Last week many voters in Middletown received a political mailing that can only be described as a negative attack ad from a candidate desperately afraid that voters are rejecting him and everything he stands for. It is from a candidate who has twice lost an election for the same office, who apparently feels that negative attacks might make the third time a charm. Voters should see this approach to campaigning as an indication that he is not the kind of person who should represent them in elected office.
The candidate in question is Ralph Capenera, a Republican running (again) in the 9th State Senatorial district to unseat the incumbent Paul Doyle, a Democrat. Mr. Capenera's mailing is a two-sided glossy letter-sized postcard containing only attacks on Senator Doyle. Conspicuously absent is any information about Mr. Capenera or his platform, in fact the only information on either page about Capenera is his Rocky Hill return address and the "Paid for and approved by by Capenera..." statement. The ad is not just negative, it is incoherent and misleading. To give just one example, when Mr. Capenera shouts that Senator Doyle is endorsed by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the reader might be forgiven for wondering whether Capenera (a business owner) has been endorsed by the CBIA (he has not). Throughout the ad Mr. Capenera tries to convince us that if we do not think the Democrat Doyle is liberal enough for us, we should vote for the Republican Capenera (whose platform proudly places him in the right wing of Republicans in our state).
This kind of insulting, incoherent, purely negative attack ad, whose only intention is to distract and confuse, should be offensive to all voters, regardless of their political beliefs or those of the candidate who spews it. It is a symptom of a desperate, unstable politician not suited to represent the citizens whose votes he is trying to win.