Dirty campaigning--posted by Tony Garcia on 9/21/2006
Details, accussations and questions will continue to pour out over the coming days/weeks. And, well, they should. Whatever details led to this happening are important.
Democrat Amy Klobuchar's U.S. Senate campaign has fired its chief spokeswoman, revealing Wednesday that she viewed an unreleased TV ad for Republican candidate Mark Kennedy that may have been illegally obtained.Hmm, how honorable [cynicism overflowing], you fired her.
Klobuchar campaign manager Ben Goldfarb said that communications director Tara McGuinness was contacted last Saturday by a local blogger who sent her a link to the ad. Goldfarb said the campaign had turned the matter over to the Minneapolis office of the FBI.
Deplorable...and I have a hunch the conversation in the campaign went like this:
TARA MCGUINNESS: "Say, this blogger sent me a link to Kennedy's ads."
STAFFER #1: "Really, let's see. Is it a new ad?"
TARA MCGUINNESS: "It's newer than new...it is unreleased."
[they watch an ad]
STAFFER #1: "Say, Tara, I don't think we should be looking at that."
TARA MCGUINNESS: "Really? But there are 15 more ads."
STAFFER #1: "Are they all unreleased? If some of them are released already then we can keep them for our records."
TARA MCGUINNESS: "I don't know. We won't know unless we see them."
"You're right. Let's watch them."
[watch all the ads they have access to]
TARA MCGUINNESS: "Hmm, I don't remember seeing those before but I could be wrong. Let's ask the rest of the staff."
STAFFER #1: "I agree."
[Memo to entire staff:
"We need your help determining if some ads have been released yet. Please attend the mandatory meeting in the video viewing room in three hours to help us determine if these ads are public or not."]
[after the Kennedy Ad Viewing Meeting]
BEN GOLDFARB: "We should have a cover story in case it gets out that we viewed those already. We need a fall-guy."
TARA MCGUINNESS: "I'm getting a little burnt out with the hours and rigors of the campaign. Being a spinmeister at the Senate level is a gargantuan job. You can say you fired me and I can get some much needed rest."
BEN GOLDFARB: "Are you sure? OK. Hey, don't delete those video files...we need to send them to the strategy team."
Yeah, I know, that is a pretty cynical view. The truth is I would not put this past either of the campaigns. The reality is that the Klobuchar campaign is the one that is "coming clean". Somehow I think the "coming clean" part is a campaign ploy to bolster the image of upholding values. Don't let that fool you...Klobuchar's a politician. Values mean little to politicians unless it is the value of Power.
In her own prepared statement, Klobuchar apologized to Kennedy and his campaign.OK, so the chest puffing continues as this story unfolds.
"What happened here was wrong," said Klobuchar, the chief prosecutor for Hennepin County. "By reporting the blogger's activities and this incident to law enforcement, we are doing the right thing."
Kennedy's campaign manager, Pat Shortridge, held a news conference late Tuesday to demand the Klobuchar campaign answer a list of questions about the incident. Chief among them, Shortridge said: Why was McGuinness's firing announced Wednesday if she viewed the ad Saturday?Fair questions...and I am betting that no matter what answers come out the Kennedy campaign will engage in the partisan ploy of selective hearing and claim the questions are unanswered...or leave it to their "independent" and mindless lemmings to act indignant. Welcome to the truth about politicians in 2006.
"Why did it take them so long to notify us?" Shortridge said. That in turn raises other questions, he said, such as whether other Klobuchar staffers or supporters saw the ad; or if McGuinness used information in the ad in a way that benefited the Klobuchar campaign.
One of the questions has already been answered:
Goldfarb said he first found out about the ad on Saturday night but not the full scope of the problem until Monday, when he dismissed McGuinness. He said the campaign didn't announce her dismissal until Wednesday because it took that long to finish making the report to the FBI.Even as cynical as I am I have to believe the fact of that.
Goldfarb said the Klobuchar campaign wouldn't answer any more questions about the matter while the FBI was investigating it. Goldfarb did say in his prepared statement that neither he nor Klobuchar watched the ad, and that "no campaign strategy or decisions will be changed because of it."Let me translate that boldface part: "We reviewed the pending ads of our opponent and confirmed that our campaign strategy does not need any significant alterations."
As for the partisan outrage...if you are upset about the scum-bucket nature in this story then the intellectual honesty in you should voice the same outrage about this other scum-bucket campaign tactic.
Damn...Can it just be November 8 tomorrow?