Elections » The Election Page

The morning after

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It's Tuesday morning, and I don't know how I'll feel this time tomorrow after the election results sink in, but I bet it will be lousy.

Consider the next few stories [see Related Stories below] the hair of the dog for a political hangover.

We've included a financial roundup of the final days of the election, a critical time when candidates, political parties and special interests try to wring out every last vote and campaign dollar. And thanks to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, many contributors (and their special interests) can remain anonymous, like hidden puppeteers whose purse strings control the politicians' moves.

We do know about some donors, like überconservative millionaire Art Pope, who has built his fortune peddling cheap dreck at discount stores targeted at low-income and African-American people—the very people who are hurt most by the policies he supports.

Money from Pope and other contributors enabled the state Republican Party to flood western Wake County with misleading, sleazy and racist mailers against Democratic state Rep. Chris Heagarty, and to carpet bomb other districts with flyers riddled with lies about the Racial Justice Act and the lawmakers who voted for it. (What's a flyer filled with lies? A fliar.)

And just yesterday, in a pathetic attempt to court starstruck voters, Republican congressional candidate B.J. Lawson claimed that Morgan Freeman provided the voiceover for the campaign's TV ad attacking incumbent David Price. But Freeman didn't provide the voiceover. Lawson said he was duped by MEI Political, the media company that produced the ad, which, in turn contradicted Lawson's account of the agreement.

Whatever the truth, MEI Political has dubious credentials. It's run by Benjamin Mathis, a former Disney exec-turned-Hollywood hanger-on.

Mathis has apparently traded red-carpet starlets for fringe-right luminaries: His political client list includes Christine O'Donnell, Tom Tancredo, the Tea Party Express political action committee—and, going international, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.

Kikwete is in a tough election right now, so tough that a member of his administration, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, toured print media offices earlier this month, threatening to shutter any media house that "put the government in a bad light." More than 50 human-rights and media organizations issued a joint statement last week, claiming the government has threatened the press in advance of the forthcoming elections.

So it could be worse. And as we'll know tomorrow, it probably will be.

See our Triangulator and Citizen blogs for election results and commentary.

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