Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chambliss Returns To Slimy Campaign Roots

You thought we were done for the year, didn't you?

We saw Barack Obama run the McCain-Palin slime gauntlet for months, while watching him called a terrorist and a socialist on a daily basis and witnessed a bottomless pit of ads for Congressional races in which Republicans accused Democratic candidates of everything but the Kennedy assassination -- and we thought it would all be over on November 4th.

No such luck.

As you know, we still have three undecided Senate races and Georgia's Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss is back with a lying television ad that's kind of a first cousin to the McCain offering that claimed Obama once wanted to teach sex education to kindergartners.

Coming from the same guy who in 2002 plumbed new lows by aligning triple-amputee war hero Max Cleland with Osama bin Laden in his campaign ads, Chambliss this time is entering the campaign for the December 2nd run-off election with an ad from the NRSC that's not about what good he has done for Georgians but about what fabrications should make them afraid of his opponent, Jim Martin.

"If someone solicits a child for prostitution, shouldn't it be a felony?" says the narrator in the latest piece of GOP campaign garbage. "Jim Martin doesn't think so. Martin voted against tougher penalties for people who prey on children."

Here's the ad:

It cites in little tiny print at the bottom, HB 1221, which passed the Georgia House of Representatives in 1988 and that Martin did indeed vote against.

But as Lyin' Saxby well knows, Martin was always in favor of such crimes being felonies and voted for the unified House-Senate version of the bill two week later that mandated exactly that.

The original bill as passed by the Georgia House on February 1, 1988, had a provision added that rendered the bill unconstitutional. Because Martin knew that passing an unconstitutional law would lead to expensive litigation, he voted against that version of the bill. The unconstitutional provision was removed in the Senate's rewrite and, when it returned to the House for a final vote, Martin of course voted in favor of making child solicitation a felony.

But to Chambliss, ignoring that truth on this would have been as difficult as showing some respect for a highly-decorated Vietnam Veteran like Cleland, rather than assailing his patriotism.

I'm guessing what made this even more irresistible for Chambliss and the NRSC is the fact that Martin has always fought to protect children and that instinct was galvanized when his daughter Becky was kidnapped when she was 8 years old. His child was returned safely but the experience left a mark on how important Martin considers laws protecting children -- and now he has to deal with Republicans running this particular kind of false ad?

“Georgians want someone who will work with our next president to get America’s economy back on track,” Martin spokesperson Kate Hansen said. “Instead, Saxby Chambliss is launching the same old false attacks that made him famous."

Or so infamous that we can all only hope he goes down in flames on December 2nd.

If you can spare just a few more campaign dollars, Jim Martin could use some help here.