Trumbull Republicans on Friday condemned the latest negative campaign tactics utilized by the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee -- attacks that the Republicans say have resorted to name calling and personal attacks on the first selectman.
“Tim Herbst wants to talk about the record, he wants to focus on what’s important to Trumbull voters.” stated Chairman Testani. “Mary Beth Thornton doesn’t want to talk about her record of supporting tax increases that averaged 6 percent per year for the last 10 years. During the six years she was a member of the Town Council and Mr. Baldwin was the First Selectman, Mrs. Thornton voted to increase the budget $28.5 million. During that same six-year period, Mrs. Thornton voted to increase Town debt by 92 percent. If that was my record, I wouldn’t talk about it either,” stated Testani.
“This is yet another desperate attempt by a campaign that is behind in the polls to say anything and do anything to try and win an election, even if it means resorting to personal attacks,” continued Testani. “Mary Beth Thornton’s campaign slogan is ‘people before politics’, yet her campaign strategy lacks civility and integrity. She states in a mailer she won’t resort to name calling then goes on the attack with character assassinations.”
Republicans became aware of the push poll last night from voters, as the Republicans were making telephone calls from their headquarters. “Residents expressed frustration with the negative and slanted tenor of the questions asked and actually called our headquarters to make us aware of the telephone calls.”
A “push poll” is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll. An example of a question would be something like this:
Do you think Mary Beth Thorton lies?
A) All the Time
B) Most of the Time
C) Some of the time.
(*This example is purposely outrageous to prove our point.*)
“This latest piece of negativity has Nancy DiNardo’s fingerprints all over it,” said Testani. “You really learn a lot about people by the way they campaign and Nancy DiNardo and Mary Beth Thornton have certainly proven that they don’t care who they attack or step on to win an election.”
Testani said the recent email that Republicans came into possession of is proof positive that DiNardo’s email was an attempt to glean questions for the push poll. The following email was sent by DiNardo:
If you had 1 minute to tell a voter why they should not vote for Tim, what would you say? Please let me know asap and you can ask others as well.
“To date, Trumbull Democrats have avoided a discussion of the issues and instead have resorted to negative, personal attacks. Mrs. Thornton is avoiding public appearances and debates with the First Selectman, is not providing a vision of where she hopes to lead the Town, but instead is engaging in character assassinations. Trumbull voters deserve better conduct from our elected leaders,” concluded Testani.