Editorial: Make a vote against nasty campaigns
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Take the phone off the hook, carry the fliers straight from the mailbox to the trash bin, hold your nose and shut your eyes if you must.
Then go vote. For your future, and that of Long Island.
The noise, sales pitches and obfuscation always rise in the last few days. Big names make robocalls: Bill Clinton is on the phone for you. Andrew Cuomo sends a letter supporting a Suffolk legislative candidate. And without fail, there are the eleventh-hour mailings where unidentifiable players make scurrilous, even vile accusations.
The worst we've learned about was a flier mailed in Nassau County's 7th District. It accused Lisa Daniels, the Democratic challenger for county legislature, of being responsible for the death of a 2-year-old boy she once represented in a custody case.
Daniels is running against Republican incumbent Howard Kopel and women are the demographic both sides are after. The charge is ridiculous. Leveling it was despicable. Daniels had no connection to the tragedy. Even the boy's mother traveled here from Georgia last week to defend the candidate. "I don't understand why my son is being dragged through this," she said. We don't understand it, either.
Kopel denied involvement and a Nassau GOP spokesman said he was "unaware of the mailing." A Nassau legislative race is fairly low stakes: Who, except someone deeply invested in the outcome, would bother to pay for and mail thousands of fliers slandering Daniels?
It's often said that if you can't find something to vote for, you can find something to vote against. Tuesday, why not vote against any candidate who had true nastiness deployed in the service of his or her campaign? Then maybe, next election season, we'll see less of such tactics.