Two rules in this political life: 1. Never fight a land war in Asia; and 2. Never send out an attack ad saying police aren’t doing their jobs. San Jose Councilmember Rose Herrera apparently missed the memo on the latter maxim. In a mailer her campaign sent out last week, which depicted the police union’s playbook to unseat Herrera in District 8, “Play No. 3” says police unions have encouraged officers to slowly respond to calls and not make arrests. As expected, the backlash was as soft as an anvil. The Police Officers Association disputed the claim at a Sunday press conference, with outraged San Jose councilmembers Ash Kalra and Xavier Campos, and Sandy Fontana, the mother of slain SJPD officer Jeffrey Fontana, among those in attendance. (Note: The nastiness has officially gone nuclear when a murdered cop’s mom is trotted out at a press conference.) Another speaker in attendance was Kevin Smith, a prosecutor for the county District Attorney’s Office. Smith said Herrera, who is being targeted for supporting Mayor Chuck Reed‘s pension cuts, is out of line about police work ethic and cited one of his cases. To some the statement was innocuous; to others it sounded like an official position from a member of the DA’s Office—which, of course, doesn’t want anything to do with this hot mess and declined comment. Smith later told Fly he didn’t specifically identify which office he works for and he was off the clock, so he seems to meet the county’s standards for protected free speech. His opinions aren’t surprising, though, considering he’s treasurer of the county attorneys’ Political Action Committee (PAC), which has spent more than $24,000 on Herrera slam pieces just this month. All things considered, that’s peanuts compared to the money being spent by both sides in this race—low estimates have total expenditures exceeding $600,000. But to understand why Herrera’s campaign would put out the playbook mailer, which one political consultant not involved in the race called “insane,” it’s important to remember Mayor Reed’s consigliore, Vic Ajlouny, is running Herrera’s campaign. It seems possible that the animosity between Ajlouny and police union leadership led to the ad, which fails to mention why she is a better candidate than Jimmy Nguyen, her forgotten foe in the race.