I've been conducting my own version of the Razzie Awards. Sure, I could come up with positive awards like Best Campaign, or even Best Hair, but it's more fun to point out the worst ads, biggest liars most blatant hypocrites. Yesterday I pointed out the worst campaign piece of the year so far. Today I'll move on to the most blatant liar.
First, take a look at this series of signs and then read David Leibowitz's justification for them.
The grouping is designed to manipulate the casual observer into thinking that the three signs on the left are for Karlene Parks and the three signs on the right are for Sal DiCiccio. Notice that the three on the left are composed of two independent signs "Firefighters Support Karlene..." and "Paramedics Support Karlene..." Then the red sign is an actual Karlene Parks sign. The fourth sign is the only DiCiccio sign. The two on the far right are hit signs that were installed by the same group that put up the Firefighter and Paramedic signs. The hit signs say "Lobbyists Support Sal..." and "Developers Support Sal..." Notice that the hit signs use the same font and color scheme as the actual DiCiccio sign.
For the voter who just gets his information from signs, the grouping is designed in order to make it look like the firefighters are putting up signs for Karlene and the Lobbyists are putting up signs for Sal. Naturally, the voter is going to be somewhat offended that a group called "Lobbyists" and "Developers" are putting up signs that say DiCiccio is "Our Guy" and "Our Man."
So upon even cursory examination, it's easy to see that the entire sequence is essentially a lie. The lobbyists didn't put up the signs. None of them said Sal is "Our Guy" and despite the fact that the independent group copied, DiCiccio's font and color scheme, and arranged the grouping to look like three Parks signs and three DiCiccio signs, the grouping is really one DiCiccio sign and five Parks signs.
Republic reporter Dustin Gardiner asked former Republic reporter David Leibowitz about the signs and got this response.
“The signs are accurate,” said David Leibowitz, a PR consultant working with the group. “Campaign-finance reports make that abundantly clear ... and yet he holds himself as some paragon of virtue.”
That's the lie of the year and unfortunately Gardiner didn't follow up and point out that Leibowitz is full of it. The signs are not accurate. The signs were not put up by lobbyists or developers and they never said Sal is "our guy". The signs are designed to be part of an elaborate lie and Leibowitz knows it.
Fortunately, Leibowitz and the firefighters have been so heavy handed that they have damaged their credibility and the credibility of their clients. Parks is likely to get crushed and will be forever linked to one of the dirtiest campaigns in state history.
As for Leibowitz, it will be interesting to see if he works again after the DiCiccio fiasco. Maybe he could change the spelling to Lie-bowitz. But I guess that would be too obvious.