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Published each Thursday in Oswego, Illinois 60543
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Going negative a troubling trend : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Going negative a troubling trend

In the days leading up to last week's primary election we found our mailbox filled with colorful and oversized postcards from the candidates' campaigns and from groups with names like "Americans for Prosperity Illinois" and "Kendall County Taxpayers for Good Government."

Sadly, most of the postcards we received were of a negative nature, the print equivalent of the attack ads that seemed to be in constant rotation on TV, radio and the Internet prior to every election. Some of the postcards were actually funny, especially the one from the Kendall County Taxpayers for Good Government which listed a PO Box in Batavia as its return address. Last time we checked, Batavia was still firmly in Kane County.

We well understand that politics, especially at the state and federal levels, has been a rough business since our nation's founding, but we are troubled to see so many candidates and their supporters go negative in recent years, especially at the local level.

Certainly negative political advertising does work. That's why so many candidates and their anonymous, well-heeled supporters do it. But we can't help but think the constant drumbeat of negative ads in our media saturated world is serving to turn off a portion of the public to voting and the political process as a whole. Frankly, it would be hard to fault any potential voter, inundated with negative ads funded by political action groups, who might conclude that politics is an unseemly business that reasonable people would want to avoid.

We strongly suspect the continuing negativity is one of the reasons why fewer than two out of every 10 registered voters in Kendall County bothered to cast a ballot last week.

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