Friday, May 30, 2008

Press Release Of The Day - AZ5 Edition

Well, it's an even-numbered year, and Memorial Day has come and gone, so that means that gas prices are going ever higher, Arizona temperatures are racing to catch up to gas prices, and campaigns are pumping out election year attack press releases.

Of those three sure signs of summer's arrival, campaign press releases are the most fun - they can be counted on to make creative use of misinformation, incomplete information, out-of-context quotes, misleading statistics, and outright lies.

All of which is perfect fodder for a snarky but enterprising blogger. :)

The Ogsbury for Congress campaign in CD5 is taking shots at Harry Mitchell in this press release, trying to say that Harry Mitchell is out of step with his district because he has voted with the Democratic caucus 88.8% of the time (according to the Washington Post).

What the press release neglected to mention is that of the 240 Democratic members tracked, the average adherence to the Democratic position was 92.2%.

So Mitchell was far above average in straying from his party's line; in fact, only 11 other Democrats voted the party line less frequently.

That covers "incomplete information," "misinformation," and "misleading statistics" in one fell swoop.

As for the "outright lies", the Ogsbury release talked about Mitchell's "strident opposition to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)."

OK, this one I didn't even need to look up.

Last August, the House passed S. 1927, The Protect America Act (aka - FISA modernization). The bill gave George Bush and then-Attorney General Gonzales the authority to, virtually without oversight, wiretap and otherwise electronically eavesdrop on foreign terror suspects' communications and any Americans suspected of being associated with them.

41 Democrats, including Harry Mitchell, crossed over and voted with the Republicans.

While I've disagreed with Harry on many of his votes, this one remains the only one that I was truly upset about.

As such, I remember it *very* well.

In this regard, Ogsbury's statement that Mitchell opposes FISA, "stridently" or otherwise, is utterly false.

About the best thing that can be said about Ogsbury's press release is that it didn't use an out-of-context quote from Harry Mitchell.

Republicans shouldn't worry, however - summer is just getting started and campaign season, like Arizona, is just warming up. There's plenty of time to get his fear, smear, and lie machine fully up to speed.

Less snarky analysis of the Ogsbury press release from PolitickerAZ here.


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