We may be treated to a GOP food fight over the next few days. The Madison County Republican Party issued a press release (full text below the fold) regarding negative ads by Cheryl Baswell Guthrie accusing Wayne Parker of lobbying against North Alabama interests. It's pretty clear that Parker is the preferred candidate of the party insiders, and lack of support for the North Alabama business community is the third rail in the 5th District. If Parker touched it, he's toast in the general election. Here's the text of Baswell Guthrie's mailer attacking Parker, along with the references she cited:
After losing to Bud Cramer for the second time, Wayne Parker went to Washington, D.C. to become a federal lobbyist. There he took advantage of his father-in- law's position as Chairman of a powerful Congressional committee and sold his family ties to the highest bidder.'
Wayne Parker lobbied to get federal contracts and funding for a company that isn't even in the region, directing much needed federal dollars away from North Alabama and putting jobs and businesses here at risk.*
Wayne Parker denied about how long he lobbied in Washington, D.C. saying that he hasn't lobbied since 1998. But, according to federal reports, Wayne Parker lobbied for several years longer.
Whose interest would he represent?
Yours, or someone outside Alabama ...
Say NO to Wayne Parker,
because we don't need another lobbyist in Washington.
1. Michael Brumas. "Ex-Huntsville Congressional Contender Parker Is Lobbyist," Birmingham News, 4/26/97 2. US Senate Public Records Website, http://sporweb,senate.govlindex.cfm?event=choosefields. Accessed 411 1/08
3. WHNT-W Channel 19, 5/22/08
As far as I can tell, the party leaders aren't are saying her accusations regarding Parker's lobbying aren't true are false, they're just saying and she shouldn't do negative ads against him. They cited this erroneous press release regarding the amount of money Baswell Guthrie has raised, apparently in an attempt to discredit her.
Did anyone get the mail piece? If so, please scan it and send it to me.
Update:Brian has a post on this. One of the commenters claims to be Ray McKee's campaign manager, Ambre Brown, and says McKee was not at the Republican meeting today. "We take offense that this name was used in this press release." So the press release about CBG's false and misleading ads contains false and misleading information. Murky.
Party Leaders call on Guthrie to Suspend False Negative Ads
Cites Reagan's 11th Commandment
Huntsville, AL – John Noel, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party was today joined by congressional candidates Wayne Parker, Angelo "Doc" Mancuso, Ray McKee, Mark Huff, and George Barry to call on Cheryl Braswell Guthrie to suspend her false, negative campaign ads. Citing Ronald Reagan's famous "11th Commandment," the party leaders said such false and misleading advertisements have no place in a Republican primary.
“Reagan had it right when he said not to speak evil of another Republican candidate. The voters are tired of negative campaigning” Noel commented. “And when the negative advertising is blatantly false, it clearly goes too far. We expect this kind of thing from liberal Democrats, but our candidates should not engage in this kind of behavior. That is why we are calling on Guthrie to immediately stop her false ads and apologize to our voters. We need to be honest and united in order to win in the fall. All she is doing is hurting all our candidates up and down the ticket.”
The false accusations from Guthrie have been broadcast on radio across the 5th district as well as going out as a mail piece that began arriving in voter's mailboxes earlier this week.
“We have had a positive, issue oriented primary up to this point, and our voters deserve that as they make important decisions leading up to voting on Tuesday. This kind of malicious attack has no place in our primary. ” Noel said.
This is not the first time that Guthrie has misled the press and the voters. Earlier her campaign issued a press release saying that she had "raised" over $200,000. Recently released Federal Election Commission reports reveal that she has actually only raised $62,000, while putting in over $470,000 dollars of her own money.