Late last week, news broke that an employee of the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) had attended a fundraiser for Republican CD5 candidate Laura Knaperek. (PolitickerAZ)
The ADP employee was spotted taking pictures of people attending the fundraiser and of the license plates of their vehicles.
Knaperek's campaign manager, Lauren Barnett, went on JD Hayworth's radio show to decry the move as "undemocratic" and "reprehensible".
[Not so coincidentally, this was the same JD Hayworth who lost in 2006 to the man Knaperek wants to face in November, Harry Mitchell. Oh, and also not so coincidentally, Laura Knaperek has lost twice to Harry Mitchell, and her obsession with beating him by any means necessary almost makes me embarrassed for her. Almost, except for the fact that it can be soooo entertaining. :) ]
Emily Derose, spokeswoman for the ADP contended that the move was a standard campaign 'due diligence' practice of both parties, something that was immediately denied by Sean McCaffrey, spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party.
From the PolitickerAZ story -
"We don't do that, we think it's ridiculous and it contributes to people's low opinion of the political process," said McCaffrey.
Perhaps someone should send Mr. McCaffrey (and perhaps to good ol' JD himself) a copy of this pic -
For those you who don't recognize the scene or the man with the crossed arms walking around the edges of the crowd, the scene is the Harry Mitchell's Congressional campaign kickoff rally in April of 2006, and the man surveying the crowd is Todd Sommers, then a legislative assistant for future ex-Congressman Hayworth. (My post on the matter here. Please note that my original source was Tedski at R-Cubed. His original post is here.)
While one party sending an employee to the public events of another party may be tacky, especially when they're caught at it :) , it's not unethical.
The same cannot be said for sending a paid Congressional staffer to a challenger's event.
Et tu, Sean.
And every Rep blogger who has been cloaking himself in faux self-righteous indignation. (Sonoran Alliance here, for example)
And for the shameless, "do as we say, not as we do" brand of hypocritical flip-floppery, they all earn this week's John Sydney McCain Memorial Crappie Award.
Don't forget to check out Desert Beacon's latest "Sunday Morning Deck Bass."
BTW - When I first heard the story, the movie geek in me flashed on an early scene in the film "The Godfather" where FBI agents are spotted at the wedding of Don Corleone's daughter, taking pictures and writing down the license numbers of various mobsters attending the wedding.
In many ways, the movie scene summed up my feelings on this - while the observations were a distasteful but legitimate and necessary endeavor, it became a tacky one when it was discovered.
I'm actually glad that I couldn't find a screen cap of that scene because I would have gone with that before I remembered Mr. Sommers' visit to Tempe two years ago.
While that image would have been *almost* perfectly appropriate for this subject, the Sommers pic *is* perfect for this.
P.S. - I do want to thank this week's Crappie Award recipients for giving me the opportunity to legitimately liken Republican campaign contributors to mobsters.
Yup, that was sweet.
P.P.S. - for those of you who are wondering how I can harshly criticize Congressman Mitchell in the post immediately prior to this one, yet so strongly support him (and the ADP) in this one, there's no disconnect here. His vote on the FISA bill with retroactive telecom immunity was a dreadful mistake, one that I wholeheartedly disagree with, but he's done some great work for veterans, students, and his district, and he is head and shoulders (and torso, hips, thighs, and knees, too!) above his challengers in terms of his qualifications for the office.