It disgusts me the depths to which some people will go to smear others in political campaigns. I got a phone call yesterday morning from my friend Jay Allen, who’s been on the Fitchburg City Council for years, and is now running for Mayor against this Vivian person.
After I fired Jay at Mid-West many years ago, he built a very successful business in appliance repair, and has come into my home many times to fix stuff. We’ve remained friends through the years, and I often joke with him that when I fired him, it was the best thing that ever happened to him. Some day, Jay will be able to “buy and sell” me many times over. And he has worked hard for his success. His business is growing by leaps and bounds and he works his butt off.
This Vivian person put out a piece of campaign literature alleging that Jay has “ties to a domestic terrorist organization”. What a load of horseshit, as Bill Lueders at Isthmus exposed in a great online article. Take a moment to read it, and you’ll be as disgusted as I am at this Vivian person. Lueders’ article has a link to the “campaign document” that labels Jay a terrorist sympathizer.
The local blogosphere was abuzz with the story yesterday, and Paul Soglin’s blog resonated this morning with a great post about the smear on Jay.
Here’s the thing that annoys me the most. People like this Vivian person will stoop to any depth to try and make their opponent look bad. And the fear appeal is their stock-in-trade. Remember the recent campaigns that have done the same thing? The gut-check judge smearing her opponent constantly (and the right-wing bloggers lapping it up); the last State Supreme Court election that saw one candidate call the other - a sitting Justice - “Loophole Louie” - and the constant din of negativity that pervades so many of the state and local races these days.
Full disclosure: I am a friend of Jay Allen‘s and a financial contributor to his campaign, but am not connected in any other way with his campaign organization. I can’t even vote in that election because I don’t live in Fitchburg, nor do I live in an area which will be annexed by Fitchburg. Crap like the stuff this Vivian person is throwing around is scary, not only because it’s patently absurd, but because IT WORKS. How else would we have elected a person like the gut-check woman or Herr Goebbel-mann???
I hope the voters of Fitchburg will not be scared by this horrid lie the Vivian person is telling. But too often, the people most likely to vote are those also most likely to be swayed by false allegations of terrorist ties. I hope they see it for the hogwash it is.