Editorials

A pox on dirty campaigns

Don’t be fooled in 2018. Truth matters in campaigns, though not to every South Sound campaign.

In the Thurston County commissioner’s race, conservative activist Glen Morgan has concocted fake write-in endorsement mailers to hurt the Democratic candidate, Tye Menser.

The mailers, funded by the Thurston County Republican Party, were sent a week ago — purportedly in support of a write-in candidacy by EJ Zita, who serves on the Olympia Port Commission and was described as the truer “progressive” than Menser.

But Zita is not running for anything – as write-in or in any other way. And, Zita is supporting Menser against incumbent Bud Blake, an Independent.

It’s worth underscoring that Blake is disavowing Morgan’s shenanigans.

Morgan sent similar fake-endorsement mailers in three legislative races around the state, suggesting there were write-in campaigns that don’t exist and falsely implying endorsements.

The batches of mailers have drawn more than 30 formal complaints at the state Public Disclosure Commission, which regulates campaign finances and is reviewing the accusations of fraudulent messaging.

In another example of misleading campaigning, self-styled progressive candidate Andrew Saturn, who is running for Thurston Public Utility District, is stretching the facts in his challenge of incumbent Linda Oosterman.

One of his bogus claims is that salaried PUD commissioners are earning over $200 an hour. That claim relies on a crude calculation of minimum hours spent in monthly meetings and then dividing that into the pay without considering other work time.

And Saturn is citing an independent-expenditure ad from Puget Sound Energy way back in 2012 to claim Oosterman is sponsored by corporate interests. Baloney!

Both Saturn and Ooosterman are supported by small contributions from local Democrats. It appears harder-left Democrats are behind Saturn, while Oosterman has help from both Democrats and a few Republicans.

Both candidates are crying foul about the other.

None of this is needed. Saturn actually has a good idea in using the PUD, which runs 277 local water systems, to extend internet/broadband services to rural areas where major cable companies won’t extend it.

But we believe voters also appreciate candor. One way to show that appreciation is by voting against the interests of those who play fast and loose with the truth on Nov. 6.

Go with Oosterman.

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