If you're a city voter, you may soon receive a flier from Councilman Jeff Smith, running against incumbent Mayor Jeff Graham in the Nov. 8 election.
It gives a pretty good illustration (not without controversy! We'll get to that later) of Mr. Smith's campaign platform. In big block letters on the front is the word "FAMILY," with several photos of Mr. Smith, his wife, and his four children. And on the back, there's a poster-type deal that says, "Renew Our Future," with a photo of Mr. Smith on the corner of "Vision Av" and "Future St." When you're running against a man who has been mayor, with a four-year break, since 1991, it's no surprise that you'd use the word future twice in a five-word spurt.
Mr. Smith also says he'll "Keep taxes LOW," "Lower our debt," and says that "Children are the FUTURE of our Community."
But here's the interesting thing: That "Vision Av" and "Future St" illustration has actually been knocking out the Jefferson County Web Board for some time. Mr. Smith said he received permission from the graphic artist to do it. But this perturbed the mayor (no, not irked) because of a nasty and somewhat vulgar mock campaign flier that the person also made about Mr. Graham.
This being a family blog, I'm not even going to link to it, but it basically took Mr. Graham's "Getting the job done!" flier and changed it to, "Not getting the job done!" The most tame of all the criticisms.
Mr. Graham seemed to allude to this on his campaign blog the other day: "It's not the poking at each other's record or positions that bothers me, but its the back channel nastiness only made worse by the Internet. I chatted with Councilman Smith last night about it a bit."
Mr. Smith also recalled the conversation, which occurred before or after Monday night's City Council meeting.
"The mayor told me he had done this other stuff. I said, if he did, that's inappropriate. I didn't hire him. He's not part of my staff or anything like that," Mr. Smith told me.
Defending himself, Mr. Smith said such guilt-by-association might make it impossible to get campaign lit from anywhere.
"Does that mean if you go to (such-and-such printing place that put out something negative), you're intentionally supporting or doing something that puts a negative thing up?" Mr. Smith said.
My attempts to reach the graphic artist via Facebook were unsuccessful.