Is it Mud- or Truth- Slinging

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2002

During the past couple of months, I have watched and listened as various politicians have attacked one another and I thought: &uot;It’s just another election in Alabama.&uot;

The big one &045; the one that involved Shelby County &045; was the District 14 race, in which one candidate apparently lied to get into the race.

Thank goodness, that candidate is out. Now we’re faced with the other two, and they’re at each other’s throats.

Then there’s the other Representative race in Shelby County &045; Senate District 15. They had the same mudslinging, in some ways much more severe than the District 14 race.

The race for United States Senator turned to mudslinging last week when Julian McPhillips attacked Susan Parker.

And then we come to the governor’s race &045; one that heated up for Bob Riley and Steve Windom and will undoubtedly become even more &uot;muddy&uot; between Republican nominee Riley and Democratic nominee Seigelman as the summer goes along.

The question I find myself asking is &045; if the mud is true, is it mudslinging?

At what point does educating the voters become mudslinging?

Suppose one candidate said his opponent is an adulterer, has two DUIs and was once charged with molesting a child but was not convicted.

That’s dirty, and the people of Alabama would hate it, even if it were true &045; even if the first candidate had absolute, unequivocal proof that it was 100 percent true.

But is it mudslinging? If you can prove it, I’m not sure it is.

Alabama voters have gone to the polls and pulled one party lever for too long.

I used to go to the polls with my grandparents when I was growing up in Phenix City, and I can remember hearing people talk about &uot;just pulling one lever.&uot;

For those who had different types of ballots, that was the Republican lever or the Democratic lever.

The voters didn’t seem to know anything about the candidates. They had been voting that way since the first time they could vote, so they still voted that way.

I’m glad that now there is education out there about the candidates &045; the education, not the information that’s not true.

We deserve to know the backgrounds of those who will travel to Montgomery to vote on issues that will affect us for the rest of our lives.

We don’t want the drunk, child-molesting, adulterer voting on potential laws involving children and domestic violence. I guess it comes down to TruthSlinging or MudSlinging.

Let’s hope Alabama voters can stay out of the lies in the mud, discover the truth and vote for the best Alabama has to offer. They are out there. Sometimes we just have to search for them