In 2016, the only battleground state Senate Republican to falter in a re-election bid was New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte. She fell by the slimmest of margins — losing by roughly 1,000 votes (0.2 percentage points) statewide. Conservative third party candidate Aaron Day ended up receiving more than 17,000 votes in the contest, tipping it to Democrat Maggie Hassan, who was also helped by a Libertarian candidate pulling in more than 12,000 ballots. The little-known Day’s candidacy benefited from anonymous mailers sent to Republican voters designed to attack Ayotte “from the right.” The liberal outfit behind the ads peddled their mischief in a profoundly dishonest, and even illegal, way:
At least three possibly illegal political mailers are being sent to voters around the state of New Hampshire in an effort to depress the vote for U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, on Nov. 8, 2016, by getting conservatives to cast ballots for Aaron Day, an independent in the race. The mailers – professionally designed and mailed from New Jersey – target Ayotte for saying that she wouldn’t vote for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and claimed that she backs gun control legislation with Democrats in the Senate. The mailers include quotes from Trump criticizing Ayotte and a “NRA-ILA” logo that was sloppily pasted onto the graphic, making it look like it was paid for by the National Rifle Association. They also include positive comments about Day, a liberty Republican turned indie. The mailers state that Day “firmly opposes Obamacare” and was “a strong supporter of the (c)onstitution and the constitutional right to bear arms” – clearly attempting to sway voters to the conservative indie in an effort to boost the campaign of Hassan…The mailers did not include a return address, disclaimer, or acknowledgement of finance, which, even though it doesn’t endorse any candidate, appears to be a violation of 52 U.S.C. 30120(a)(3), which requires acknowledgement of who or what paid for all political advertisement[s].
Republican strategist Liam Donovan provides some visuals to help remind us of what went down in the Granite State last cycle, and to expose how it appears as though the same shadowy, anonymous group is engaged in similar underhanded subterfuge this year:
Same firm behind illegal #MTSEN mailers was up to the same tricks boosting the independent last cycle against Ayotte. Race decided by <750 votes. Candidate got 17k. (h/t @RollinReisinger) https://t.co/RfcGg8DzXc
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) October 31, 2018
(Read more from “Dirty Tricks: Shady Liberal Group Deploys Illegal Mailers to Undermine GOP Candidates in Crucial Senate Races” HERE)