The battle between Rodney Hubbard and Robin Wright-Jones ranks among the nastiest in memory. And I’m not talking about the sign wars hotflash posted about previously. Nor am I talking about the hard-hitting mailers from each campaign and their allies.
First off, a racist flier was circulated without attribution in South Saint Louis. The flier described Rodney Hubbard as a thug, Republican, deadbeat dad, Muslim, and so on. You can see it for yourself here. Undoubtedly, this swung votes to Wright-Jones and depressed turnout for Hubbard, and it was delivered to an area where it would have the most impact. For their part, both Robin Wright-Jones and her campaign manager Glenn Burleigh denied that their campaign had anything to do with the creation, design, production, or dissemination of the flier. Burleigh himself said that the fliers “smacked of racism”. Burleigh told me the Wright-Jones campaign was concerned that the flier would hurt them, rather than Hubbard, by causing a backlash. Some of their supporters voiced their suspicion that the Hubbard campaign might have come up with the flier in order to do just that. That doesn’t really make sense, though, because in order to gain sympathy in a backlash, you’d actually have to spread the attacks pretty far, and it would take time, money, and effort to stoke outrage over the fliers and produce a backlash. The fliers were distributed too close to the election for that to happen.
I’ve asked a couple of people in the Hubbard campaign exactly how they came by these fliers, and to produce evidence that Wright-Jones’ campaign had something to do with them, and so far, no response. Still, whoever produced the flier, there’s a good chance Wright-Jones won because of them, as the margin of victory was only 111 votes, and more than one thousand fliers were produced.
More, including Hubbard’s alleged transgressions, below the flip.
As bad as that nasty flier is, it’s nothing compared to what Robin Wright-Jones’ campaign manager Glenn Burleigh alleges about the Hubbard campaign’s activities in the hours leading up to the primary.
According to Burleigh, Hubbard’s campaign took a page out of the New Hampshire Republicans. The Hubbard campaign allegedly jammed Robin’s GOTV program by repeatedly calling the phone number publicly listed for getting rides to the polls, tying up the line so that legitimate callers couldn’t get through. They also supposedly repeatedly called the cell phones of Robin and her senior staff so that they could not communicate effectively on Election Day. And finally, during their final GOTV push, Robin supporters told volunteers that they had been informed by the Hubbard campaign that the polls had been moved to Wednesday because of the heat advisory on Election Day.
I want to note that I haven’t seen substantiation of any of the above charges. But I’m bringing them up even after the conclusion of the primary because this type of crap does not belong in Democratic politics, and I hope that, if true, those responsible never work in politics again. Let’s leave dirty tricks to the GOP.