Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Just Say No to “Dirty” Campaigns

Just got wind of this campaign mailing on behalf of State Senator Jeff Merkley (Dem.) from four “neighbors” in his senatorial district (Irene Starr, Democrat; Teena Ainslie, Republican; Dr. Tom Owen, Republican; and Dr. Howard Horner, Democrat):

Dear Neighbors:

We are writing to you to ask for your help.

Over the past two months people in our community have received seven very ugly campaign mailings from a would-be political leader named Bruce McCain.

These mailings represent everything that everyone hates about politics. McCain comes to us as the former attorney for the OCA (Oregon Citizens’ Alliance), the group Lon Mabon formed to campaign against government-aided preschools and parental leave and that brought us all those hate initiatives in the 1980s and early 1990s. McCain has hired Chuck Adams–Oregon’s premier right-wing negative campaign hatchet man–to prepare and mail these awful attacks. They are full of insults, innuendoes, misrepresentations, and outright lies. This isn’t right, and we want to do something about it!

The above is the sum total in the letter about what is wrong with McCain. In other words the four “neighbors” attack by using (surprise!) insults, innuendos, misrepresentations (and I wouldn't be surprised if there was an outright lie or two). Not a word about any of McCain’s positions vs. his opponent Jeff Merkley’s positions.

The letter ends with:

We never thought we would see in our district the type of gutter politics McCain has embraced. We want to do something about it. And we need your help. The best way we can think of to reject these types of campaign tactics is to give Jeff our well-earned support. Please join with your community to Just Say “No” to Dirty Campaigns. Please take a moment to fill out the form below and mail it back to us.

I think the best way to say “No” to dirty campaigns and gutter politics based on insults, innuendoes, misrepresentations and outright lies in Oregon communities is to throw letters like this from Irene Starr (Democrat), Teena Ainslie (Republican), Dr. Tom Owen (Republican) and Dr. Howard Horner (Democrat) in the trash. Their letter certainly does “represent everything everyone hates about politics.” No wonder so many people are registering as Independents.


Tony said...

Great post, great commentary.

1) Their letter is and describes what is wrong with politics. It is not a 2-party system problem, but a problem with the 2 parties.

2) I have been saying for a long time (and been harshly attacked on a personal level by the GOP for this--for which I left the party) that (a) you must vote FOR a candidate, never be AGAINST a candidate. Lots of reasons why (discussed at length on my blog if you are interested). And (b) if you have no candidate that you are FOR in a race then skip that race on the ballot. A non-vote is a legitimate choice and perfectly legal. (I'm shocked by how many think their ballots would be invalidated if they skip a race.)

3) I think the best message nationally to politicians would be high turnout with very low vote totals. Imagine (using my state of MN as an example) turnout of 60% but actual votes in certain races being only 40%-50%. What a message that would be...that we are fed up with the whole lot of them.

4) When in doubt, vote the incumbent out.

Thank you for the soapbox.

terrance said...

I'm with you, Tony. I only vote for candidates and issues that I'm for.

Unfortunately in Oregon the two parties keep trying to find ways to make sure that independent parties don't get on the ballot. Tells a lot about how they value democracy as opposed to power.

Thank you for your good thinking posted at Always Right, Usually Correct.