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Dole releases ANOTHER 'Godless' ad

How desperate is my ineffective, completely offensive current Senator? Elizabeth Dole, even though she has been scorched in the media (national, state, and local) for her initial “Godless” ad. I noticed that the ad suddenly disappeared from the airwaves (a feeble anti-immigration commercial took its place.

Now she and her fellow sleazebags are taking another crack at it with a re-edit, removing the female voiceover “There is no God!” out and turning it into a lame  guilty by association bit:

The Hagan camp was ready with another response, and again — where is any statement that faith is not a litmus test to serve the people in elective office?

Hagan also released a statement with comments from the Council of Churches to serve up her bonafides as a believer. I’m not kidding.

Yesterday the North Carolina Council of Churches sent a letter to Senator Dole asking her to remove her ad, saying, “As you no doubt know, Sen. Hagan is a faithful and active member and leader in the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro. To say or even to suggest that that outstanding congregation has chosen a lay leader who doesn’t believe in God is appalling and should be offensive to churches and church leaders throughout the state.

Fellow Republican, consultant Alex Castellanos, responsible for the infamous “White Hands” ad in the race between Jesse Helms and Harvey Gantt said that her attack was over the line. When you’re making ads that say ‘There is no God,’ it usually means your campaign doesn’t have a prayer,” he said.

I realize this defending one’s faith is what some politicians feel is necessary in NC in 2008 when attacks like this come up, but I appreciate what the Durham Herald-Sun said about Dole’s ad and Hagan’s faith:

A person’s faith is a deeply personal matter, and every piece of evidence from Hagan’s personal life leads one to believe her faith is genuine. The Dole ad clearly suggests otherwise, and, as such, is purposefully misleading and insulting. And Hagan is right that it seems a last-ditch, desperate effort by an incumbent who fears she is about to lose…Dole’s ad is offensive on two counts — it misrepresents Hagan’s beliefs and insults anyone whose beliefs are not seen as mainstream.

You should see the reactions to this dustup in other NC newspapers. The religious pandering is overboard. They are after the jump.These newspapers’ editorials were included in the Hagan press release. All of them, save

ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES: The ad is not only a gross misrepresentation of the circumstances surrounding the fundraiser, the implication that Kay Hagan believes “there is no God” flies in the face of her long and close involvement with First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, where she is an elder and has taught Sunday School.

GREENSBORO NEWS & RECORD: If Elizabeth Dole is still the gracious person North Carolinians have admired for many years, she’ll pull her new attack ad off the air. It’s worse than dishonest in its depiction of rival Kay Hagan as a “Godless American.”… Even in a campaign long ago driven down in tone by Democrats and Republicans, this is a low blow. Making false insinuations about a candidate’s religious beliefs is beyond the bounds of acceptable political disagreement.

FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: The paper called Dole’s attacks on Kay, “desperation” and said, “The polls show she’s trailing Hagan, and she’s dipping into her own pocket to support her campaign. But jumping into the deep end of the slime pool is no way to catch up.”

WILMINGTON STAR-NEWS: A recent TV ad from Sen. Elizabeth Dole is shameful even by today’s threshold for slime. It smacks of desperation, and it’s unbecoming of a senator representing North Carolina…Hagan is no heathen. An elder in her Presbyterian church, she has taught Sunday school and does lots of other things that good people of faith do. Apparently Elizabeth Dole and her handlers missed the lesson that covered “Do unto others…”

WINSTON- SALEM JOURNAL: Political ads often get far too negative in the last, sometimes desperate, days of a campaign. But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s TV ad painting her opponent, state Sen. Kay Hagan, as godless is a new low, even for this ugly campaign season…The latest Dole ad, however, is a lot more irresponsible than any others we’ve seen.

RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER: Dole clearly is desperate to hold on to her seat for herself and the Republicans, and Hagan has been tough on Dole for what the challenger says are rare appearances in North Carolina and steady support for the unpopular Bush administration. This ad is the most telling sign yet of just how stressed Dole is, but it may well leave a permanent stain on a long government career. Appearing to question someone’s faith, particularly when the question clearly isn’t applicable in Hagan’s case, is beneath a person of Elizabeth Dole’s stature and reputation.

SALISBURY POST:  Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s “Godless Americans” advertisement may well go down as a watershed moment in her bare-knuckles brawl with upstart challenger Kay Hagan…Hagan has never advocated stripping “God” from the pledge or the county’s coinage – and in fact opposes doing so. She has taught Sunday school and serves as an elder in her Presbyterian church…It crosses the line into tactics that tarnish Dole and diminish the above-the-fray reputation she once cultivated.

GREENVILLE DAILY REFLECTOR: These are scare tactics, plain and simple, and citizens expect better from so respected an individual as Dole. Just as North Carolina should be appalled by this attack, Dole should be ashamed of herself and her campaign…Nothing could justify the tone and content of the advertisement released by the Dole campaign this week…This week, Dole hit the bottom with an ad that is an embarrassment to this campaign and to the electorate. Voters deserved better than what she has delivered.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding