This week marked an unpleasant turn in the race for Senate District 9: negative campaigning. It kicked off with a flier from Trisha Beck blasting her opponent, Wayne Niederhauser, for outspending her by a margin of almost 7-to-1. She fails to mention, however, that Niederhauser is spending about what's average for a seat in the legislature these days. It was then followed up with a reprint of an endorsement from the Tribune with negative comments about Niederhauser highlighted. The grand finale was a flier pushing Beck's record on increasing education spending while insinuating that Niederhauser cuts education funding.
Niederhauser has, thankfully, not resorted to these low-ball tactics, even if his party did send out a flier tying Beck to Al Gore and his 2000 run for president. If you can't campaign on what you want to do and where you stand, resorting instead to opposition-bashing, you probably aren't fit to be a legislator, much less an effective one. It just highlights what I've said before: politics has become less about governing effectively and more about winning. The problem is that so many don't even know what they're trying to win anymore. They just know that the other side must be beat at all costs.