U.S. Rep. Julia Carson, D-Ind., today called on Democratic campaign groups to stop sending negative attack mail against her Republican opponent, Eric Dickerson.
"I am outraged by the negative mailers sent out by the (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) and completely denounce them," she said.
The mailing accuses Dickerson of having beaten his wife and daughter, and of lying about the incident now.
Carson had disclosed the 1991 incident during a meeting with the Indianapolis Star editorial board several weeks ago. Dickerson was arrested 15 years ago, but the charges were later dropped after his wife refused to testify. The couple is now separated.
Carson said she has never sent out a negative mailing in her 30 years of running for local, state and federal officials. But, she said, under new campaign finance laws, political party groups can spend money on ads that the candidate has no knowledge of nor control over.
"The closing days of a political campaign are crazy, and I favor sanity," Carson said. "I hope the remaining days of this campaign signal a return to sanity and the issues."
Carson's hypocrisy is nothing new, but what is equally disturbing is the disengenuous reporting the Star's Mary Beth Schneider has done everytime this issue is raised. I refer specifically to the following passage in her story: "Dickerson was arrested 15 years ago, but the charges were later dropped after his wife refused to testify. The couple is now separated." While the passage is factually true, the facts not mentioned by Schneider in this story and others she has written on the subject greatly alter its meaning to readers. Those include Paula Dickerson's written denials days after the arrest 15 years ago that her husband beat her up and, more importantly, her public statements immediately following Carson's accusation against Dickerson more recently vehemently denying that her husband beat her up.
The omission of these facts almost seem like punishment because the Dickersons refused to grant an interview to the Star, which first entertained its newsworthiness after Carson leveled the unproven charge during an interview with the editorial board where she, as the Star described it, "rambled" and often provided "disjointed answers" to their questions; instead, the Dickersons chose to respond to the charges through interviews on local talk radio programs. Paula Dickerson's interview with Abdul Hakim-Shabazz of WXNT, in particular, was quite compelling.
Whenever a newspaper discusses a criminal charge involving any person where the alleged crime was never proven in a court of law, it only seems fair that it should disclose all the facts that are known, and not just those that paint the accused in the most unfavorable light. The Star's reporting on this matter from the very beginning has been completely unfair to the Dickersons and misleading to its readers. It is practicing the very form of hypocrisy its editorial board has accused Carson of practicing. It attacks Carson's negative attacks, then repeats the unproven allegations in the most unfavorable light for Dickerson.