Low Tactics in Campaign Land

NC Republican Party unleashes anti-gay mailer targeting Dole opponent Kay Hagan

Yesterday I posted about the latest Republican tactic in the U.S. Senate race here in NC (playing a lame ‘evil atheism’ card on Kay Hagan) as Elizabeth Dole sinks in the polls. I said:

so the best that the National Republican Senatorial Committee can do at this point is to go after the one group probably more reviled than teh gayz in the mind of the wingnuts - atheists.

Well lo and behold...here comes the homostrawman, courtesy of the NC Republican Party. (PageOneQ):

A new mailer in support of incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole claims that Hagan’s agenda, with the help of “liberal judges,” will be to advance a “radical homosexual agenda” which includes same-sex marriage, removing “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and forcing the Boy Scouts to accept gay and atheist troop leaders.

Hagan’s opposition to an anti-gay amendment is the focus of the mailer. “Across America,” it reads, “liberal judges are overturning state laws banning gay marriage. In North Carolina a state constitutional amendment is needed to protect traditional marriage and prevent liberal judges from imposing their gay marriage agenda on the state.”

I’d hardly call Hagan liberal, but hey - I’m surprised the sophisticated fossils at the NCRP didn’t find a way to throw in “socialist”.

I laughed at all of this because as you might recall, I was dissed by the Hagan campaign for simply asking how she’d vote on pending legislation re: LGBT issues. There was no need to worry about hiding from the questions because I knew the GOP was going to eventually bring it up anyway—you might as well be on the right side of the issues—and the community you will eventually ask for $upport from. Sen. Hagan’s liveblog response back in April:

Pam - I’m close to John Edwards on this - I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and that it’s fundamentally a state issue the federal government has no business getting involved in. But I take a back seat to no one when it comes to equal opportunity and fairness. I oppose ANY form of discrimination and I believe that partnerships should be protected when it comes to financial issues, hospital visits, employment, and housing issues.

We don’t have an amendment because our General Assembly is Dem-controlled, not because Kay Hagan supports marriage equality. But facts, even if they are disappointing for us, don’t matter to the North Carolina GOP - they have a lousy candidate with a crap record who’s doing poorly in the polls.

More below the fold. A reader’s friend shares an exchange with Dole’s office about this mailer.

Courtney S. sent me an exchange a friend had with Sen. Dole’s office about the mailer. Read and weep.

A friend of mine (who happens to be a gay boy scout) called the Dole office:

My conversation with the Elizabeth Dole for Senate Campaign re: their homophobic mail.

SN: Yes I wanted to call and ask your campaign why I was a bad boy scout leader because I’m gay?

Phone Person: Well sir I don’t know too much about that but can I take your name and information and have someone call you back.

SN: First Name is S. Last Name is N. PHone Is xxx-xxx-xxxx

PP: We will have someone get back to you!

SN: Thank you and have a good day!

SN: Hello this is Sam

Mia: Hi I’m Mia from the Dole campaign. I heard you had a question and I wanted to respond.

SN: Yes I’m looking at a piece of mail from your campaign that basically says I shouldn’t be a boy scout leader because I’m gay.

Mia: Well sir I think that is something the NC GOP did or maybe another group.

SN: Actually it says on the back here that it was authorized and for the benefit of the Elizabeth Dole Committee, LLC.  I’m not too familiar with election law but when it says authorized I think it means that you all approved it but gave money to the NC GOP so you could get a non-profit rate on postage.

M: Well I guess what we did put that out sir. What was your question again?

SN: Well I’m just confused as to why Senator Dole thinks I am and have been a bad boy scout leader because I’m gay.  I don’t know why she is running this campaign of hate.

M: Well sir she isn’t running a campaign of hate she just wants people to know what her opponent thinks.  And she doesn’t think you personally are a bad leader.

SN: Well I am gay and she is attacking gay people in this…

M: I understand sir. It’s just that some parents might not want their children exposed to certain people...they want to protect their children.

SN: Are you saying that when I was a leader and a camp counselor I exposed children to something harmful? I was the ecology director for several years at my camp and the only harmful thing I may have exposed them to was poison ivy, ma’am.

M: Again sir this isn’t against you personally. I mean Kay Hagan doesn’t think that gay people should get married either.. SN: Wait...so why are you attacking her for not supporting the constitutional amendment on gay marriage if she doesn’t believe in gay marriage either? And again I do take this personally since it attacks gay people.

M: That’s just the way campaigns are run sir.  Groups of people sometimes are attacked.

SN: I suppose but this is pretty personal to me. It’s not like straight people or african-americans get attacked for being who they are every day do they? I’m just disappointed in the Senator.

M: Well I’m sorry to hear that.  Is there anything else I can help you with today?

SN: No ma’am. Have a good day