TAMPA — Mayor Pam Iorio said she was shocked and disturbed Saturday to receive an anonymous flier in the mail that used her name and photo to attack former Mayor Dick Greco's campaign.
"I deplore negative advertising, always have, and I certainly don't want my name and photo to be associated with any of the mayoral candidates," said Iorio, who has not taken sides in the five-person race.
The flier was marked as a "paid electioneering communication" from the Liberty Leadership Fund. Its return address is a suite in a Miami industrial park, according to Miami-Dade property records.
The flier arrived in Tampa voters' mailboxes just three days before Tuesday's nonpartisan city election. It urges voters to "call Mayor Pam Iorio and tell her thank you for cleaning up Dick Greco's mess." Among other issues, the piece mentions neighborhood crime and city debt during the Greco administration. Greco preceded Iorio in office and is now trying to win a fifth term.
Greco said that the flier is false and that he has left the city in better shape every time he has served as mayor.
"I don't have any idea" who is behind it, he said. "I've spent the entire campaign deploring this kind of politics. It turns off people and damages our whole democratic system."
Mayoral candidate Ed Turanchik said he had only heard about the flier secondhand.
"In 20 years, it's something I never would do, never have been associated with and think is despicable," he said.
Among other mayoral candidates, Thomas Scott said the flier was "not coming from my camp, I can tell you that, nor from anyone associated with my camp." Bob Buckhorn said by e-mail he didn't know anything about the flier or the group that sent it. Rose Ferlita could not be reached for comment late Saturday afternoon.
The anti-Greco flier was not the only piece of anonymous attack literature to show up in voters' mailboxes. A piece that cited some local media outlets' positions on Ferlita's mayoral qualifications also appeared Saturday. That mailer came from a group called Less Government Now and listed an address at a shopping center on South Howard Avenue in Tampa.
Times staff writer Kim Wilmath contributed to this report.