Besides being Republican, what do U.S. Senate candidate Dan Liljenquist, State House District 27 candidate Mike Kennedy and State Sen. Casey Anderson have in common?
They all have been attacked in the final days of the primary election campaign with the exact same mailer, with an identical image of what appears to be some kind of self-appointed Messiah standing above the people. The mailer’s text says that Liljenquist, Kennedy, Anderson — fill in the blank — wants to take away your right to vote for U.S. senator and give it to the Legislature.
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All three do support a repeal of 17th Amendment, which changed the election of senators from the votes of state legislatures to direct popular elections, but the text and image is dramatized to the point of demonizing the targeted candidate.
What else do Liljenquist, Kennedy and Anderson have in common?
Their opponents — Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sarah Nitta and Rep. Evan Vickers, respectively — have political consultant/direct mail specialist Jason Powers on their payroll.
I wrote recently about Powers’ tactics and his direct mail attacks against Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, that mostly focused on a bill he sponsored five years ago and are funded by a group Powers went to great pains to keep anonymous. I mentioned other tricks by Powers in the past intended to discredit opponents of his clients.
I recently learned about the experience of former Republican Rep. Sheryl Allen of Bountiful. She was in a primary several years ago and Powers was the paid hit man for her opponent.
A lawn sign supporting her opponent, Don Guymon, was displayed about two blocks from her home on a busy street. Near the date of the primary election, a hand painted sign went up on the property with the accusation that the home was being
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