In what has to be the worst campaign robocall everĀ (we're sure the bar can go lower), a Nevada Republican candidate for the state assembly is attacking his primary opponent by trying to stir up trans bathroom panic, invoking the 1997 murder of a little girl in a casino restroom. Never mind that the murder wasn't committed by a transgender person -- it was in a restroom, so if you let trans people use the toilet, children will die.


Republican Tony Baca is one of five candidates running for an open seat in District 5, and in an effort to paint Artemus Ham, the other Republican in the race, as an "establishment" candidate, Baca's campaign is using Toilet Panic as a campaign issue. Not that Ham has said anything about the issue, as far as we can tell. Baca simply wants to appeal to the farthest right position possible. So it only makes sense he'd talk about a horrifying 1997 murder that had absolutely nothing to do with trans people, yeah?

The robocall mentions the murder of 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson in a restroom at the Primadonna Resort and Casino in Primm, Nevada; left alone by her father for several hours (her older brother was supposed to be watching her but wasn't), Sherrice went into a restroom near the casino's video game arcade, and was followed in by 18-year-old Jeremy Strohmeyer, who raped and murdered her. So of course it's only logical that a state assembly candidate would use the little girl's murder by a straight cisgender pedophile as a campaign issue.

Here, have some robocall:

[playlist ids="602743"]

The ad briefly summarizes how the murder happened. Then, the going gets weird:

Now, establishment candidate Artemus Ham wants to open women's restrooms to men, but allow boys and girls to shower together in high school locker rooms. Artemus Ham is heartless when it comes to the mother of 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson. I don't understand why Artemus Ham feels it's OK to allow rapists and murderers like Jeremy Strohmeyer free access to the women's restroom. Artemus Ham's issues [sic] make it unsafe for girls to have any privacy. When is it going to stop? You can stop Artemus Ham's sick and twisted laws agenda [sic] by voting by June 14th. Paid for and authorized by Tony Baca for State Assembly -- the safe choice.

As Nevada Journalism God Jon Ralston notes in an update to his original piece on Baca's disgusting ad, not only has Ham not actually taken a position on Transgender Bathroom Panic, he's actually just about the last Nevada politician Baca should have chosen to bash with the Strohmeyer case:

I have learned this is even worse than I thought -- and I thought it was awful. It turns out that Ham, as a law student, helped then-DA Stew Bell prepare the case against Jeremy Strohmeyer, the man convicted of killing Iverson. How's that for irony, Mr. Baca?

Also, Ham has not taken a public position anywhere on transgender bathrooms, so like other generic attacks ... on other Assembly candidates, this one is not only disgusting but false.

So no, whatever you might think of ordinary Republican Artemus Ham, who has a terrific name and is part of a Nevada family going back to territorial days, he's not trying to make boys and girls shower together, and actually helped bring the killer of little Sherrice Iverson to justice. The Nevada Assembly did consider a 2015 bill requiring all God's children to pee in the toilet the good Lord assigned them at birth, but had the good sense to reject it; Mr. Ham was neither in nor campaigning for the Assembly back then, either. He's certainly making noise about Baca's false claims now, though.

On the other hand, there's a campaign to win, and good conservative Christians are all het up about perverts and killers and trans people (same thing) going to the toilet, so Tony Baca pretty much has to go ahead and keep on lying, because he is a terrible sad parody of a human being. Your discussion question: Is outright slander legal in political advertising?

[Ralston Reports / Reno Gazette-Journal / Artemus Ham on Facebook]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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