66th District Rep. Sydney Carlin, seeking re-election to a sixth term next Tuesday, blasted state Republican Party officials Monday for what she said was an unfair and misleading mail advertisement sent to voters in her district over the weekend.
The postcard mailing accused Carlin of having changed her positions since first being elected nearly a decade ago, becoming more of a liberal over the years.
“We used to know Sydney Carlin,” the ad asserted. “But since she’s been in Topeka for nearly a decade, she’s changed.”
Bosh, Carlin responded.
“My record has not changed,” said Carlin, who is being opposed for re-election by Republican Lee Modesitt. “I’ve always worked for good schools, job creation and targeted investment.”
Modesitt said his campaign played no role in the mailing. He said he dislikes distortion and hadn’t heard of the mailing. “I haven’t gotten anything in my mailbox,” he said.
He charged, however, that Carlin herself has been involved in misleading voters with a radio advertisement in which she asserts that he has no public service record. Modesitt said he considers his work with various non-profit organizations as public service and has told her that before.
“If she feels the mailer is dishonest, what’s the difference between that (mailing) and a radio ad that says I have no public service?” he asked. “I guess I’m just confused.”
Officials at the state party office referred inquiries on the mailer to Clay Barker, who is the party’s legal counsel. Barker said Tuesday that while he did not know for sure —“I’ve probably reviewed a thousand mailers in the past few weeks” — he presumed the mailing had been modified from a “template” that was actually being used against several veteran Democratic candidates across the state during this election. “We have so many (mailings) going out” that individually targeted messages are rare, he acknowledged.
Carlin said she played an important role in obtaining $1 million in state money to relocate utilities that facilitated construction of the new grain science mill now being erected on Kimball Avenue. She said she also worked to obtain funding and support for the NBAF. And she said a claim on the GOP ad asserting that she “wouldn’t do anything to stop Obama’s takeover of our health care system” was wrong on the facts. “I voted in 2011 to give Kansans the right to chose or refuse to purchase health insurance,” she said.
One claim in the ad was that Carlin “even wants to raise income taxes by 20 percent on working Kansas families.” “I don’t know what that’s about,” she shrugged. “I’ve never planned to raise anybody’s income taxes.”
Bryan Richardson, of The Mercury staff, also contributed to this article.