Apparently the Republican Party of Florida agrees, as its name is on a vicious mailer against Gottlieb that hit mailboxes in the district this past weekend.
The mailer depicts Occupy Wall Street activists on one side, and what appears to be a terrorist flinging a bomb on the other. At the bottom of the flyer it says, "Gail Gottlieb — Way Too Liberal, Way Too Extreme, Not One Of Us!" (You can view it here.)
Gottlieb is a Brandon native who has lived much of her professional life working for progressive groups in Washington D.C. and New York, which apparently makes her too radical for the district. But the Tampa Tribune's conservative editorial board didn't feel that way, as they endorsed her over her GOP opponent, Ross Spano (The Tampa Bay Times endorsed her as well).
Gottlieb calls the mailer "outrageous."
When contacted early Monday afternoon, Gottlieb, a first-time candidate, said she knew politics could get rough, but she says at least negative charges should be backed up by facts. She has never lived or worked in New York City, an allegation the mailer states. She was incredulous that anyone would think the Sierra Club was a radical organization, or the AFL-CIO, of FCAN.
"To say that somehow protecting everyday people doesn't belong in Florida government, now that's a radical and extreme idea," she says.
She also says that one of the groups she worked for in D.C., Public Agenda, has a history of working with the very conservative Heritage Foundation.
“This mailer from Ross Spano is disgraceful and offensive, and is a bigoted attack against a strong woman candidate who has thoughtful ideas to improve the quality of life of the people of Brandon, Riverview, Valrico, and all of Florida,” said Chris Mitchell, chairman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party. “Campaigns can be tough, but the Republican Party of Florida is way out of bounds in this despicable effort to slander a qualified woman leader.”