Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shaw's Campaign Flush with Mud & Money

Shaw Outspends Opponent 10-1

Laurens police chief Tom Shaw is attempting to bury his opponent under a mudslide in their race for the Iowa House. Documents released Friday show his negative television ads--which say nothing about Shaw himself--are costing nearly $90,000. They are being broadcast on Des Moines channels to the whole of Iowa.

Shaw's campaign has contributed only about five percent of the money needed to fund the ads. The rest is being paid by the Republican Party of Iowa. Shaw is a past president of the Pocahontas Republicans, but he began this race as an independent. Later he re-joined the party and won its primary election against an Algona physician. Many Laurens residents contributed to that effort, as reported by this website at the time.

Since then local contributions have been dwarfed by party funds and political action committees (PACs). In the last week checks of $1000 each were accepted from an Iowa bankers group and from Freedom First PAC, a creature of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Shaw's advertising indicts his opponent for supposedly reducing Medicare to senior citizens. However his opponent, Algona educator Susan Bangert, has not been a member of Congress. The seat for which she and Shaw are running has no control over Medicare.

Earlier printed campaign matter had featured Bangert's photo over the phrase "Bad for Iowa". In the summer a flier insinuated that Bangert had voted to ban the flag from schools, an impossibility for someone who has not held office.

By contrast the Bangert campaign has been funded largely by individuals. There has been no net financial help from the Iowa Democratic Party. Bangert's two mailings have been straight forward with no false charges. Her campaign has cost about one tenth as much as the Republican campaign, according to the published reports both campaigns file with the state.

This race has received considerable coverage by various websites and the Des Moines Register. For a while it appeared to be the most competitive legislative race with so little spending. That changed this week with the big purchase of TV time for Shaw.

Update: BleedingHeartland says "In terms of hyperbole and deception, nothing tops a new commercial Republicans are running against Democratic candidate Susan Bangert in the open House district 8 race."