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Upstate mud tiresome

How do you know there’s an election campaign in Oregon Senate District 3? Check your mailbox for nasty attacks on one candidate or the other, paid for by outside interests.

It’s as predictable as the fall chill in the air, and it’s getting tiresome.

Senate District 3 is Southern Oregon’s only swing district, so it’s closely watched and greatly coveted by partisan interests in Salem.

This year, attack ads are targeting both Democrat Jeff Golden and his opponent, Republican Jessica Gomez, who are running an otherwise amicable campaign for the seat left open after Alan DeBoer decided not to seek re-election. One mailer takes quotes out of context from a book Golden wrote about his experiences in 1971 working on a cooperative farm in Georgia. The quotes seek to paint him as dismissive of women in the workplace.

The Leadership Fund, affiliated with the Oregon Senate Republican Caucus, sent a mailer proclaiming Golden is “clowning” by saying he rejected PAC funding while accepting PAC-financed ads on his behalf.

Ads targeting Gomez, from the Southern Oregon Priorities PAC, attack her for her stance on abortion — she says she supports abortion rights but also favors Ballot Measure 106, which would ban public funding of abortions, which a mailer calls a “back-door ban on abortion.”

Golden and Gomez both denounce the attacks. So do we.

PACs dumping mud into local races reinforces public disgust with politics in general, and such tactics have a history of backfiring. You’d think PAC organizers would wise up.

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