As WFPL’s Phillip Bailey reported today, Metro Council District 1 candidate Jessica Green recently sent out this campaign mailer attacking her incumbent opponent — Councilwoman Attica Scott — for supposedly funding the pictured mural in the Parkland neighborhood, saying “I don’t want this in my neighborhood, and neither should you!”
As Bailey points out in his story, this Parkland Rising mural was actually funded by Mayor Greg Fischer in his budget, not by Councilwoman Scott in an NDF appropriation, as Green’s mailer suggests.
Today Bailey tweeted out yet another Green mailer attacking Scott, this time for wanting wage and local hiring concessions for city money going to subsidize corporate giant Walmart and supporting “illegal immigrants” in “Arizona.”
The other side of the mailer reads: “Her focus is on fighting for immigrants in Arizona. I believe the citizens of our district should come first.
One problem with that mailer: Scott tells LEO she hasn’t been to Arizona in 15 years, and her trip had nothing to do with immigrants.
“I have no clue (what Green is referring to),” says Scott. “The last time I was in Arizona was 15 years ago for a university where I worked. They pulled it out of thin air. I guess it was a way of turning their campaign into a joke, and making a joke of the people of District 1.”
Asked if Green has some kind of problem with “immigrants,” Scott told LEO, “It appears so to me, which is extremely disheartening. When I was knocking on doors this week, I knocked on the door of a woman who is an immigrant and a student of JCTC. And I can’t imagine the hurt and pain she’s feeling right now looking at that mailer.”
Scott also noted that the mailer put her head on the body of a white person, half-joking, “If she’s going to use a picture of me, at least put it on a brown body.”
Asked if Parkland residents are outraged by the presence of the Parkland Rising mural referred to in Green’s previous mailer — which Scott refers to as “another untruth by my opponent and her campaign manager” — Scott says that the opposite is the case.
“There’s absolutely no uproar. In fact, 300 people — not only from the Parkland neighborhood, but from the Park Duvall neighborhood and other surrounding neighborhoods — sought to create that project. 300 District 1 residents, from elderly to youth. And I wonder where has my opponent been the past year that this project has been around. If she had a concern she could have raised it two months ago, six months ago, nine months ago.”
On the Facebook page of Green’s campaign, she says that Scott “works against” Mayor Fischer and that she will work with him, but apparently that campaign message doesn’t extend to Fischer’s vocal and financial support for the Parkland Rising mural.
Scott tells LEO that she can take criticism, but Green’s mailers are an insult to the people of District 1.
“If you’re going to try to insult me, please don’t insult the people of District 1, too,” says Scott. “It’s OK if you insult me. I’m an elected official, I’m a big girl, I can handle it. But don’t do that to the people of District 1.”
Scott thinks that the mailers will have the exact opposite effect as Green’s campaign hoped for.
“Quite frankly, I think these mailers may very well turn the tide against her, because on so many levels they’re offensive,” says Scott. “And they show that she failed to do her research. I don’t think people want someone representing them who’s not going to do their research, that’s going to use a tactic of insulting people in order to gain political favor.”
LEO left a message with Green’s campaign manager Denise Bentley and a voicemail on Green’s cell phone seeking comment on the mailers, which has not been returned.
Allegations of dirty campaign tricks have followed Bentley for years. Bentley released a “tell all” book about Councilman Jim King just a week before the 2010 primary election when King was running for mayor. As Bailey wrote in LEO in 2008, Bentley was also rumored to have a role in homophobic and racist mailers sent out that year and in 2006.
We’ll see what attack the Green campaign invents in their next mailer…