Monday, October 30, 2006

The more Pioneer Press Reveals About Kline Endorsement, The Worse It Gets

Getting facts wrong like the Pioneer Press did with its endorsement of Congressman John Kline is bad enough. But now we learn the Pioneer Press Editorial board makes up its mind and then goes to look for specific facts to support its already predetermined conclusion.

Republican blogger Craig Westover who authored the Kline endorsement has now revealed this about the process:
The original draft, written after the endorsement decision was made in a meeting of the editorial board of the Pioneer Press, had a general statement about campaign nastiness, (the Col. Klink ad and the like, but not mentioned specifically). The suggestion was made to ad (sic) a specific, and I didn't want to replay the Nazi card. I'd just seen the film in question with the official Rowley graphics and made a bad assumption the use of the graphics indicated the campaign had a hand it its production. Bad decision on my part.
More than a bad decision. It's a bad process. If you're going to make a reasoned argument you start with the specifics and then build on that to make your conclusion. Not the other way around.

When Westover and the Pioneer Press decided to use my independently produced video as an illustration of the campaign's nastiness, it was because they couldn't find any substantial evidence of nastiness by Rowley herself.

Westover alludes to the Kline/Klink photoshop incident. Note that Rowley immediately dealt with the intern who did it. The Kline campaign also keeps bringing up that one person greeted Kline with at a parade with an "Oil Soars/Kline Snores" sign, but this again was the work of non-campaign staff.

Kline's staff took a comment Rowley made on one of my podcasts that Kline suffered from "good soldier syndrome", meaning he did as he was told and did not question orders. Kline twisted that statement to infer she meant no one in uniform was fit to serve in Congress. She said nothing of the kind and I have the transcript and the tape to prove it.

Kline's campaign has been grasping at straws to paint Rowley has a negative campaigner because Rowley herself has not been the source of any of nasty campaigning or personal attacks. She's stuck to the issues, demanding that Kline be accountable for his record of supporting President Bush 94% of the time including rubber stamping Republican cuts of body armor for troops and cuts in veterans benefits. If Kline consider that dirty, he doesn't belong in politics.

Meanwhile, Kline has signed off on thousands of dollars of expenditures on negative mailers and TV ads. He has tolerated a campaign staffer or volunteer who made pseudo-threats against a blogger supporting Rowley until blog visit logs showed those harassing posts were coming from the Kline campaign office. The posts then stopped, but Kline took no action.

Kline continues to have the Federal Government pay the $90,000 plus salary of his District manager who acted like a thug outside of a Rowley campaign event and only apologized for it because he was caught on camera shouting racial slurs.

Rowley was gracious enough to immediately accept the apology. Kline never accepted Rowley's apology for what her intern did. It's the only issue he has this campaign and it's a damn weak one, so bravo to Westover and the Pioneer Press for not making that part of the editorial.

But just like Westover cited the video without checking the source, Westover bought the bill of goods John Kline has been peddling about Rowley running a "nasty campaign" without really checking the facts.

Any nastiness against Kline in this campaign has been pushback from ordinary people like me who get tired of Kline bullying his opposition with personal attacks and negative ads. He did it in 2004 and he's done it in 2006.

Instead of just issuing mea culpas, Westover should write the truth. It's Kline's constituents, not Rowley, who are getting nasty with him because he's been disrespectful of them with his constant negative barrage.


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