Sunday, October 31, 2004

Electoral Storm - Boo!

Ah, All Hallow's Eve. I'm torn between mocking right-thinking individuals who are flipping out about it falling on the Sabbath (where, as you know, the proper place to be is in front of the Tube, watching football), and left-thinking individuals who are flipping out about negative presentation of witches (not to mention the uncomfortable social interaction when a pagan friend turns up at work with the big black hat and a broomstick). So I'll wrap up the electioneering here.

Washington State stopped being a swing state about a month ago, though if we knew that we'd get Springsteen if we just held out, we would have lied to the pollsters. Rossi (R) has a slender chance at Governor against Gregoire (D). The national Repubs have pulled out of Nethercutt's campaign, leaving him to do a "blooper reel" ad with his wife which pushes his humanity as opposed to his positions. So the "front" of the conflict has now moved into the deep suburbs, the area where the city hits the developing rural areas. That would be the 8th US Congressional and the 47th State Representatives, where I live. And the mail is showing it.

There are not two Americas in this crop of mailers, but four completely separate realities at work. There is the reality of Candidate A - bright, sunny, and dynamic. Then there is Candidate A's party's picture of Candidate B - dark, evil, malignant. Then there is Candidate B's reality - Dynamic, wise, positive. And coupled with that is Candidate B's party's picture of Candidate A - evil, conspiring, festering. You'd quickly come to the opinion that there are FOUR candidates running for office - A, B, A's evil twin, and B's evil twin.

Reichert stands out as the bright hope of a Republican win, and the GOP is carpet bombing against his opponent's evil twin. The former Sherrif is supposedly above the fray, except for his tag line "I approve this message, because talk never saved a life", a mild snark against opponent Ross's talk show background. The bulk of my mailers from the past week have been hammering Ross, who is going to raise taxes, destroy medicine, weaken our military and have wild kinky sex on the flag. Pretty much standard stuff out of the GOP playbook (Do they have a catalog for these? On the web, I saw two other people in local campaigns who were branded as "The Hate America Crowd have found their candidate").

And after the spate of slimy attack ads, what do you do for an encore? Of course, you send out a mailer attaking your opponent for HIS attack ads. I don't have any anti-Reichert mailers, but they have had a strong on-air pressence on the former Sherrif's increasingly conservative views. How dare they point that out! Foul!

Reichert/Ross isn't the only slimepit in our area. Steve Alitck's supporters have made up the bulk of the remainder of the mail with an assault on incumbent Geoff Simpson. Altick, who runs a non-profit (Codeword: Christian) camp, has been attacked with the standard conservative boogey-men - soft on criminals and allowing sexual predators to roam our streets. But the big one is the 22% raise in gas tax, obvious evidence that Simpson wants to raise your taxes. Boo!

This last one is valid - Simpson voted for the tax raise, but as always, things are not as they seem. First off, gas taxes went up by 22%, which I think is a penny a gallon. And the vote in question was the big roll-over our state legislature did for Boeing to keep the new plane - a Tax increase voted for by the a lot of the legislature, including Gubernatorial candidate Rossi and Jack Carnes, who in the incumbent in the OTHER position in the 47th . And as a result of ads like this, Boeing itself has gotten the wind up its skirt and pulled all funding of the state GOP for the rest of the election. Good move, guys. When you're the party of big business - don't go ticking off big business.

The anti-Altick attack ads (the stylish ones) wrap up with the little factoid that Altick is being investigated by the IRS. Not exactly the best recommendation for the party of fiscal responsibility, and I hope to have more data on this before election day (no bets on this).

Over at the other position in the 47th, there was a nicely-done zinger tying incumbant Jack Cairnes with the (fairly-unpopular) slot machine initiative. There also was an Anti-Sullivan ad that is pretty much standard catalog - not having enough traction on Sullivan's record, it goes after his "allies", meaning other Democrat. In this local race, of all of them, the candidates have been pushing their merits (Cairnes is a purple-heart vet who's written a children's book, Sullivan has a lot of experience at lower-levels and is beloved by Covington) as opposed to letting the party dogs flip out on their behalf.

That's about it. Stragglers on Monday, but unless something big breaks, its all over but the shooting. Tuesday, go vote.

More later,