Everything's negative except the ions
One of our faithful readers is an astrology expert. Maybe he or she can tell us if there's something in the stars this week that is making the establishment candidates in our various elections become so wickedly negative toward their challengers.
Or maybe it's just the trickle-down effect of Hillary throwing Reverend Wright and related garbage at Obama. Whatever it is, the candidates of the powers that be are slinging some serious mud.
We've already noted that Peapicker Gordon, who doesn't even have any real primary opponent to attack, has gone seriously negative against both of the Democratic challengers who are vying for the privilege of having their booties whupped by him in the fall. Get this: They're the status quo, and Gordon's the agent of change. Is it a sin to tell a lie where Senator Smith comes from?
In the Democratic ranks, we reported last night that Jeff Merkley, the choice of the Network Formerly Known as Goldschmidt, has gone way to the minus side of the spectrum as he calls Steve Novick out for comments Novick wrote on BlueOregon over the years. Hey Jeff, man, it's a blog.
Moving to the state office scene, Greg Macpherson, the old-money candidate for Oregon attorney general, just released an ugly little TV piece attacking his opponent, John Kroger:
Now granted, Kroger's last ad noted that he was the only candidate who's ever tried a case, which by negative implication pointed out that Macpherson never had. Macpherson's entitled to respond to that in kind. But I must say that this latest spot is the most negative ad I've seen around here in a long time. It rivals Mannix and Sizemore in its tone and misleading content.
And it's so unlike Macpherson, who at heart is a quiet and kind guy who can get things done without being nasty to those who disagree with him. This ad isn't the Greg I used to know, and he must be truly worried about his chances for him to be drifting into this territory. He claims to be the face of old Oregon, but this sort of thing is straight outta Jersey City.
At the local level, Portland City Council wannabe Jim Middaugh takes a couple of swipes at his main opponent, Nick Fish, and disrespects his lesser known opponents at the same time in this radio ad (mp3). "My opponent," he says, as if there were only one, "has taken thousands of dollars from some of Portland's biggest developers, but since I'm publicly financed, I didn't take a dime from big business."
True enough, on its face. But of course, the reason that Middaugh was the only candidate to qualify for taxpayer money to pay big bucks for his truncated campaign is that he is the handpicked successor to Erik Sten. And as has been noted on this blog before, Middaugh had a six-week head start on getting organized to run, because Sten told him about his pending mysterious resignation long before the public heard about it. When Sten made his announcement, there were only 10 days left before the deadline to qualify for public financing. Sten then quickly endorsed his crony Middaugh, and called and e-mailed the members of his own well established City Hall machine to help Middaugh qualify for public financing in three days.
Ugly politics, at best. If that was how I got my "clean money," I wouldn't be bragging about it.