Friday, June 09, 2006

Project Vote Smart & NPAT, Part 1

A recent SF Chron article has Pombo's consultant Wayne Johnson saying this about McNerney:
In a survey on the Project Vote Smart Web page, McNerney said he supports slight increases in alcohol, cigarette, inheritance and gasoline taxes. He wants large increases in capital gains and corporate taxes. "On just about every issue, he is on the wrong side for the district," Johnson said. "I've never seen a political suicide note this long."

I will get to what McNerney answered there in another post, but here is what the site says about Richard Pombo:

REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD W. POMBO HAS REFUSED TO PROVIDE ANY RESPONSES TO CITIZENS ON ISSUES THROUGH THE 2006 NATIONAL POLITICAL AWARENESS TEST.

REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD W. POMBO REFUSED TO PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION WHEN ASKED TO DO SO ON 2 SEPARATE OCCASIONS BY:

John McCain, Republican Senator
Geraldine Ferraro, Former Democratic Congresswoman
Michael Dukakis, Former Democratic Governor
Bill Frenzel, Former Republican Congressman
Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President

THIS CANDIDATE WILL BE ASKED AGAIN TO PROVIDE RESPONSES DURING THE GENERAL ELECTION.


The last one Pombo filled out was in 1994. See this link.

Wayne Johnson has the nerve to criticize McNerney when his own candidate refuses to fill out such a basic request for information for voters, even when asked twice by a major supporter, Sen. McCain! The NPAT is "a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office". I guess the more voters are kept in the the dark about Pombo, the better.

And next, Johnson violated the Project Vote Smart terms of usage. The site states, quite clearly, in bold "Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any negative campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches."

The above quotation from Johnson is the first shot in what is looking to be Pombo's negative campaign against McNerney this fall. Already, they are violating ethical boundaries in using the Project Vote Smart name to attack McNerney. What would we expect, given Pombo's long history of unethical behavior? I already know what the ethically challenged Pombo will self-righteously claim: "I have never broken any rules in the House of Representatives. I have never broken any laws. All I have done is fight for what is right," as he declared at a candidate forum in May.

That line is right up there with Clinton's "I never had sex with that woman".

13 Comments:

Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Mr VPO!

Rocky here wit his mornin cuppa Joe, which is Peets of course, cuz like he sed he don't drink friggin Starbucks but he is still a loyal coffee-drinkin Dem and ain't never does Rocky drink out of a friggin teapot even if it wuz soived up under a dome wit a scandal on duh side - which is duh way ButtaPombO like it, if youse know what I mean. In fact, he don't drink it UNLESS it cums wit a scandal on duh side and a healthy dollop of Jack-off's creamer.

Now Rocky don't know how you and Mr $.02 and Ms Delta cum up wit all dis good stuff, but youse guys always manage to get the dope foist. Is youse guys drug dealers or what? And does anybody on dis friggin blot woik fer a livin?

Anyways, wit all do respect, while dis is a great post, Rocky has loined dat whatever duh dealer puts on duh table don't mean nuttin on duh play, meanin we can talk about whaddever we want, right?

So Rocky wanna get back to a question he posed dat nobody sed nuttin about which to Rocky's way of tinkin is duh most critical question of duh next few weeks: What are we Dems gonna do to bring in duh supporters of duh Fightin One and BeanO to join our "Flush ButtaPombO in 06"?

Youse tinkers need to put sum of yer brains on to ponder dis question, while youse whiners and bellyachers need to shut yer traps fer a few threads so we can adequately discuss dis issue.

Rocky out. Yo Mr $.02! Yo Ms Delta! Yo Nick! Yo Mr cf! Yo Pretty Goil! And yeah, yo Rickey and Gibby Boy! Please put all yer brainpower to ponderin dis simple question, as dis is duh friggin key to victory. Have any of youse ever met a Republican? What are dey like? Dey can't all be bad cuz almost 40% rejected ButtaPombO so don't go insultin 'em.

9:02 AM, June 09, 2006  
Anonymous jbmendel said...

A big congratulations to Jerry and his team!

This isn't terribly pertinent, but Rocky's drug-dealer question reminded me about a voter I met while canvassing last week.

He said not to bother trying to convince him not to vote for Pombo because, "I used to smoke pot with the guy."

So there you have it.

10:19 AM, June 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how he supported the following in 1994:

2. Do you support the principle of limiting the number of terms U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives can serve in Congress? Yes

Environmental Clean Up and Enforcement: Maintain Status

1. Should the federal government adopt a policy of limiting or banning Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to federal candidates? Yes

11:28 AM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

First to Rocky: Yes, I think that kind of discussion needs to take place about strategy. That should be another topic here and I will see about posting it, unless Delta gets back from his swim and beats me to it.

Meanwhile, the Project Voter Smart abuse by Wayne Johnson is something that the media should pick up on. Maybe Lisa V will put it into her political notes.

I hope my exposing this malfeasance by Johnson gets wider exposure. On the Malfeasance Scale, however, I will admit this in the low teens. It just shows the continuing low level of ethics and the type of false negativity they will hammer McNerney with.

More important, McNerney can use this info. I know McNerney's team was still finishing off the keg after the primary, but Pombo came right out of the box framing McNerney. I am trying to provide ammo here for Team McNerney to fire back. It is not so much that the Malfeasance Level is low on this, it is that McNerney could have immediately countered Pombo in the papers with "the porker never even filled out the goddam thing, so what the hell is he talking about?" (though in more professional terms, of course).

1:21 PM, June 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (with an admonition to our friend VPO)

Before you get all hot and bothered under the collar about the Dickster's refusal to fill out the "Vote Smart" questionaire, you might want to do your homework and see how the other members of the Bay area Congressional delegation (Pelosi, Tauscher, Miller, Cardoza, Woolsey, Lantos, Honda, Lofgren, Stark, Lee and Eshoo) reacted to that same questionaire.

I did.

$.02 out.

3:15 PM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

It is not whether Pombo filled it out or not, it is that he is criticizing McNerney's answers when he himself has not fill it out since 1994.

Also, as an above poster noted, he put down in 1994 that he was in favor of term limits and other interesting answers.

So if he is going to use the Project Voter Smart as a guide, he should apply the same standards to himself and his answers.

But thanks for the heads-up about the other representatives. I am sure they get enough of these surveys to fill out. What is interesting is how Pombo is trying to dig up anything at all to tar McNerney, and at this early in the game.

I think it would have been an excellent answer for McNerney to respond with both "Pombo never even filled it out" and "when he did fill it out in 1994, he was in favor of term limits that he has now exceeded."

3:31 PM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I want to make this point again, just to be clear:

Pombo came right off the primary attacking McNerney and framing him as a "tax and spend liberal". Pombo (through Johnson) used the Project Voter Smart as a way to say, "here it is in McNerney's own writing".

McNerney needed to respond and kill the Project Voter Smart story right away. The way to kill it is not to respond to what he answered, as that is undeniable. Instead, he needed to turn the attack around and reflect the it back to Pombo with the remarks I said above.

That would have been a very smart way to respond to this. It would have turned the discussion from what McNerney answered back to Pombo, and make him look like he was skipping out on being accountable to voters. It would have made Pombo's answers in 1994 an issue, thereby casting Project Voter Smart as suspect and negating the attack.

It is not about right and wrong. It is about playing the game.

3:57 PM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger JLou said...

I'm not so sure; to me, it doesn't matter whether or not Pombo filled a questionnaire out or not -- at least as a voter, that's not what I would really care about. It just doesn't strike me as a strong counterargument or one that can be easily summed up in a way that will stick with voters. McNerney needs to come up with a fast and strong counter-attack/defense to Johnson's BS.

That article in the Chron might as well have been written by Pombo himself. This isn't really about the questionnaire at all. It's about framing the candidates and setting the tone for the next 6 months. Wayne, within 24 hours of the election, is starting to frame the race in their favor -- the trick is going to be to get on the offensive and be aggressive so that we keep the focus on Pombo and his dirty deeds.

5:14 PM, June 09, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Exactly, JLou, that's my point. Pombo/Johnson charged out of the starting gate framing away. "McNerney-Taxes-Liberal". There has to be a counter to this, otherwise, McNerney will allow Pombo to define him in the voters' mind before he gets any wind in his sails.

That's why I offered the strategy to fight the "Project Voter Smart" attack. He has to respond with something to these attacks, doesn't even matter if he answers the charges directly, as long as he can deflect and confuse the attack.

Rocky always calls them the "Fightin Irish". Let's see some of that spirit here.

7:55 PM, June 09, 2006  
Anonymous rick said...

To dovetail off of what "Mr. 2%" said, Project Vote Smart is one of many political organizations that sends out questionnaires to candidates. Most of these questionnaires (including Project Vote Smart) are designed to pigeon hole candidates into firm yes/no positions.

Unless a candidate is serious about winning the endorsement of particular group, it's to his or her advantage to not respond to loaded questionnaires. Pombo has every right not to respond to these questionnaires, just as McNerney does. Moreover, why open up flanks on insignificant issues such as of alcohol taxes or tobacco taxes when it is not necessary?

In a nutshell, this issue is really about picking one's battles carefully.

10:01 PM, June 10, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Rick, I have to agree. What was the point in filling this out, thereby giving Pombo an opening to say Jerry is in favor of "raising taxes", a sure way to drive away voters? Especially problematic is that Jerry was only in favor of "slightly increasing" cigarette, alcohol, and gas taxes. If he was only slightly in favor of it, why not just pass on the question? Actually, the answer there should have been "slightly or greatly decrease" if he wanted to win votes.

For capital gains and corporate taxes, he put "greatly increase", which is sure to drive away even more voters. In fact, even I am in favor of reducing capital gains and corporate taxes.

The reality in modern day politics is that you should never be in favor of raising any taxes. People want their cake and to eat it too. Why be the loser candidate who decides to act like an adult and tell the voters that someone has to pay for all this? You can talk about a vague "fiscal responsibility" and about "the Deficit", but never advocate raising taxes.

As Wayne Johnson said, it is a political suicide note and it seems they plan to make it well known to voters.

Here we go, the Swift Boating of Jerry, unless he can be smarter than John Kerry and respond to these attacks quickly and thoroughly. He needs to define himself to voters as "The Innovator who can solve the Energy Crisis and bring Prosperity to San Joaquin through Renewable Energy" before Pombo has a chance to frame Jerry as just another "Bay Area, tax and spend, friend of Pelosi, Liberal".

10:47 PM, June 10, 2006  
Anonymous mariposa said...

Project Vote Smart.

This has come under fire for being idealistic. The info supplied has been used - instead of informing voters - as a way to attack participants.

Where I am there was this dopelganger in '04 called - Project Smart Vote - a mirror site funded by a think tank in Virginia (if I recall) funding uber Christian Dominionist positions...

That is not to say Vote Smart isn't a good idea, but it is used by evil forces to make candidates targets, or mislead with similarly named shadow sites...

7:24 AM, June 11, 2006  
Blogger JLou said...

VPO, you're right about the way Jerry should portray himself, I think. The most important thing is going to be making sure when voters think "Pombo," they think "corruption." This race is going to be much more about defeating Pombo than Jerry winning, if that makes sense. So maybe the best way to respond to the VoteSmart thing is to just immediately bring it back to the fact that Pombo cuts taxes for the super-rich and then puts middle-class taxpayers' money in the hands of big oil, big gas and, above all, in his own pocket. Meanwhile, Jerry is for accountability and responsibility to taxpayers...

9:50 AM, June 11, 2006  

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