According to the Lansing City Pulse, a dark money group has been attacking Lansing city councilmember and mayoral candidate Kathie Dunbar with "sexually suggestive" mailers — and even her opponent, incumbent Mayor Andy Schor, wants it to stop.
Per the report, one mailer "showed a photograph of Dunbar making a hand gesture in reference to oral sex, along with a message that labeled her a 'failed comedian' and 'failed politician.' It also referenced two unsubstantiated claims of sexual harassment levied against Dunbar, which she has denied." The mailer also "included Dunbar's personal cell phone number and urged residents to call her with concerns."
"These sort of disgusting tactics have no place in politics," Schor said of the attacks. "This election should be about ideas for Lansing's future, not personal attacks. I don't engage in negative campaigning and I'm calling on all parties to keep focused on the issues facing our city."
"The political mail was funded by a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group called Michigan Deserves Better, led by local political consultant Joe DiSano," said the report. "DiSano has refused to identify its donors and told City Pulse in March that the sole purpose of the group was to oppose former Mayor Virg Bernero's fledgling mayoral campaign. Michigan Deserves Better was also responsible for a series of full back-page advertisements (among others) in City Pulse that have labeled Bernero as "America's Horniest Mayor." After Bernero left the racet, DiSano moved on to Dunbar."
Political mailers around the country have frequently generated controversy for problematic images. Earlier in the week, the Virginia Republican Party paid for a controversial mailer against Jewish Democratic Delegate Dan Helmer, with a "digitally altered" image of his face and piles of gold coins.