Political attack ads nothing new

The attack ads mounted by the Independent Contractors and Business Association are nothing new.

The attack ads mounted by the Independent Contractors and Business Association are nothing new.  They are in fact a reflection of an era rapidly passing away in American politics.  I refer specifically to the campaign launched against then Democratic Presidential candidate, John Kerry (a Vietnam war veteran), by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, in 2004.

This campaign led to a new term in the glossary of the political vernacular, “swiftboating” (meaning a political smear campaign).

As time has passed, it has become abundantly clear that the SBVT ads were not only mendacious and vicious, but were also being undertaken on behalf of the Republican Party candidate, George W. Bush.  An early member, Steve Hayes, eventually left the group and voted for the man against whom its smear campaign was directed, John Kerry.  He commented that the SBVT had morphed “…from an organization to set the record straight into a highly political vendetta.  They knew it was not the truth”.  John Kerry, having endured the outright slander directed at him by this group, was not destined to become President.

That honour went to a man who is now remembered throughout the world as the most destructive international leader in recent memory and the worst President in America’s history: George W. Bush.  It was by the Bush campaign in Florida that fliers for SBVT events were distributed and it was Bush’s brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who wrote to a member of that group, thanking him for having supported his brother’s campaign through the SBVT.

So there is really nothing very novel about an ostensibly “independent” interest group seeing fit to orchestrate a smear campaign against a politician with whom they have ideological differences.  While it is true that Adrian Dix backdated a memo, it is also true that he has repeatedly admitted this and apologized for his actions.  Further, it is true that the resulting scandal over Premier Glen Clark’s deck was resolved and the principal cleared.  Yet these advertisements continue to assault a public alienated by smear campaigns of all kinds in the realm of politics.  I tend to think this tactic may prove a very expensive “own goal” by this organization and the political interests it is clearly serving.  I hope and trust that both the ICBA and the governing party will heed this message and step up to a bar which has been raised by those in the political sphere unwilling to engage in such mudslinging.

I’m sure the ICBA will claim it is running these ads independently and that the current government has absolutely no hand or interest in them.  What I know, though, is this:  These ads are strikingly reminiscent of those which have been run by the governing party, itself.  I also know that I’ve seen this movie before.


Jennifer Woodroff, Chilliwack

Just Posted

Chilliwack Fire Department on scene at a house fire on Boundary Road and No. 4 Road on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (David Seltenrich/ Facebook)
Fire crews respond to house fire on border of Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Flames, dark smoke reported coming from front of house when crews arrived

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

Pig races at the 147th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 10, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Fair plans in-person event for 149th annual exhibition

Will be first large-scale, in-person event in over a year, provided regulations continue as planned

Vivian Le is one of two local recipients of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship.
Chilliwack students overcome adversity to win Beedie Luminaries scholarships

Sardis secondary’s Vivian Le and G.W. Graham’s Alisa Gusakova are among 112 students receiving money

Crews work on the construction of Stitó:s Lá:lém Totí:lt near the Vedder River on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack School District shuffling catchment areas as Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt construction continues

SD33 is looking for public input about proposed catchment and feeder school options

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read