There are more tricks than treats coming from the 28th District political campaigns this month.
One of the most dishonest fliers we’ve ever seen has just been mailed from the camp of a candidate for the state Senate in the 28th District, Tami Green. Green, a Democrat, is running against Republican state Sen. Steve O’Ban.
The Green hit piece lists no sponsor. Emblazoned at the top is “The News Tribune,” creating the false impression it was sent to homes by this newspaper.
It deliberately twists and falsifies an editorial that appeared in this space last Friday. Here’s how:
Our editorial condemned sleazy campaign ads, including anti-Green fliers distributed by an independent anti-Democrat group.
But there’s not a sliver of evidence that the outside group was coordinating its efforts with Steve O’Ban’s campaign, which would be illegal. We took pains to note that O’Ban’s own campaign mailers were “perfectly acceptable.”
Here’s the whole sentence from the editorial: “While literature put out by O’Ban’s campaign is perfectly acceptable, a mystery group called the Good Government Leadership Council has sent out one sleazy flier after another to slam Green with laughably misleading ads.”
The fake-News Tribune mailer reprinted our condemnation of the independent group. But – from the middle of the excerpt – it removed the statement that O’Ban’s ads are “perfectly acceptable.” Someone who hadn’t read the editorial would assume that we had condemned material from the O’Ban campaign – precisely the opposite of what we did say.
This was conscious, malicious doctoring of a passage to misrepresent our comment on a campaign.
The doctored reproduction of the editorial wasn’t sent out by a murky independent attack group. It was sent out by a Democratic official, Don Green, who chairs the Democratic Party in the 28th District.
Don Green happens to be Tami Green’s husband. It carries their address, but not – tellingly – their names. She distances herself from the deceit by saying that her husband did not ask her permission to distribute it.
At the same time, though, she justifies it as “an attempt to set the record straight.”
Artfully misrepresenting our editorial sets the record straight?
We’ll set the record straight on another point the mailer neglected to mention: We endorsed Steve O’Ban for the state Senate in this position, not Tami Green.