Sunday, September 24, 2006

Northup Supporters march in fear

As you read about Anne Northup's lackeys marching ahead of John Yarmuth passing out yet another piece of their smear campaign against him, you have to wonder why they're trying so hard. After all, Anne's been in office for almost 10 years. Doesn't she have a strong record she can stand on and put into nice brochures to hand out?

The truth is that Anne Northup doesn't have much to stand on, so she spends every election cycle smearing her challengers. She spends handily to attack them election after election. Ask Jack Conway. Ask Eleanor Jordan.

So instead of dignifying Northup's campaign against him, John Yarmuth should turn it around and ask the media to focus on why she won't run on her own record.

Yarmuth: Northup's ads distort positions
By Kay Stewart
The Courier-Journal

By Kay Stewart
The Courier-Journal

One day after her new ad campaign savaged his record, Democratic challenger John Yarmuth accused U.S. Rep. Anne Northup of distorting his positions, saying there's "not one accurate claim."

But during yesterday's downpour, Northup's campaign manager, Patrick Neely, countered: "That's like saying, right now, it's not raining outside."

Northup held a press conference Friday to unleash new TV and radio ads and a campaign Web site devoted solely to expose "goofy" positions she says Yarmuth has held.

She cited Yarmuth for once having endorsed abolishing Social Security, getting rid of "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance, doubling the payroll tax, legalizing marijuana and lowering the drinking age.

Yarmuth didn't respond Friday to Northup's attack, instead letting his campaign manager, Jason Burke, say that none of those ideas represent Yarmuth's current positions.

Yesterday, Yarmuth, at a scheduled grand opening of his western Louisville headquarters, said he hadn't responded because he hadn't seen Northup's ads and didn't know what he would be responding to.

Yarmuth said Northup took individual statements and distorted them.

"I would be happy to explain columns I wrote," he said, adding, "This election is about where this country is going."

He said Northup needs to be held accountable for her votes on issues such as supporting the Iraq War, tax cuts and her opposition to increasing the minimum wage.

Neely said Northup will be talking about her voting record during several debates with Yarmuth next month.

Her campaign continued its focus on his record yesterday at the Fairdale Parade in southern Jefferson County, a major draw on the political campaign circuit.

Yarmuth and Northup each walked at a distance from each other in the pouring rain.

Ahead of Yarmuth's group, Northup supporters passed out fliers along the route to people huddled under umbrellas.

Headlined, "Yarmuth?" above his picture, the flier included quotes attributed to him, including one under his picture: "I don't have a lot of friends in Louisville's South End, blue collar neighborhoods either. I also don't go into those neighborhoods either."

The quote ends, "But none of these facts carry implications beyond the simple fact that I don't go there. It is undeniable that people want to be with people who have common interests."

Yarmuth said yesterday that he was addressing people's common interests, not making a statement about South Louisville.

Reporter Kay Stewart can be reached at (502) 582-4114.

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