Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hit job on Sen Corder?

It’s a bit late now, and I guess the “appropriate” outcome happened, but it’s still interesting to look at some of the tactics used in the campaign.

A friend of mine (Geoff; look up gadfly in the dictionary and you'll see his picture) received this mailer supporting, as opposed to “from”, Clayton Cramer. As you see, it prominently features a soldier. If the voter was not familiar with Cramer, the voter might think that Cramer is a soldier (rather than a fighting keyboardist). Also, I think it pretty shamelessly appropriates a soldier’s image for political purposes. “Let’s exploit the troops for political gain!”



Geoff, a recently retired soldier and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, emailed Cramer and objected to the flyer. Cramer replied that he didn’t send it; IACI did. I think Cramer might have blogged about it, so you might be able to read more there. His point was, he had an independent campaign and had no control over or coordination with IACI for the flyer. IACI was just mad at Corder and wanted him out, for failure to obey IACI direction, I guess.

So, Geoff contacted IACI, who just blamed it on the flyer “contractor” and shrugged it off.
We would thank him for his feedback as we are thanking you. We have discussed the matter with our contractor and appreciate the input.
That’s pretty much it. They appreciate the feedback. No apology or admission it was wrong. Between May 16 and May 23, 2008, IACI spent $11,045.56 with said contractor on behalf of Cramer on these flyers and other ads. As my friend described it, “a last minute hit job.”



Who is this contractor, this Veritas Advisors, whose name I was happily ignorant of just yesterday? Have a look. (Click any image to enlarge.)



Yes, that is J. Kirk Sullivan, Chair of the Idaho Republican Party. Does it seem odd to you that the party chair would participate in an IACI scheme to knock off a sitting Republican senator? How about that they’d use a misleading flyer implying that the candidate was a soldier?

On their website, Veritas Advisors lists “Truth” and “Integrity” as a firm values. If so, they ought to at least apologize for the misleading flyer.

Update: Changed Rep to Senator.

18 comments:

buckiam96 said...

As an OIF III Veteran myself, I find the poster obscene and offensive. The thought of a government official/civil servant, using my sacrifice and that of my friends and loved one's as a petty retaliation against an opponent makes me nauseous.

After reading this posting I researched two things; Gadfly, which bears no picture of said "recently retired soldier of OIF," and Clayton Cramer's blog.
Cramer posted a response to the flyer in question on his blog which was more unpleasant than the flyer itself (see below). I understand that a "independent campaign" is just that, "independent" but I also understand that if I were attempting to disband my opponent I would ensure that the advertisements did not discredit those I was pretending to cater to.
By blaming the issue on to his advertiser's, Cramer showed his true colors; he supports the flyers one-hundred percent and he's spineless and disloyal! He is certainly not the “Veteran Friend” that he so vehemently claims to be.

Cramer: “I explained that I had no control over the flyer, didn't pay for it, produce, or have anything to do with it--that it was from an independent campaign that is hot to remove Senator Corder. As much as I appreciate the help of independent campaigns, this is the downside of them--people may see these materials and not realize that they are not something the candidate controls.”

http://www.claytoncramer.com/weblog/blogger.html

Sisyphus said...

Excellent work Alan. We call these guys lobbyists. Every one of those "partners" is a Republican operative, except perhaps John Watts who is the token D for "balance". Most came directly out of Craig's office. They're stationed strategically in the Hoff Building across the street from the Governor's office for easy access.

Its yet another example of IACI running the state. If'n you want to see pictures and credentials of the state's power brokers click my name.

slfisher said...

Great digging, Alan.

Alan said...

Thanks. Geoff did most of the digging, so credit goes to him.

Clayton said...

That Geoff thinks I support "the flyers one-hundred percent" shows that he needs to read what I wrote a bit more carefully.

Corder voted in committee against adding a check-off box to the Idaho income tax return form that would have allowed Idaho taxpayers to contribute money from their tax refund to Idaho's veterans' services program. This costs the state nothing; why Corder voted against it is utterly mystifying. I scratch my head in amazement. This was a no-brainer; it cost the state nothing, and would have put a few bucks into programs to help Idaho veterans.

As I have blogged a couple of times, the IACI flyers were sometimes wrong (I'm not a grandfather), emphasized some issues that I considered unimportant, and indicated that I had taken positions on a couple of issues that I have not even thought about. The tone was also a bit harsher than I would have used, and certainly harsher than my own campaign materials with respect to Corder.

I had no control over these flyers. If I had seen them in advance, there is much that I would have changed. I don't like independent election campaigns much, and after this experience, I think next time I would prefer that anyone that wants to help me should avoid mentioning my name. If they have to attack my opponent, they should do so clearly in their own name. A lot of people thought that I had paid for the IACI flyers.

Geoff said...

Clayton- I'm not the one who wrote that you "support the flyers one hundred percent"- that was someone else's post. It was clear to me and others, though, that as the 'beneficiary" of the flyer, you weren't exactly shouting your disapproval.
Geoff

Alan said...

Clayton, I got a bunch of IACI mailers on behalf of Fulcher, Vander Woude and Bayer, and none of them mentioned an opponent or attacked in any way. I wonder why they took that approach with your flyers and Sen Corder.

Clayton said...

"It was clear to me and others, though, that as the 'beneficiary" of the flyer, you weren't exactly shouting your disapproval."

I wasn't shouting disapproval because the facts underlying their attack were accurate: Corder had voted against something that would have benefited veterans, and for which I could see no logical explanation.

I wasn't happy about their use of the picture of a soldier, but again, I didn't have any control over it, and by the time this came out, it was too late to get another mailing out, and since we only have weekly newspapers in the district, there was no good that a press release would have done.

Feel free to attack IACI for their use of that picture. But I had no control over IACI's actions; I resent the implication that I approved this just because I didn't throw a temper tantrum over their poor choice of pictures.

I recognize that politics is a dirty business. I did my best to keep the issues where Corder and I disagreed at the forefront. During public appearances, I often had some good things to stay about Corder's positions concerning tax policy, and his integrity in telling voters stuff that they needed to hear. I sense, however, that some of the outrage that I am hearing directed at me about the IACI PAC mailers is really just political gamesmanship by Corder supporters and Democrats.

Geoff said...

Clayton- First, I am no Democrat, I am, and always will be, an independent. Second, I was not a supporter of Sen. Corder, until you and IACI came along with your attempt to disenfranchise thousands of residents of Boise and Elmore counties over what you, the Republican party, and IACI viewed as Corder's misconduct. I really was ambivalent until I saw that misleading flyer with the soldier in uniform, and as I looked into it, I was more and more concerned, until I actually went so far as to call Sen. Corder and got a couple of signs for my front yard, on Sat the 24th. Ask anyone from Mtn Home- I had never been a Corder supporter till you all drove me to it. As for the 'temper tantrum' remark- had you worn a uniform, you would understand. So it goes.

Clayton said...

"Second, I was not a supporter of Sen. Corder, until you and IACI came along with your attempt to disenfranchise thousands of residents of Boise and Elmore counties over what you, the Republican party, and IACI viewed as Corder's misconduct."

How did I attempt to "disenfranchise thousands of residents"? For that matter, how did IACI attempt to do so?

"I really was ambivalent until I saw that misleading flyer with the soldier in uniform, and as I looked into it, I was more and more concerned, until I actually went so far as to call Sen. Corder and got a couple of signs for my front yard, on Sat the 24th."

So because of a mailer that I didn't approve of, and actually thought was inappropriate, you decided to vote against me? That makes loads of sense.

"As for the 'temper tantrum' remark- had you worn a uniform, you would understand."

I fully understand you being upset about IACI PAC's misuse of the uniform. I did not approve. I told you that immediately. But what could I do about it? I am not prone to emotional tirades. I expressed my disapproval, sent a note to IACI PAC telling them that I didn't approve, and that it was generating negative reaction (which was probably more likely to get them not to do this in future).

You decided to punish me for actions taken by a third party where I agreed with you that those actions were wrong. This makes sense, why?

Geoff said...

"I didn't do it"... "It wasn't my fault"..."It was something I had no control over"..."I don't like it either".......as opposed to "I will put a stop to it immediately, and their apology is forthcoming"- which one sounds like a victim, and which one a leader? I will vote for a leader over someone who chooses to be a victim. As for the disenfranchisement, your party and IACI decided to mount a stealth campaign to remove the duly elected Dist 22 Senator and replace him with someone THEY wanted instead. No one had any idea who was doing this until it was almost too late. You were part of it, witting or not.

Clayton said...

Geoff, I was prepared to believe your claim that you weren't a Corder partisan using a legitimate complaint as a basis for attack. But no longer.

You tell me that I should have said: "I will put a stop to it immediately, and their apology is forthcoming"

How do I stop it? In case you haven't noticed, there is this little thing called freedom of speech. I don't have the authority to stop someone else from mailing campaign materials. Even government officials don't have the authority to do that.

And how do I force a group that doesn't even want me to inform them of my campaign activities to apologize?

You have just lost all credibility. You clearly aren't being honest here.

Clayton said...

"As for the disenfranchisement, your party and IACI decided to mount a stealth campaign to remove the duly elected Dist 22 Senator and replace him with someone THEY wanted instead."

There was NOTHING stealthy about this campaign. All the materials that I put out were forthright about my desire to get elected. All the materials that IACI put out were forthright about their desire to get me elected. What's stealthy about that?

Were you not aware that we have elections for the precise purpose of different factions making the case to the voters for why candidate X would do a better job than candidate Y? Were you not paying attention in government class? Or do you think that once a person is elected that no one is allowed to challenge them?

Clayton said...

"No one had any idea who was doing this until it was almost too late. You were part of it, witting or not."

You mean that the campaign materials didn't identify the sender? I would have preferred IACI's mailers had clearly said, "Not paid for or approved by the Cramer for Senate campaign," but they were identified as coming from IACI PAC.

Maybe you don't read campaign materials with any care. You are not alone on that, unfortunately. But there was nothing stealthy about this, nothing sneaky or underhanded--unless you define all political campaigns as sneaky or underhanded.

Geoff said...

Wow. You really just don't get it, do you? Judging by the last three comments, you never will. People won't vote for a whiner. They want a leader. Don't want to believe me? That's fine- my motivation is not relevant, the facts are. It's over, Mr. Cramer. Let it go.

Clayton said...

"People won't vote for a whiner. They want a leader."

You ask me to "lead" by taking an action which is a CRIMINAL offense--forcing other people to shut up.

Yes, it's over. Your credibility is zero. You clearly don't understand the Bill of Rights.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Boise, but I couldn't tell you who Tim Corder is to save my ass. That said, I DID go to meetings of IACI and know many lobbyists. They are CERTAINLY capable of this kind of behavior - and - Mr. Cramer - lots of politicians are certainly capable of going along with it. If Idahoans only knew the stuff that goes on. I found out enough to make me sick.

Julie Fanselow said...

Great work, Alan (and Geoff).

Fed up with this sort of crap? Vote Democratic for a change.