The sadly ironic touch to Democrat Congressman Jim Moran calling his 8th district Republican opponent Patrick Murray a "strawman" is that it has been documented that liberals have, in fact, set up "independent TEA Party backed" candidates to draw away votes from Republicans. There are documented cases in Florida and elsewhere, including, apparently in Virginia — particularly in the Southwest's 9th Congressional district and in the Southside-Central 5th Congressional district. While Jeff Clark polls around 1 percent, incumbent Democrat Congressman Tom Perriello has run television ads promoting Clark as the true conservative in the race to blunt Republican Robert Hurt's appeal to independent voters. (Unfortunately, most media have played along the last three months, prefacing his name with "TEA Party backed.")
While Mr. Perriello has acknowledged paying for those ads per the law, direct mail pieces promoting Clark without a disclaimer have flooded the district (see Danville Register & Bee). But a little detective work has uncovered some telling clues as from where they originated — namely, that the bulk mail permit is the same as that of the Maryland company that handles Mr. Perriello's constituent newsletter.
The pieces also have a union label and the company in question is a union shop. Don't think too many Virginia TEA Party candidates are using Maryland union shops for their direct mail campaigns (read the evidence here).
Any mailer or advertising without a disclaimer is afoul of election law. We thought liberals were all for campaign finance and disclosure reform? Surely, it's a last ditch desperation roll of the dice for Mr. Perriello. Win or lose, his campaign should be investigated for his double standard if not for potential illegalities.