An article in the Rapid City Journal is showing a fuller picture of how nasty and negative things are out there this primary:
During the run-up to Tuesday’s primary election, the party’s two factions have seemingly grown farther apart and more contentious than ever before. The result has been a spate of aggressive and sometimes vicious campaign tactics, principally in the form of colorful, over-sized postcards sent by a handful of behind-the-scenes political operatives to the mailboxes of thousands of Republican voters.
One of the bills listed on the postcard as receiving a supporting vote from Haverly, Senate Bill 150 during the 2015 legislative session, was actually never considered by any of the Senate committees that Haverly served on, or by the full Senate.
Haverly sent out her own postcard to debunk the claims about her voting record. Referencing the dubious math used to add up the number of her supposed pro-tax votes, Haverly’s postcard offered this advice to voters: “Check your mailbox for false attack ads that don’t add up … literally!”
Retribution arrived in mailboxes Friday when District 33 Republicans received a postcard that asked, “Who’s behind Jacqueline Sly?” The postcard identified two people as the supposed masterminds of Sly’s campaign: Adelstein, whom the postcard described as a “left-leaning millionaire,” and another man described as a Democratic political operative. The postcard claimed that the operative, among other things, was a customer of the Ashley Madison website that serves married people seeking to have extramarital affairs.
In the postcard’s fine print, it attributed the Ashley Madison claim to a website where email addresses can be searched to purportedly determine whether they were in a batch of hacked Ashley Madison accounts.
By waiting to form his PAC until after last week’s deadline for pre-primary campaign finance reports, Ryness will escape having to disclose the source of his PAC’s money until after Tuesday’s election; in fact, he apparently will not have to file a campaign finance report until October. When the Journal asked him Friday to voluntarily disclose his PAC’s funding source for this news story, he refused.
Negative campaigning has been around as long as American politics have, partly because it can be effective. But not as many might think. What it tends to do is to drive down turnout, as opposed to wooing people to the other candidate.
And at this rate, we should not be shocked if nobody decides to show up for June 7!