Wednesday, November 01, 2006

attack of the wifebeating mailers

i got a nasty mailer in my mailbox today. it's all about eric dickerson's domestic violence arrest, full of juicy quotes from the indy star about the accusations (that dickerson beat his wife, threatening to kill her, and that he also bit his daughter) and how his "contention that police officers grossly misreported domestic violence case strains credibility." [sic] at the bottom of the mailer, it clearly states "Paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.... Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee"

predictably, advance indiana's gary welsh has gone absolutely apoplectic about the mailer. and unsurprisingly, his post is completely misguided and misinformed.

the post is titled "Carson Plays Race Card To Destroy Dickerson". here's the lead sentence:

In a cheap, ugly display of blatant racism against her African-American opponent Eric Dickerson, Rep. Julia Carson (D) drops a negative attack ad in the mailboxes of white voters to scare them away from voting for Dickerson, playing on white people's worst stereotypes of black men.

carson and dickerson are, of course, both black. gary then goes on to conclude

If you folks aren't convinced that Carson is the dirtiest politician in the history of the state of Indiana, you should be now.

there's only one problem: carson had absolutely nothing to do with the ad. the DCCC sent out the mailer, not carson. gary even blockquotes from a post by matt tully that states in the first sentence that the mailer was sent out by the DCCC.

in the comments to that post, various anonymous commenters insist that julia must have known about the mailer and its content, even if she didn't send it herself.

but there's a problem with that idea, too. it's illegal. DCCC ads and mailers are "independent expenditures", and under federal law, independent expenditures cannot be coordinated with campaigns. the DCCC can dump money into julia's campaign, or they can run ads and send out mailers endorsing her, but they can't coordinate with her about the contents of the mailers they send out.

the obvious rabid-julia-hater response would be "then julia broke the law!" i can't really argue with that... because it's completely stupid and irrational. no matter what you might think of julia, the DCCC isn't so stupid as to flagrantly break the law.

i can't deny that the mailer is brutal. i'm not surprised that republicans are freaking out about it. but if you want to complain, at least make sure you're blaming the right person first. it's a well-known fact that independent expenditures can't legally be coordinated with individual campaigns. so is gary being intentionally deceitful when he tries to blame carson for the DCCC mailer? or is he just ignorant, and too busy looking up the IP addresses of his commenters to research the basic facts before he posts?

update: just as i predicted, gary's response is "big hat tip for calling attention to the obvious federal election law violation". he is totally incapable of admitting when he's wrong. it's kind of sad. also, he tries to "out" me by posting my "real name"... but he got my name wrong.


arratik said...

wasn't "nick berg" the contractor from pennsylvania who was working in iraq when he was kidnapped and beheaded on videotape by insurgents?

Anonymous said...

ok these people commenting on AI have no life? Nothing else to do but pick on congressman from 10 years ago? Do they know anything about Andy Jacobs really? From their comments I think not.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah the name thing is dang funny, what the heck is he trying to prove? Last time he refered to you he would not even say stallio..whatever

Wilson46201 said...

I posted once anonymously (but with my characteristic style and politics with no intent to conceal) at AI to prove a point about anonymity so Gary outted me while he permits Darla Williams and Jocelyn Tandy to post many times under a variety of fake names. When you are in cahoots with Jocelyn, you are looking up at the street gutters!