story this week, Knox bought the firm in 1988, closed it about a year later and didn't provide promised severance to workers.

"It's absolutely disgraceful," said Brady, who featured an ex-Kasser employee at the event. "All I want to do when I'm mayor is help working men and women."

Knox spokesman Brad Katz did not return a call for comment.

Evans held a news conference to slam Fattah for saying in Monday's debate that he would raise taxes if necessary to pay for his after-school programs.

In a news release, Evans said: "We must balance our budget every year, and I'm deeply concerned that Chaka Fattah sees raising taxes as our only alternative."

Fattah issued a news release yesterday to restate his commitment to providing after-school programs.

"My opponents want fiscally irresponsible tax cuts for wealthy businesses," Fattah said in the release. "I want after-school programs for every child. The choice is clear."

At a noon news conference on his emergency-preparedness plan, Fattah complained about unfair media treatment, saying it was clear the city's media favored Nutter.

Fattah was asked about media coverage that accused him of an inappropriate racial reference in Monday night's debate, when he said he was "sorry [Nutter] has to remind himself he's an African-American."

Fattah said Nutter had injected race into the campaign with his rhetoric on crime, by saying he was "an angry black man," and saying that if the Ku Klux Klan had killed as many young black men as criminals had, the city's response would be different.

"If any other candidate had said it," Fattah said, "he or she would be criticized by the press, except it happens to be the candidate the media has decided that Philadelphians need as their mayor." *