The Negative Campaign of the Year (So Far)

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 22 2014 9:49 AM

The Negative Campaign of the Year (So Far)

It must be that of Bob Wieckowski for a precious seat in the California state Senate. (The megastate's upper house seats represent more people than most U.S. House districts). He's facing former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, who, in 2011, was caught leaving Nieman Marcus with $2,445 in clothes. This ended her career, for a little while, and in order to keep Hayashi buried, Wieckowski has started a #dontvoteforcriminals hashtag and purchased MugShotMary.com—where, you know, you can see her mugshot.

Advertisement

Hayashi's attorney claimed, at the time, that the assemblywoman only acted stupidly because a benign brain tumor affected her reasoning. The Wieckowski campaign was ready for that, and has clipped—two weeks before the election—the surveillance video of Hayashi walking through the store and then being apprehended.

Hayashi doesn't seem crazy in the video, according to the rival campaign. This, apparently, is meant to oblivate Hayashi's answers to the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, where she moved from the brain tumor story and focused on how she "offered to pay immediately" for the clothes.

That would be a good enough video for the rival campaign ... but just in case, team Wiecowski edited its own version of the clip, darkening the video, to make it look like Hayashi was being interrogated by the cast of a CSI spinoff.

Half of me wants to see where else this can go in the final stretch of campaigning. Half of me is terrified.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.