Is it wrong to suggest that 1st District Democratic state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, his Republican challenger Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt and their respective consultants all be lined up against a wall and pelted with their own campaign literature?
It's only the very first day of October, and already the campaign in the 1st District is flirting with a new low in the sad history of New Jersey legislative campaigns.
That's no real surprise. State Republican officials consider Van Drew - a Democrat in a mostly Republican district - vulnerable, so they are going to be throwing everything they can at him. And the Democrats, with funds supplied by Camden County Democratic power broker George Norcross, will defend Van Drew and attack Adelizzi-Schmidt with equal vehemence.
But really ... all of you: Voters are tired of being played for fools. Or at least they should be.
Van Drew's campaign was especially disingenuousness recently with an ad, designed to look like a newspaper article, that too-cleverly misrepresented a case before the Joint Commission on Legislative Ethics. "Ethics Committee Declines To Find Fault Against Albano," the ad's headline said.
At issue is an obnoxious letter Democratic Assemblyman Nelson Albano sent to the head of the State Police in an effort to get out of a February 2012 speeding ticket. In fact, the ethics commission voted unanimously to investigate the complaint (conveniently filed just recently by a Cape May County Republican). But in classic campaign double-speak, the Democrats turned that into declining to find fault.
But Adelizzi-Schmidt wasn't far behind in the disingenuous department. She says Van Drew should be held accountable for Albano's letter because it was sent on legislative stationery that included Van Drew's name on the letterhead. Puhleeze. She can't really believe that.
And it is impossible to comment on these Orwellian word games without noting that Republican Gov. Chris Christie is the absolute king of this nonsense.
Last month, when conditionally vetoing an economic-development bill, Christie sent out a press release saying he "acted to advance" the measure and had "conditionally approved" it. New Jersey governors can sign bills, veto bills, or conditionally veto bills - but there is no such thing as conditionally approving bills.
So before Republicans jump on that line above about Van Drew being "especially disingenuous," they should note this one: Republicans are no better.
No doubt there is more to come from both Democrats and Republicans in the 1st District and in other targeted races.
Both candidates will accuse the other of being thieves. Incumbents will be accused of needlessly raising taxes. Challengers will be accused of improprieties in their personal lives.
And then in November, we'll elect the candidate who repulses us least.
What a system.