Perhaps the most brutal political mailer I’ve ever seen.

Today there was a runoff to fill the final seat on the new Dunwoody City Council. Adrian Bonser and Larry Pankey were the two candidates.

Dunwoody residents received the usual campaign mailers this past weekend, but some also received this letter from Debra Bonser, ex-wife of Brian Bonser, the man now married to candidate Adrian Bonser. The letter accuses Adrian of having of starting an affair with Brian, all the while knowing he was married, suing a Pastor who confronted the adulterers, and destroying Debra’s marriage.

All I can say is wow.


  1. Bill Simon says:

    If it is true, then there is nothing wrong with it.

    I’m fed-up with politicos like Buzz (j/k, Buzz!) who think THEY are the final “deciders” on what is allowed in campaign mailers and what isn’t.

    It’s time there started being nothing BUT truthful and accurate facts being printed and mailed right to the voters.

    Politics is a brutal game. Welcome to the party, pal!

  2. Clint Austin says:

    Adrian is a client of ours, and we’re glad to note that she won tonight by a big margin (Tony Simon ran point on this one much more than me, although I got involved in the response to this mailpiece the end of last week).

    Buzz is right – that piece is one of the most brutal ones I’ve seen in Georgia, and I’ve seen a few. In the end, we managed to probably turn it into a positive, because neither we nor Adrian are dumb – there was an obvious point of pivot on this, and we used it mercilessly the last 48 hours.

    The real lesson here: this is what we’re going to get a lot of with the “no disclaimer” rule. I am not giving an opinion of that rule, but I will say in this particular instance that there is no way this lady could have done this on her own. Pretty certain I know who did it – because each consultant has “telltales” and this one screams a certain consultant whom I personally like, but I find to be far too impressed with tricks like this that are usually not effective…

  3. Rick Day says:

    …someone consulted her to send out this letter?

    So… according to Clint, the source of this beget with an operative.

    An operative of the opponent convinced this person (by playing on sour grapes?) to put a letter out basically saying she was not ‘woman enough to keep her man’?

    I beginning to detect My Little Lee Attwater Clones ™ in the machine.

  4. AtlConservative says:

    Rick, I’m not sure if you meant to… but it sounded as if you think it’s a woman’s fault if her husband cheats… Please tell me you don’t believe that!

    All, I don’t live there, so I won’t vote, but whether she had help or consulting about this letter, it’s… shocking to say the least. Beyond that – I don’t know – some truth and accountability about character being brought back into politics might be a nice change of pace!

  5. Tea Party says:

    Dunwoody GA – I do in fact live in Dunwoody, and know Dr. Bonser, I can attest this is EXACTLY the sort of last minute ‘polyp’ crap we have discussed on various threads here.

    This one went both ways, BTW. Dick Williams published a letter to the Editor, last week, stating that Mr. Pankey was sanctioned by the Bar. That letter was followed up by a well orchestrated email campaign.

    Quid pro quo or Sen. Wiles legislation gone predictably awry?

    Those of you who are pol operatives, and I know and still like a few, must know that the issues that confront voters, locally and Nationally, are far too grave for this sort of chicanery.

    For example, Dunwoody is going to face tough times with diminishing tax revenues, an uncertain plan toward city management, etc. and voters here deserved a lot better from the political consultants involved.

    Yet, ‘consultants’ appeal to visceral instincts of voters. Voters deserve to KNOW factually the qualifications of either candidate, and not rubbish like this letter suggests.

    Great people do NOT want to become involved in politics because of the fact that it is such an unsavory business. Thus, we are depriving our process of the very talent that might actually make some sort of difference in how this Country, State, County, and now City, operates.

    In memory of Paul Newman:

    “Luke, you need to get your mind right.”

  6. Tea Party says:

    altconservative- yeah, wouldn’t it be ‘nice’ to have “…accountability and character…” in politics?

    But this type of letter could be ‘coached, forged, or simply fabricated’ under our new ‘anonymity’ law. Unacceptable.

  7. AtlConservative says:

    Tea Party, having grown up in a disfunctional household (we’ll leave it at that), I truly could see a woman scorned do this sort of thing… That said, I know a lot of the consultants as well, and I agree the letter could be coached, etc…

    I don’t think every bit of dirt should be brought to light about every candidate, but if someone is lacking character and proper decision making, regardless of party, that is an issue.

    I like Mayor Rudy. He has had some unsavory things in his past. He did great things with NY. So, now I’m contradicting myself, but I do believe character and true accountability are important.

    And now that I’ve rambled and probably confused everyone with my rambling, I’ll hush up! 😀

  8. Clint Austin says:

    Tea Party,

    In a way, the Bonser letter can actually be used to support the anonymity law – because it didn’t work.

    I’m personally undecided myself. We have a long history of anonymous political speech in this country (e.g. The Federalist Papers), and there’s a strong First Amendment case for Wiles’ Amendment.

    But I also hate that a person like Adrian has to be put through a personal hit like that with no one standing behind it.

    Oh well – minor issue compared to Obama getting elected but worth a couple minutes on a Wednesday…

  9. Doug Deal says:

    It all comes down to the voters. Barring invasion or coup, voters get the government that is exactly equal to what they deserve.

    If they want to react to “October Surprises” in a way that give an advantage to those who use them, they deserve the scum that end up representing them. If they give Congress a 12% approval rating because of earmarks, excess and rudderless leadership, yet vote 55% plus to keep their own guy because of the pork he brings back home, they deserve the scum that ends up representing them.

    Until the voter figures out that he alone is to blame, and is the only person with the power to change anything, this is what we are stuck with.

  10. Bill Simon says:

    You want to know where the “accountability” lies? In Mark Rountree’s hands since it was his “tell tale signs” on the mailpiece.

    AND…another candidate of Landmark’s (Pankey) bites the dust…in yet another run-off, no less.

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