Vail Daily letter: Crossed the line
I guess the best way to start this is to refer back to last month.
On Aug. 10, I wrote an article with the headline: “Keep election season truthful, respectful.” It was prompted by a flurry of telephone calls directed towards one of our Republican candidates, calls whose clear intent was to portray him in a negative way. These calls have been substituted with mailings with the same goal.
I pointed out that while this type of campaign practice is always despicable, it is particularly egregious in a small community where, when it’s all over, we still have to live together.
For this, on Aug. 13 I received the following nod from Don Rogers: “Hit: To local Republican Party Chairwoman Kaye Ferry’s call for clean, respectful election campaigns this fall. Wouldn’t that be a breath of fresh air?”
The answer to the “fresh air” question should be a resounding “Yes!” But apparently not so for the Democrats of Eagle County. And there are only a few explanations — they didn’t read the article; they read the article and didn’t want truthful and respectful elections; they didn’t want a “breath of fresh air”; they prefer to wallow in the muck of lies; they think smear campaigns work. Or perhaps they are simply incapable of telling the truth; maybe their platform and record is so pitiful and failing that their only hope of winning is to attack their competition; or worse, their moral compass is so distorted that they are actually not even aware of the tawdriness of their behavior.
I’ll let you speculate as to the answer and maybe you will come up with yet another explanation. As for me, I quite frankly don’t care because whatever it is. I’m just sick of it.
You might wonder what got me going this time. On Wednesday, the Democrats placed an ad in the Vail Daily that was a further attack — this time on Eagle County Republicans. I will not dignify it by repeating any part but suffice it to say that it so misrepresented the facts that the Vail Daily, hardly a bastion of conservative politics, pulled it. They refused to run it for the two more days of paid advertising that were scheduled. Kudos to the Vail Daily.
But it gets worse. When a reporter from the Daily contacted the Dems about the ad, they perpetrated an even bigger lie — in writing. And again, I won’t dignify it, but the county attorney was contacted and refuted their claims. Blatant, outright fabrications with absolutely no basis in fact. Something corroborated by the county attorney and witnessed by the chair and former legal counsel for the state Republican Party.
You might ask, “Why?” The answer is, I don’t know. I can only speculate. But my question is, what are they so afraid of that they are resorting to such despicable and demeaning tactics? If they have a message that’s worth supporting, let’s hear it. I would have to guess at this point that they don’t — or more pointedly, she doesn’t.
And part of their — her — defense is that she has no control over these ads. That is bold-faced nonsense. I managed a campaign. I was a candidate myself. And believe me on this, a candidate can most certainly let it be known that they — in this case, she — is not interested in this type of campaigning. As with all organizations, the buck stops somewhere and in this case it’s with the candidate.
I’m not so naive as to think this kind of stuff doesn’t happen in politics — on both sides. I will, however, always maintain that it shouldn’t. But what happened this time so crossed the line of propriety, that it had to be addressed.
But you’ll have to be your own judge. There’s a lot we don’t know about candidates.
Most of us vote based on what little information we gather from ads. In very few instances do we have any personal interaction with candidates where we get a real insight into who they are and what they represent. In this case we do. If you approve of this type of morality, go for it — you’ve got yourself a candidate. As for me, I don’t. I know we can do better so I’ll vote for Don.
Chairwoman, Eagle County Republicans
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