| March 9, 2003
Residents yesterday felt that Ron Williams' door-to-door campaigners were lying to them. The Williams' campaigners stated that Dan Stock, a candidate in the earlier Overland Park City Council Primary election, had endorsed Ron Williams for the Ward 6 seat. In fact, just the opposite is true, Dan Stock has endorsed Dan Carbery, Williams' opponent in the general election campaign.
Stock told Williams that he was endorsing Carbery over a week earlier. These particular campaigners for Williams are very close to Williams himself and would be expected to know the real situation. The Carbery campaign had also issued a press release on Stock's endorsement and, in fact, Stock is playing a key role in the Carbery campaign.
The falsehoods were uncovered Saturday when campaign workers for Carbery were themselves going door-to-door. In a couple of instances, neighbors had been visited earlier in the day by the Williams' campaigners. These neighbors were surprised to learn that Stock had endorsed Carbery, because they had earlier been told just the opposite by the Williams' campaigners.
The Williams' campaign tactic angered the neighbors. They immediately agreed to support Carbery and to allow his campaign signs to be displayed in their yards.
This reaction of anger was the same as the response to an earlier tactic of the Williams' campaign. During the Primary, 100's of signs placed by Carbery and Stock had been removed shortly after they were put up and in some cases replaced by Williams' signs. Williams signs were not disappearing. The tactic was to no avail - Carbery took 48% of the vote to Williams' 27% in the Primary.
Many supporting Carbery feel the "politics of lying" will be no more effective for the Williams' general election campaign than the "politics of vandalism" was for the Primary campaign. Perhaps they should both be labeled the "politics of desperation".
The essential problem facing the Williams campaign is that the Carbery campaign has wide grass roots support and is helped by openness and honesty. Attempts to deny voters information by vandalizing signs and to mislead them with falsehoods simply fails in a campaign such as this.
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