Thursday, April 20, 2006

Will The Real Steve Filson Staffer Please Stand Up?

For several weeks now, frequent commenter $.02 has been hypothesizing that fellow commenter Rick is indeed Steve Filson’s campaign manager Rob Kellar. A few days ago, in an open thread discussing the first quarter FEC filings, $.02 stretched his wings a bit further by suggesting that commenter Some Other Guy might actually be Filson Finance Director Colin Bishopp, of these5janks notoriety. All this speculation took place in the wake of the following comment in that thread by Some Other Guy:

First, I'll start off with addressing the "overhead". This is a tough district to win - and, as was pointed out, a very large district. Filson was and is right to secure the services and knowledge of some political pros. However, while the money he is paying his consultants is right on, the money he is paying his staff is rather off (this is all based on my dicussions [sic] with a friend who works on campaigns, his past work has included the Dean campaign in Iowa). According to him, the only salary that makes sense is that of the Field Director. The Campaign Manager and Finance Director, especially because of their experience, i.e. lack of it (at least according to what I have heard), are WAY too high. Most Campaign Managers and Finance Directors in a primary, and with their lack of experience, are not paid near that amount. The only staffer who should be paid a high amount on the Filson campaign is the Field Director, since she is the one who comes into this with federal level campaign experience, contested primary experience, DCCC campaign experience, and so forth. Also, interesting to note that it is the woman with a family (despite having the most experience) that is paid the least. Additionally, I suppose that does tell us something about just where Filson puts "grassroots" in the scheme of things.

(I suppose I should note that I have been fed a lot of info about the Filson Field Director from my Dean campaign friend. He knows her and speaks incredibly highly of her abilities. He also mentioned that she was offered Finance Director and Campaign Manager positions, offering a lot more money, in other states but turned them down for family reasons. I suppose I should also note that I have heard nothing but negative comments about the Filson Campaign Manager and have heard that the DCCC is looking to replace him. Some of his own staff, some staff at the DNC, and some staff at the DCCC consider him to be a liability.)

All that being said, I think Filson has the best chance to win this thing. While all of you sit here and bash his lack of "grassroots", it is the Filson campaign, thanks to his underpaid and over-experienced Field Director that is out there RIGHT NOW and every other day and night calling and canvassing voters. I'm on the volunteer list for both campaigns (signed up for McNerney before I ever heard of Filson) and the Filson campaign is doing a hell of a lot more than the McNerney campaign. When it comes to voter contact, the Filson campaign seems to have McNerney beat. (And my Dean campaign friend says that McNerney should be afraid.)

On the issue of support from labor and Dem clubs.... Just what are the unions and Dem clubs doing for McNerney? From what I have heard, they are all focused on local stuff and won't lift a finger for this race until after the primary. Also, Filson has AFSCME - that's a big endsorement [sic]. And Filson's political endorsements (Congressman Miller, Congresswoman Lofgren) have been out there doing a lot of stuff for Filson. I don't know, maybe it's just me and what I've been seeing, but it seems like Filson is more the grassroots candidate than McNerney. But, I'm sure no one here would ever dare admit that or even admit to the fact that Filson is running a strong grassroots field program.

On the issue of this poll that was paid for in January. According to my Dean friend, that probably means the poll isn't yet done or was completed only recently. Polling is paid for up front, but then there is a lot of work to be done on the front end and back end before a campaign receives the polling results. So a payment in January should indicate a poll that is completed sometime in April (or so I've been told). In other words, let's not jump to any conclusions about this poll not showing good results for Filson and that's why no one has heard about it.

Sure, Filson didn't deliver what he had indicated he could deliver. But, from my understanding anyways, he still has raised more, at least at this point, than any other Democratic candidate vying for this same seat has.

So exactly who is Some Other Guy? Well, to assist SNTP readers, I’ve found a handy mathematical formula for determining the real identity of the Filson staffer posting in the Comments section.

A) Tabulate each gratuitous snotty remark Some Other Guy has made about the McNerney campaign over time (e.g., “Oh, and word on the street is that Howard Dean wants McNerney to drop out of this race”) and then multiply by 7.23. Then locate all the examples of blatant dissembling about DCCC involvement in Filson’s campaign (e.g., “Does anyone here actually know the extent of the DCCC's and DC hierarchy's involvement in the Filson campaign? Based on my past experiences with the DCCC, I'm guessing it is little to none”) and multiply by .7185. Add the totals for these two categories.

B) Locate each aggrandizing descriptor of Filson's field director in the comment quoted above, multiply the total by 13. Then locate each slashing criticism of any other Filson staffer and multiply that number by 16.5. Calculate the sum for these two categories and then divide by 39.357. Pay careful attention to this step; it is critical to your calculation.

C) Take all examples of lying about background material in order to maintain secrecy and/or build credentials, and cube that number. Then add 1,372 to your total for each occurrence of multiple examples in the same sentence (e.g., “[T]his is all based on my dicussions [sic] with a friend [cough] who works on campaigns, his [cough] past work has included the Dean [cough, Edwards] campaign in Iowa”). Finally, take the square root of your total.

Now, with your constants established, you are ready to apply my formula

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and take the final steps to correctly determine the identity of the Filson staff member who is commenting here under the pseudonym Some Other Guy.

Now that you have solved for all the numerical values, simply translate them into binary code and feed that data into your Diebold Prestidigitator 3000™ tabulator and -- presto -- you will know the identity of the mystery Filson staffer with 99.99287% certainty. Happy sleuthing!


Blogger CF said...

Wow, another thoughtful post from babaloo. That's a great way to help voters make an intelligent, informed decision between two good, honorable Democrats.

On June 6, if McNerney wins the primary, I'll be in line to write him a check or do what I can to support his race from outside the state. But the increasingly ugly tone of this blog is going to make it very difficult not to carry a bitter taste in my mouth after the primary, regardless of who wins. Not one of Filson's supporters on this blog has ever said anything negative about McNerney. Too bad McNerney's supporters can't say the same regarding Filson. No one has even bothered to respond to the substance of the comments by Rick (who is not Robert Kellar) or Some Other Guy (who is not a Filson staffer, either Samantha or Colin), instead choosing to whip up ridiculous and spurious attacks on the identity of the posters. It reflects poorly on your candidate and it reflects poorly on this blog.

CF [Chris Filson, biological son of Steve Filson, UC Berkeley alumnus, medical student, Pisces and Democrat, just so we're all clear]

9:29 AM, April 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


your snark just amplified a whole slew of specious claims by Some Other Guy.

although a funny post, you actually gave a blog bullhorn to SOG. a lot of what SOG wrote is obviously juvenile head-fake posturing, but still - why give it credence by reposting it in full?

as to your claim as to "her" identity, i don't know what this speculation accomplishes. we're all going to be on the same team after june 6, right?

9:37 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

That post does descend into absurdity, I have to admit, though I do it find it humorous.

For me, the focus is on Pombo -- what can we do to get rid of him? How can we "foul his propellers", as the anti-whaling group was trying to do with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic? How do we get the information out to people that will change their minds about him?

And is it just a matter of information? Certainly there is tons of it out there already. What does it take for people to consider this matter seriously and change their vote?

Pombo has so many negatives, but one big plus, and that is major corporate backing, resulting in big bucks to fuel his PR machine. It is a bullshit pumping operation of the first order.

Where is the counter-balancing force on the left? Where are the articles and op-eds and letters to editors and speeches and well-known people and think tanks, etc., to promote the truth? Where are the people with the big bucks to fund an "11th District Task Force" to investigate and ride herd on Pombo, not letting the media get away with printing his bullshit PR as facts?

9:46 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

So, CF, which substantive issues raised by Some Other Guy would you like me to address? The part about how Steve Filson’s campaign manager is incompetent and inexperienced and overpaid? The part about how Filson’s finance director is inexperienced and overpaid? The part about how Filson’s field director is over-experienced and underpaid (ostensibly because she is a woman)? The part where the DCCC is pulling the strings and looking to replace Filson’s campaign manager? The part questioning where Filson puts "grassroots" in the scheme of things?

Well, I wouldn’t know about that stuff because I’m not privy to the inside information of the Filson campaign. I do know that if I dared to mention those things, then I’d be accused of advancing “the increasingly ugly tone of this blog.” I guess what you have in mind is that I should address incisive and substantive commentary like “My… friend says that McNerney should be afraid.”

As to your claim that “not one of Filson’s supporters on this blog has ever said anything negative about McNerney,” that would actually be funny if it weren’t so stunningly and blatantly untrue.

Now, Anon, you raise a more interesting point. Yes, I did actually consider the implications of giving Some Other Guy’s self-serving commentary a wider audience than it deserved. All I can say is that I have a healthy respect for the readers of this blog and their ability to discern substance from drivel.

VPO, you ask “Where are the people with the big bucks to fund an ‘11th District Task Force’ to investigate and ride herd on Pombo, not letting the media get away with printing his bullshit PR as facts?”

Come on, VPO. Don’t let fellow poster Kevin Keefe hear you talking that way -- he just might get a little offended.

And finally, Delta, you want me to get back to posts like this. Sorry. It was one story, and I wrote about it, and the people who found it useful were able to read it. Regurgitating it 20 more times in slightly different wording and castigating my readers for not caring about it as desperately as I do will not make it any more relevant or appealing. And please try to keep in mind that we are in the heat of the primary season. There will be plenty of time between June 6 and November 7 to tackle Pombo head-on.

1:08 PM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

I also want to address the inference in the comments of Anon, VPO and Delta that this is a frivolous post.

I happen to believe, based on everything I know, that Some Other Guy is indeed a member of Steve Filson's staff. But if others don't believe that, it's fine.

Regardless, given the statement, "I should note that I have been fed a lot of info about the Filson Field Director from my Dean campaign friend. He knows her and speaks incredibly highly of her abilities" we have to realize that the complaints voiced in Some Other Guy's comment originate with Steve Filson's field director, whether they have been voiced at this site directly or indirectly through a "Dean friend."

At the very least, it's hard to read this comment without concluding that the Filson staffer who doubts Kellar's ability is none other than the field director.

So you need to wonder why the field director would be talking trash (whether on this site or to a friend of hers from Dean's Iowa campaign) about the campaign manager while trumpeting her own skills. If the DCCC is truly unhappy with the campaign (remember, this is according to Some Other Guy), it's going to devolve into finger-pointing about who's to blame.

We have ample evidence to believe that the field director is pointing her finger at Rob Kellar. What are the chances that he's going to accept that blame? I bet you Rob Kellar isn't going to agree that he lacks the experience and the skills he needs to win. So who's he going to blame? He's not going to blame the finance guy who's raised a lot of money. That leaves just one target. Guess who?

So the picture Some Other Guy's statements paint is of a floundering campaign riddled with internecine turf wars between members of the campaign staff.

Now, you tell me. Seven weeks before the primary, is this information that's worthy of the spilling of a little virtual ink?

4:07 PM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:07 PM, April 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cf said...
"Not one of Filson's supporters on this blog has ever said anything negative about McNerney. Too bad McNerney's supporters can't say the same regarding Filson."

Exactly right. this is why Filson is going to lose. He doesnt understand the art of war. He's running this campaign like he will represent the district if he were to win. go along to get along. He would be Congressman Who? Pombo would beat him like a wicked stepmother if he were to win.

But he won't. No passion.

4:20 PM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Well, you know Babaloo, I have been part of many groups over the years, and they all descend into finger-pointing and innuendo and back-biting at some point. Just the nature of humans. It's like we all never left high school or something. And this goes for spiritual groups as well, where everyone is trying to achieve a "higher consciousness" (yuk, yuk) as well as your run-of-the-mill political groups.

What I am talking about is trying to keep the focus on Pombo and attacking him. HE's the bad guy, not Filson or DCCC or R Kellar or whomever else is in your sights.

The field is wide open to slam on Pombo, and there is a lot of effort we all can make to dig up the dirt on him and mount campaigns against him, in whatever way. Many of us are actively doing that and would like to see this blog work in that direction also. Why? Because that is what will win the election, not endless obsession with Filson and the DCCC/Tauscher machinations.

I am reminded of the motto of a college alternative paper I once read, the Great Swamp Gazette: "Clear thinking out of the muck and mire".

Yes, the Filson campaign and the McNerney campaign are not perfect and have interpersonal squabbling and incompetent people at times, I am sure. (Even Thomas probably does, though I am sure it is just him arguing with himself.) I hear stories about the McCloskey campaign. And I am sure there is a lot of this in the Pombo RV, though they might all be fat and happy from the free beer they get on the taxpayers' dime.

Anyway, I have found it better to put on a happy face and smile through the muck and mire. It is just part of it. "The lotus flower blooms from out of the mud."

You make more friends if you make them laugh and tone down the criticism. We need to be building coalitions not snow forts to throw snow balls at each other. "Coaltion" means "yes, that guy is a jerk, but I will work with him because we share the same goal."

I know, this is a serious issue, and you may think I am being frivilous, etc, etc. But really, think of what makes people happy and gets them laughing. Lighten up a bit. Go smoke a joint or something. It's not that serious, in the big scheme of things.

Otherwise this blog will become known as the Blog Involving Totally Clueless Harping (I will let the readers put that acronym together!).

Ha, ha!!

4:35 PM, April 20, 2006  
Anonymous Some Other Guy said...

Haha. I'm flattered, a whole post devoted to little ole me. One problem though.... *double checks* ....yep, I'm still all male. Sorry I wasn't clever enough to connect the name I post under with my real name initials (which for the record are DT). If my Dean friend ever happens to pop over here and add a comment, I'll be sure to let him know to use a name that utilizes his initials so ya'll can cleverly deduce just who he is. Hahahahahahaha. This post made my day.

7:39 PM, April 20, 2006  
Anonymous jbmendel said...

Just a thought: if Filson's staff were engaged in "internecine turf wars," why in the hell would they choose SNTP as a place to do it?

Maybe there's a reasonable answer to that question that I'm missing, but unlike me [watching reruns of Arrested Development], they must have better things to do with their time.

11:04 PM, April 20, 2006  

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