As Promised: Hard-Hitting, Shocking Expose Sheds Light on Real Story in CD Race That Wasn't!
IN THE FINEST TRADITIONS OF EDWARD R. MURROW, ERNIE PYLE, HUNTER S. THOMPSON AND SHEPARD SMITH, THE LONG-AWAITED AND SOON TO BE INTRODUCED "GONZO'S TRUTH-O-METER!" TO PROVIDE "THE REST OF THE STORY"
In the interest of full-disclosure, I almost never write about anything that can even remotely be considered "serious journalism". Well, that's about to change, fellow truth-seekers!
This is the story of a certain nameless campaign has painfully tortured and deliberately distorted "truth" in a struggling and desperate attempt to be - what's the word - maybe, relevant? Truthfully, I don't know what they're attempting to be.
Since we have a hard and fast rule here about not making cheap personal attacks on individuals - except occasionally at each other - attacking the stupidity, nope, that's cheap, the ineptitude of this certain nameless campaign doesn't seem to violate that rule. So here we go ... fasten your seat belts, hipsters!
(Warning: Mothers, you may want to send the children outside to play or turn the computer around so they can't see.)
The whole thing starts with a reasonable and well-written article on Saturday (Feb 23, 08) by the Greenfield Reporter's Erin Meyer (although I have a couple of small disagreements with the story). The issue is that this certain nameless campaign takes three or four paragraphs out of the rather lengthy article, blogs it, takes a comment wildly out of context, and then links to a partial or "teaser" print of the article on the GR website. (For and excellent commentary on this piece of the pie, see Scott Fluhr's post on Hoosier Pundit http://www.hoosierpundit.com/ entitled "I Feel Sorry for Dr. John McGoff")
Of course, that's to be expected. It's what nameless campaigns do. Especially when they don't have any real issues to talk about and nobody's paying any attention.
They also know that most people will not take the time and effort to get a copy of the paper and actually read the whole story. If they did, they'd find this quote, on page 8A, that puts the comment quoted on their blog into some context: "The reality of John's campaign doesn't measure up to his rhetoric," Wilson said in response to McGoff's jabs. "This is all he can do." Wilson's right. These are desperate folks. (Fear not, I am not afraid to include the whole article verbatim at the end of this post so you can read it for yourself.)
My point is that this particular nameless campaign can't run on issues, can't articulate a conservative vision for the district, is running out of money, and their real problem isn't being just stunningly naive or mind numbingly stupid (whoops, there I go again, I mean inept), it's that they're deliberate, methodical, and untruthful in trying to smear the Congressman, and distort his record, in the desperate hope that they can get somebody - anybody - to listen to them. This is like your three-year-old daughter throwing a tantrum to get some attention when she can't get her way. This campaign is now so far down in the polls that it's been written off by every serious political insider, and what's worse, by primary voters. The campaign is on no one's radar. (They held a fundraiser a few days ago and three people showed up? Give me a break.)
Stay tuned for more hard-hitting facts and in-depth insider coverage in the coming days - you'll be able to say "you heard it here, first" - and I shall be vindicated in my sincere belief that this nameless campaign doesn't want to be something, it just wants to get elected to something.
Tragic, isn't it, that the resources (from both camps) which could have been directed toward real races - oh like, the Special in CD7, or winning back the Majority at 200 West Washington Street are being squandered on this yawner?
(see another hard-hitting piece on the HRCC Conference Call for just how close they are at: http://whenthegoinggetsweirdthetoughturnpro.blogspot.com/2008/02/insiders-tell-all-during-exclusive.html)
This is important stuff. If you don't believe me, ask some of the County Party Chairs and down-ballot candidates. To her credit, Ms. Meyer's also notes this in the article (see the last paragraph).
So, there you have it. To paraphrase Paul Harvey, you have now "the rest of the story" and you can decide.
Note to you, Gentle Reader:
Coming soon I am going to start posting a Truth-o-Meter. I am going to post a lie or distortion of the record, the truth, the facts that support the truth, the evidence to support the facts, and I will not be using speculation and assumption. I will have documentation. Stay tuned, 'cause "I'm mad as hell and I ain't gonna take it anymore."
Entire Article from the Greenfield Reporter:
Another note to you, Gentle Reader:
While I disagree with Ms. Meyer that this is a serious campaign, this is a very reasonable article. I did want to point out two things she didn't get quite right. The CQ MONTH Report she cites was from last year and is a little dated, but that's no biggie. Of more import, she seems to infer that the nameless campaign rasised $246,000 in the 4th quarter. In fact, they raised $56,383 (and spent $52,280 of that! Net Gain: about $4K.) The 246 number she uses is for the whole cycle, the majority of which came in the first quarter. They had less than $86K cash on hand on Dec 31 according to the report they filed with the FEC. -GD.
Burton has 5th District seat; McGoff wants it
U.S. Rep. Dan Burton reached out to Greenfield residents this week as he campaigned here to influence voters before the May primary election. One of the reasons for the congressman’s attention is to parry a challenge from GOP rival John McGoff, who is first serious primary challenger of Burton’s 13 congressional elections. “John is forcing us to work a little harder,” said Rick Wilson, Burton’s deputy chief of staff who has worked for the congressman for 15 years. “We’re obviously taking it seriously.”
Burton lunched Wednesday at the Bread Ladies in downtown Greenfield and dined at Jim Dandy’s Family Restaurant Thursday evening. “Most astute politicians will observe that the voters are really paying attention this year”. Hancock County Republican Chairman John Willey said. “It creates a scenario that we haven’s seen in a long time.” Being a bastion for the GOP, the only race that likely matters in the 5th District is the primary. But Burton has had few worthy Republican foes in the last decade. The last was C.L. “Jim” Alfred, who lost in 2006 with 2,023 votes to Burton’s 16,284.
This year, a landslide victory might not be as likely. Friday was the deadline for political hopefuls to file to run in the May 6 primary election, but McGoff has been trying to woo voters in 5th District for the last year. Since announcing his candidacy, the former Marion County coroner has made headlines by calling on Burton to answer for missed votes, government spending and what he characterized as a lack of action on immigration. McGoff’s campaign is not unique in that political challengers often gain momentum by attacking the incumbent officeholder. But McGoff said it wasn’t opportunism that drove him to run. “To be honest with you, it’s fortuitous,” McGoff said. “But in February of last year when I decided to run, the anti-incumbent fervor wasn’t there.” Still, he admits that it doesn’t hurt. “Can I ride a wave of people who are upset with Congress? I hope so,” McGoff said.
The reality of John’s campaign doesn’t measure up to his rhetoric.” Wilson said in response to McGoff’s political jabs. “This is all he can do.”
While both candidates work to secure a spot on the November ballot, the Democrats historically haven’t been a serious threat. Burton, for example, won re-election by hefty margins in the last three election cycles against Democrat challenger Katherine Fox Carr. With a hefty 65 percent of the vote, Burton triumphed in 2006 with his smallest margin in more that 10 years. The Democrats have three candidates vying for the party’s spot for the 5th District race in November. They are Chester Kelsey, Mary Etta Ruley and Kenny Stall.
Burton concedes that mounting concern among voters about gas prices, the softening U.S. economy and the war in Iraq have put some incumbents on the hot seat. “There’s so much focus on the problems right now that some people are saying we should just get rid of (current office holders),” he said between handshakes at Jim Dandy’s in Greenfield Thursday night. “I’m glad people are paying attention. The bad ones should be held accountable.” Burton said he will not allow McGoff to draw him into a fight. “What I have always done and what I intend to do in the future is focus on the issues,” Burton said, challenging voters to judge him on his record. His platform calls for pro-life legislation, protection of the Second Amendment and Americans’ right to bear arms, as well as tighter boarder controls to stem illegal immigration. These issues resonated with the Hancock County residents who came out to meet the congressman Thursday. “I like what I’m hearing,” Greenfield resident Charles Hull said. “I want to see more of it.” With 11 counties in the 5th District, Burton and McGoff’s campaigns have a lot of ground to cover.
To help give his on-the-ground campaign a boost, Burton hired a consultant company for the first time. “Our focus is grassroots campaigning,” said Matthew Stutzman of Maverick Strategies, while checking on the congressman’s next engagement Wednesday. “What our clients are looking for is the biggest bang for their buck.”
With 26 years to build relationships with campaign contributors, Burton has a solid funding base. Since 1989, he has collected almost $7 million in donations from individual donors, special interest groups and other contributors, according to the Web site www.opensecrets.com. According to his most recent campaign finance disclosures, Burton raised more that $852,116 to fund his campaign in 2008. On that front, too, McGoff is making more waves that Burton’s past rivals. According to a MONTH report in Congressional Quarterly, McGoff is one of the best-funded candidates challenging an incumbent in the primary this year. Finance disclosures from the last quarter of 2007 indicate that McGoff has collected more that $246,000. “What all this is telling me is it’s time for (Burton) to go,” McGoff said. If McGoff had not filed to run, Burton’s fellow conservatives might be benefiting. Since 2000, Burton and his committee have donated roughly $535,000 to Republicans running in more competitive gubernatorial, state and local races. “I’m spending so much time and money on my campaign, I won’t be able to do that this year,” he said.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
(c) Greenfield Reporter