Stop the unethical behavior in San Jose mayoral race

San Jose has a long history of bad behavior during city elections. Pointing out an opponent’s shortcomings is fair game. But too often candidates and their supporters cross the line and engage in unethical tactics that say more about them than their opponents.

Such is the case in the mayoral race involving Matt Mahan and Cindy Chavez. Neither candidate has clean hands.

Opponents of Mahan have created a website criticizing the San Jose councilman’s record. But the website blatantly mischaracterizes Mahan’s position on abortion rights and suggests he is a closet Republican, neither of which is true.

The website is the creation of the labor group United Food and Commercial Workers Independent Expenditure PAC. While Chavez has no control over the website, she has yet to denounce it or ask that the falsehoods be removed. That raises the question of whether she would condone such tactics if elected mayor.

Meanwhile, Mahan supporters have created an anti-Chavez website that uses her name as the URL, a sleazy and possibly illegal campaign tactic. The website was created by Silicon Valley Biz PAC, a pro-business group that has endorsed her opponent.

Mahan at first failed to condemn the use of the URL, instead saying he was not involved in the website’s creation and that it was “well-researched.” On Tuesday, Mahan told us that the PAC should use a different name that doesn’t mislead visitors of the website: “I feel the use of her name in the site’s domain is misleading and will unnecessarily contribute to voter cynicism about our political process.”

It’s naïve to think that candidates and supporters should only focus on a candidate’s strengths and not attack an opponent’s weaknesses. But when independent supporters cross the line, the candidates need to denounce the tactics. How the candidates respond tells voters a lot about their ethics and how they will govern if elected.

Source link

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: