A new low in political advertising?

In a California Republican primary, one candidate gets right to the heart of the matter.


Tim Grieve
May 20, 2006 12:12AM (UTC)

We don't spend a lot of time writing about party primaries for state legislative races, but we're going to have to make an exception this time. In the run for the Republican nomination for California's 25th Assembly District, one candidate is claiming that the other doesn't have the heart for the job -- literally.

As the Modesto Bee reported this week, former Modesto City Councilman Bill Conrad has sent out a mailer in which he says that his primary opponent, farmer and businessman Tom Berryhill, has had a heart transplant -- and then argues that the operation makes Berryhill a dangerous choice for the state Legislature.

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The mailer claims that the "average lifespan" of a heart transplant recipient is seven years, then notes that Berryhill received his transplant six years ago. Conrad says that voters should think twice about Berryhill in light of "the costs to taxpayers for a special election when poor health renders him unable to fulfill the duties of office."

There's no mention of Vice President Dick Cheney's heart problems in the mailer -- nor of the futile $50 million-plus special election Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger insisted on having in California last year.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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