What is unclear is this, from Korte eariler today:
CAMPAIGN CALLS: The Pepper campaign is disavowing a recorded phone call that asks registered voters to support Pepper as "the only white candidate in the Cincinnati mayor's race."
At a debate Tuesday night, Pepper said the calls were "dirty tricks politics" and promised to investigate who was behind them.
"This campaign is getting ugly quick, and this campaign is one of the ugliest things I've ever heard of," he said.
All three of his major rivals disclaimed responsibility and denounced the phone calls Tuesday.
Winburn denounced the tactic as "bigotry"; Mallory said the phone calls were illegal; and Reece said all the candidates shared a desire to debate the issues without "dirty tricks."
Michael Earl Patton, a Republican from Oakley, filed a complaint against Pepper with the Ohio Elections Commission on Tuesday, accusing Pepper of being behind the phone calls. He did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Nate has more and damns Pepper fairly quickly.
Shall we assume a "he who smelt it, dealt it" stance? If a Republican is pushing the complaint, then is it a reach to say that someone who would have known about the calls tipped him off or made sure he got one of the calls? Could he have sent them to himself? It smells like GOP dirty tricks to me. It could though be another Democrat doing it, but the only candidate who stands to gain significantly by hurting Pepper is Winburn. Reece and Mallory are going to win with those who will not vote for Pepper anyway.
I don't get how this call would have worked anyway for anyone. People who think Pepper is a racist already think he is one. It seems like it is just out there to occupy Pepper's time, and keep him on the defensive, which is what he has been on for a while now. He is not good on the defensive, and it shows on stage.