Pamphlets critical of Dearing circulate

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 1, 1999

Leaflets backed by a political action committee called ICEPAC are circulating throughout the four-county area of District 37 are critical of incumbent state Sen. Bob M. Dearing.

The leaflets accuse Dearing, D-Natchez, of maintaining a luxurious lifestyle in Jackson and losing touch with the electorate from District 37.ICEPAC stands for the Institute for Consumers and the Environment Political Action Committee. Based in Canton, the group is comprised primarily of attorneys from around the state and members of the Mississippi Sierra Club.ICEPAC officials could not be reached for comment.While the leaflets promote the candidacy of Dearing’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Dearing’s challenger Scott Pintard said he has had nothing to do with any of the mudslinging.”I’ve never talked to the Sierra Club,” said Pintard. “I think these people would support whoever was running against Senator Dearing. I found out that the Sierra Club is upset that they haven’t gotten bills through Senator Dearing’s environmental committee.”Pintard admits this is the second time his name has been used by this particular PAC. An earlier campaign piece circulated by the group promoted Pintard’s candidacy.”I did inquire about it,” Pintard said. “At times I don’t know if they’re trying to help or hurt me by associating my name with these negative flyers.”Pintard said he discussed the first leaflet with his campaign team and the group advised him to let it pass.”They said to denounce the thing would just draw more publicity to it,” Pintard said.But, Pintard said, he plans to address this second leaflet with his campaign committee.”I don’t think I’ll do anything about it this close to the election,” he said. “But I’m going to have to talk to my team.”Dearing said he wants no part of the political quagmire.”I really don’t have anything to say about those flyers until the election is over,” Dearing said Saturday.Dearing said he simply refuses to participate in political mudslinging. “The thing about negative campaigning is that it’s something you may expect at the state level,” he said, “but in a small community where you’ve grown up, you would never expect something like this.”

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