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Be forewarned about negativity

Much of what you are about to hear in this campaign will be untrue

In East Multnomah County, voters' mailboxes and doorsteps are being assaulted in the early stages of what promises to be an obscenely expensive and vicious campaign.

Democrat Rob Brading, who came closer than expected to unseating Karen Minnis two years ago, is again challenging the Republican representative, who happens to be speaker of the House.

An array of outside groups have targeted Minnis because of her power in the Legislature, while the speaker herself appears prepared to spend what it takes from her plentiful campaign donations to get re-elected. Voters ought to be forewarned now that most of what they are about to hear in this campaign will be a gross distortion.

Opening salvos included an attack piece from groups sympathetic to Minnis portraying Brading as someone who wants your child to be exposed to pornography in public libraries. As we've noted before on this page, the charge is ludicrous. But neither are we swayed by Brading's implication in his own mailer that Minnis personally was responsible for the piece.

The anti-Brading flier appears to have been produced by independent groups - not unlike the independent groups that will attack Minnis in kind.

What gets lost in the haze - or is it the sleaze? - is the fact that these are two decent people with divergent ideas who want to perform a public service. By the end of the campaign, we won't recognize those honorable people unless they cease now with their attacks and choose instead to run on their merits - not the mostly fabricated shortcomings of their opponents.