Dang things move fast when you get into the homestretch. I got my hands on a copy of the mailer I referred to earlier. The complete text:
YOU CAN T BELIEVE A WORD HE SAYS
David Robinson had a complaint filed against him with the Ohio Elections Commission for lying about his opponents record and misleading voters.
The Iraq War Marine veteran and Purple Heart Recipient who filed the complaint wrote:
"...either David Robinson did not actually research the charges he printed in campaign literature, or he intentionally and dishonestly is spreading false information... Robinson is hypocritically breaking his own campaign promises of running an honest campaign and not deceiving voters."
CASE NO. 2008E-06, Strahle v. Robinson, et. Al
WILL SAY ANYTHING TO GET ELECTED.
Vote NO on David Robinson.
Hoo Boy. Where to begin. Let's start with the tried-and-true/tired-and-false line of attack that begins the charge: "...had a complaint filed against him." Someday, Pat's going to have an opponent who has a surrogate who will file a complaint, then send out a mailer that says "Tiberi being investigated for misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in PAC contributions on prostitutes and illegal prescription drugs." And I hope he doesn't complain, because he has set the precedent that one's campaign can file a frivolous complaint, then campaign on the presence of the unsubstantiated charges. See, two years ago, a Tiberi surrogate filed a complaint with the Board of Elections against Bob Shamansky, his opponent, alleging voter fraud, and then Tiberi campaigned on the statement that Shamansky was facing "felony charges." Tiberi now has a pattern of having supporters make unsubstantiated allegations and trumpeting the charges as a reason to vote against his opponent. That's simply dirty politics.
Neither complaint (this year's nor 2006's) was meant to actually go anywhere, and neither one did. This is something you might not realize if you use the Columbus Dispatch as your primary news source on this race.
Second, there is, however, an interesting difference between the 2006 and 2008 complaints: In 2006, Bob Shamansky really did have three residences. Although this is not illegal by any means, the complaint reinforced the same type of image that McCain has had to fight in defending his double digit home count. By contrast, in 2008, David Robinson stated that Tiberi had gotten abysmal grades from the Disabled American Veterans from 2003-2007. The truth is that Tiberi received grades of 0,0,0,66 from 2003-2006, and the DAV didn't release a grade in 2007. Robinson mistakenly credited Tiberi with 5 failing grades, when it was actually 4 failing grades and a missing year. So in 2006 Tiberi used a frivolous complaint to steer the discourse toward a legitimate weakness of his opponent. In 2008, Tiberi is using a frivolous complaint to cover up a legitimate weakness of his own.
Now, the possibility does exist that the complainant, Mr. Strahle, was acting completely on his own, and really did view the fact that Tiberi was prevented from actually earning a failing grade again in 2007 by the DAV's lack of action as a reason to take offense. I don't mean to impugn Mr. Strahle, but I do wonder why he was content to file the complaint and not even show up when the commission took it up for discussion.
Perhaps he was ashamed. It would be understandable. Mr. Tiberi obviously is. Notice how the mailer never suggests that the voter should vote for Pat Tiberi. The voter is told to "Vote No on David Robinson." If the mailer didn't have the required note stating that it was paid for by Tiberi For Congress, you might never know he was involved in this ugly business.
So, let me conclude by saying Vote for David Robinson, the candidate bringing a clean and refreshing campaign to Central Ohio, and not for the other guy, what's-his-name who is pulling the same old slimy tricks out of the playbook again.