State Rep. David Baria was hopping mad over third-party attack ads against him in last year’s elections. Now, he’s suing the PAC that ran them for libel.
If you lived in a “targeted” legislative district last year, I’m sure you saw hours of attack TV ads and had your mailbox flooded with push cards saying how sorry Candidate So-and-So is, most from committees “independent” of the candidates. In Baria’s case, some of the literature reached the extreme. One was a doctored photo of him with an extremely long Pinocchio nose. Someone even took a photo of him and his son from his Facebook page and turned it into an attack piece.
Other candidates suffered similar slings and arrows. State Sen. Debbie Dawkins was accused of living in Florida (she doesn’t). Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves was accused of not being a hunter, nearly equivalent to treason or malfeasance in a Mississippi GOP primary. Let the record reflect: He proved he’s one of the most huntin’-est public officials we’ve ever had. Many GOP candidates received a fake endorsement from the “Log Cabin Republicans,” which they did not want.
It got ugly.