Fliers urge voters to 'Slap' Fenty
For two consecutive weeks, people attending candidates forums in the D.C. mayor's race have been greeted with fliers urging them to "slap" Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D).
"Slap This Brat," states the flyer, which includes a photo-shopped image of Fenty's face attached to a baby sitting on a rocking horse. "Elect Somebody. Anybody But Fenty."
Larger signs with the same image and message have also been posted on some city telephone poles. Many of the fliers and posters are in color while others are black-and-white.
The flier and signs do not include any information about who paid for or is distributing them, a possible violation of city campaign finance rules requiring disclosure of electioneering activities.
City election law states "campaign literature must be identified by the words 'paid for by' followed by the name and address of the payer or the committee or other person and its treasurer," according to the Office of Campaign Finance.
The campaign of Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray has denied any involvement in creating or distributing the fliers, which D.C. Wire first noticed at the Ward 3 Democrats candidates' forum Thursday. The Fenty campaign had no comment on the fliers last week.
Similar ads have also been appearing in the Washington City Paper. According to Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis, those print ads state they are being paid for by "electanyoneelse.com." But electanyoneelse.com doesn't exist and there is no registered political committee with that name.
But D.C. Wire caught up with the young man who was handing out the fliers Monday night outside the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club forum.
The man, who refused to identify himself but appeared to be in his early 20s, said "some guy" asked him to hand out the fliers. He added he wasn't being paid for the work, but decided to hand out the fliers because he doesn't like what Fenty is doing with the schools.
With the increasingly nasty election still three months away, the anonymous fliers are likely just the beginning of the dirty tricks.
Update at 5:45 p.m. - Mo Elleithee, a senior Gray advisor, issued a statement to D.C. Wire this afternoon calling the fliers "tacky" and "reprehensible."
"There are a lot of reasons to disagree with the mayor, but there's no room for this kind of trash in the campaign," Elleithee said.
-- Tim Craig
June 15, 2010; 12:56 PM ET
Categories: Tim Craig
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