Dick Lugar has the reputation, deserved or not, of being the gentleman of the Senate, a now-grandfatherly figure who is well-liked personally if not politically.

Lugar now is in the political fight of his life against Richard Mourdock.  Lugar is fighting back, as I pointed out previously, with blatantly false accusations calling Mourdock a tax cheat, and absurd race-card plays.

Now even FactCheck.org is calling Lugar out on the numerous lies being spread by Lugar’s campaign and SuperPAC:

The Republican primary for Sen. Richard Lugar’s seat is apparently too close for comfort. Both Lugar’s campaign and the American Action Network are airing misleading attack ads against Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the senator’s challenger for the nomination. The ads strain the facts to make Mourdock look like a tax cheat who makes bad investments and does not show up for work.

  • The AAN ad claims that “Hoosier pensions and other funds lost millions” because of Mourdock’s “big bet on junk bonds.” That’s an exaggeration. It’s true that three state funds that purchased Chrysler debt in 2008 lost money when that company went through bankruptcy in 2009. But Mourdock didn’t oversee the investments of the Indiana Teacher’s Retirement Fund, which is the only one that actually lost “millions.”
  • Ads from both the AAN and the Lugar campaign fault Mourdock for receiving an illegal second homestead deduction on a condominium he purchased in 2006. But the previous owner of the property, not Mourdock, applied for the deduction. Mourdock claimed that he notified the county auditor’s office of the illegal deduction in 2007. And the county auditor’s office has actually said that it erred in not removing the credit.
  • The AAN ad also says that Mourdock has “skipped 66 percent of his official board meetings.” That’s true, according to an analysis done by Howey Politics Indiana. In his defense, Mourdock’s office says that the treasurer or his designee sits on 13 boards and commissions, and that Mourdock is nearly always represented by a senior staff member when he doesn’t attend meetings personally.

I’ll repeat something I said several days ago, and which is becoming more obvious  with each passing day:

In order to win, Lugar needs to lie about Mourdock; in order to win, Mourdock needs to tell the truth about Lugar.

Is throwing away a reputation built over 36 years really the way Lugar wants to go out?  Is a seventh term in the Senate worth the cost of Lugar’s reputation?

Obviously, yes.