Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sleaze roundup

As we head into the final days before the election, out come the worst sort of attack ads: the ones that won't stand up to scrutiny, so they are released right before the election so they cannot be rebutted in time.

In Colorado: A GOP mailer accuses Democrat Ed Perlmutter of opposing sex-offender notification laws. The bill in question was killed at the request of law enforcement, and Perlmutter helped pass a more comprehensive notification bill the following year.

In Arizona: In a House race, Republican Randy Graf has accused his opponent, Gabrielle Giffords, of engineering a sweetheart land deal with the city of Tuscon -- a charge that appears to be clearly false.

In Virginia: While Democrats fan rumors that Sen. George Allen is a racist domestic abuser who is hiding a criminal record, Allen's campaign has tried to paint challenger James Webb as a sexual deviant based on passages in Webb's bestselling novels.

In Ohio: Republicans accuse Democratic House candidate John Cranley of wanting to use tasers on 7-year-olds.

There's more. FactCheck.org estimates that 90 percent of Republican ads and 80 percent of Democratic ads are negative.

Separately, we have simple political embarassment:

In Washington: John Kerry finally got around to apologizing for his remarks of a couple of days ago. It seems obvious that he simply screwed up an anti-Bush joke, and shame on the Republicans for cynically pushing the issue. But the gaffe -- and his ridiculous response to having it pointed out -- again highlight why he managed to lose to Bush two years ago, and why no Democrats are eager to see him run again. Most, in fact, just wish he would shut up.

In Nevada: A waitress has accused GOP Rep. Jim Gibbons, who is running for governor, of assaulting her. He says he merely helped her when she tripped.

In New York: The Daily News has released details of a 911 call from 2005, in which the wife of GOP Rep John Sweeney said he was "knocking her around the house."

Only six days until it's over.

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