Bil Browning

For our Indianapolis readers

Filed By Bil Browning | November 05, 2007 12:10 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: attack ads, election 2007, Indianapolis, negative campaigning, Scott Keller

This isn't directly LGBT related, but is aimed at our Indianapolis readers who've been following along with the Scott Keller campaign. Since it's the day before the election, I don't have time to write much today, so I am putting this press release about Keller's opponent stooping to untruthful attack mailers. Consider this an open thread on negative campaigning - does it help the candidate or does it hurt them?

Councilor Keller Condemns Negative,
Untrue Campaign Mailings

Indianapolis City-County Councilor Scott Keller condemns untrue attack mailings sent out by his opponent’s campaign. Three recent attack mailings have attempted to paint an intentionally distorted picture of Councilor Keller to voters.

“My opponent, Brian Mahern, refused to pledge a clean campaign earlier this year. Now I see why,” Councilor Keller said. “While I was willing to overlook his attack on my physical appearance in one mailing, I will not stand idly by as he deliberately lies to the voters.”

Mahern’s most recent mailing contains several wildly inaccurate and desperate claims intended to fool voters in the 16th district into supporting the challenger. The mailer accuses Councilor Keller of bringing a campaign photographer to the Hamilton Street murders memorial service for a photo opportunity with Sheriff Frank Anderson and then using the photo as an endorsement by the Sheriff. The mailing also contains a quote by the Sheriff that the Keller campaign could not confirm.

“I did not bring a campaign photographer. I do not have a campaign photographer now, and have never had one. In fact, the photographer was with Sheriff Anderson, and was taking lots of photos,” said Councilor Keller. “I asked Sheriff Anderson if I could have my photo taken with him and use it in a mailing on my record of bipartisanship. He said yes and I used it and a photo taken with Mayor Bart Peterson in the piece. I certainly do not think that such a photo could be construed as an endorsement by either Sheriff Anderson or Mayor Peterson as they are members of another political party.”

Oddly enough, while Brian Mahern is claiming the Sheriff’s endorsement, at a recent debate in the District Mahern attacked the Sheriff for “poorly implementing” the merger of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and the Indianapolis Police Department. At the same debate Mahern attacked Mayor Bart Peterson and the Democratic City-County Council majority by repeatedly saying, “The last four years have been a disaster for Indianapolis,” and “We can’t afford another four years of poor leadership like the last four.”

Another mailing insinuates Scott Keller defrauded his campaign of thousands of dollars when election reports clearly show that he repaid money he loaned his campaign earlier in the season – a common practice in campaigns. This mailing also condemns the Councilor for being endorsed by the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. Councilor Keller has proudly been endorsed by all 15 neighborhood association leaders, the Chamber of Commerce, Firefighters Local 416, Tobacco-Free Kids Indiana Action Fund, the Hoosier Environmental Council and the Indianapolis Star – all entities that have issued bipartisan endorsements this election season. Brian Mahern’s campaign has not been endorsed by any organization.

“One reason many good people will not go into politics is because at campaign time, it becomes dirty,” commented Councilor Keller. “I have not done that; I have stuck to the issues and I will continue to do so. My opponent has refused to discuss specific plans of action for the District while instead making wild and defamatory claims in a desperate attempt to win the election. I am confident the voters in the 16th District will support me in spite of his negative mailing pieces!”

The Keller campaign calls on Brian Mahern to apologize to the voters of the 16th District and to Councilor Keller for distributing false and defamatory information.

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