David Shafer is unquestionably the best candidate running for Lt. Governor. That has had an exclamation point added to it by a couple of political mailings I recently received. Known in the business as “hit pieces”, both are, in my opinion, desperate and amateurish assaults on David Shafer’s character, ethics and business practices. The claims are either false, misleading or self-contradictory, not surprising considering that the party or parties behind them are apparently morally bankrupt.
These mailers carry the obligatory statement regarding their funding, which states, “Paid for by Freedom Action Network. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Hometownfreedom.org”
Hometownfreedom.org, which is also running ads on Facebook, is clearly a sleaze for hire organization. According to “Who Is” data, hometownfreedom.org is administered by Tom Norris (firstname.lastname@example.org, 614/306-4690) and is based in Grove City, Ohio.
Hiring out of area or out of state sleaze purveyors has become a common practice lately as it allows the person or group who is paying for the sleaze campaign to remain hidden. To further hide identities, and to make it look like the “information” is coming from a local source, the company producing the hit pieces contracts with a business in the area of the targeted candidate to do the mailing. Hence the Atlanta return address on the Shafer hit pieces.
The chances are slim and none that an Ohio-based group would be interested in spending money to defeat a candidate in a Georgia election- unless a person or group in Georgia was paying the bills. I’m sure the identity of that person or group is protected by sleaze-slime privilege, leaving the matter open to speculation.
That speculation quickly narrows the field of potential suspects to the person who is most likely to benefit from Shafer losing the July 24TH run-off election. While there is no evidence, a betting person would be placing a bet on either Shafer’s run-off opponent Geoff Duncan, or the Democrat candidate Sarah Amico. Other potential suspects are independent groups of “friends” that is supporting Duncan or Amico.
Since Shafer is clearly the leading candidate in the Republican runoff, Duncan clearly stands to benefit if enough people are foolish enough to believe the claims in the hit pieces. Amico also stands to benefit if the Republican front-runner loses the runoff.
In spite of their intent to discredit an opponent, hit pieces and negative advertising tell more about the people behind them than about the intended target. When candidates strike out against their opponents with falsehoods and misleading information, it’s a clear sign they are desperate, and have little, if anything positive to say about themselves. And when they hide behind an organization that is “not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee” it’s clear evidence that they don’t mind deceiving voters.
Consider- if a candidate is willing to be a party to blatant deception, their level of deceit is sure to become worse if he or she is elected.
David Shafer has served honorably and in the Georgia State Senate. He will do the same as Lieutenant Governor.