Fran Ulmer owes U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski a huge apology for her party's recent targeted mailing labeling him a "Corporate Accomplice" with the Enron and WorldCom debacles, accusing him of aiding and abetting corporate greed. The flyer suggests that Sen. Murkowski is somehow a criminal by placing a silhouetted caricature holding a name and number in front of cell bars.
This ad reflects an "anything goes" attitude that conveys, "I don't have to be honest; I just have to be elected. Pick me, pick me!" It is the sign of a desperate campaign that will do anything to get Fran elected. If you have good positions on the issues, you don't need to mislead voters, attacking the integrity of your opponent by innuendo.
I don't know if Fran personally approved that reprehensible ad or not, but even if she didn't, it doesn't bode well for an Ulmer administration. Those supporters who did approve the ad will certainly be looking for jobs in her administration as a reward for their efforts to get her elected. If appointed, would anyone expect those supporters would suddenly be somehow inoculated with a dose of integrity? Or would they continue to try to win the day for their policies with distortions and half-truths? And if Fran did win, how would she expect to work effectively with Sen. Murkowski for the next four years after not repudiating campaign efforts to trash his reputation?
Real campaign reform starts with the integrity of the candidates, their staffs and their supporters. If Fran thinks this sort of distortion is clever or honest, then we don't need her in public service, let alone the governor's mansion. Shame on those in the Democratic Party who authorized this ad. And shame on Fran if she does not issue Sen. Murkowski a very public apology before the election.
The Democrats' flyer had an effect all right. I will now be very actively supporting Frank Murkowski for governor and encouraging everybody I know to do likewise.
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