You may recall our story back in August, which described how Rep. Robert Hurt’s (R-5th CD) shock jock pal, Rob Schilling, smeared Brigadier General John Douglass – the Democratic nominee running against Hurt – as a “chickenhawk,” “dupe,” “crook,” etc. These attacks were quickly and forcefully condemned by leading Veterans groups, as “disgusting…swift-boat style gutter politics,” which “dishonored every one of us who have served in the military and are still serving.” Even after all this, Hurt still refused to condemn – or even distance himself from – the shock jock making these slanderous remarks. Right there, that tells you a great deal about Robert Hurt – none of it good.
Given Hurt’s demonstrated willingness to sink to the gutter level of politics, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that he’s associated himself with one of the worst Republican operatives in the business – Scott Howell, infamous for calling Vietnam War hero (and triple amputee) Sen. Max Cleland (D) a coward, and putting him in a notorious, 2002 attack ad along with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Howell’s also known for the racist “black hands” ad, the core message of which was that “[Democratic Rep.] Carson, a Democrat, was on the side of poor, black, urban Oklahoma City residents, a demographic seen by some white centrists as an economic drain.” Last but not least, Howell crafted the infamous “Hitler ad against Tim Kaine in 2005. Just so you know who Robert Hurt’s dealing with.
So now, the Hurt/Howell dynamic duo are out with another trashy ad, this one attacking Brigadier Gen. Douglass as nothing more than a slimy “Washington lobbyist.” What they don’t say in this ad is that Douglass “served our country for more than 35 years, under President Reagan and President Clinton, working his way up to the highest levels of our military, including his responsibilities for President Reagan’s Strategic Modernization Program and often briefed the President directly on key Defense and National Security Programs.” Douglass also “served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association, where he represented a vital sector of America’s industrial base in promoting strong and sensible business practices at the Pentagon, an effective export policy for American aerospace products and the preservation and expansion of United States jobs.” According to Hurt and Howell, apparently all that work to strengthen America’s military is a really bad thing. Weird.
At one level, I almost feel like the Douglass campaign should just ignore this garbage. On another level, though, I don’t believe that slimy attacks like this should be allowed to stand, and am happy to see the Douglass campaign firing back at Howell/Hurt:
After two years in office, Corporate Congressman Robert Hurt’s ads still have nothing good to show for it — instead of coming clean about his plan to subsidize corporate outsourcers, end Medicare’s guaranteed benefits, and put our district at risk of dangerous uranium mining, he is basing his entire campaign now on more name calling and false attacks that cite Facebook pages.
What next, will Howell put up an ad showing Douglass with Osama bin Laden, as he did to Max Cleland? Whoops, better not give him any ideas!