On Tuesday the Wink Hartman campaign began running a television advertisement that contains claims about Mike Pompeo that, so far, are unsubstantiated. See Hartman ad malicious and false, says Pompeo and Pompeo Disputes Claims In Hartman Ads, Demands Hartman Show Evidence.
Hartman’s campaign manager said he would supply proof of the claims made in the ad by Daniel Lind, a Wichita businessman, by late Wednesday. As of Friday, little in the way of evidence has been provided. The Hartman staff says it is gathering documents and waiting for a bank to provide documents.
So what can we make of this advertisement, and more importantly, the candidate pacing the ad?
One thing we know for sure is that the Hartman campaign prepared and aired the ad without having evidence of the claims. If it had evidence, it should have been able to provide it immediately upon request.
Whether the claims turn out to be true or not, this unpreparedness we can be certain of. This is evidence of recklessness of Hartman, his campaign, and the people — including political consultant Axiom Strategies — involved in his election effort.
Axiom is a controversial political consulting firm. On its website, it boasts of news coverage of the campaigns it and its head, Jeff Roe, have run: “Controversial campaign tactics are the stuff of political legend,” “Known for his bare-knuckle campaign tactics,” “Political consultant plays hardball and scores big: The pugnacious campaign tactics…”
Further, these attack ads that are sprung on the voting public at the last moment are a public disservice. With little time to investigate the claims — and with the Hartman campaign dragging out the process — voters are understandably frustrated.
Additionally, the claim made in this advertisement has nothing to do with public policy. Even if it was true.
Recent ads placed by candidates for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas have been positive ads, with candidates talking about themselves and their plans if elected to Congress.
That’s true of all campaigns except the Hartman campaign. He continues to sling mud at the candidate he considers his chief rival. Voters ought to consider this when deciding whom to vote for.
Remember that political ads are now accompanied the statements of candidates that they approve the ads: “I’m Wink Hartman and I approve this ad.”
The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.