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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nancy Johnson's campaign fesses up to lying...then lies again

The desperation alert is sounding off at Nancy Johnson headquarters. After admitting to lying in several of their idiotic ads, the Johnson campaign comes out with an ad that sinks to a new low.
The television spot, which began its run on Hartford television stations Monday night, spoofs an earlier ad by Johnson's opponent, Democratic state Sen. Chris Murphy, which featured him making the door-to-door neighborhood tours.

"I'm Chris Murphy," the Johnson ad begins, featuring five seconds of footage from Murphy's ad. "And I'm running for Congress by knocking on doors."

But then the ad quickly shifts to a rear shot of Murphy, now played by an actor impersonating the state senator walking door-to-door. The next frames show a woman telling Murphy to "keep walking!" because he "raised our taxes 27 times," and then another woman slapping Murphy because he provided "housing for sex offenders." The ad closes when Murphy reaches another house, where he is warmly embraced by a garishly dressed drug dealer.
If this isn't bad enough, following the smear tactics of the RNC's TV ad against Harold Ford Jr, Johnson's people carefully plays the "soft on drug crimes" card.
"Murphy!" the actor playing the drug dealer says. "You want to weaken penalties for drug dealers, man! That's so cool. Come on in."
Now, this comes from a Congresswoman who claims that Chris Murphy is running a negative campaign.

Oh yeah, about her other lying negative ads...lets start with the claim that Murphy raised taxes 27 times.
The charge that Murphy supported "27 tax increases" started airing in TV and radio spots earlier this fall. However, 14 of the Murphy votes were for routine compromise budget bills each year.

These budget acts were supported and signed by Republican governors John Rowland and M. Jodi Rell. The Johnson campaign, therefore, is criticizing Murphy for votes that were actually supported by her fellow Republicans.

Seven of the "27 tax increases" came in bills passed during 2005 and 2006, when Rell was governor.

"If I raised taxes, then Jodi Rell raised taxes," Murphy said during an interview two weeks ago. "In fact, over the course of my eight years in the legislature, state taxes have actually decreased by $300 million."

Johnson campaign manager David Boomer said during an interview Wednesday that he is heavily involved in both researching and writing the congresswoman's ads. He acknowledged many questions about the tax claims.

[...]

When asked if more than a dozen of the increases mentioned in his ads were actually bipartisan budget bills, Boomer said:

"Correct. A number of these [bills referred to in the ads] were the budget and tax packages worked out in compromise between the governor and the legislature. ... Yes, Jodi Rell signed all of these bills. ... We're simply saying that Murphy is a tax raiser. He raised taxes in Hartford, and he'll raise them in Washington."

What about the other claim that Murphy voted to provide housing for sex offenders and weaken laws against drug dealers...
The Murphy campaign has also questioned the accuracy of the ad's claims that he provided "housing for sex offenders" and "weaken[ed] penalties for drug dealers."

The first reference is to a 1999 bill, "An Act Concerning Landlord and Tenant" that Murphy says he voted against because he thought it weakened eviction protection for low-income families. (The same bill contained provisions that allowed housing authorities to exclude sex offenders.)

In 2005, the Connecticut legislature wrestled with the issue of the disparity between penalties for possession of powder cocaine and crack cocaine.

In an initial vote, Murphy did support exempting drug dealers from a mandatory minimum sentence, if they were caught with less than 1 ounce of crack cocaine.

But Rell vetoed that bill, and less than a week later Murphy voted with a unanimous legislature to increase the penalties for possession of powder cocaine.

When asked about his ad's reference to the first bill, which was unfavorable to Murphy, but not the second, Boomer said:

"Well, I'm not going to get into that. Our ad only referred to the first vote, where Murphy voted to lessen penalties."
Yeah, I'm sure the Johnson camp doesn't want to get into it...so lets turn back the ConnecticutBLOG clock and dig into it ourselves.
Bill Leukhardt of the Hartford Courant writes about the effort being made by the state senate and house to quickly pass the Republican compromise to the failed cocaine-crack prosession bill before the session ends.
The sponsors will seek quick House and Senate passage of a proposal setting 14 grams - half an ounce - as the trigger amount of either crack or powder cocaine a suspect must possess to be charged as a dealer.

The law now says anyone possessing half a gram of crack cocaine can be charged as a dealer, with a mandatory minimum jail term of five years if convicted. For powder cocaine, the threshold is 28 grams.

The bill Rell vetoed would have set 28 grams of either as the threshold. Rell said a 28-gram threshold for crack was too lenient for a highly addictive drug often sold in cities by violent gangs that battle rivals for turf.

She said she would sign a compromise setting 14 grams as the threshold for the dealing charge for both crack and powder - a compromise position House and Senate Republicans proposed last month without success.
You see, what Johnson's camp doesn't tell you is that prior to 2005, the laws were fixed so that a person who had a half an ounce of crack would get the same jail time as a person who had 28 grams of cocaine.

Now, I'm no crackhead or cokehead but I think it's fair to assume that it costs quite a bit more for 28 grams of coke than a half a gram of crack therefore, a majority of people being locked up under the old law were minorities and poor people who generally lived in cities while those using cocaine (who more often white, rich and didn't live in the city) skipped mandatory jail time as long as they had less than 28 grams of coke on them.

Simply put, the law didn't make any sense and needed to be updated. Murphy votes for the first bill which would have made it a crime if a person was caught with 28 grams of crack OR coke. Rell vetoed this and a compromise was reached and now a person would receive automatic jail time if they had 14 grams or coke or crack on them.

What Murphy actually did was try to even out the playing field and it makes sense. The old law was simply stupid and needed to be changed and although the compromise bill WHICH MURPHY SIGNED was fair and reasonable, Johnson wants you to believe that he was being soft on drug dealers which is outrageous. If anyone would have large amount of drugs on them, it would be drug dealers and Johnson's people know this.

Rather than talking about the issues that matter most to the people in the 5th District, they want to blur reality and now they're running the most misleading , dishonest, ad ever.

Nancy Johnson: part of the problem in Washington.

UPDATE: Seems like I'm not the only blogger freaking out over this. Here's what Matt Browner Hamlin at My Left Nutmeg had to say.
Boomer concedes that as both Chris Murphy and Rinker Buck have noted, the majority of the tax increases (14 of 27) were part of budget bills, nullifying any culpability on Murphy for raising taxes. He admits that the Johnson claim is pure bunk. And then gets back on smear message "We're simply saying that Murphy is a tax raiser." Damn the facts, WE'RE SAYING SOMETHING!

Boomer and Johnson's brand of lying is of that special type that knows fully well what the truth is and isn't concerned by the disconnect. There are books that have been written about this. Johnson's ad reeks of fear and desperation and Boomer's loyalty to the fabrication that has become a planck of the Johnson campaign is truly startling. Caught in a lie and accepting it, Boomer continues to lie.

If Nancy Johnson wins reelection it will be on the back of her and her campaign managers dutiful willingness to lie, smear, and generally shit on the truth in their effort to scare voters away from Chris Murphy. Maybe they're comfortable with that, but I sure am not.


UPDATE 2: Oh this is a good idea.
Stop F-ing whining and fight back (4.00 / 1)
Do an ad Showing Nancy Johnson showing up at her Drug Dealers house( a CEO of Big Pharma) and going around to the back door and getting a bag of money.
Good idea! Count me in with that project.