Monday, October 19, 2009

Negative Campaigns and Dirty Politics

Last week, the League of Women Voters held their final candidates' forum for the Vancouver Mayor and City Council candidates.

When I began my campaign for Mayor, I signed the League of Women Voters’ campaign ethics agreement without reservation. I intended to debate and deliberate with my opponent on the issues of our community, a task that would require no unethical behavior.

After weeks of increasingly negative attacks from my opponent and his supporters, I am not surprised to learn that Mr. Pollard did not sign the agreement to campaign ethically and honorably.
Negative campaigning hurts everyone —- not just the target of the attacks. In assaulting my character, allowing and encouraging the fire union and electricians’ union to dig up “dirt,” distorting the truth, and manufacturing lies that he tries to pass off as truth –- one is naturally led to question the ethics behind these acts of desperation.

Politics is a contact sport. And aggressively defending one's positions and vision for our future is to be expected. But….

My opponent and/or his supporters have vandalized our campaign signs, threatened and harassed my supporters, sent unidentified canvassers door-to-door in my name in order to lie about my platform, broken campaign finance laws, and misused private mailing lists and contact information in continued efforts to smear my name and mislead the public.

There is no place for this behavior in Vancouver. This is not respectful of the people we have been elected to represent.

If this is politics-as-usual, then we definitely need a new direction.

Royce Pollard, as the candidate, has the power and ability to stop this negative campaigning. Even those attacks that are coming from independent organizations –- he has the ability to stop them and he is choosing not to.

In fact, the Columbian reported on October 14, he thinks the attacks are funny and has no intention of putting a stop to them.

Well, I have a different sense of humor, a different level of respect for the office of the mayor, and a different approach when it comes to setting an example for and listening to the people of Vancouver.

When campaign tactics sink to this level, who benefits? Certainly not the community.

And the citizens of Vancouver, frankly, are my greatest concern. I refuse to stoop to the level my opponent has sunk to. I will continue to defend my name, my positions, and the people who have made the courageous choice to support me even in the face of harassment and bullying by representatives of the status quo.

But I will not sling mud, nor will I lie or distort the facts.

One candidate behaving that way is one too many. It is now long past time for my opponent to act in a way that is respectful of me and of the citizens he is supposed to represent, and to denounce and retract the assaults that he is making and others are making on his behalf. When this is the game we play, everyone loses.

I will not become a part of the circus he is building around him.

We've only got a couple weeks of this campaign left, and I urge all of you to examine the disconnect between my opponent's words and deeds, and know that I will continue to operate above-the-level and treat the office I am running for with the dignity and respect it, and you, deserve.

Thank you for your support.


Michelle Flores said...

Wish I could vote for you, but I am in a pocket that is county surrounded by city. Good Luck!

Ninjagrapefruit said...

Hey, I am new here. Why should I vote for you?

Tim Leavitt said...

Hi Ninjagrapefruit.

You should vote for me because Vancouver is at an incredibly important moment in its history, and we need leadership that builds up instead of breaks down, and we need to re-engage the community eith their government. Please take a look through this blog, visit my website at, and find out about some of the specific issues.