Wetterling's deceptive anti-Bachmann ads: slime never sleeps

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It's easy to make sport of Michele Bachmann, the state legislator who says God told her to run for the U.S. Congress, remains skeptical about global warming, and is best known for her opposition to gay marriage. By contrast, Bachmann's opponent, Patty Wetterling, entered political life as a powerfully sympathetic figure who had a son go missing nearly 20 years ago and has worked tirelessly to prevent the same from happening to other parents.

One would think Wetterling and her supporters would favor an honest, positive, issues-driven campaign. Nope. Apparently a sterling personal resume and fortuitous circumstances aren't sufficient. The ways in which Wetterling and her supporters have campaigned over the past six weeks stink to high heaven. Last week, a field organizer attempted to infiltrate the Bachmann campaign with a deceptive email, and was properly fired. Back in September, Wetterling produced an ad that took Bachmann's tepid support for a national sales tax totally out of context, not mentioning that the tax would replace many other taxes, and closing with the snide comment that Minnesota can't afford a politician like Bachmann.

More recently, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ran another ad that, if anything, was more cynical and deceptive than the sales tax attack. Using a single vote Bachmann made on an omnibus crime bill in the Minnesota Legislature (credit to Eric Black's blog, The Big Question, for that reportage), the DCCC ad paints Bachmann as soft on sex offenders and meth production near children. In fact, as Black reports, Bachmann had earlier voted for Republican-sponsored crime bills that provided tougher penalties on sex offenses than the bill that eventually passed the Minnesota House and also voted to criminalize meth production in places near children. Bachmann voted against that final bill because the DFL majority had laden it down with so many non-crime spending items.

Michele Bachmann's candidacy is likewise a textbook example of political nastiness and distortion--but Wetterling and her supporters are certainly doing their share when it comes to debasing the political discourse. If Wetterling can't beat Bachmann without unfairly labeling her opponent a big spender who is soft on crime and punishment issues, then she's just another pol willing to say or do anything to get elected.

Here's the DCCC ad, and below it a link to the Wetterling campaign's ad.

See Wetterling's national sales tax ad


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