Thursday, October 21, 2004

Electoral Storm - The Attack is in the Mail

. . . caff caff... mailer war. . . heating up . . . mailbox . . . bending from the weight . . . must . . . keep . . . up.

Apparently, the worse thing you can say about a political opponent is that he's wrong. The Democractic Central Commitee takes a swing at Jack Cairnes (47 Distict State Rep, Position2) for his self-promotion (noted earlier and elsewhere in this journal), saying "Wrong Priorities and Wrong for Us". The Republican Congressional Commitee has Dave Ross (8th District US Rep) as being "Wrong for Washington. Wrong for America". The more venomous mailers tar their opponents with every accusation under the sun, then close up with that candidate just being "Wrong". Aparently being "Wrong" is the new "Not in the Mainstream" in campaign epithets (though "Desperate" is creeping up fast on the inside curve) . No wonder the current national administration never admits it's wrong.

The anti-Jack Cairnes ad is interesting in that it is all up in his grill about his contributions and his campaign spending, particularly the stuff that's public funded, like the self-promoting congressional updates. Cairnes is #6 on the big spender's list, quoting from the Olympian. Horrors! Of course, that part of the ad has a magnifying glass icon over the the list, showing that #1 and #10 are also Republicans, and obscuring the rest (I tracked down the list - Numbers 3 and 4 are Democrats, the rest are GOP, and Jack is up to #6 from a more restrained #32. The full story is here).

Further, it points out that almost all of Cairnes private funding came from source outside his district - with a lot of developer funds, pro-gun groups, and a nice chunk from Eli Lilly. Actually, it think Cairnes could make this attack a point in his favor "I'm running on other people's money, the better to relieve the burden on the 47th District". I'm not saying he should - but it's just a thought.

8th District US Senate candidate Dave Ross, is, of course, also Wrong, Wrong Wrong. I mentioned early on that being able to comb through an opponent's legislative record is nothing compared with being able to nail your foe on a career in broadcast radio. The guns are out, the firing is heavy, the shelling relentless, but their aim is still . . . a little off. In addition to going after him for supporting/not supporting gay marriage, pointing out that Iraq wasn't working out the way we planned, and mocking our leaders, the most recent broadside (arriving on a daily basis, now), connects his criticism of a missile-based defense system with giving the wrong signal to terrorists. Now, aside from the fact that I'm not sure what a missile-based defense system has to DO with Terrorists (unless they're carrying, you know, missiles), this would be a criticism of a missile-based defense system that, um, doesn't work in the first place. Advice: Pick Your Shots. And get a different picture of Ross - he looks like a High School guidance counselor in ALL the pictures I've seen of him.

Meanwhile, back in the 47th, for the other representitive position, "Citizens for Empowerment" are attacking incumbant Geoff Simpson. You can expect some sleaze when even the GOP won't back something like this. Geoff is a "job-killer" who has voted "No" on important job-related bills. Well, actually, they're corporate-bailout bills - you know, tax incentives to companies that ship out jobs, letting corps off the hook for treating their employees badly, slashing unemployment benefits so the corporations don't have pay as much unemployment insurance, but if you trust the corporations to do the right thing (as these Empowered Citizens clearly do), he's obviously a "job-killer". And, of course, they use the "scary Geoff Simpson" picture in black and white. So, its an effective smear, provided that no one, like, reads it.

The Washington State Democratic Central Committee, though, has created what I think is the scariest ad so far. They paid real money for a graphic designer to turn out a series of "Steve Altick's Guide to Making Big Bucks in Public Life". No scary picture of the opposing candidate here. Rather cartoon clip-art, non-standard mailer sizes, and bright solid nonpolitical colors (kelly green and violet so far). The subject matter is a little dense (loaning personal funds to the one's own campaign at a high interest rate) and a little dated (The candidate wants to cap jury settlements, but sued the local school distict for a million dollars - in 1987), but these stand out from the crowd and are very effective- how effective? I'm looking forward to the next one,

Now, that's just wrong.

More later,