Both campaigns have created spoof sites to lampoon the other. There's BeyerProof and JustinSimmonsHorrorStories.
Good fun. But this goes a bot beyond the usual attacks.
Using pseudonyms Elizabeth Bennett and Ha Ireton, they recently began posting messages on Simmons' Facebook page. They smear one of his friends as a murderer. Then they accuse Simmons of being gay.
One of Simmons' volunteers and a friend, Mark Sterner, killed three of his fraternity brothers, his best friends, in a Florida drunk driving crash about twenty years ago. In just three months, they were to graduate. Sterner spent three years in a Florida maximum security jail. Since his release, he has given lectures to over two million college and high school students, repeating his story. He does not preach. "You're old enough to make your decisions," he tells them. "I do this so you never have to bury one of your brothers."
Instead of deleting this attack, Simmons confronted it. "I'm proud to have Mark Sterner on my campaign. He made a mistake years ago and now tries to make a difference in kids' lives everyday. If you were actually involved in our community you would know that like everyone else."
I happen to know Mark myself, and consider his the most gifted political strategist in the Lehigh Valley, next to Shawn Millan. But he does not work in politics.
After attacking this Simmons' volunteer, they go on to accuse Simmons of being gay, even claiming that he has some sort of relationship with a State Senator.
Simmons' sexual orientation is irrelevant, but he addresses the accusation. "I'm happily married to my wife Erica for almost 3 years now. I find it truly hypocritical that a campaign that supposedly supports equality in the LGBT community is using that as a weapon against Republicans."
Simmons is correct. Democrats stand for tolerance of sexual orientation, as well as giving a second chance to someone who has paid his debt to society. Like Beyer, these folks aren't true Democrats.