Editorial: If you want to help…

If you want to help, don’t help. Good advice now that things have taken the predictable foolish turn they do during election season.

Reports of a “push poll,” which is really a cloaked survey that seeks to discredit one candidate in favor of another, have been circulating in the 26th state senate district. The poll allegedly seeks to discredit incumbent Sen. Toni Boucher, a Republican. Fingers are pointing at her opponent, Will Haskell, a Democrat, who denies any knowledge of the poll.

Giving each the benefit of the doubt, it is possible a third party is behind phone calls Boucher’s supporters say they have received. If true, they should stop. They help no one.

Another favorite tactic of overzealous supporters is stealing campaign lawn signs. This is really low and achieves nothing. It is unlikely these signs actually sway anyone to vote for a particular candidate, so stealing them gains nothing. Some people don’t like them because they clutter the landscape, but others see them as a signal that a race is lively and competitive. The signs also cost campaigns money, so stealing them really is theft.

Whoever’s side you are on, leave them alone. They are a form of free speech. People have a right to display them, although they should come down after election day.

If you want to help a candidate, there are Democratic and Republican campaign headquarters right here in town that would be happy to have you. Working negatively can backfire and hurt the cause you are trying to help. Quit the shenanigans and do something meaningful and worthy with your time.