Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Jesse, stop whining about negative attacks that aren't negative

Jesse, over at Coolest Family Ever, has already decided to not support Trisha Beck for her State Legislative race based on what he thinks were negative ads from 2006, and that she started the negative ads.

I'm here today to call BS on both these subjects.

First, let's read what he said about the negative ads in 2006.

This week marked an unpleasant turn in the race for Senate District 9: negative campaigning. It kicked off with a flier from Trisha Beck blasting her opponent, Wayne Niederhauser, for outspending her by a margin of almost 7-to-1. She fails to mention, however, that Niederhauser is spending about what's average for a seat in the legislature these days.

Actually, Niederhauser spent more than any other Senate Candidate in 2006. In fact, if you take the person in the #2 spot, add to it the actual average of about $59,000, you still won't top Niederhauser's number.

$282,392.83 is hardly average. But, we'll move on...

It was then followed up with a reprint of an endorsement from the Tribune with negative comments about Niederhauser highlighted

From the Tribune Editorial, the comments I'm sure Jesse referred to:

But, despite being a certified public accountant, Niederhauser's number-crunching ability seems to desert him when he says he would be open to vouchers or tuition tax credits to put public money into private schools, something Beck strongly opposes. And it takes total flight when Niederhauser argues that cutting taxes gives government more money with which to meet the very needs he promises to address.

That's the only negative that can be found about Niederhauser in the editorial.

But, Jesse wasn't done:

The grand finale was a flier pushing Beck's record on increasing education spending while insinuating that Niederhauser cuts education funding.

Actually, it didn't insinuate anything. It stated it plain as day. And, it told the truth. And, it wasn't negative. It's like me sending out a flier stating that Joe Crockett hates onions and you saying that's negative. (And Joe really does hate onions, that's a fact.)

Niederhauser has, thankfully, not resorted to these low-ball tactics, even if his party did send out a flier tying Beck to Al Gore and his 2000 run for president.

Which I'm sure Niederhauser came right out and rebuked his party for, right?

Probably not. I'm sure he probably had a say in the ad.

One thing that Jesse doesn't mention is the mailer that was sent out that stated that Trisha supports legalizing pot, and insinuating that she probably smokes it, which is false. Not to mention the guys in black suits walking the neighborhood telling lies about her.

So, I'd like my friend Jesse to please start looking at facts and not fiction. It will help a lot.


1 comment:

Jesse Harris said...

Some clarifications, if I may.

For starters, you'll note that I wrote about Niederhauser's spending totals on November 5 before the final campaign finance reports were in. Based on the data available at the time, what I said was true. Seeing that so much was spent in the 11th hour certainly does raise eyebrows, however.

The flyer highlighting the Tribune editorial characterized their opinion of Niederhauser as entirely negative. Given this just wasn't so, it smelled like spin and distortion to me. This certainly colored my opinion of the successive flyer that was released, especially since saying that a single legislator is responsible for a budget cut is quite the hyperbole. As for the infamous "pot ad", I had never seen it and did not receive it in my mailbox. I've also not seen any reproduction of it online. In my frame of reference, it didn't exist at the time and I can't find any documentation other than Paul Rolly's blog that claims the Republican Party was responsible for it, not Niederhauser.

Ideally, every candidate would distance themselves from their party when they do something they don't approve of. In practice, it doesn't happen all that often. I'm disappointed that he wouldn't make a statement disavowing those tactics, but I'm not going to resort to "guilty by association" either. (That's probably why the flier calling Beck and Gore BFFs didn't phase me.)

One thing is for sure: Trisha Beck made a lot of smoke over the negative flyer (yuk, yuk), but it seems rather hypocritical to do so when you've been sending negative flyers of your own. All in all, Beck was more willing to give me reasons to vote against her opposition than to vote for her. It doesn't jive with me.