Direct mail attack likening Democratic state rep to Lane Kiffin backfiring?

Going by News Sentinel reports, it appears that a direct mail attack on Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson didn’t go over all that well in some quarters. The American Federation for Children ad, similar to a state GOP attack on Johnson two years ago, likens the legislator to former UT football coach Lane Kiffin. The newspaper today has a story on the ad as well as a sports page column.

From Georgiana Vines’ story:
A political action committee supporting school vouchers has turned to an ad similar to one used two years ago by the Tennessee Republican Party to compare state Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, to former University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin.

This year’s ad by the Tennessee Federation for Children PAC said, among the comparisons, “Like Lane Kiffin, who made a lot of big promises to Tennesseans, Gloria Johnson went to Nashville claiming she was going to reform health care and create jobs. And like Lane Kiffin, Gloria Johnson didn’t live up to her word.”

Legendary former UT football coach Johnny Majors, who got the mailer as a resident of the district, said Tuesday it is false in every way.

“It is one of the most underhanded mailings I’ve ever seen,” he said. Majors supports Johnson in her campaign against Republican Eddie Smith in the Nov. 4 election.
… Johnson used a football term of her own in denouncing the ad.

“It’s a distraction, a Hail Mary pass, when a campaign is out of ideas,” she said, a reference to a long pass made in desperation with a slight chance of success.

The ad said Kiffin was lured away by special interest money and that Johnson has accepted more than $100,000 in special interest money.

“It is quite ironic that they are accusing me of that (funding from PACS) when their (Tennessee Federation for Children PAC) funding is out of Washington, D.C. I understand why they want me to lose. They want to take on public dollars,” she said.

From sports columnist John Adams:

In East Tennessee, linking Kiffin to your political opponent is akin to saying your opponent is soft on Ebola. It’s brilliant.

I can imagine voters mulling over their choices.

First voter: All I know is I can’t vote for that Kiffin candidate.

Second voter: Which one’s that?

First voter: The one that made all the promises. You know, just like Kiffin.

My advice to Johnson: Raise questions.

… “Why does Eddie Smith put Lane Kiffin’s face in your mail box?

“Why? Because Eddie Smith and Lane Kiffin are two of a kind. He’s trying to use Lane Kiffin to get elected, just like Lane Kiffin used East Tennesseans to get a better job.

“Lane Kiffin used you. Don’t let Eddie Smith do it, too.”

Perhaps Smith’s campaign is just the beginning. Maybe one day we will hear a debate like this:

First candidate: The problem with my opponent is he doesn’t hate Lane Kiffin enough.

Second candidate: I hate You Know Who too much to even mention his name. In fact, I won’t use the name in any form. I say, “left road and right road” when I’m driving.