The Leader in Jacksonville endorses Joyce Elliott for 2nd District Congress. Her achievements as a legislator and superior policy positions are clear enough.
But the Leader editorial also examines at some length the issue Elliott has been too high-minded to address in her own curiously unemotional campaign, to her detriment. It is Tim Griffin's poor character and lack of fitness for public office. A brief summary:
* There's the more than a decade he spent as a political hatchet man — oppo researcher is the nicest phrase possible. He spent a couple of years sniffing after San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros' extramarital affair, the kind of panty posse work that distinguished so much Republican activity in the 1990s.
* There was his work for Rep. Dan Burton and David Bossie, another political hatchet man, that included the time when they were engaged in the infamous altering of transcripts of Webb Hubbell's prison telephone calls to make them look incriminating.
* There was his brag in a BBC documentary about "making war" on the opposition party. He's now whining like an angry baby because Joyce Elliott merely remarked to an inquiring reporter that Griffin should answer questions about his past.
* There was his time on an Arkansas state payroll when he was serving as campaign manager for Betty Dickey, then a prosecutor, who was running for attorney general. He made political calls while on her payroll from a publicly financed office.This is against the law.
* From there it was back to hatchet work for Bossie and then Karl Rove, the master manipulator. As a Rove acolyte, he smeared U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins because Griffin wanted his job in Little Rock as a springboard to public office.
Space being what it is, the Leader doesn't have time to get into the high-dollar political consulting Griffin has done, including opposite a clean environment in Alaska. Nor does it touch on Griffin's role in the infamous 2004 Florida "caging" aimed at disqualifying potential Democratic voters — poorer and blacker areas were targeted for voter roll "cleanups" and many of those disfranchised were military people serving overseas in Bush's war.
Is returning a long-time Washington insider and hatchet man to Washington truly the fresh air that voters want? The Leader doesn't think so.
People in the Second District may not know much about this young man who recently moved into their midst, but his reputation in Washington, D. C. and the House of Representatives is very well known. We are not sure that will be advantageous to the people of the district.
Senator Elliott’s reputation will better serve them.