Thursday, March 02, 2006

An Email from the Ewert Campaign

I got a message from the Ewert campaign today:

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Again, thanks for your interest in Bern’s campaign. You are running a blog that clearly promotes another candidate. I completely respect and support your decision to do this, but I think it’s not reasonable for you to expect another candidate to contribute to your site. This campaign should be about replacing the current member of Congress. You and I may disagree on who the best person is to do that, but I think Democrats are served best we when promote our own candidates, not spend time tearing each other down. I look forward to work with you after the nomination, for whichever Democrat wins. I hope we can agree on that!

Eric Payne
Ewert for Congress

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My response?

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When I talked to Bern after the meeting last Saturday, he told me to call him about my concerns. I do not choose to use the telephone to do that—I choose to use email and document all communication from both sides. That way there can be no misunderstanding by either party. I will not be involved in any situation where there is not a clear “paper” trail of what has been said. That’s just not good business. And neither is it good business to not respond to questions that you requested be forwarded to you. It shows a deliberate lack of respect.

Bern and I also discussed some of the concerns on Saturday. I felt he was very rude and aggressive in his questioning of me about being a member of the Weed campaign and dismissive in his statement that I was overreacting when I am a potential constituent. While I had looked over some of the research about his brusque manner before the meeting, I did go back and do further research after being treated in so cavalier a fashion. Is this the type of behavior any politician should use with residents of their district? I don’t think so.

I am personally interested in presenting both sides of the current Democratic campaign and I am looking for information on both candidates. Unfortunately, the only negative information I find is on Bern’s background. The information I found about him considering a run for Congress as a Republican is even linked on his own campaign website. If you or anyone else knows something about Al Weed that I should be considering for publication on my blog, I will be glad to examine it and do so anonymously. I give you my word.

I do not feel that I am openly promoting another candidate. I am clearly pointing out inconsistencies and omissions in Bern’s record and his statements. I am linking to sites that include information about both candidates. However, if Bern thought past information would not come out, then he obviously hasn’t been watching the political scene very long. And, if he cannot handle the heat in a personable manner now, then the fire that will be created by the opposition should he get the nomination for the 5th district will surely consume him.

The fact that Bern and I do not agree about him being completely open and honest about his previous jobs should not preclude him from giving further information about his issues to my blog. This whole email leads me to wonder whether Bern and the Ewert campaign feel that bloggers (even those in the 5th district) are not worthy of having an educational discourse with the candidates. If you cannot trust a fellow Democratic—especially one who is willing to publish anything they receive from a candidate, then who can you trust and how will these issues get out there? If Bern chooses not to present information on his issues through every means available, then that is his choice. But I will be including that refusal on my blog—and informing the district voters about the information that is available to them.

Thanks for your response!

P.S. The turnaround time on FEC filings and the information being made available to the public is only two days to both Department of Public Records staff members and the public, according to sources I have contacted. That is completely different from the information that Bern sent in his email to county committee chairs yesterday where he claimed a two week turnaround time. As of today at 3:15 P.M., his filing information was not yet available to the federal staff or the public.

I did get a follow-up email from Eric asking for a contact name at the FEC to clarify my P.S. information and I am attempting to obtain one for him. Contrary to what anyone might think, I did not personally contact the FEC. At that time (March 2, 2006, at 3:15 P.M.), I was at work and there is no outside line at my desk or in my building. I knew someone already experienced in tracking down that information and they took care of my request. I appreciate the timely fashion in which my call for assistance was handled! I know I’ll be glad when this issue is resolved, as even the remote possibility of Democrats breaking federal election law makes us subject to the same scrutiny we are giving the Republicans.


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