Mudslinging is not a necessary tactic

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2006

As temperatures slide out of the 90s and the nights get a little cooler, we have a lot to look forward to this fall.

No, we don’t just mean football – we’re talking about the political season that will heat up again before the November election.

Locally, we have a state house and senate races on the ballot. Already this year, in the senate primary, we’ve seen tremendous mudslinging and negative campaigning. We hope that, realizing that strategy didn’t work in the primary, the GOP challengers will campaign on their own agendas and issues rather than use negative advertising.

Meanwhile, the mud battle is well under way in the state races.

Lucy Baxley is a liberal because she praised Hillary Clinton, say Gov. Bob Riley’s campaign ads, and Riley has accepted gambling money, says Baxley’s campaign.

Problem is, Baxley was praising Clinton for her role as a mother, and Riley’s campaign maintains he never took gambling money.

Both camps are distorting the truth to paint a black and white picture – when reality is a whole lot more gray.

What we wish candidates would understand is that while political attacks may help gain attention, they do nothing to illustrate the issues for voters who simply want to choose the best candidate for the job.

As the election season continues, we can expect more and more attacks. But we hope that somewhere amid the mud, voters will be able to find the truth and make their decisions based on fact, not on distortions.