The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Mar 5, 2008

The Smear Echo

If you spend much time in the blogosphere you learn to spot what we call echoes. But unlike echoes the longer they last the louder they get. Such is the case with the "vote buying" allegations made by former Republican Governor Dave Cargo against both Heather Wilson's Campaign and Darren White's Campaign.

Democrat and Liberal bloggers have been trumpeting Cargo's allegations with a glee that goes beyond reason and credulity. Of course that's their job and they understand that tarring Wilson and White also tars the Republican Party. Heath Haussamen does a great job of analyzing this story that isn't (read it here).

These types of silly rumors get started every election, national or local, primary or general. It's only natural as candidates and their campaigns have generally worked very hard and become emotionally invested in the outcome - that makes them a bit paranoid and sometimes drives them to cross the line.

Both of these campaigns are run by competent, experienced people who understand that there's no upside to buying votes at a county nominating convention and a heck of a lot of downside. You also have to remember that the only thing at stake even in the state convention is ballot position - particularly when there are only two candidates (Wilson and Pearce) running and they are both well known. There's little to no chance that either candidate would fail to get the 20% required to get on the ballot. The same thing holds true for the White/Carraro race. It would be hard (not impossible) for White to get over 80% of the votes with only two in the race - ergo nothing to gain.

These are things that former 770 KKOB reporter Laura McCallum failed to take into account about allegations that she could not corroborate. However, our problem isn't with Ms. McCallum or even blogger Denis Domrzalski who "broke" the story. Our problem is with an elected official and a former Governor that should know better.

Governor Cargo is like a kindly old uncle that once brought honor to the family through his position - sometimes he spouts off at the dinner table and embarrasses the family. Unfortunately when that uncle goes to the media with some crackpot assertion he's believed because of his former position. That's the trap that Laura McCallum fell into - one that her boss at 770 avoided.

State Representative Janice Arnold-Jones who apparently corroborated the Domrzalski story is currently back-pedaling telling Haussamen that she wasn't quoted accurately. Domrzalski should have been suspicious of Ms. Arnold-Jones simply because she's none too happy that her dreams of succeeding Representative Wilson were cut short by lack of funding and the unpleasant truth that she wasn't the best possible candidate to hold the seat for the Republicans. Can you say sour-grapes?

In any case, both of these people should have known better. Both have held or currently hold office. Both have been involved in numerous county and state conventions. Both have at least a passing familiarity with the media. And both are doing more damage to their party than any Democrat could think of doing. At the end of the day there's nothing but a smear and it's ever-increasing echo.

----- Update -----
We listened to Brad Friedman, Laura McCallum, and former Governor Dave Cargo try to explain their allegations of "vote-buying" at the Bernalillo County Republican Party Convention today on KRXA 540 AM in Monterey California. Frankly, it was an embarrassment. Friedman was dead set on illegal activities even though there were none. McCallum was quite sure that campaigns paid the entrance fee of at least five attendees; which also isn't illegal. And former Governor Cargo was quite sure that he polled well with Hispanics and was treated poorly by 770 KKOB's Pat Frisch on Thursday's Jim Villanucci Show.

Surprisingly, fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias decided to withdraw from the segment. It seems that even Iglesias thought better of being associated with The Smear Echo team.

Ultimately what made this fiasco possible is the decision of the party to charge admission - no money, no scholarships - no scholarships, no opportunity to smear. Charging admission to these affairs is something that Republicans should reconsider and now. The worst thing that can happen is that there's not enough space. On the other hand, the best thing that can happen is that there's not enough space.


BradF said...

"These types of silly rumors" have substance that your readers would be well served to actually know about. It's a shame that you are misleading them by telling them that charges, made by now at least 3 elected Republican officials and a Libertarian news anchor are somehow the creation of the "Democrat [sic]" blog world.

For actual information, instead of spin, I hope your readers will check out some of the actual facts behind the smear job posted above:

Your allegations that "Laura McCallum [sic]" reported "allegations that she could not corroborate" is not only uncorroborated, it is also out and out incorrect.

Finally, in lauding Heath Haussamen, since I suspect it's politically expedient for the writers at this site to do so, you should bother to do due dilligence before hand. Mr. Haussamen failed a number of journalistic practices in his report which decried the journalistic practices of others.

Beginning with the fact that he has some serious conflict of interest problems on this story, yet failed to disclose them to readers. So I will do so for you here:

While it shouldn't be necessary, given the blog item I'm responding to it apparently is: I have mercilessly smashed up the DemocratIC Party in NM for their disastrous Super Tuesday Caucus.

I don't have a Democratic or Republican dog in the hunt. I am supporting the VOTERS and the Rule of Law and American democracy, and it'd be nice if you folks decided to do the same.

Brad Friedman
Editor/Publisher, The BRAD BLOG

Laura said...

Your lack of corroboration with ME says a lot about YOU. You did not email me. You did not call me. Perhaps, if you had, you may have had a clearer picture of what actually transpired. I'm very disappointed in that you did exactly what Heath was accusing me of. You didn't corroborate your story. You just based it on what you'd read on the blogs. That is, the blogs YOU chose to read.

The facts are that three State Senators have been threatened by the White campaign. All have gone on record saying so. The A/G actually IS investigating these charges. You didn't mention it. Janice Arnold Jones' 20-year old daughter was called and threatened. Ah. You didn't mention it. There were "delegates" at the Convention who were paid. I now have a name. You wouldn't have known that since you didn't ask me.

I find it sad that you only regurgitated Heath's very unfair assessment. While he and I emailed a couples of times, he didn't even bother to speak to me by phone when a more substantive conversation could have taken place.

You don't even know me, yet you smeared me and my body of work without ever speaking to me personally. If you hold yourself out to be an expert and the "Eye on Albuquerque", I think you failed miserably and from my standpoint, miserably so. Your failure to get my side of the story doesn't lend much to your credibility. I was a daily reader of your blog. Now, I feel I can't trust anything you say. That's because I'm on your receiving end. It was unfair and inaccurate.

This was an unfolding investigative piece. One thing everyone seems to bury is that the FIRST story I did was with the state GOP spokesman Scott Darnell to allow him to dispute what I witnessed personally at the Bernalillio County Delegate Convention.
I never talked about Heather Wilson! She inserted herself, through her spokeswoman Whitney Cheshire (who also wrote a column for Heath Haussamen's blog until she joined Wilson's campaign), into the issue and drew a lot of attention to herself. As a journalist, a red flag goes up when people "doth protest too much." Her campaign continued to push it and push it. Why is that?
As the story unfolded, here was the order of the pieces:
-GOP Spokesman "Scott Darnell setting straight the record on how delegates are always vetted;
-Former Governor Dave Cargo, running a Ward table (that I witnessed) alarmed at what HE witnessed.
-My pieces were pulled before I ever got a chance to talk with anyone else. I told "News Director" Pat Allen that I would call both Wilson and White campaigns the following morning.
Remember, this was an unfolding investigative series. Most people don't listen to one piece and let it go if they're truly interested.
AGAIN, LET ME BE CLEAR. I NEVER TARGETED HEATHER WILSON. NEVER SAID A WORD ABOUT HER! If you check, you'll see my original scripts from both days of the stories I did. If you can find Heather Wilson in any of my copy, wow....

In addition, THREE State Senators complained to the state A/G about intimidation tactics and threats made against them and their families by Darren White's campaign. All of this has been documented. Unfortunately, I didn't get to THAT part of the story. I just couldn't work for KKOB another day. And, this wasn't the first time they had pushed the limits with ethics. I had filed a complaint with the Poynter Institute about the first incident several months ago.

If voters have any sense, they'll pay attention to these threat allegations. It doesn't bode well for someone who claims to be Bernalillio County's top law enforcement officer, now running for Congress. In addition, Wilson's campaign has now admitted they paid the $30 entrance fee for at least five "delegates" at the Bernalillio County Delegate Convention. Wouldn't you think that those five people were so grateful to Wilson that they'd vote for her? It's not a stretch to figure out how THAT works.

Like I said to Heath. Shame on you.

Laura MacCallum

Anonymous said...


Excuse me if I'm being ignorant, but I've never heard of an "unfolding investigation".

I would hope that anyone reporting campaign improprieties would have all the facts before they start flapping lip.

Signed, A Concerened Democrat

As far as Denis D. goes: that man is known for stretching the truth and flat out dishonesty in some of his reporting. Why do you think he was abrutly let go from the city's largest paper?

Anonymous said...

I find your allegations against Representative Arnold-Jones personally offensive. Not only are you falling into the same "smear job" tactics of which you accuse her, I know from personal experience that had you spoken with her, or her daughter, you would have obtained a very different picture of the threats made by the White campaign and the vote-buying issues. Check your facts next time - you just lost a loyal reader.