CHRISTIAN COUNTY - Mailers containing lewd photo-shopped photos appearing to be of State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield) is hitting mailboxes in Bourne's downstate district, the state rep's campaign reported this week.
"We take this disgusting threat and act of intimidation very seriously and are working with state and local law enforcement to investigate. If anyone has information about who is behind this sickening stunt, we ask that they call 217-836-2177," the campaign said during a press conference.
Macoupin County GOP Chairman Terri Koyne told Illinois Review that she thinks the mailing which appears to be targeted towards Bourne's family and friends is something other than a dirty campaign tactic by Bourne's Democrat opponent Mike Mathis.
"How would a mailing like this help the Mathis campaign? It wouldn't," Koyne said. "It has to be something coming from someone with a personal vendetta or someone that is mentally unstable. That would be dangerous for Rep. Bourne, and it concerns me."
Koyne warned voters in Macoupin County on Facebook, "Friends, if you happen to receive a colored, stationary type envelope addressed to 'Registered Voter' with no return address on it, please don’t open it and take it to your local police or the Sheriff’s Department."
Democrat challenger Mike Mathis issued a statement condemning the mailer.
“Late last night, some local residents brought to my attention an offensive postcard found in their mailboxes that had been manipulated to embarrass State Representative Avery Bourne. I denounce this offensive piece in no uncertain terms. This goes beyond a late campaign dirty trick. It degrades and insults all women and is an insult to Representative Bourne, our families and our values," Mathis said.
"I have a daughter. The thought of someone using her image and degrading her in this way for any reason at all, let alone for a political purpose, turns my stomach and, as a father, makes me furious," he said.
Mathis is challenging the 23-year-old Republican lawmaker in her first General Election this week, after she was appointed by Republican county chairmen to fulfill former State Wayne Rosenthal's term. Rosenthal moved in February 2015 to head the State Department of Natural Resources shortly after Governor Rauner took office.