Piece of Mind: Knock off the mud-slinging, already!

No wonder we have a dearth of strong candidates every time a general election takes place in this state. Who in their right mind wants to put themselves through the filthy, mud-slinging campaigns that begin before the ink is even dry on their filing papers and then crescendo the weekend before voters go to the polls?

I am sick of the negative TV and radio political ads that assault me in my home and in my car. Those in the Whitman vs. Brown and Boxer vs. Fiorina races are the most obnoxious of them all this year.

All four of those candidates have allowed their advertising campaigns to veer off to the ugly side (and I'm not just talking about the exceedingly unflattering photos each side runs of its opposition). Knock it off, Meg, Jerry, Barbara and Carly! Instead, concentrate on the solid reasons why you are the best candidate for the job you want.

Why is it that taking the high road in elections is such an anathema to hungry campaign managers? Unfortunately, there are conflicting studies about whether negative campaigns result in boosting a candidate's results at the polls. And so we're doomed to have to endure this until public outrage over the practice shuts it down once and for all.

I'm not holding my breath that will happen anytime soon, as campaign mud has been thrown since the beginning of modern history (and likely before that), but it sure would be nice not to have to feel the need to take a shower every time a political ad runs within my earshot.


Once the election is behind us, we can return to some normalcy and concentrate on more charitable works that are going on around us. Some already are knee-deep in projects to raise funds and/or food for people in need as the holidays near.

Last week we ran photos of a costume party/fundraiser La Cañadans Vicky and Brad Schwartz held in support of Union Station Homeless Services. More than 100 locals turned out for that event, raising an impressive $20,000 in a few short hours. I stopped by for a few minutes to soak up the atmosphere, but left before things really got rolling (and I regret missing seeing school-board VP Scott Tracy dressed as country singer Tim McGraw). I understand a good time was had by all, and the Schwartzes were delighted to be able to direct the money they raised toward the works of Union Station

Perhaps you've read in Anita Brenner's column that we're again building the "Tower of Tuna" in the Valley Sun office. At the moment, it looks a little less like a tower and more like a small pile, but donations of tuna and other foodstuffs are growing slowly and we hope to have a true tower before too long. Anita plans to take the collection from here to an inter-faith food pantry in December. From there, it will be distributed to families in need. I invite you to drop off a can or two here, 727 Foothill Blvd. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

When you're buying a can of tuna for Anita's effort, please remember also to pick up some non-perishable food items for the 17th Annual Thanksgiving Day Run and Food Drive sponsored by the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge. We understand that this year's collection of food will be donated to the L.A. Food Bank, which last year provided food to more than 900 agencies. The community center, working with Allied Waste, will set up drop-off sites around our city to collect food and I'm hoping our office will be one of them. To learn more about the drive, contact Wendy Smith at (310) 203-8060 or call the center at (818) 790-4353. To sign up to register for the Thanksgiving Day Run go online to http://www.cclcfrun.org.

Onward and ever upward!

CAROL CORMACI is managing editor of the Valley Sun. E-mail her at ccormaci@valleysun.net or carol.cormaci@latimes.com.

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