On Friday, May 12, negative mailers landed in mailboxes across Centre County. The mailers, issued by a group called “Integrity in the Courthouse,” attacked current Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller by criticizing not only her resume, but her use of professional portraits as well.
“This ugly and shocking flyer did not take any issue with the performance of Stacy Parks Miller for DA, but rather attacked her looks and photos,” Citizens to Elect Stacy Parks Miller said in a statement. “In 2017, this kind of attack is not only surprising, but exceedingly unprofessional… No male candidate would ever be attacked and subjected to criticism for either their looks or their photos. This proves precisely how low this election has sunk.”
Stacy Parks Miller’s opponent Bernie Cantorna and his campaign, Bernie For DA, said they were not behind these negative mailers. “Our campaign has sent out 3 mailers, all factual and positive,” Cantorna said on his website. “If you received negative mail, it did not come from us but came from other parties. We did not send that mail. We have no control over what others might send out. We reaffirm our commitment to run a positive and factual campaign.”
Parks Miller, however, questioned the detachment of Cantorna from the attack flyers. Her campaign traced the source of the negative mailers to Stephanie Cooper of Bellefonte. Cooper, according to Parks Miller, is a fellow attorney, “staunch Bernie supporter,” and “close friend” of the Cantornas. The address associated with “Integrity in the Courthouse” is Cooper’s home address.
Stacy Parks Millers also questioned the legality of the flyers. According to her, no campaign documents or required filings exist for Stephanie Cooper’s “Integrity in the Courthouse” campaign group. “Where was this group before Friday, May 12, 2017 and where is their paperwork, as required by law?” Citizens to Elect Stacy Parks Miller asked. “Where are their finance reports, also required by law? We are in the twenty four hour reporting period and these expenditures are required to be on file as of right now.”
Bernie Cantorna stated that although “[Stacy Parks Miller] has sent mail implying my campaign is behind [the “Integrity in the Courtroom” mailers],” he had no involvement with the mailers. “Independent expenditures by outside groups are permitted legally… By law, campaigns may not coordinate with these Political Action Committees,” Cantorna stated.
The full mailer can be seen here: