Shift has occasionally highlighted when Democrats get very personal in their campaign attacks – against other Democrats. The First Legislative District Senate race featuring sometimes Democrat Guy Palumbo has provided several such opportunities this election season.
An officially non-partisan race popped up on the radar over the weekend, when Democrat State Representative Chris Reykdal got desperate enough that he compared his opponent to Donald Trump in a fundraising email. The fact his opponent was a fellow Democrat and an African-American woman was evidently of little concern to Reykdal as he struggles for a promotion to Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Unfortunately for Reykdal, his email caught the attention of a teacher who took a little offense – actually a LOT of offense – with Reykdal’s attack. Seems that writing about big-money donors trying to buy an election, and suggesting “It’s happening even in my OSPI race! The millionaire corporate-style reformers are writing $2,000 (maximum) checks to my opponent” didn’t go over well with someone (“@prosserjohn”) who was willing to look at Reykdal’s campaign finance reports.
Those reports show that if one of the candidates is in fact bought off by major donors, it is Reykdal. According to @prosserjohn, “Examining the contributions we see that, of Chris’s 39 donations of $1,000 or more, only three were from individuals and one of those individuals is a lobbyist.”
@prosserjohn further points out that Jones has many more individual donors than Reykdal, a lower average contribution, and fewer of the big-money contributors that infuriate Reykdal so.
So why would Reykdal launch a dishonest attack on his opponent? Could it be that Jones had just been endorsed by the Tacoma News Tribune and he needed to slow down her momentum?
If so, he probably wasn’t prepared to be called out so quickly and completely for his misguided attack. @prosserjohn concludes with a stinging rebuke of Reykdal, worthy an advertisement:
“Chris Reykdal’s email to supporters Saturday was racist and full of lies -a tactic straight from the playbook of Trump himself. Misleading his supporters to believe Erin Jones is funneling countless donations from education-reformers obscures the reality that Chris takes in more big-money donations from more big-money organizations than Erin. This is the truer threat to an honest election. Erin Jones is a grass-roots candidate who relies on small donations from you and me. Don’t buy into Chris’s lies. Don’t subscribe to his dog-whistle racism. Don’t believe in his white-savior mentality. Don’t vote for Chris Reykdal. Our kids deserve the best. Erin Jones is the best.”
The ball’s back in your court, Representative Reykdal.