Monday, March 10, 2008

Response To Jonathan Marks account of conversation

I was checking if any of my older columns had made it back to an accessible part of the internet, and got a hit on my name from my "old friend" Jonathan Marks, who I had a conversation with at the PWC committee of 100.

That conversation prompted me to finish a post I had been working on for a couple of months, (at least part of it), which I posted in the thread "My thoughts about last November".

Anyway, in that conversation, Jonathan had mentioned he wasn't going to post about it, but I told him I didn't really care, and so he decided to put up his view of the conversation at the post "Charles Reichley Said He Wasn't Worried About My Repeating His Comments On The Gill-Nichols Race".

I believe that in his post, he got several of my points partially or mostly wrong. However, it could well be that I simply said the wrong things, and I don't mean this to be an attack on his post.

Instead, since he was simply reporting what he thought my opinion was, I think the best way to handle it is to simply give my actual opinion, as a way of explanation. Normally I'd post a comment, but as I've said before I'm not signing up to post comments to any of his blogs.

So here is my "corrections" to what he posted. His post information will be in italics. My correction will be after each. Before I start, I will say the general issue I have is that his account gives the impression that I knew more about the Gill campaign than I actually did. I think people thought I was involved with the campaign, but I really wasn't. So maybe he simply took my words about the campaign, which were my opinion, and thought they were based on a more intimate knowledge that he thought I had.

Charles said he had urged the Gill campaign people to confront the issue [AMC] head on, because it was on the blogs. The Gill people said that it hadn't hit the newspapers yet, and until it did responding to these concerns would simply publicize them.

I did write e-mails to the campaign urging a more forceful response. But my comment about the newspapers wasn't a response from them, it was just my opinion of why they probably didn't.

Charles said that he had asked Gill if Gill had ever represented an illegal immigrant. Charles said that he got the impression that Gill did very little immigration work. He said that it was someone else in the Gill and Gallinger firm who was doing that kind of work.

The last sentence was my opinion, not anything I received from Gill or his campaign.

I told Charles that this raises the issue of what exactly Gill does for a living. Gill as of last summer was not a member of the bar in Virginia, Maryland or DC. How does Gill earn a living? Charles told me that he did not know. I found this response a little odd. Everyone knows how Paul Nichols, Ken Cuccinelli, Brian Moran, and even Creigh Deeds earn a living. They are all members of the bar. You can meet or hear of people who they have represented.

I don't remember saying I didn't know how he earned his living, but it is correct that I do not know specifically what clients he is representing or how -- but I never asked that question either, and I also don't know exactly what clients any of those other people represent. Frankly, I don't know how a lot of politicians earn a real living. It may well be a mystery, but it's not surprising that I don't know, as I never tried to find out.

To my surprise, Charles questioned whether Faisal would ever be a viable candidate in PWC. ...

However, Charles felt that Faisal was unelectable in this county, and would have to move if he wanted to be an elected official somewhere.

Charles emphasized that he thought that Faisal was a great guy and would make a great elected official. The problem, he said, was that as soon as anyone with influence in PWC proposed Faisal running again that person would be subjected to a storm of ridicule, taunts and hostile invective. It just wouldn't be worth it for public figures to go with Faisal in the future.

I made my actual argument in my previous post which I cited above. I don't think Jonathan quite caught the intent here, but he's not far off. I would use the word "fear" rather than "felt", in that I fear he couldn't run again. It was certainly clear that people got attacked for simply supporting him, in ways I don't remember "endorsees" being attacked before.

Although since then, I've seen an increasing willingness on both sides of the political spectrum to go after people for who they endorse. So it seems it's not confined to this race or this county. I'm not talking about the "questioning of judgment" -- I'm talking about actually making up false claims of bribes against people who endorse others, for example. Personal attacks leveled simply for an endorsement.

Jonathan didn't mention what I thought he would have found the most interesting item -- that I was not originally a Faisal Gill supporter. In fact, I was leaning toward Julie Lucas (although since it wasn't my district, my "leaning" or "supporting" wouldn't have really meant anything). I knew more about Julie, and I knew people I respected who were supporting her.

It wasn't until I got into defending Faisal against false and absurd attacks that I spoke with him and looked at his campaign.

Maybe Jonathan didn't report that because he still doesn't believe it. I've said it before, but I don't think people believed me before either.

Jonathan and I also spoke about having different personas in person and on the web, and I BELIEVE that he said he found me to be a lot in person like I was in the blogs (don't know if he thought that was strange or unusual).

I told him that if I died and had a blogger epitath, that's what I would want on my blogger grave "same in the blogs as in person".

1 comment:

Jonathan Mark said...

Thanks for the corrections and clarifications. I am glad that my website is turning up in Google searches.

I realize now that you never discussed how to handle the AMC issue with the Gill campaign. I think that the Gill campaign handled it in the way that was best for them.

Defending oneself against charges spreads knowledge of the charges. Of the 48 percent of voters who cast their ballots for Gill, how many knew about the AMC?

Raising the matter himself would have cost Gill more votes than it gained him.