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Friday, April 14, 2006

See How This Works?

Posted by on April 14 at 11:40 AM

Let’s say you’re in the Republican Party, and you notice that one of your swing-district Congressmen, Dave Reichert, is facing a serious challenger who has raised twice as much money as him in the first quarter. Worse than that, this challenger, Darcy Burner, is getting a lot of good press for having raised all that cash.

What to do? Well, since there’s no penalty for filing flimsy complaints with the Federal Elections Commission, why not file a complaint that suggests Burner has been violating campaign finance rules? That will make it seem like she’s been raising all that money because she’s playing fast and loose with the rules, not because she has momentum. Great idea!

Step 1: Have the State Republican Party write up the complaint. Mail it off, post it on the web, and send an email to local bloggers and reporters headlined: “8th District Democrat named in campaign violation complaint.” That’ll get their attention. And it does! Bloggers post it (here and here), and the next day the Seattle Post-Intelligencer picks it up, as does the King County Journal.

Step 2: Nevermind that the Burner campaign has already answered the allegations, calling them “frivolous.” The seeds of suspicion have been planted. It will take the FEC weeks, if not months, and maybe even until after the election, to determine whether the complaint has merit. In the meantime, encourage conservative blogger Stefan Sharkansky to do a running series of posts on the subject (here and here).

Step 3: Feed the story to the conservative Washington Times so that when it dutifully reports on the allegations (as it did today) Sharkansky can do a post announcing “Darcy Burner Makes the National News. Ouch.”

And there you have it: Aspersions cast, doubts raised, a “national story” created, and all of it just in time for Reichert’s campaign kickoff next Tuesday!

CommentsRSS icon

however, in the world of unintended consequences, it also caused the Washington Post to suddenly update their map of competitive races to include WA-8 as a district likely to go Democratic in 2006.

Which, seeing as how there aren't any other races listed as competitive in this neck of the woods, suddenly wakes up a lot of regional media coverage to the fact that Reichardt (R) is a lot more vulnerable than he should be, which will probably cause lots of Dem money to flood this way.

Be careful what you wish for.

Bruner benefits a lot - early free media when she needs exposure most of all.

They are helping her break out and setting up the dynamic of a real election fight.

Stupid R's to do so this early. Newbie was her problem, quickly being annointed as solid contender. Great.

This is why you can't cut corners in fundraising for a rookie candidate's campaign. Or why you should keep records and receipts of everything. So that, when someone inevitably does this, you have evidence that the claims are false, which puts a lot of the idiocy to rest immediately.

huh? Sorry not following that.

I think the point of Eli's post was that the repubs are adhering to Mark Twain's old dictum that a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on...thus sling mud like crazy, because even if the person can refute it, the fact that the claim was made will be what resonates with those that don't pay careful attention.

No matter how much evidence Burner has against this, I guarantee that two months from now Dory Monson will bring it up on his show as if it's fact.

What I'm saying is that these sorts of tactics are inevitable, especially from the Republicans. Be prepared, be ready to call their bluff and make them look stupid, lest you end up looking more stupid than you really are.

If you think the Burner campaign isn't keeping "their records and receipts", you're not just buying the Republican line; you're bonkers.

ditto fnarf...

and Gomez I think you're missing the whole issue; that it doesn't matter if they have the evidence. As long as the allegation has been made and as long as there is an open complaint with the FEC (which, as Eli notes,could take a long time to decide) the odor of "something wrong" will be there for folks to make hay with.

This is classic repub slash and burn some point the dems may well have to learn it.

Say, did you hear that Reichert was on the take from escort agencies his whole time as sheriff? Quick, pass it on...

Well, we know at least one of his deputies was....

Has Dave Reichert stopped beating his wife yet?

No, but I think he stopped having beers with mass murderers recently.

No, Gnossos, I understand the issue just fine. I'm also saying that you should expect these tactics from the Republicans, and be ready to call their bluff, in the public eye, and then call them out for making knowingly false accusations.

This is going to happen in races like this. You have to expect it.

Darcy can call their bluff all she wants, she still got national media attention on a flimsy accusation. It's like un-ringing a bell.

Hey, she can either cry about it, or be ready and do something about it.

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