US Senate candidate Susan Bysiewicz should immediately take down her untruthful attack ad against Democratic rival Chris Murphy, apologize, and find another way to throw a Hail Mary pass in her flagging campaign. However, the very fact that there is a general lack of outrage about the ad (except in the Murphy camp) speaks volumes about the depths to which political advertising has sunk.
A quick refresher: Bysiewicz, who at this point needs the stars to align perfectly (or maybe have one crash to earth right on him) to beat Murphy, went up with a TV ad portraying Murphy as something of a Wall Street Waterboy. Here it is:
The problem is the main claim in the ad, “He’s taken more hedge fund money than any other Democrat in Congress” is patently and verifiably false. The SuBy campaign apparently targeted the wrong Murphy. They were called on it, admitted the charge was false but said the ad would still run. Is this what it’s come to? A campaign admits it’s running a false ad yet won’t take it down? Pathetic. Murphy asked the TV stations running the ad to pull it under these unique circumstances. Apparently, they can’t (which is an entirely different problem).
This past weekend, Bysiewicz defended continuing the ad with yet another false claim as pointed out by CTMirror.org’s Mark Pazniokas. What in the name of Joseph Pulitzer is going on here? Bysiewicz is clearly counting on the fact that many voters are busy with summer camps, vacations and other activities and may not be paying attention to this very important Democratic US Senate primary race. They see the ad, don’t know it’s false and hold it against Murphy because everyone seems to hate Wall Street these days. Then again, that may be her only shot to win.
If Bysiewicz wants to portray Murphy as some kind of flunky for the Rich Uncle Pennybags of the world, have at it! But I don’t we should tolerate using false data to back it up. The very-much -missed former candidate Lee Whitnum called Murphy “a whore” during a televised debate. Ok, but she didn’t then contend that Murphy was arrested in Berlin Turnpike motel taking $20 for giving a filibuster.
The guess here is that this whole thing backfires on Bysiewicz. It only adds to her reputation for scorched-earth campaigning, even against fellow Democrats. It dates back to 1998 when she faced fellow Democrat Ellen Scalettar in a primary for secretary of state. She won but only a series of TV ads that distorted Scalettar’s views and record. To this day, there are hard feelings about that one among Democrats.
Murphy is running a near-flawless campaign, has plenty of money and even turned this whole disgraceful episode into a fundraising vehicle of his own. Bysiewicz is not going to beat him even with an admittedly false ad running.