Too Good Not to Pass on . . .

Marc Abrams

For those of you who thought our campaign had some harsh negative ads, consider this article from our neighbors to the South . . .

Attack on Central Valley Assembly candidate called heartless

So you thought you've seen rough politics in Sacramento -- and some nasty attack ads in the Democratic gubernatorial primary?

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

What may be a Hall of Fame moment in the annals of political ads may have come down in the GOP race for 25th State Assembly District race in the Modesto area this week.

We're talking the campaign mailer in which GOP candidate Bill Conrad attacks opponent Tom Berryhill -- for having a heart transplant.

The headline of the direct mail piece -- in blood red ink, no less: "Tom Berryhill doesn't have the HEART for State Assembly."

That's accompanied by a handy list of "Heart Transplant Facts."

Among them:

*"The Average Lifespan of a Heart Transplant recipient is 7 years," followed by the none-too-subtle observation that "Berryhill's transplant was 6 years ago."

*"Heart Transplant patients take Anti-rejection medications for life. (These medications weaken the immune system making the recipient more susceptible to illness and death.)"

And finally:

*"Severe stress SIGNIFICANTLY shortens the life expectancy of Heart Transplant recipients."

And we all know about stress in Sacramento.

But, "Wait! There's more!," as those folks say on the infomercials.

The mailer suggests Berryhill will cost the taxpayers dough if he -- uh, how can we put this? -- doesn't make it to the finish line.

"Can you imagine the costs to taxpayers for a Special Election when poor health renders him unable to fulfill the duties of office?" the mailer says.

Conrad told the Modesto Bee that his source for the mailer was "Hurst's The Heart," a "comprehensive textbook on cardiovascular disease." He's defending his airing of the heart issue, saying that Dick Cheney has had to deal with the same thing.

But Lucille Mejia, a longtime political activist in the Central Valley, says locals on both sides are outraged by the recent mailer --even Democrats like herself.

"Attack (Berryhill) on the issues -- but not that he was fortunate enough to get a heart. Tom had no control over that," she said.

The word around the water coolers in the Central Valley -- and those are busy places -- is that Conrad has "lost all credibility and anyone who was even thinking of pulling the lever for him should think twice. He has absolutely no compassion," said Mejia.

  • (Show?)

    Oops. Forgot to ID myself. This is my "lighter side" for the post-election withdrawal symptoms we're all feeling.


  • MikeSelvaggio (unverified)

    As completely awful as this is, I recall an even harsher ad in the 2000 general for a Califorania Congressional race (district 10, I think?).

    The R was facing a challenger of Japanese-American descent -- good public service, spotless record, etc. So it was a suprise when a TV ad appeared superimposing bars over this guy's face, saying, "candidate so-and-so hasn't told you that he's been in jail..."

    Of course he had been jailed, he responded. He was a Japanese-American living in California during the 1940s.

    Needless to say, it was the biggest backfire I've ever seen.

  • John Mello (unverified)

    Go check out the blog

  • LMAO (unverified)

    I thought this was worth reading, from a DailyKos.Com commenter named "wystler"

    Even the limited possibility of impeachment offers naught, what with succession (Cheney, Hastert, et al.). Think there's any remaining good will to be lost internationally over the next 3+ years? An even stronger recruitment tool for al Qaeda? (I do.)

    And then, what do we get in 2008? If the worst comes, and BushCo is totally in disgrace, the GOoPers will nominate a white hat (McCain?), and, unless we do all the needed legwork, the masses will vote to continue America-at-Risk on issues like healthcare, tort deform, tax policy, and continue our slow conversion to a temperate banana republic(an) nation.

    Nope. We blew it. We dropped the ball. Us. Until we accept that a key reason for failure in 2000, 2002, and 2004, was our own shortcoming, we'll continue to fail. Sure, I see some positives: Dean, Reid, Durbin, Air America, Ed Schultz give reason to believe that the worm is finally turning.

    It's just far too important to think that the Progressive Renaissance will arise merely because BushCo is such an abject failure. There's nothing at all positive for us that comes of the Whitehouse malfeasance and blundering. This is a bad, sad thing.

  • LT (unverified)

    I still believe people vote for individual candidates, not party.

    Clinton didn't win because of the DLC, he won because of hard work --came to Salem in 1991 and went lots of other places over a long period of time, and attention to ordinary folks. He appeared in public and engaged in dialogue. He was the kind of guy who hadn't grown up rich and who understood the importance of that old question "cares about people like me, understands my problems". And he had that great line at the convention about the "us vs. them" crowd---"them the women, them the minorities (it was a fairly long list) There is no them, there is only us, we are The UNITED States of America".

    Democrats didn't win control of the Senate in 1986 because of Republicans in disarray, they won control of the Senate because they won the Senate elections in Florida (the first one I heard on the radio on the way home that day), SD, and enough other individual races.

    <h2>But when Republicans can't point to their own successes, it does open the door for challengers to say it is time to try something different.</h2>

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