November 2, 2006

Chuch leaders unite to fight negative campaigns

A very worthwhile effort by church leaders in the Quad Cities aims to build the groundwork for a effort to move away from negative campaign messages and on to focusing on real ways to help the country and the area.

The QC Times reports:
Some Quad-City clergy practiced what they preach Tuesday, calling for a positive change in the actions of political candidates and their supporters.

“We call on people to be their better selves,” the Rev. Stacie Fidlar said during a news conference to kick off a petition campaign aimed at ending negative campaign advertising practices.

Some 15 members of Quad-Cities Progressive Clergy, representing both Jewish and various Christian faiths, teamed with Churches United of the Quad-City Area for the session at the Unitarian Church, Davenport.

Rabbi Henry Karp of Temple Emanuel in Davenport acted as spokesman of the organization. He thinks the "good people" of the Quad-Cities will help change the tone of political campaigns.

"We pray for the day that we can all get together on this without rancor and focus with politicians on how to make life better for the people of the Quad-Cities," he said.

The petition idea began in 2002, but during the intervening years, the ministers have noticed more frequent and severely negative political advertising messages, the rabbi said.

Also, the clergy agreed, the negativism has become increasingly vile, and they noted that it is a nationwide practice. The race described as the most negative in the Quad-City region this year is the Iowa 1st Congressional District campaign between Democrat Bruce Braley of Waterloo and Republican Mike Whalen of Bettendorf.

Such activity takes away from issues that actually affect residents, Karp said, adding, "It also undermines our social fabric and leads to moral decay."
Very true.

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