Political campaigns have gotten dirtier and dirtier over the past several years. We’ve seen the escalation of dirty tricks even within party primary races. Seeing dirty tricks has gotten so common place that we barely even notice them. But, candidates should see when they are walking into such traps.
Recently, Rob McKenna, Republican candidate for Washington’s Governor handed the Democrat Party video footage of him falling for such a trick on a silver platter.
Just last year at an Oregon Governor’s Campaign Event for John Kitzhaber, we conservatives were outraged at the mistreatment of a citizen taping the event as he was first told he could not and then assaulted for continuing.
We rightfully made a ruckus over the idea of political candidates not allowing their speeches to be taped.
A recent New York Times articles informs us how the Democrat party has a strong head start over the GOP in such “tracking” of candidates and if you recall the Macaca comment, they know how to use such tricks to their advantage.
Rob McKenna, as Attorney General has been a champion of openness, taking the issue of releasing information of signers of the R-71 petition to Gay Activists all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and is noted for rarely making any serious gaffes when speaking publicly.
That is why I was not only surprised but disappointed to read of him first chastising a paid Democrat Operative for filming him at an announced meeting with Seattle area Young Republicans, then walking away, not continuing to speak when he would not stop taping as requested.
Allegations of it being a private meeting and filming without permission are meaningless as the Democrats got what they wanted, a tape of McKenna, the champion of openness not being open and giving the appearance of operating secretly. And, they are running with it in the Puget Sound area.
Dwight Pelz Chairman of the states Democrat Party says,
“McKenna has a long track record … about open public meetings but apparently it doesn’t apply to the attorney general. It really is an act of hypocrisy.”
It is already being asked,
“Why the hell couldn’t McKenna give his talk in the presence of ‘the enemy.’ What’s he hiding? Was McKenna prepared to tell the Young Republicans things that he could never say to the general public?”
Democrat candidate Jay Inslee is getting a pass on issuing anything of substance concerning his campaign and to union pensioner’s opposition to his idea of investing pension funds into risky start-up green businesses while the media focuses on McKenna falling for one of the oldest traps in politics.
Randy Pepple, McKenna’s campaign manager telling the Seattle Times “Rob is busy and this is a non issue,” when they tried to reach McKenna doesn’t help either.
It’s early in the campaign and undecided voters might forget this moment, but you can expect to see it crop back up again as we get closer to the November 2012 elections.
But the fact remains, McKenna blew it on this one. He should have just kept on speaking and hiding nothing. Leaving an air of suspicion for the Democrats to pounce on is not a good campaign tactic.
If he hopes to occupy the Governor’s mansion in 2013, he needs to stop acting so naively on the campaign trail, especially given that such “trackers” are common place today.
See also: Inslee Already Disappoints Supporters