Thursday, October 30, 2008

Statement in Response to Anti-Whitburn Mailer

When Progressive San Diego’s board of directors considers whether to endorse a candidate, the candidate’s ability to wage a clean campaign and spread a positive message while civilly debating his or her opponent is the subject of much discussion. Because PSD believes that candidates must have a positive agenda and be willing to stand up for progressive principles rather than simply opposing an opponent’s nonprogressive positions, we also believe that campaign strategies must focus on spreading that positive message and be limited to responding to attacks on a candidate’s character and integrity. Attack ads, no matter how effective they may be, have absolutely no place–none whatsoever–in a progressive candidate’s campaign. There is nothing progressive about cutting down one candidate so that another will stand out. Progressives have a strong message to spread, but personal attacks and other mud-slinging seriously undermine that message and fuel speculation about the credibility of those who benefit from such tactics.

In the strongest possible terms, Progressive San Diego condemns the recent “hit piece” against City Council District 3 candidate Stephen Whitburn. We do so not because Stephen, along with Todd Gloria, has earned our endorsement. Our condemnation stems from our deep commitment to promoting clean, honest, positive debate among all candidates for public office and keeping gutter politics out of elections. People certainly have the right to express their views about political candidates. But PSD also has the right to call out anyone who tries to stain the respectable campaigns that its endorsees try to run.

This morning PSD spoke to both candidates about the attack on Stephen. Todd unequivocally denied having anything to do with the attack, and PSD takes him at his word. Both candidates rejected attack ads as illegitimate campaign tactics.

What makes the attack especially disturbing is the false light that it casts upon Stephen’s campaign contributors. While PSD is not familiar with every contributor listed in the ad, the overwhelming majority of them are people with impeccable progressive credentials, people who have dedicated themselves to putting public interest over self-interest and are anything but back-room dealers. For the attack’s sponsor to suggest otherwise not only tempts candidates to respond by stepping out onto the slippery slope of gutter politics, but it leaves an unfair and unacceptable trail of collateral damage. It should be obvious to every good progressive candidate that allowing committed members of the progressive community to be sacrificed for political gain is intolerable.

For these reasons, PSD calls on Todd to immediately and publicly denounce the recent attack ad against Stephen and other members of the progressive community; and further calls upon both Stephen and Todd, along with their surrogates and supporters, to refrain from similar attacks. In the final days of this election, each campaign should focus on affirmatively demonstrating that its candidate is the best man to represent the residents of District 3.

Approved by the Board of Directors, October 30, 2008


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with PSD. However I would like to see the Whitburn campaign start playing clean. They cry foul when it is pointed out that he donates himself so much money and is supported by mostly party-insiders who do not live in the district. Yet they have no problem constantly slamming Todd over everything meaningless. The Whitburn campaign now has two blanket sheets that have been used as signs on the 163 Freeway near the Robinson exit stating "Stephen Whitburn is for People" in some kind of paint. It slowed downfreeway traffic and last I checked it was illegal to put signs over an overpass since it is a safety hazard and could cause a car accident. Time to see clean campaigning from the Whitburn campaign and hopefully soon because if he loses then his reputation will be shatters and if he does win then he will be facing a divided community bitter over his dirty campaign.

CP said...

This was a pretty bad mailer. It's tough when candidates have friends who make bad decisions. Todd has been very good about keeping his campaign literature free from negative attacks. Though there's a mailer in my box this weekend from the other side, suggesting that Todd's getting ready to "take the training wheels off" and hold an elected office. It suggests that he's a stooge of other powers that be in San Diego. I'm not entirely happy with a campaign trying to infantilize another democrats. It's unseemly. And I don't think it's ever fair to malign someone for their professional history of public service. I trust those messages will backfire.

Anonymous said...

Follow the Money: Sanders, Gloria, Emerald: mail is out supporting a Jerry Sanders MCed fundraising event for Todd Gloria AND Marti Emerald, probably arranged by establishment house fundraiser Laura Fink.

Despite his window dressing support of no on Prop 8, Sanders is a card carrying GOPer, was disappointed that John McCain lost (and his fat cabinet job to hightail it out of San Diego before the s*** hits the fan) and wants to run for Lt. Governor on the flat earth, hate oriented GOP.

Jerry is no friend of progressives and hates labor and working people.

In the primary, he will run to the right, and then run to the center, as Richard Nixon, advised.

When will our San Diego based "progressives" learn?