Friday, February 16, 2007

Political dirty tricks against Faisal Gill?

The 51st district delegate seat is being contested this year, and the Republicans have two good candidates, Faisal Gill and Julie Lucas. This entry will unfortunately not discuss the merits of these two candidates. Both are fine people, and I am not endorsing either candidate here. I don't live in the district so I won't vote for either of them.

A concerted effort has been underfoot by two bloggers, Greg over at BVBL, and Jonathan over at GoodbyeJim, to undermine the campaign of Faisal Gill through less than honorable means.

For example, this post by Greg "No, Faisal Gill is not an Iraqi" essentially attacks Gill for being a Pakistani, by showing pictures of people in Pakistan doing bad things.

Greg/BVBL is being sued for six figures by Steve Chapman, and Faisal Gill's law firm is representing Steve in that lawsuit. Greg says this has no bearing on his attacks, although he also admits that much of the dirt he is now shoveling he dug up researching the law firm in response to the lawsuit.

It is possible that Greg's efforts to bury Faisal under a cloud of mud encouraged Julie Lucas to run for this office. Greg never said he was contacting Julie to ask her to run, but claimed a week before she announced that "Gill will be opposed in his quest", and later that he knew she was running. Julie registered to run on the last day of registration, and it is believed she decided at the last minute. Only Julie knows whether her decision to run was influenced by the mudslinging against Faisal by Greg and Jonathan -- but in any case, her reasons for running are not an issue for her campaign, and not the topic of this post.

UPDATE: Commenter Riley says Lucas was always going to run, but was just waiting till after the special election for Mike May.

Jonathan and Greg are adamant that Gill be stopped. Greg has gone so far as to edit Gill's Wikipedia entry, and to invite others who share his opinion of Gill to contribute to the cause. Greg has also done good effort to stop the trashing of Delegate Bob Marshall's Wikipedia entry, so he's no stranger to how political tricksters can use Wiki to undercut a candidate.

The attacks on Gill regularly reference Abdul al-Amoudi, a person guilty of crimes related to terror organizations, who was once the head of the organization “American Muslim Council” . They also prominently discuss Sami al-Arian, another notorious figure.

Greg attacked Gill for comments by anonymous commenters. In "Antisemites for Faisal Gill", (the title is itself a baseless attack), Greg says "About the absolute dumbest move Faisal Gill could make would be to have his supporters start trying to defend him with jewbaiting, racist comments like this", thus blaming Gill for anonymous posters to Greg's web site.

So one has to wonder when, two weeks after Lucas enters the race, a new blog pops up (http: //asiminpwc.blogspot.com, I refuse to provide a direct link) (start date Monday, February 12), purporting to be run by a "Pakistani" in Prince William. The web site has pictures of, surprise, al-Amoudi and al-Arian, calling them "political prisoners". It has only a few posts, mostly anti-Jewish or pro-Muslim. Oh, and one post expressing support for a "fellow Pakistani", Faisal Gill.

The site is so heavy-handed that even Greg called the site "A Disturbing Distraction", although he suggested the guy is real, calling him "a rather disturbing Faisal Gill supporter".

I suppose that is remotely possible. But everything about the site screams "political hit job", and reminds me of the Jeff Dion web site "DevelopersForMikeMay", set up to attack his opponent in his failed bid for supervisor. The site seems written by someone who has read Greg's posts and the comments, who lifted the concepts to make a caricature of a "Gill supporter" spewing anti-Jewish, pro-terror comments.

There's this hint as to the nature of the person behind the site: The site's link to Gill's web site is wrong. Gill's web site is simply "FaisalGill.com". Julie's is "voteJulieLucas.com". And the bad link? "VoteFaisalGill.com". Note it is named like Lucas's site, not Gill's site. Quite a mistake for a person who supposedly supports Gill, to have a link that doesn't reach Gill's site but is formed the same way as his opponent's web site.

It seems someone interested in destroying Gill has latched onto the attacks made by Greg and John and have taken them one giant step further.

Now, Greg's attacks are misguided and wrong-headed, but I don't believe motivated by the kind of hatred seen in this new web site.

I am certain that neither Faisal Gill, or Julie Lucas, have anything to do with this site. But it sure seems the web site is NOT what it claims to be -- the question is whether the person who started it is a Lucas supporter, or just a Gill hater.

I'll mirror what Greg said -- Lucas cannot be smeared with the existence of this site. A candidate cannot be held responsible for what crazed supporters (or crazed opponents of opponents) do on their behalf.

The person who is using this web site to smear Gill by association should be exposed. Although he/she is really just taking what Greg and Jonathan are doing (smear-by-association) to a much meaner, evil level.

2 comments:

Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

It is possible that Greg's efforts to bury Faisal under a cloud of mud encouraged Julie Lucas to run for this office. Greg never said he was contacting Julie to ask her to run, but claimed a week before she announced that "Gill will be opposed in his quest", and later that he knew she was running. Julie registered to run on the last day of registration, and it is believed she decided at the last minute. Only Julie knows whether her decision to run was influenced by the mudslinging against Faisal by Greg and Jonathan -- but in any case, her reasons for running are not an issue for her campaign, and not the topic of this post.

Actually, both Scott Hirons and myself know as well. Julie has been interested in the McQuigg seat for years, even before Faisal moved into the district (he previously lived in the 52nd.) She has been laying the groundwork for a possible run for a long time, so this is definitely not a last minute thing. She held off on filing on account of Mike May's election, only doing so at the last minute and delaying her announcement until after the special election.

As for Greg's knowledge of Julie's impending run, I emailed him to let him know that she would be running, but not to disclose her name until she was ready to file herself -- that was a request from her again due to Mike May's special election.

James Young said...

"Asim" strikes me as simply only a little more extreme that Greg. What is even more amazing is the fact that both Greg, Jonathan Mark, and the children at Raising Dough, ... er, "Raising Kaine," jumped all over this.