The glossy campaign advertisement.
And you can bet that a sizable fraction of such glossy mailers are not merely run-of-the-mill, biographical, this-is-where-I-stand-on-the-issues ads but rather the my-opponent-is-a-wife-beating-dog-kicking-Girl-Scout-cookie-thieving-tax-evading-closet-communist variety. Or accusations to that effect.
Area voters are reporting being deluged with a noticeable increase in the volume of such mailers – particularly the negative, mud-slinging ones – in their mailboxes in recent days.
Particularly in the Florida House District 113 race, Beach voters have been greeted by mailers from candidate Adam Kravitz calling opponents Mark Weithorn and David Richardson “weak Democrats,” alleging Weithorn was a long-time Republican who only recently joined the Democratic Party, and that Richardson gave money to a Republican U.S. senator.
Kravitz’s mailer depicts him alongside photos of Franklin Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy, and Harry Truman with “Real Deal Democrats” splayed across the page.
The Weithorn campaign has sent out a mailer with two dice superimposed over a photo of Ocean Drive, asking, “Can Miami Beach afford the risks associated with casino gambling?”
“Adam Kravitz thinks we can. David Richardson say [sic] he doesn’t know. Neither are good answers,” is the ad’s reply.
Under the headline, “Mudslinging Alert,” Weithorn’s mailer warns voters, “A despicable sleazy personal attack on my character arrived in many mailboxes across our district. It was sent by a secret organization controlled by Adam Kravitz’s political consultant…He is doing this because his record of public service is non-existent.”
Weithorn goes on to attack Kravitz for drawing attention to Weithorn’s recent business woes and lawsuits.
“I had hoped that this campaign would focus on issues important to our residents,” the “alert” concludes.
Elsewhere in his mailing, Weithorn says Kravitz’s stand on casinos is “not surprising from someone who is probably being financed by casino interests.” Of Richardson’s claim “that he does not know enough about the issue to have an opinion,” Weithorn says, “Maybe he should have thought about issues before becoming a candidate.”
And it’s not just the candidates’ own campaigns responsible for the mud-slinging. There’s plenty coming from surrogate political action committees, too, either acting on their behalves or not.
One PAC, Restore Florida, with a Tallahassee post office box listed in its return address, has generated several negative mailers, some bashing Kravitz, others, Weithorn.
“Mark Weithorn: You wouldn’t trust him with your credit card, so why would you trust him with your taxpayer dollars?” one asks. That mailer claims Weithorn was sued for not paying bills, has outstanding liens on his businesses, and that most of his dozen corporations went belly up.
“Mark Weithorn: Financial Disaster,” it sums up.
Another Restore Florida mailer labels Weithorn a “deadbeat,” claiming he “doesn’t pay his taxes, his government loan, his bills.”
Kravitz, not to be left out, gets ambushed with mud, too.
In one Restore Florida mailer, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney are pictured sitting next to one another as dance contest judges, each holding up cards with “10” on them, above the headline, “Kravitz Dancing with Republicans.
Claiming Kravitz “is a multi-millionaire, just like Romney, but he hasn’t done anything to support the Democratic Party or written a check to even one Democratic candidate,” the ad continues: “It’s no wonder that Kravitz is backed by local Republican elected officials. [He] is out of step with our party!”
“Kravitz Equals Bad Business For Our Community,” declares another mailer, alleging that Kravitz has a history of bankruptcies, an SEC investigation, and “exaggerating his resume.” It claims that two dating companies that Kravitz was involved with, MatchNet and JDate.com, are not as he has represented them.
MatchNet “was actually losing money and didn’t rebound until after Kravitz resigned,” it declares. Of JDate.com, the mailer claims that Kravitz was neither its founder nor creator. Kravitz’s campaign website says he helped create JDate.com.
Richardson has chosen to sling his mud not at his two rivals but rather at someone more powerful who’s not even on this year’s ballot, let alone in the House race.
“Governor Rick Scott is a 10…on the Right-Wing Richter Scale,” his mailer reads. “Our state has been hit like an earthquake by Scott’s agenda. David Richardson is running to stop him!”
The fourth and lowest-profile candidate in the District 113 race, Waldo Faura, has apparently not been flooding mailboxes with any mailers at all. He has also been overlooked by his three more prominent rivals in their mailings and in those of their surrogates.