Update: Andy Hill Campaign Manager Jess Honcoop tells us they found out about the campaign mailers along with everyone else, after the mail hit voters. Honcoop describes mailings like these as the “nasty underbelly of politics” and says it shows what a high-profile contest the District 45 race is.
But, “We’re trying to keep our campaign as positive as possible,” Honcoop said.
Original: It must be opposite day on the campaign trail. Or maybe it’s just GOP strategists working overtime to keep the Majority Coalition led by Republicans in control of the state Senate. That would explain why a GOP independent expenditure group is saying that a Democratic Senate candidate is too Republican for his own district.
In campaign mailings, District 45 Senate candidate Matt Isenhower is portrayed alongside George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Isenhower, running for the seat occupied by Republican Sen. Andy Hill, is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” according to the mailings. They describe Isenhower as a volunteer in the White House during President George W. Bush’s presidency and cite the fact that Isenhower has in the past donated to a conservative, pro-life politician.
The GGLC, which documents say spent nearly $11,000 on the mailing, did not return a call seeking comment by Tuesday evening. Neither has the Hill campaign.
Isenhower did donate $300 to Republican Dino Rossi’s gubernatorial campaign in 2004, according to public records. But Isenhower said he spent only two weeks at the White House, where, as a commissioned naval officer, he helped prepare a briefing memo for President George W. Bush on Washington state.
“Like most people who are interested in politics, I jumped at the chance to volunteer, even if it was only for two weeks, at the White House,” Isenhower wrote in an email. “Also, as a naval officer, I felt that serving my Commander-in-Chief was the right thing to do.”
Isenhower described the campaign mailers as a way to “change the subject away from issues” in the campaign.
“This was a desperate attack designed to mislead people and suppress Democratic voter turnout,” Isenhower said.