The following was sent in by Dr. Carla Roberts, who ran against Boedeker in the Republican Primary this year.
I am the proud, “bragging” daughter of a 20+ year US Army Veteran. My father served two tours in Viet Nam and died active duty as a Full Bird Colonel in 1976. He led by example and taught me set of core values: honesty, integrity and dignity. He taught me it is never acceptable to remain silent in the face of bad behavior. Last week, Chris Boedeker, Republican nominee for State House District 81, delivered some truly reprehensible behavior. Party affiliation is no excuse for someone to remain silent, and I can no longer remain silent.
Mr. Boedeker’s campaign commercial used doctored video to make it sound as though his opponent, State Rep. Scott Holcomb, had admitted to using drugs. Rep. Holcomb, a Military veteran, said nothing of the sort, but the fabricated implication was crystal clear. I’m probably the only person in Georgia not shocked by that commercial, because I received the same treatment from Mr. Boedeker and his campaign team earlier this year.
When I started the 2012 Republican Primary, I’d never heard of Chris Boedeker, even though I’d lived in DeKalb County since 1990 and the community since 2001. My campaign focused strictly on issues because I believed that voters were tired of mudslinging and mistruths. I also thought I brought a lot to the table, as a successful gynecologic surgeon with leadership roles at two major hospitals in Atlanta, an educator and researcher, and a physician advisor to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Georgia needs a better healthcare than Obamacare, and I wanted to help craft it.
As my campaign progressed, my family and I endured frivolous, meant-for-distraction court cases, threatening phone calls and emails, unprovoked character assassinations, and private investigators combing my neighborhood. I had several heartfelt talks with my husband and daughter after Mr. Boedeker and his handlers sent postcards accusing me of leaving them.
I fought back and responded to Mr. Boedeker’s lies with mailers of my own. But I was not aware of a whisper campaign of calculated lies about my medical practice to residents of the district. Not until after the primary did I hear about the secretive fabrications that I was an “abortionist.” Lobbyists and members of the state legislature had warned me that Mr. Boedeker’s campaign consultant had decided on this tactic in August of 2011, before he hooked up with Mr. Boedeker, because he knew that an Ob/Gyn could easily, although in my case falsely, be labeled an “abortionist,” and the average primary voter would not question any further.
I lost the primary –it wasn’t even close. So the shock at Mr. Boedeker’s doctored campaign ad doesn’t surprise me. His egregious behavior worked in the primary, why not try it again in the general?
I have not uttered a word about Mr. Boedeker after the Republican voters in our district chose him as their nominee. Respecting the choice of the voters is why this country was founded. Indeed, after my exit, I would have preferred to stay silent rather than re-hash my defeat and naivete. But Mr. Boedeker’s deplorable attempt to smear the reputation of a man who put his life on the line to protect American citizens has made my continued silence impossible. I believe it’s my duty, as an American, and as a Republican, to call out shameful behavior when I see it –especially from members of my own political party. And how can any of us, as Republicans, or as Georgians, trust our elected officials to govern with ethics, or even simple honesty if deceit and manipulation get them elected?
This summer, my daughter asked me if candidates would “…stop telling lies about their opponents if they start to lose?” They might, but that’s a big “if.”
Carla Roberts MD PhD