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Bizarre, "Disrespectful" Mailer Hits Mailboxes in the 32nd Senate District Race

by: lowkell

Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 10:08:06 AM EDT

Things always get weird before election day, and this mailer from a shadowy outfit that nobody seems to be able to track down, now hitting mailboxes in Arlington (and possibly more of the 32nd State Senate District), would certainly seem to qualify. Note that this mailer (see the flip side of the mailer on, appropriately enough, the "flip" of this post - heh) claims to come from Lynchburg, (coincidentally?) home of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. Also note that the group cited, "Our Heritage USA," is not listed on SBE, VPAP, or the FEC websites. Even weirder, if you look up the address on the postcard using Google Maps, it's just a parking lot. Finally, there is no date or location stamp on the stamp, probably meaning that it was dropped at a mail sorting facility, not in a mailbox. Very, very strange.

P.S. I just spoke with Janet Howell's campaign manager, and he said they not only have absolutely no knowledge of who sent this mailer or where it comes from, they also find it to be "horrible" and "disrespectful." I couldn't agree more; there should no place in politics for this crap. Beyond that, it's just stupid. There are many reasons not to vote for Patrick Forrest, but this mailer lists none of them (e.g., I'm very glad he's been a strong Democrat until recently, hope he returns to the fold after his crushing loss to Janet Howell on Tuesday).

lowkell :: Bizarre, "Disrespectful" Mailer Hits Mailboxes in the 32nd Senate District Race
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Fingerprints? (0.00 / 0)
These had to be handled since they are stamped. Unfortunately, stamps no longer require licking.

Nah.... (0.00 / 0)
There have been so many hands on that you'll never be able to track it.  Trust me, I know a little about fingerprints ;)

[ Parent ]
No clue what their mailing universe was (0.00 / 0)
My wife got it - not me. And she's not on any lists other than maybe ACDC's. To boot, we're not in the 32nd. Not far from the line, but definitely in the 31st. So they were probably running on zip code only. And like Dan said, it's hand stamped. Google Maps aside, I think that might be the address of the 1st Baptist Church.

Bizarre Mailer (4.00 / 1)
      This mailer has no place in our political discourse and those who offer themselves for public service, whether Patrick or any other candidate, do not deserve nasty attacks. It is disturbing that whoever did this does not have the courage to identify themselves. Hopefully it will have no effect on the results, particularly if the sender mailed it to Arlington Democrats.

Adam Ebbin

It's Been Awhile (0.00 / 0)
I haven't lived in Lynchburg for quite a few years, but that building and the parking lot used to be a Salvation Army rescue mission, so whoever used that address knew it would be untraceable...It has all the earmarks of a group of homophobes masquerading as patriotic religious types. Not surprised that it emanated from L'burg, where the Falwell empire preaches that sort of tripe.

Janet Howell letter to Patrick Forrest (4.00 / 1)
November 5, 2011
Patrick N. Forrest
P.O. Box 2364
Reston, VA 20195

Dear Mr. Forrest,

It has come to my attention that a postcard mailer personally attacking you has recently been sent to
voters in the 32nd District. Its direct attacks and suggestive innuendo are tasteless, classless and utterly disrespectful. I am disgusted by this mailing; it has no place in this election. And, it has no place in
politics and public service.

My campaign and I have been trying to track down information about the organization responsible for the postcard. We have been unable to find any public records for the group and, according to Google Maps, the address on the postcard is an empty lot in Lynchburg, VA. I believe the postcard mailer may be illegal and I will be reporting it to the Virginia State Board of Elections. If you learn any information that can lead to exposing the truth behind the organization responsible for this mailing, please contact
the State Board of Elections.  

As you know, I deplore political tactics that personally disrespect candidates or their family members. Our campaign, as should all campaigns, sticks to the issues that are important to the community and impact our families.  

I look forward to each of our campaigns completing this election in a clean, respectful fashion.


Janet D. Howell

cc:  Virginia State Board of Elections

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Who it's being sent to (0.00 / 0)
I can't say that I know too many Rs, so I can't confirm this impression, but among the people I do know, it's the strong Dems who are getting this card.  I'm an FCDC member and I got the thing.

If it is being sent to Dems, presumably it's from a conservative group, and they're trying to snow us into believing that Forrest is really to the left of Janet, in hopes that enough Ds will be dumb enough to fall for that so that their votes, plus the Rs, will put Forrest over the top.  They can't make that argument openly and honestly, because it could be picked apart too easily.  So they put across the idea as if it came from homophobes, knowing that a lot of progressives might reflexively be so inclined to vote against homophobia, that they might vote for Forrest out of sympathy.

No, it's not likely to work, but what other choice does their side have in this race than to resort to every bizarro strategy that might bring in a few votes here and there?

Dems as far as I can tell (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
Gotta love Republicans (0.00 / 0)
They throw their own candidate under the bus just to take a swipe at Janet.

[ Parent ]
That's my point (0.00 / 0)
Not that the point is terribly clear, because I think this is a really far-fetched gambit if my idea of it is correct.

You look at this card and what it says, and at first light, it looks like an attempt by extreme Rs, teahadist types, to punish the "moderate" wing of their party (such as it is), for nominating Forrest.  Depress the vote he's going to get in order to show that the party picks a moderate at its peril, and they better listen to the fundies and teahadists next time.

But that explanation only makes sense if they send the thing to fundy and teahadist voters.  They send it to me, and they've wasted postage and printing, because I'm not an R voter.

Now, if everyone's getting the thing, then maybe the people sending it don't have access to voting histories, and can't tell Ds from Rs.  But if they're only sending it to people like me who always vote in the D primaries, then they clearly do have access to voting histories, and the face-value explanation for that they're up has to be wrong.  

They're being deceitful.  They're not trying to get Rs to punish a moderate R.  They'e trying to fool Ds into voting for Forrest, either with the idea that he's to the left of Janet, or to send a message by making a moderate R do relatively well, thus humiliating the teahadist and fundy Rs.

To a reasonable person, I'm sure this all seems terribly strained and far-fetched.  But we're talking about people trained up in College Republican internal politics, and this sort of thing is what they do for sport.  It's so common among them that they have a name for it that involves doing something to a rat that can't be spelled out in a family blog.  

[ Parent ]
Dennis and Laurie Gibbs own this warehouse (0.00 / 0)

The Gibbs of Castro Valley,CA also recently purchased the Historic Jones Memorial Library on Rivermont Ave. The Library has sat empty for some time and was the site of the Pactum Boys Academy for a while.

real estate in Lynchburg (0.00 / 0)
The address is 306 12th St. It isn't a parking lot it's a warehouse. It's owned by a couple from California as are other places in the city.
Liberty University owns a lot of real estate around Lynchburg including The Plaza Shopping Center and another shopping area near their church.
The Gibbs own the warehouse at 306 12th St and just bought the old Jones Memorial Library.They also bought The Villa on Rivermont which has been the site of Republican fundraisers and even has been sort of a command zone for them during campaigns. If someone cares to dig enough I imagine they would find a connection to LU, the Falwells and other right wing people in the area.

That's fascinating, thanks for the info. (0.00 / 0)
If you find out anything more, please let us know!

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[ Parent ]

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