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Supervisor Harriett Wieder as a Candidate for Congress

May 21, 1988

You can tell elections are near, as the air is getting rather foul due to all the dirt being tossed around.

I refer to election-time as "Dirt Excavation Season," as certain candidates go to great lengths in digging up all the filth they can find on their rivals rather than concentrating on the issues.

The end results often involve questionable revelations rather than hard data, including rumors or half-truths or statements taken out of context or misdeeds done early in life, such as the failure to be potty-trained until age 5. Some candidates even have special employees working round the clock to dig up such filth.

But why do candidates resort to such underhanded, below-the-belt tactics? The answer is simple: They are desperate. They believe destroying their opponents' good name and credibility is the only way they can possibly emerge victorious, as they stand no chance of winning in a fair, issue-oriented campaign.

One of the most vicious campaigns has been in the Republican primary for the 42nd Congressional District seat nomination, where front-runner Harriett Wieder, Orange County Board of Supervisors chairman, is being almost daily attacked by her rivals, whom I refer to as "The Seven Dwarfs." Wieder's name may mean "hunter" in German, but in this race she is definitely "the hunted."

Wieder has been accused of misrepresenting her educational credentials, falsifying her age, making questionable campaign loans and being responsible for Orange County's out-of-control growth.

However, most of these accusations Wieder has quickly and openly responded to and cleared up. For instance, the error concerning her educational background, which stated she received a degree in journalism from Wayne State University through she never even attended the school, was dropped from her official biographies in 1982 and isn't even listed in her current campaign literature.

It's about time we hire some street sweepers and get the dirt swept away in the 42nd Congressional District race, so the candidates can once again get back to the issues. It's been so long since I've heard the issues discussed that I've almost forgotten what they are.



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