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EDITORIAL: Toxic tones

There’s no stopping political action committees and political parties from mailing out caustic campaign flyers, taking candidates to task through social media and purchasing “attack” ads. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, for one thing, and the savvy citizens understand that almost everything is fair game at election time.

Both the Democrats and Republicans continue slinging mud at the national level, twisting truths and taking incumbents’ voting records and challengers’ statements out of context. Some of that poisonous rancor is oozing down to the state and local levels. It’s inevitable.

What’s a voter to do?

Read the fine print that states who paid for the flyer or ad. On the most distressing and pointed literature you’ll often find “independent expenditure prepared and paid for by ... not on behalf of any candidate of candidate’s committee.”

View allegations with skeptism. Research the facts, quiz the candidates and listen to both sides. The truth can be tough without being toxic.