My wife and I were looking through our mail this afternoon, when we noticed a postcard from Robin Brown, Republican candidate for House District 16 running against incumbent Democrat Sara Gelser. After noting that candidate Brown did not mention her party affiliation (Republicans aren't that popular around here), I noticed a few quotes that were grouped under the heading "What Are Democrats Saying About Sara?" These quotes were erroneously attributed to a site called "OregonBlue.com," a site which we discovered doesn't exist. Assuming that perhaps it was a typo, we tried BlueOregon.com and did manage to find the three quotes. They were from the comment thread under an article written in November 2005, after Kelly Wirth resigned from her position representing HD-16.
Do these three quotes from nearly a year ago, and posted semi-anonymously, really reflect "what Democrats are saying" about Sara Gelser? The folks who posted the comments that were quoted by the Brown campaign were not necessarily Democrats -- many Republicans and Independents post comments at BlueOregon. And while at least one of the quotes came from someone who described themselves as "a partisan Democrat", this means nothing because there is no way to verify anyone's identity or political affiliation on a comment thread at BlueOregon.
So here we have it: a Republican disseminating negative quotes about her Democratic opponent and attributing them to other Democrats, with no proof of the sources' actual identities or party affiliations. I'd add that Brown's source for the quotes doesn't exist, but "OregonBlue.com" may have been an honest typo.
One thing is clear, however. The Brown campaign is doing what Republicans are best at -- distorting the truth for political gain.
The Gelser campaign should demand a retraction and an apology from Robin Brown.
Editor's note: Scans of the attack mailer are available on the jump...