Down by as many as six points in the polls to challenger Rick Kriseman, Bill Foster and his allies are filling St. Pete voters’ mailboxes with a series of attack mailers designed to expose what they believe is “soft” support for Kriseman.
The Republican Party of Florida and Accountability in Government, an electioneering communications organization tied to the Florida GOP, hit Kriseman with a one-two punch on Saturday, criticizing his record as a state legislator.
The first piece, which, with its use of a ‘bobblehead’ Kriseman”, looks suspiciously like earlier mailers sent attacking Kathleen Ford, accuses Kriseman of being “an ineffective, self-serving politician.” It also knocks him for being able to pass only one bill in 2011 and that was to honor Jimmy Buffet, while also pointing out that Kriseman “voted for a 4% pay raise — for himself.”
All told, this mailer is a jab, no more, no less. I do think the line about Buffett could have made for a separate mailer on its own, just as the pay raise issue could stand alone. Expect to see both issues brought up again over the last sixteen days of the mayoral race.
The second mailer was from the Republican Party of Florida and it’s obvious some money was put behind it. The indicia reads that it was mailed by Direct Web, a company which Foster consultant Jack Hebert uses often.
It’s a tough piece; tougher than the other mailer received Saturday. This is probably because the line of attack is well researched. Those five dings against Kriseman’s votes are solid hits.
However, it’s perplexing to see an attack from former state Representative Jim Frishe on the other side of the mailer. Don’t get me wrong, I like and respect Jim Frishe, but I don’t know how much weight he holds with St. Pete voters.