In Part 1 of this series, I introduce the Democrat-supporting political expenditure group Public Safety Matters Campaign. In Part 2 of this series, I did deeper into the organizations behind the effort and the Minnesota Republicans they targeted in the 2012 election.
During the waning days of the 2012 election, I received four Public Safety mailers. Each was a large, two-sided color postcard [1A
] attacking Keith Downey in his run for the State Senate.
The first three words of Mailer No. 1 describe Downey as “Incumbent Keith Downey.” At the time, Downey was a member of the State House of Representatives. He was not running for re-election to the House, but rather was running for an open Senate seat. In no sense of the word was Keith a Senate incumbent. Truth is always the first casualty.
The thrust of the mailer is a variation on the old “Fireman First
” political strategy: since Downey didn’t vote to increase the state’s budget as much as Democrat Governor Mark Dayton wanted, he was guilty of voting for devastating cuts to the budget. Police, firemen, and other vital services are always the first casualty of these “cuts,” cleverly disguised as massive budget increases.
The mailers trot out the left’s favorite victims. They contain footnotes that support none of the claims made in the text. The group’s donors were not disclosed until well after the new legislature was sworn in. Standard stuff from the left these days.
All of this is to be expected from Democrat partisans. What was surprising about these mailers was the list of recipients. At the time I received the mailers, I was the Republican-nominee for Downey’s House seat. That I and other solid Republicans received this mailing revealed part of the strategy: to paint Downey as a “soft-on-crime” politician and depress turnout and support from Republicans and conservatives. Those who know Downey immediately saw the falsehoods behind the campaign. Newer residents of the district and residents of the larger Senate District not having Downey as their Representative, however, may have been fooled. In a race as close as 2012’s, all it takes is a few lies to swing the election.
Expect the same tactics to re-appear in 2014. Desperate to hang onto power and with a disastrous 2013 record that can’t be defended, Minnesota’s Democrats will tell any lie and spend any amount of money to maintain their one-party rule.
Cross-posted and comments welcome at Bill Glahn.