28 October 2010

Who's Afraid of Warren Redlich?

Earlier today I suggested that truly competitive multiparty elections would reduce the volume of negative campaigning. As if to prove me wrong, my mail this evening includes not one, but two pieces of negative campaign literature targeting neither Republicans nor Democrats, but Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Warren Redlich.

The first is a mailing billing Anti-Prohibition candidate Kristin Davis as "the real libertarian candidate." One side slams Redlich for proposing higher gas taxes. The other touts the Davis platform of eliminating capital gains taxes, slashing business franchise taxes, cutting state income tax rates, ending marijuana prohibition and legalizing casino gambling.

The second is a sleazy production from "People for a Safer New York," a group so obscure that you can't google it. This mailing is a sealed fold-out billing itself as a "Sexual Predator Alert." Open it, and you read that Redlich allegedly "defends sex with children." For that reason, he "constitutes a public danger." Losing track of the narrative, the flier identifies Redlich himself as a "sick twisted pervert...advocating his sick views running as a libertine candidate for governor." It goes so far as to tell readers to "Call the Police!" if they see Redlich in the neighborhood or near a public school. The authors' basis for this hysterical screed is a blog post Redlich wrote in 2008 on the controversy over a racy Miley Cyrus photoshoot. He recalls that no such fuss was made when Brooke Shields filmed The Blue Lagoon, and notes the Shakespearean precedent for sexually active teenage girls. He speculates that it was once considered normal for older men to be interested in Juliet-aged girls, but adds, as a parent of two, that he'll need "a shotgun or two" to keep men away from his daughters. From such slight stuff "People for a Safer New York" have concocted the most despicable piece of campaign literature I've seen in some time.

As everyone will tell you, Redlich has "no chance" to be elected Governor next Tuesday. So why is anyone spending time and money attacking him? Davis's attack is probably more understandable. In the current angry environment there may be enough votes out there to earn a libertarian party a guaranteed ballot line for the next state elections. Anti-Prohibition is arguably competing with the Libertarian Party for 50,000 gubernatorial votes, so Davis wants to prover herself more libertarian than Redlich. As for "People for a Safer New York," I have no idea who they support, but I have to assume that they, too, don't want the Libertarians to get that ballot line. It almost makes me want to vote for Redlich next week just to stick it to those jerks.


Anonymous said...

They claim to be "progressive", yet I have yet to see a truly progressive candidate on their ballot line. In fact, this time around, they're even endorsing a Republican, Matt Turner, for city judge in Troy. Why not endorse the Democrat, Chuck Thomas?

Point is, the WFP is NOT a political party in any real sense of the word. They simply endorse one of the two major party candidates. They rarely run their own candidate and it seems to me there ought to be an election law stating that any political party has to run it's own candidate, not merely be a second line for a major party candidate.

Samuel Wilson said...

I should explain that, due to a technical glitch, Crhymethinc's comment on "The Nation: Mouthpiece of the Working Families Party" appears here rather than where he intended it. I'm going to paste it over there where it belongs.

hobbyfan said...

There was a piece I read in the Daily News today referencing the jabroni group "People For a Safer New York". The Redlich camp accused Carl Paladino of being behind this shadow group, but I don't think he has enough brains to try something like that. Instead, what you probably have is a bunch of nothing happening wannabe tabloid writers with nothing else to do. After all, that mailing reads like sensationalist garbage.

It's already a foregone conclusion, as you state, Sam, that Redlich won't win. I tag him for 3rd, maybe sneaking in past Paladino if he's really lucky.