Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Post Misses Mark in Caddigan Article

Yesterday I wrote about the Maureen Caddigan rant about not supporting Corey Stewart.

Tonight I want to look more into the absurdity of the article itself. From the Washington Post: Caddigan Might Not Support Stewart:
"I think he did everything in his power to work against me," Caddigan said. "He asked three people to run against me, and I certainly won't be supporting him in November."
So, who were these three people? I've learned that the Washington Post contacted at least one person who was supposedly "recruited". That person told the Post the story was false. The Post chose not to include that denial.

We can assume the Post tried to contac the other two people and failed to get confirmation.
Stewart said that he did not support Caddigan's opponent, Charles C. Brewer, directly or indirectly, and that he never recruited anyone to run against her in the primary.

"I didn't support anyone in the race," Stewart said. "I kept my finger off that one. I didn't support Brewer; I didn't endorse him. I know she thinks I somehow recruited him, but that's not true."
And in fact there is no evidence, even in this article, that anybody was recruited, or that Stewart offered his support to Brewer.
Brewer did not respond to a call seeking comment.
And yet the Post was in such a hurry to run this story that they couldn't wait for confirmation from Brewer. The election isn't for another five months, so what exactly was the rush for the Post to print this without Brewer's side of the story?
Caddigan said Stewart worked against her right up until the primary by asking people to hand out Brewer literature at polling locations in the Dumfries District. Stewart said that he never asked anyone to work the polls for Brewer.
Given other inaccuracies, I believe Stewart. But seriously, is this what she means by "support"? Asking people to help hand out literature? Did Brewer not have enough people to man the 8 polling places? And would Corey have to beg people to man the polls? And would Corey, having obviously avoided all public comment, then called people to work for Brewer who would talk about it?
One person active in the county Republican Party disputed Stewart's assertion that he didn't support Brewer. The activist said that Stewart came to him early in the primary campaign and asked him to support Brewer in the election. On primary day the Republican activist said a Brewer poll worker told him that Stewart had asked him to work that day for Brewer.

Stewart "was definitely helping out," said the Republican activist, who requested anonymity because he did not want to get caught up in the intraparty squabble. "He called me when the campaign started and told me that there was a guy out there running against Caddigan and that I might want to take a look at him and consider helping him."
An unnamed "activist" who does not "want to get caught up" in the squabble. How believable is this? If his story is true, Stewart asked him to help, which means Stewart knows who he is. And Maureen knows who he is, because Maureen gave his name to the Post. So why is he "anonymous", if the two people involved both know who he is? And how do you stay "out of" a squabble by talking publicly to the Washington Post.

To believe this, you have to believe that Corey Stewart, wanting to keep his intentions hidden, nevertheless actively recruited an "activist" who not only wouldn't listen, but would turn on Corey to the Washington Post.

Further, Maureen said Corey tried to recruit 3 people to RUN against her, but this "activist" says Corey "early in the primary" asked him to support BREWER. If so, why was Corey also asking others to run? Probably because Corey was NOT asking others to run, nor was he actively supporting Brewer.

Lastly, even if you BELIEVE this unnamed anonymous "source", he gives no evidence that COREY supported Brewer. At best, he shows that Corey tried to talk OTHER people into supporting Brewer.
The tension between Caddigan and Stewart that has been present at some meetings has now spilled out onto the campaign trail. Caddigan called Stewart's support of her opponent "despicable."
When did it become "despicable" to support a Republican candidate in a primary? Frankly, given Maureen's votes on the board, and her support for Pandak in the special election, I think Corey showed great restraint in not publicly endorsing an opponent against her.
"She has a history of supporting Democrats," Stewart said. "Now, I don't think that is the right thing to do. I think that if you are a member of the party, you should support other party nominees or get out of your party."
For example, Maureen supported Kathleen Seefeldt against Sean Connaughton in his first run for the Chair position. And she supported Sharon Pandak against Corey last year. Now, I don't think every Republican needs to support every one of our candidates. But I think our elected Republican officials should support Republicans against Democrats, on principle.

It's not like Maureen is saying she supports the Democratic Platform. She's just saying she is upset Corey doesn't like her, and wants to take it out on him by supporting his opponent.
Kopko said that he rejected the moderate and conservative labels and that voters made it clear how they feel about their party by electing Stewart last November and then electing Republican Michael C. May in a special election to fill Stewart's seat from the Occoquan District on the board. He did not mention Caddigan's primary win.
Why would he menton her PRIMARY win when discussing how the Republican Party is defeating Democratic Party candidates? The primary was within the party and doesn't show ANYTHING about how we do against Democrats.
Jenkins, the longest-serving member of the board, said that he thinks Stewart supported Caddigan's opponent and that the election results were a "setback" for the chairman.

"She had an overwhelming vote, over 81 percent, with a low voter turnout that indicates that the people who turned out had a message they wanted to send back," Jenkins said. "I think that it was a setback for him.
Who cares what Jenkins, the only Democrat incumbent left on the board, thinks, since he has no idea what the facts are? This was typical Washington Post, giving a Democrat an unsubstantiated shot at a Republican. Corey didn't support Brewer, but Jenkins says that the Republican incumbent's win is a "setback". Right.
At Caddigan's victory celebration Tuesday night, Pandak showed up to offer her congratulations. Caddigan introduced Pandak to the crowd. Last week, Caddigan said she is considering supporting Pandak against Stewart. If she did that, it is possible that the county Republican Party would try to expel her.
I'd believe that if it was attributed to someone. But since we didn't throw her out when she supported Seefeldt, or when she supported Pandak, I doubt unless she actively campaigns for Pandak that the Republican committee will do anything.

BTW, if you look again at the entire article, there are quotes from Caddigan, Kopko, Stewart, and Jenkins. No other people are mentioned by name, and just one male "activist" is identified anonymously.

Brewer is not quoted, the other 2 supposed "candidates" recruited by Stewart are never mentioned. Also not mentioned is a primary source other than Caddigan for this story -- Jane Beyer. I don't know why she is not quoted or named in the story.

But I've heard that the Post reporter mentioned her by name when trying to confirm the story about candidates being recruited.

The PURPOSE of primaries is to test our incumbents for adherance to the principles of our party. Incumbents should welcome this opportunity to sell what they have done, not go crying to the Washington Post about it.

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