As the election nears, it seems that campaign messages become more personally critical of the candidates and less concerned with issues the candidates promote. I have been told that statements made in the context of a campaign are not covered under slander laws, so anything can be said about a candidate, true or untrue, without repercussions. This makes it difficult for voters to ascertain whether claims about various candidates are fact or fiction.
I am particularly concerned about some negative statements recently made about Ellen Simon, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives. Three of these statements, in particular, are blatantly untrue.
It has been stated that Ellen defends hard criminals. In truth, she has not been involved in criminal law. Throughout her career, she has defended the rights of groups of people who have been wronged through violations of the Bill of Rights. She has fought for rights of people who lost their jobs because of age, race, or illness, as well as elderly folks who were abused in nursing homes.
It was stated that she defended a group called the Man/Boy Love Association. Ellen has never defended this organization and is totally disgusted with what it stands for. She is also disgusted with congressional leaders who have been involved with activities similar to what the Man/Boy Love Association allegedly advocates.
It has been stated that Ellen was President of the ACLU. In truth, she has only been a volunteer chairperson of the Cleveland ACLU.
I trust this will clear up some misconceptions so the voters of Payson can make their best informed choice on Election Day.
Elaine Bohlmeyer, Ph.D., Gila County Democratic Party