Sarasota: Still America's Craziest District

District%2013%20480.gifFrom Kitty Harris' own Florida District 13 comes this heart-warming tale of how the crazy trickles down even to the Florida State House races. Behold, a campaign email from candidate Laura Benson, who'd like to represent you in the Florida legislature. Her opponent, though, taking a very proactive view of campaign dirty tricks, took it upon himself to say, in a meeting with a local paper's editorial board, that -- well, just read:


Last weekend I was contacted by a member of one of the editorial boards who had been conducting interviews of candidates in order to make their selection for endorsements. They had done several and an issue arose that they needed to clarify. They wanted to know if I had been married 5 times and was once a pole dancer.

Ms. Benson insists that the story is flatly untrue, and, in responding to it so directly, has once again proved LBJ's pigfucker maxim. Full email, after the jump.

August 17, 2006

To the Members of my Community:

This is a very difficult letter to write. The news I am bringing to you is embarrassing and hard to talk about.

Last weekend I was contacted by a member of one of the editorial boards who had been conducting interviews of candidates in order to make their selection for endorsements. They had done several and an issue arose that they needed to clarify. They wanted to know if I had been married 5 times and was once a pole dancer.

My immediate reaction was that they had to be kidding and frankly that was their reaction when they heard it as well. However, It was strongly asserted several times during the interview as the truth and felt they needed to get my "side of the story". Obviously this accusation is not only ridiculous, it is a bold faced lie.

They told me the candidate making this preposterous claim was my opponent David Mills.

When I entered this race I was told by several people that this would be a nasty race - that David Mills will stop at nothing to win. I was warned he would distort the truth, start whisper campaigns and basically try to destroy my reputation. I have e- mails and letters that are in the public record telling him to cease and desist his slanderous comments made in other instances but I never imagined anyone with any honor or integrity could possibly sink to this level. Apparently I've underestimated him.

On Wednesday afternoon, someone I know told me that they had heard this rumor (now somewhat embellished as rumors will get) at their gym and felt I needed to know about it. She thought it was a disgusting thing to say and was outraged when I told her the source.

Its not often we can find the source of a rumor. They are insidious and infectious and hard to track. But going on the record to an editorial board is about as clear cut as they come. I don't expect David to accept responsibility for this - I believe he will try to claim he heard it somewhere. He cannot have evidence of these marriages nor this "career" because they never occurred. If he is willing to make the case to an editorial board then he ought to step up and be accountable. Its not like this is the first time he's done this.

This weekend I had to tell my three children what was going on. That was difficult. They are great kids and they think Mr. Mills is a jerk (their words). I think he is worse than that. He asks us to give him our trust. He portrays himself as a "pillar of the community". Those of us that hold elected office, or want to, hope that the community can respect us and we work so very hard to earn that respect. When someone like David Mills seeks to destroy one of us, he destroys all of us. We question why the public is sick of politics and why so many of the them are skeptical of our intentions. The answer is making itself abundantly clear. Why in the world should anyone respect us when we can't even respect each other? Is this really where we've gotten to? What a pity.

At the Republican Executive Committee tonight (Thursday), I confronted David with this letter in hopes he could disavow it somehow, or at best apologize. He instead admitted it and attempted to make justifications for his actions.

There is a disclaimer required by law that I have to put at the bottom of this letter. This is not, however, a "political advertisement". I am writing this to share with you what I have come to learn about the character of the man who asks for your vote or for your support. Frankly, I am disgusted and angry and while I "signed up for this" I don't think any of us should condone this behavior. This has to stop. The rumor will make its rounds, might have some impact, but I think most people will dismiss it - I mean its the stupidest thing I've ever heard. What won't be dismissed is the impact on those who may want to consider offering themselves to public service or those that do. What also will not be dismissed is that David Mills lied to an editorial review board for the sole purpose of bringing disgrace to my family in order to win an election.

David, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Sincerely,

Laura Benson

Campaign for Florida House District 69

Earlier: Racism Week Continues at Wonkette

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