Archive for DC

Former Cruz consultant blasts GOP, conservatives

GOP

I’ve asked for permission from a friend of mine to repost a Facebook status he posted tonight on the GOP and the conservative movement.

I’ve known Tommy Sears for several years. We’ve commiserated about football when his Dawgs (UGA) and my Tigers (Clemson) had bad seasons and talked very little smack when they played each other (my mom went to UGA.)

We talked about things Southern expats in DC talk about (in our case Zaxby’s came up a few times.) When I met him he worked at the Center for Military Readiness in DC and I knew he had also gone to grad school at Georgetown (Hoya Saxa – I was there ’92-’93.) Since then he’s worked for the Faith & Freedom Coalition and then went to work as a consultant for the Cruz campaign last fall in Texas.

The GOP and the Conservative Movement in DC

I heard recently he’d left the Cruz campaign and then tonight he posted something that is worth your time to read – on both the GOP and the conservative movement as it exists in DC and across America. So without further ado, the rest of this post is what he wrote tonight on Facebook:

Almost 3 weeks ago I made the decision to leave Washington, DC and return to my beloved home state of Georgia. As I sit here back in my old hometown tonight watching Donald Trump deliver the final coup d’ grace to Ted Cruz in this Republican presidential primary, I have the oft-invoked benefit of hindsight in being proven right in that decision. Having been a Cruz campaign consultant (the vast majority of that time through a 3rd-party contractor), and a staunch Cruz supporter before and since, I take no satisfaction in his defeat tonight, save for the minor speed bump it may mean to Cruz campaign senior staffers Jeff Roe, Mark Campbell, and Chris Wilson, who saw fit to throw me overboard. Despite what is no doubt a disappointing end to a tactically brilliant campaign (as I’ve consistently said, far and away the best in my personal experience—among many under my belt), these hired guns will be just fine. Even in defeat, their individual campaign/consulting businesses will be able to lay claim to going deep with myriad victories in a GOP presidential nomination fight not seen in over a generation. And therein lies the now-chronic, and in my opinion, fatal problem with Republicanism, and now, conservatism.
I decided to leave DC after the latest of seemingly countless conservative conclaves that I’d attended, spoken at, or planned/organized/directed over the last 20-plus years. During this last meeting, I had the proverbial “moment of clarity”: for those last 6-7 hours, I had been listening to the same people saying the same things ahead of the next “most important election of our lifetimes” that I had for the last decade. And nothing had changed. Despite healthy Republican Congressional majorities and one two-term Republican presidency during my years in DC, Leftism in the United States continues to march headlong. My stark realization: The vast majority of leaders of the so-called “conservative movement” are as feckless and corrupt as the Republican party and congressional leadership that they, in exquisite irony, criticize relentlessly in order to preserve and advance their own places of power. All decisions are predicated on the prospects for, effect on, and ability to execute near-ceaseless fundraising or developing other revenue streams, and maintaining their and their organizations’ profile. They are as wedded to their perks of office/station, influence, prestige and yes, (perhaps even more so) money than their perpetual RINO/RNC/congressional Republican leadership foils.

There are a couple of admonitions by one of these prominent leaders: “Don’t fully trust anyone until he has stuck with a good cause which he saw was losing,” and “A well-run movement takes care of its own.” I have seen precious little recognition of the former in a decade of working with conservative movement leaders, and with regard to the latter, the movement is in critical condition. The conclusion that I have personally come to, and believe has been further confirmed tonight, is that the current party and “movement” infrastructure of conservatism (which in my mind should be synonymous with constitutionalism) is irredeemable. I will not vote for the truly dangerous, entitled, narcissist charlatan Trump, like many other committed conservatives. In my humble opinion, the only chance to reclaim even a portion of the promise of the nation our founders envisioned and intended is not through a third party, but replacing the Republican party. I have no idea whether that can happen in the midst of an otherwise sure-to-be nasty and brutal presidential race; my practical political sense is no, but I still have a ways to go on the clarity thing. All I can say at this stage is, whether now or later, conservatism will never prevail without wholly new leaders and a vehicle for its principles and programs. That is no longer to be found in the Republican party or today’s “conservative movement.” ‪#‎NeverTrump‬

An alternative to the GOP this fall?

Sears also made an addendum in the comments:

Just to add above, just because I think it’s hard, nigh impossible to run an alternative candidate/build an alternative conservative party before November does not mean it should not be tried.

Tommy makes some good points to consider whether you agree or disagree with him.

Baltimore Sun hasn’t corrected Jack Mehoff story

Jack Mehoff 3

The above screen capture is from a search of baltimoresun.com for story corrections. The search result indicates it’s the Corrections and Clarifications page at http://www.baltimoresun.com/corrections. The Baltimore Sun has apparently decided it no longer has a need for a page detailing corrections. They apparently don’t even see the need for correcting a story in which they quoted someone named “Jack Mehoff” this week.

That would match the philosophy they are following in their non-response to the Ian Duncan story in The Baltimore Sun Thursday quoting someone named “Jack Mehoff” at a Donald Trump event on the Eastern Shore.

As of 11 a.m. today, the original Ian Duncan story filed online at 10:44 p.m. Wednesday night still contains this line:

Jack Mehoff, 19, praised Trump as a “hardworking, smart individual that wants the best for all people in this country that are allowed to be here.”

When I originally wrote about this yesterday morning, I expected a correction or update of some sort, perhaps with an editor’s note. Maybe I should’ve known better, but my expectations for The Sun to do the right thing were apparently too high.

Here’s a tweet from yesterday showing that the story appeared in the print edition:

The newspaper made one response via Twitter, telling the person who made the above tweet:

Editors are looking into this. Thanks for pointing it out.

I’m not sure what is taking them so long, unless they’re just stalling and hoping people forget about it.

Baltimore Sun embarrased by Jack Mehoff story

Even though they seem to be ignoring the issue and hoping it goes down the memory hole, it has already gotten the newspaper plenty of unwanted attention.

Erik Wemple of The Washington Post wrote the following about it:

Contacted about this dicey name, Duncan declined to comment and instead pointed the Erik Wemple Blog to his Twitter account:

Wemple and media critic Jim Romenesko noted that there were anywhere from 1-3 phone listings for people named Jack Mehoff in Maryland. However, that is meaningless. I know people who have given fake names for phone listings going back 20 years because phone companies have traditionally charged for having an unlisted number, but don’t if you give an alias.

They should have checked other databases, like the Maryland Judiciary Case Search. I discovered searching for the last name of Mehoff there that one person, a Jackson Five Mehoff born in 1985, was charged with disturbing the peace in Upper Marlboro in 2010. The charges were nolle prossed a few weeks later. I suspect the charges were dropped when officials figured out it was a fake name. There was no known address for this suspect, only a date of birth and physical description.

In other words, there’s only one person, who would be 31 now, with the right last name showing up in all of the civil and criminal case information online in Maryland.

Mediaite also wrote about it:

To the delight of fifth-graders everywhere, The Baltimore Sun has set the internet on fire by publishing a report on a Donald Trump rally in Maryland that featured a quote from a Trump supporter with a, shall we say, extremely suspect moniker

Noted hack Tommy Christopher defends Ian Duncan in the Mediaite piece, by saying among other things:

The best part is that the name and the quote remain in the story, because unless he can track down that supporter, as Duncan points out, there’s really nothing to correct

The above Christopher comment is referring to Duncan’s tweet that says

At this point I have no way to prove I didn’t meet a real life Jack Mehoff who is a Trump supporter. But erm… Yeah.

Way to read something into it that isn’t there, Tommy.

In the past, Christopher has been regularly embroiled in controversy for saying dumb things – like his statement that the NSA scandal is a “white people problem.”  Christopher has been fired from Mediaite at least once and later returned.

If the best defense that The Baltimore Sun and Ian Duncan have going for them is the above one from Tommy Christopher, it shows they’ve failed.

Jack Mehoff and the Lack of Transparency at the Baltimore Sun

The fact that The Baltimore Sun published the story in the print edition and still has it uncorrected online shows systemic problems at the paper.

If Ian Duncan had been the only one to fall for the apparent prank, it would’ve only reflected on him in a bad way.

For it to get past the fact checking of an editor possibly shows a rush to get the story published that outweighed a concern for the truth.

I’d like to know if any editor actually questioned Duncan about the Jack Mehoff name Wednesday night as he filed his story.

After the breakdown that led to the quote being included, it doesn’t seem like Duncan really cares that much about it. His tweets on the matter seem pretty apathetic, rather than defensive/accurate like Tommy Christopher asserts.

The fact that what had been a page on the Sun website to list clarifications and corrections is now gone shows all you need to know about the Sun and transparency.

I tried to reach Mike Hunt, Mike Rotch, and Amanda Huginkiss for their comment on this matter but they were unavailable.

Anti-Trump Ad Airing in Baltimore

Anti-Trump

Earlier today, The Washington Post reported on a memo by an Anti-Trump Super PAC that will be airing ads in the Baltimore television market.

The group says in the memo that Trump has a “nearly impossible path” moving forward and counters Trump campaign talking points that he will have 1,400 delegates after the primaries and will win a first ballot nomination in Cleveland.

From the story:

In its Thursday analysis, Our Principles PAC calls the Trump campaign’s prediction “detached from reality.”

“In order to secure 1,400 delegates, he would have to win 82% of all remaining delegates, a task simply not possible for him or any candidate at this stage in the process,” the memorandum states. It goes on to detail how Trump faces many obstacles and that “there are dozens of viable and plausible outcomes that will leave Trump well short of the required 1,237 delegates.”

Looking ahead to the five primaries in the Northeast on April 26, sometimes called the “Acela Primary,” Our Principles PAC concedes that Trump is likely to have sweeping victories: “… our planning assumes Trump can win nearly all of the bound delegates without improving his very slim chances.”

Watch the Anti-Trump Ad

Read the Anti-Trump Memo

Here’s the Our Principles PAC memo:

TO: INTERESTED PARTIES

FROM: OUR PRINCIPLES PAC

SUBJECT: DELEGATE MATH UPDATE – NEW YORK REALITY CHECK

DATE: APRIL 21, 2016

Read More…

Baltimore Sun quotes “Jack Mehoff” in Trump story

Baltimore Sun

A friend in DC posted about a story from The Baltimore Sun on Facebook today.

Ian Duncan, a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, filed a story at 10:44 p.m. Wednesday night about the visit of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to the Eastern Shore yesterday.

From the story:

Jack Mehoff, 19, praised Trump as a “hardworking, smart individual that wants the best for all people in this country that are allowed to be here.”

Here’s the screenshot from Duncan’s story if you don’t believe it (and for when they eventually change it – likely without an editor’s note):

jack mehoff

Mr. Mehoff – whatever his real name is – is identified as 19 years old in the story. It appears Duncan and his editors were fooled by a grade school prank worthy of Bart Simpson.

The Jack Mehoff name is all over Google and even has an Urban Dictionary entry. Black Sheep, a movie featuring the late great Chris Farley, even used this prank:

Bart Simpson made a habit of making prank calls to Moe’s Tavern on The Simpsons. Here are a few of his best examples:

The Baltimore Sun is not alone

There’s a Wikipedia entry on gag names that includes one of the most famous media pranks I remember. James Scott of the Charleston Post & Courier quoted a protester at the Master’s golf tournament in Augusta named “Heywood Jablome.” The protester was there counter-protesting Martha Burke’s protests over Augusta National’s lack of women members at the time. There are other examples in the Wikipedia entry.

Additionally, in 2013,  KTVU and USA Today were both pranked by someone calling himself “Jack Mehoff.”

Jack Mehoff 2

It’s one thing if a reporter falls for it, but it’s even more embarassing if it survives being edited. Despite the lateness of the hour this story did make the print edition today.

John Delaney’s Pro-Abortion Extremism

John Delaney

John Delaney is a pro-abortion extremist. Nominating a pro-abortion Republican, or one who is otherwise confused on the issues, won’t make it any easier to knock him off in November.

John Delaney’s Extremist Views

On September 18, 2015, Delaney voted against H.R. 3504. That bill, also known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, would protect babies born as the result of a botched abortion.

More from GovTrack:

H.R. 3504 would require that a child born alive during an attempted abortion be given the same medical treatment as any other child born at that gestation time would be. It would impose criminal penalties of fines or imprisonment of up to five years on medical practitioners that fail to do this, as well as punish medical practitioners that intentionally kill or attempt to kill a born-alive child for having intentionally killed or attempted to kill a human being.

A friend and former colleague of mine, Jill Stanek, witnessed babies being left to die after botched abortions when she worked as a nurse in Illinois. She testified before a U.S. House Committee on legislation in 2000 and before that she testified before a State Senate committee in Illinois. She noted that in both cases Barack Obama opposed protecting children who were born as the result of an unsuccessful abortion.

John Delaney thinks it’s just fine to let living, breathing babies die after a failed abortion. Any candidate running against him who is pro-abortion or otherwise wobbly on the issues involved will forfeit any moral authority.

Also on September 18 last year, Delaney voted against H.R. 3134, which would have defunded Planned Parenthood.

On October 23, 2015, John Delaney voted against a reconcilation bill, H.R. 3762, that also would have defunded Planned Parenthood. The bill passed the Senate and was immediately vetoed by President Barack Obama. On February 2, 2016, Delaney voted against overriding the reconciliation bill’s veto.

In light of all the video evidence that emerged last year, and all the other evidence against the nation’s largest abortion provider, it is unconscionable that anyone would support continued funding for the abortion giant.

Delaney also voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in a vote last May. This bill would have restricted abortion at the 20th week of pregnancy and beyond, where the unborn child is feeling pain, except in the case of rape and incest. This restriction is supported by the vast majority of Americans, with a higher percentage of men supporting it than women.

If you’re seeking the nomination to run against Delaney, and all you say is that the abortion issue is “settled law” then you show your ignorance of all the issues and nuances involved.

Who Shares John Delaney’s Views?

Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have shared Delaney’s views. In fact, the Gipper famously proclaimed, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”

While some “libertarians” in the Republican Party claim that a position supporting abortion is “pro-liberty”, that’s just not the case. Rand Paul is one of many in the pro-liberty movement who don’t find supporting abortion to be consistent with liberty.

David Vogt and Frank Howard don’t share John Delaney’s views. Vogt was endorsed by Maryland Right to Life in the Republican Primary next week in MD-6. Howard is pro-life and a supporter of Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life group.

Others who actually share John Delaney’s views include Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Martin O’Malley, and Donna Edwards. It’s notable that Edwards was endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Edwards has also been endorsed by Emily’s List.

Read More…