Mayoral Candidate Under "Vulgar" Political Attack
Strippers, a council member under fire, and a flyer about abortion. The race for Omaha Mayor’s Office has taken an ugly turn, and the only female candidate is the target.
Councilwoman Jean Stothert says she's been in politics for many years, but never has she seen such vulgar attacks. She wants the candidate these people are affiliated with to come forward. Offensive tweets were posted after last week's debate. Also, a flyer's been mailed saying Councilwoman Stothert supports using tax funds for abortions, which Stothert calls a flat out lie.
"One of my opponents is doing these, they know who they are. I'm asking each one of them to come forward and deny that they are not part of their campaign and was responsible for some of these attacks," Stothert explained.
Then on Saint Patrick's Day, pictures of a shirt depicting the councilwoman on a stripper pole were uncovered by LeavenworthSt.com, a local political blog. The shirt says, “Jean Stothert, quit stripping us of our tax dollars." The photos also show Omaha Councilman Chris Jerram holding the shirt. The pictures were apparently taken at McFly's bar, a known hangout for firefighters.
"This cowardly nameless person is doing this,” Stothert described. “It's very derogatory and it's bashing not only me but women all over depicting me as a stripper?"
Councilman Jerram says he was handed the shirt by someone he didn't know, and doesn't know who's distributing them. He says he's apologized to Stothert.
"My decision to allow the photo was a mistake in judgment,” Jerram said. "The shirt contained a political satyr message that was offensive and over the top."
It’s unclear who made the shirt. The flyers were being distributed by Omaha Alliance for the Public Trust with a P.O. Box as the return address. Stothert says she wants to get back to talking the issues. Another mayoral debate is scheduled for Monday night.