Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just a little something from the Blogosphere

We just had to share this sampling of the fare on the net with our Devoted Readers. First, there's this piece from our friends at Polis Politics :

April 02, 2008
"But sometimes, sometimes Bad is Bad"

One of our favorite campaign moments last year was when Amos Brown had Lonnell "King-Ro" Conley and the other embattled Democrat At-Large Indianapolis City Councilors on his show. All, especially Conley, were under attack for increasing taxes. The GOP claimed Conley increased taxes 19 times, and Amos and Conley went threw his voting record and concluded the GOP was wrong! Conley only voted to increase taxes 11 or so times!

Such is campaign psychology against a gotcha campaign, when your opponent is so eager to point out you are wrong, they make themselves look foolish and prove your point in the process. The latest example of this reverse psychology: Congressional Candidate and former Marion County Coroner John McGoff.

McGoff unveiled a minute-long radio ad last week going after his opponent, incumbent Congressman Dan Burton, for missing committee meetings. Burton countered with his own 60 second ad, saying McGoff was distorting the facts and McGoff was a "career politician" who caused tax increases by increasing the Coroner's budget.

Normally the Challenger could claim success by engaging the incumbent to go negative. But McGoff didn't leave good enough alone. His campaign sent an e-mail out refuting the Burton ad, including this excerpt:

"Burton Claim #2: While coroner, John's budget went up 200%.

"*The first year John was in office, the coroner's budget was $1.1 million; the last year, it was $1.9 million. That is an increase, but only 73%." (emphasis added)

Our advice to McGoff: You don't refute the claim that your budget ballooned by claiming it was only a 73% increase. That's a mighty hefty raise and one that makes out look out of touch with average Hoosiers. It didn't work for King-Ro Conley, it didn't work for Bart Peterson, and it won't work for you.

We don't like speaking ill of fellow Republicans, so just some friendly advice.

Posted by The Polis at 01:14 PM

And then there's this from Hoosier Pundit's Scott Fluhr:

Burton vs McGoff Spill-Over

As I have long said, I don't have a dog in the fight in the 5th District Republican Primary; all that matters to me is that the seat is held by a Republican and that the bloodletting be cathartic and not fatal.It's true, Dan Burton has been in office for a long time in a safe district, with that political security comes complacency, and with complacency come behaviors in office that are unwanted by the voters.But with being in office for a long time also comes seniority, with seniority come better committee assignments and so forth, and with those come demonstrable benefits for the citizens of the 5th District.

And it's also true, as Thomas Jefferson (or was it Ben Franklin... I forget) famously opined, "A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing."

The question for the voters of the 5th District is whether the seniority Dan Burton has is worth the benefits it brings, even with the downsides, or whether a little revolution is better instead.Because the downsides were brought on by complacency, and if anything the McGoff challenge has ended Dan Burton's complacency (he needed a swift kick in the pants, I think), it's probably an open question as to what the future downsides will be.But that's a balance that will have to be made in the 5th District, and I'll be happy whatever the result, since the composition of the district will almost certainly see a Republican victory in the fall regardless of the primary outcome.

In that sense, a primary is a cathartic, correcting, and healthy process; competition strengthens the participants so long as it is not combat to the death.

But the Burton-McGoff contest is increasingly getting ugly; one need merely look at the allegations that are being traded to see that.McGoff accuses Burton of taking a taxpayer-funded junket to Central America; turns out that McGoff came along on that very trip for a business opportunity and had to get passport help from Burton's office to be able to go.Burton accuses McGoff of having the budget for the Marion County Coroner's office double under McGoff's tenure; turns out that it went up by only about seventy percent (some of which attributable to relocation costs and so forth).How do these exchanges advance the cause of serving 5th District voters?

Give me a break.

More troubling still is the spillover on Wednesday, when the Burton-McGoff square-off somehow managed to spill out of the 5th District and onto Frugal Hoosiers, the de facto campaign blog for Mitch Daniels' reelection campaign.The spillover came in the form of a posting of a McGoff campaign ad, along with some favorable observations (Frugal Hoosiers long ago removed Burton's campaign blog from its roll, and retains the McGoff blog).I would have thought that the Governor has plenty of ads about which to post and his opponents have plenty of ads about which to issue critiques that would keep the folks in green busy, but I digress.Of course, a quick check with the communications director of the Daniels campaign confirmed that, no, Mitch Daniels (Governor of Indiana, candidate for reelection, leader of the Republican Party in Indiana, et cetera) has not endorsed John McGoff in the 5th District race for governor.This is not the first time that Frugal Hoosiers (which professes itself to be utterly unaffiliated with the campaign or the Governor's office, which everyone knows is manifestly absurd; no more believable than Jen Wagner claiming her blog had nothing to do with the Indiana Democratic Party) has weighed into the 5th District race, and almost always in favor of the challenger John McGoff.I also know it's not the first time that Daniels will have gotten grief from Burton and his people over this "unaffiliated" blog.How exactly such posting about a controversial and increasingly divisive primary among fellow Republicans advances their proclaimed cause of getting Mitch Daniels reelected is beyond me; such posting might actually hurt it.

Posted by Scott at 11:49 PM Labels: , , ,

H/T Polis Politics and Hoosier Pundit, insightful and fair assessment

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