Candidates are pulling out all the stops to attract votes, often, as many citizens are learning, with questionable if not unsavory tactics. One might expect it in the days leading up to a historic Mississippi election that is expected to edge voter turnout upward.
Yesterday, someone identifying themselves as "Scott Tyner" circulated an email expressing his support for the proposed Personhood amendment and for Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree. Several individuals with the surname of Tyner are involved in local Democratic politics but as of press time this afternoon we couldn't verify the exact identity of the person who sent out the letter.
"Although I oppose the upcoming referendum making abortion illegal, I think I'm going to vote for it. I'm also going to vote for the black guy running for governor, even though his odds of winning are remote," the text of the email reads.
The emailer goes on to explain his rationale for supporting Initiative 26: "If (Personhood) passes, it will go to the courts, and the courts will stop it, I think, because it contradicts our Constitution, the idea that government can tell you what to believe, how to think."
In late October, Ridgeland residents were surprised to receive what on first glance looks like a judicial summons sent from the Madison County Justice Court. In actuality, the official-looking piece of correspondence is campaign literature for William P. Featherston Jr., an attorney seeking the office of Madison County justice court judge.
Featherstone, who is an independent in the race, told The Clarion-Ledger last week that he wasn't trying to give the impression that he had the court's endorsement but was just trying to be creative.
The rest of the state has not been immune from campaign chicanery as Election Day draws near. Down in Jackson County, Democratic state Sen. Brandon Jones is the target of attacks by his Republican opponent, Charles Busby, in a contest to fill the House seat in District 111. Busby's campaign produced a flyer that features a prisoner standing outside of a steel-barred revolving door proudly popping his collar. Thanks to Jones, the mailer announces, "Prisoners will be getting out of jail early."
In response, Jones' camp included a statement on his campaign website characterizing Busby's "negative mailer" as "disappointing."
He refutes the charges by writing, "My tough stance against crime has earned me the endorsement of the Police Benevolent Association and my work to end domestic violence led to my being named the 2009 Chick Ball Hero of the Year."
We'll be monitoring campaign stunts through Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. If you receive questionable literature, phone calls or emails, we'd like to see them. Write us at [e-mail missing].