(Chuck Muth) – Politics ain’t for the faint-hearted. It’s been described as war without the bloodshed (usually). Negative attacks are the coin of the realm. That said, four Nevada candidates have already taken this too far and crossed over the line.
Let’s start with Democrat gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak. In response to a report that his Republican opponent, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, had met with folks at the First Choice Pregnancy Services Center, Sisolak attacked the organization, calling it a “shameful group.”
As explained on their website, First Choice “provides complete, accurate information, free lab-quality high-sensitivity pregnancy tests with immediate results, pregnancy and/or medical consultation and state-of-the-art 2D / 3D / 4D ultrasound services to women and couples who are making decisions about unintended pregnancies.”
As columnist Victor Joecks asks, how is it “shameful to give pregnant women free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds,” as well as “emotional support and information on how abortion isn’t her only option?”
It isn’t. And Mr. Sisolak should be ashamed for saying it is. That’s a foul, even in politics.
Then there’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Schwartz, who recently attacked Laxalt’s military service, referring to him derisively as nothing more than a “briefcase soldier.”
Laxalt was a lieutenant in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) corps who was stationed at Camp Victory in Iraq. A war zone. During the war. Where over 4,500 American soldiers, both combat and non-combat, have lost their lives. With tens of thousands more injured.
Wanna go after Mr. Laxalt’s service as attorney general? Fair game. But to demean and diminish his military service, especially in a war zone at the time of war? Disgusting. That’s a foul, even in politics.
Then there’s U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who has accused his GOP primary opponent, Danny Tarkanian (disclaimer, I’m a paid adviser to the Tark campaign), of “taking” $700,000 from a children’s charity.
No he didn’t. The truth is the non-profit organization, which helps low- and middle-income children in the community, was started by the Tarkanian family. And the $700,000 is actually the collective salary Tarkanian has been paid over the last 14 years to manage the operation – an average of only $50,000/year.
Collecting a salary for work performed – as executives and officials for a host of other non-profits do, including the Boys & Girls Club, the Salvation Army, the United Way, the Heart Association and Opportunity Village – is not “taking” money from a charity. To falsely claim otherwise is a foul, even in politics.
Then take Republican congressional candidate Victoria Seaman (please!). She’s running around claiming to be the one, true Trump supporter in the race and has falsely claimed that one of her conservative opponents, Michelle Mortensen, “was not a Donald Trump supporter.”
In reality, it’s Seaman who was not a Trump supporter. In a September 2015 press release issued three months after Donald Trump got into the presidential race, Seaman herself is listed #1 on the “Nevada Leadership Team” for…Ted Cruz.
This on top of claiming she kept her promises to her constituents during the 2015 legislative session even though she broke her signed Taxpayer Protection Pledge NINE times!
Telling the truth about your opponent isn’t negative. Telling an outright lie is. And a foul. Even in politics.
Come on, gang. Voters deserve better than this!
(Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. He blogs at MuthsTruths.com)