Politics has always been a dirty business, and it’s hard to keep the ugly nature of politics from getting personal. There are still lines, however, and this week, the Michigan GOP crossed one. The Republicans sent out campaign mailers directing their voters to call the local Democrat state House candidate at a number that’s the number for his 91-year-old mother’s Portage-based nursing home.
A low blow? What do you expect from the Party of Rush Limbaugh?
The GOP mailers, paid for by the Michigan Republican Party, urged Republicans to call Democrat John Fisher, who’s running for the 61st state House District, and “Tell him hard-working Michiganders are being hurt by Obamacare and the health care policies (Democrats) support.”
And while Fisher’s campaign acknowledged that they’ve never had a problem with Republicans being directed to call him in the past, Fisher himself cried foul at the most recent mailer. Fisher said that the Republicans took it too far by directing people to call him at his mother’s number.
Fisher, a 64-year-old Oshtemo Township pastor, is running against Kalamazoo County Commissioner Brandt Iden and Libertarian Michael Stampfler in a bid to take the 61st House District, a district that covers the city of Portage, Oshtemo, Schoolcraft, Texas, and Prairie Ronde townships. And while the number is registered under Fisher’s name, it’s a direct line to his mother’s room at Tendercare Portage, where Isabel Kramb is currently receiving hospice care for heart failure.
In a prepared statement, Fisher said:
To direct people to call a suffering woman who deserves peace and comfort is beyond the pale. Their lack of ethics and contempt for personal privacy is just another reason for people to question what – or better, who – the Republican Party stands for, so that they can make a wise decision at the ballot box on Nov. 4.
The Republican candidate, Iden, 31, said that he didn’t condone the tactics utilized by the Republican party in this instance:
Obviously, as you know, it was not sent out by our campaign. I don’t condone negative campaign tactics and it’s not something my campaign has done or anticipates doing.
I hope Mr. Fisher would do the same.
The Michigan Republican Party spokesperson was, predictably, unavailable for comment. In the meanwhile, Fisher called on Iden to distance himself from the Michigan GOP, pointing out that it’s not enough to say that one doesn’t condone the tactic; one has to step up and condemn it, as well:
My competitor, Brandt Iden, should denounce the Michigan Republican Party for such appalling tactics in his name. Lansing Republicans showed contempt for all seniors when they forced them to pay extra in order to fund giveaways for major corporations.
The men and women who worked hard all their lives so that their families could succeed deserve better than that, and I will work hard to protect the dignity and security of Michigan seniors when I am in Lansing.
The Michigan Republican Party is like Mos Eisley; you’ll be hard pressed to find a bigger hive of scum and villainy.