It’s gotten to the point where I can’t keep up with all the attack ads and the counter-charges about the attacks being inaccurate. So with apologies to the many I’ve no doubt missed, here’s a roundup:
Idaho Superintendent of Schools Marilyn Howard said a radio attack ad accusing her chief deputy, Jana Jones, of spending $500,000 on “frivolous overseas junkets” is “deceitful and unjustified.” Jones is running to succeed Howard as superintendent; the ad was placed by former state Sen. Darrel Deide’s Idahoans for Excellence in Education. No state money was spent on the disputed international teacher education missions that were sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of State, Howard said.
GOP congressional candidate Bill Sali accused Democratic opponent Larry Grant of taking the campaign to a “new low” with an ad citing Sali’s support in a National Taxpayers Union survey for a national sales tax, but not saying he wants to eliminate the IRS as part of the trade-off. “Grant has misrepresented my record and positions in a way that is plainly deceptive,” Sali said.
Project Vote Smart has issued a statement condemning GOP candidate for governor Butch Otter’s use of Vote Smart’s voter information to attack Democratic candidate Jerry Brady. “This kind of negative campaign activity is precisely the sort of tactic that the Project attempts to counter with its factual database,” the nonpartisan group said.
“This House is My Home,” the group sponsoring Proposition 2, the “takings” initiative on the November ballot, charged that a TV ad from “Neighbors Protecting Neighbors” against the initiative was “demonstrably false” because it said the measure could turn “any Idaho property including farmland into junk yards, power plants or high rises.” Spokeswoman Becky McKnight said not all land could be turned into those things, because of existing zoning laws and neighborhood covenants. “Therefore, the claim of ‘any’ is patently false,” McKnight said.
“Neighbors Protecting Neighbors” criticized a TV ad from “This House is My Home” that highlights how North Idaho residents Jess and Jan Goetz feel their land was devalued by a government land-use decision. The county had lowered allowable densities in its agricultural suburban zone. Goetz sought a rezone; 16 neighbors opposed the application, in part because of concerns about contamination of groundwater in an area with no sewer service, and it was denied. “Once you know the facts, this ad underscores how Prop Two threatens things that belong to all of us, like our clean water,” said spokesman Justin Hayes.