Friday, October 21st, 2016

Knocking some heads


“I’m gonna say a few things. I’m gonna say some bad words and you’re just gonna have to deal with it.” – Tony Soprano

Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL) issued it’s endorsements the other day. No shocker, hardly newsworthy, they endorsed both JB Van Hollen and Waukesha DA Paul Bucher. WRTL issued their press release, and then I received Bucher’s (for once it didn’t run afoul of my spam filter).

Bucher’s press release was a good one, and it explained his commitment to the pro-life cause. It went a little beyond the usual “gee, thanks” that most candidates issue.

Then I got an e-mail from Brian Fraley, a consultant to the JB Van Hollen campaign. I only quote it now because someone else took Brian’s words to heart and made an issue out of Bucher’s press release. It said in part,

Personally, James, I think the distinction in how the campaign handled this is key. We were honorable enough to say it was a joint endorsement Bucher makes it seem like he’s the only one.

I think that’s too cute by half. You may disagree, but I’ve always felt how you run says a lot about how you would serve.

JB isn’t trying to obfuscate. He’s a straight shooter.

Since I know better how joint endorsements are handled by campaigns, it struck my sense of humor, and I replied somewhat in that vein,

Brian, you’re trying to appeal to my good side. I plan on catching up with the boys this evening now that the riots in the streets of Waukesha have simmered down.

What I should have replied, had I more time and thought it through,

Gee Brian, I think that makes the Van Hollen campaign in the long history of joint endorsements by Wisconsin Right to Life (can’t they ever pick just one?) to actually mention their opponent got endorsed, too. Since the last candidate that I know you advised, Kent Woods in the 33rd Assembly District primary, issued a press release after his endorsement by WRTL without mentioning his opponent, do you think this tactic will really work? Good luck, I’m willing to see anything tried once.

Next thing I know, blogger Owen Robinson of Boots and Sabers (and friend of Fraley) posts on his blog,

Bucher’s release didn’t bother to mention that they also endorsed Van Hollen. Just sayin’….

Just saying what, Owen? And sure enough, Deb Jordahl asks the same question, and decides,

Either Owen is really naive about the nature of political campaigns or he’s shilling for JB Van Hollen.

Now, I’m guessing the former, but I can easily see why the Bucher campaign suspected the latter. Accordingly, they pulled out of the “debate” that Owen was trying to set up. Bucher’s wife, Jessica McBride, possibly pulled Boots and Sabers off her blogroll of her blog (He’s back on this morning).

Owen declared in response, “Sometimes, people can be such babies…” No, Owen, campaigns have an obligation to get a message out. And the message is, vote for me, vote for me, vote for me. Not, “the other guy is nice, too.”

And quite frankly, every outlet is going to be suspect (including this blog by both sides, to be sure) of not being friendly to their interests. So Owen may think it vain and petty of the Bucher campaign to pull out of the “debate”, but there will be other forums for them to compare notes. Why pick a forum where they believe the host is hostile to their interests?

I’m sorry RJ Johnson of the Bucher campaign doesn’t believe Owen is naive about how a political campaign works. And I’m sorry RJ and Owen didn’t have a more friendly conversation where RJ could’ve explained the ways of the world to Owen. Owen may have felt a bit sheepish about being duped. (Or maybe Brian Fraley really did feel that the press release should’ve included both candidates. I have to be open minded about this.) But I suspect that RJ and Owen will bump into each other sometime and RJ (if he has time) will buy Owen a bottle of beer, give Owen a hot tip on another race, and go on his merry way. And if RJ has a sense of humor, he’ll put a baby bottle nipple on top before he hands the beer to Owen.

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