Guest blogger, Janis Richter
My 19 year old son is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Imagine the outrage I felt when I opened my mailbox to discover a political attack ad against my husband (Dennis Richter, candidate for Washington State Representative in Legislative District 1, Position 1) which was addressed to my son, stating that “If you’re concerned about the risk of Autism…Then you should be concerned about the risk of politician Dennis Richter.” It is despicable that any false claim be made against my husband, but this one is particularly offensive! Dennis cares deeply about children affected by Autism, one of them being his own step son!
There is no way for Dennis to have been misconstrued. His position is very clearly stated on his website. In response to the deceptive claims made against him, he states on his campaign website:
Our political opposition is trying to deceive voters by misstating our positions on important issues. For example, one recent mailer said I am against screening for autism and breast cancer. This is a blatant lie, twisting what I believe about health care mandates. Put simply, I do not believe it is the function of state government to tell private industry what they have to sell to consumers. Any insurance company should be allowed to sell policies that provide a wide range of coverage. That will keep our health care costs as low as possible. We believe that voters will see through this type of strategy by our opposition and will side with the common sense solutions our campaign offers.”
By the way, my 19-year-old stepson, Jared, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome (“high-functioning autism”) at an early age. It is a particularly low blow for my political opponents to deceitfully attack me over such a personal issue.
From the article A Mind-Bogglingly Complex Scheme Funnels $2.7 Million for Labor and its Allies in Washington-State Races – Berkey Case is Just the Beginning, published in Washington State Wire, we learn that Moxie Media, the company that funded the hit pieces against Dennis, “shuffles Campaign Cash Through 40 Political Action Committees”. Basically, it is a front group that deliberately and fraudulently conceals from the voters who is paying for the ads. The article states that “this year labor organizations and their allies have funneled as much as $2.7 million to independent campaigns for and against legislative candidates in this state. The Public Disclosure Commission has referred a case against the company to Attorney General Rob McKenna. He has filed suit against them.
Numerous candidates across our state are being vilified by attack ads put out by Moxie Media. Washington State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser has called for the “Democratic candidates who have benefited from these sleazy shadow groups to “publicly renounce their activities and condemn the outrageous behavior of Moxie Media… If these Democrats remain silent they will be complicit with the politics of sleaze and cynicism. Those Democrats who won’t condemn the Moxie Media shadow groups are merely hoping that all the tangled webs of deception won’t be unwound by the media and the PDC until after Election Day. The voters deserve better than that.” I agree with that, and would add that these candidates who have been maliciously attacked deserve better too.
Editor’s Note: Heidi Munson has also been a victim numerous malicious ads. She is running for LD-1, Position 2.