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Haugen, Haddon condemn attack ads

If there’s one thing that Mary Margaret Haugen, incumbent Democratic senator for the 10th legislative district, and Linda Haddon, her Republican opponent, can agree on, it’s attack ads.

In mid-October, a political action committee known as the Citizens Action Group sent out a mail flier comparing Haugen to former Soviet Union leader Yuri Andropov, and near the end of that month, a PAC called Better Future for Washington sent out a flier comparing Haddon to George W. Bush.

Both candidates were incensed, not only at the attacks against themselves, but also at those directed at their opponents.

“I’m very upset,” Haugen said Oct. 31 about the attack ad against Haddon. “I have never done, and I refuse to do, negative ads. We’ve worked too hard to make this a positive campaign. This attack was really over the top. It doesn’t make a different to me if $200,000 have been spent on negative ads attacking me this year, because two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Haugen contacted the organization — whose top donor is the Roosevelt Fund, a PAC for the Washington State Senate Democratic Campaign Committee — as well as the leadership of her caucus, demanding that whoever was responsible for the flier issue an apology.

“I thought comparing me to George Bush was kind of funny,” said Haddon, who otherwise found nothing to smile about in the attack ads that have been run against herself or Haugen. “Any kind of negative advertising is bad. I haven’t done it, and I’m sure that Mary Margaret Haugen didn’t do this.”

Haddon echoed Haugen’s dismay that any unaffiliated groups purporting to help their campaigns would resort to such tactics.

“You turn on your television, and you can’t even watch 15 or 20 minutes without seeing negative ads against Rossi or Gregoire or Reichert or Burner, and the public is just sick of it,” Haddon said Nov. 1. “It doesn’t do anybody any good to do these things, even if it’s supposedly on their behalf.”

Haugen pledged to conclude her campaign on a positive note, and urged voters to ignore attack ads on both sides.

“Voters deserve an honest debate about issues, voting records and strength of resume,” Haugen said. “They do not want innuendo and mudslinging.”

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