Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to undermine your credibility as a blogger/online commentator

I generally don't counter-post here.  If I've got something to say about another's blog post, I just comment on the post. 

However, some things just beg for a counter-post.

Plus you can't add a pic/screenshot to a comment, and I want to do that for this.  :)

Earlier today, someone over at Sonoran Alliance put up something, complaining that State Sen. David Schapira (D-LD17) is exploring a run for Congress but has failed to file the appropriate paperwork with the FEC.  The post included a link to the FEC page covering exploring or "testing the waters". 

The problem?

The linked page actually refuted, not supported, their argument about Schapira.

To quote (emphasis added) -

Before deciding to campaign for federal office, an individual may want to "test the waters"—in other words, explore the feasibility of becoming a candidate. An individual who merely test the waters, but does not campaign for office, does not have to register or report as a candidate even if the individual raises more than $5,000—the dollar threshold that would normally trigger registration. Nevertheless, funds raised to test the waters are subject to the Federal Election Campaign Act’s (the Act) contribution limitations and prohibitions. See Advisory Opinion 1998-18 [PDF].

It's a really good idea to *read* the sources one cites in support of an argument before, you know, citing it.


Thane Eichenauer said...

Great point.

TruthHurts said...

First off, This is completely wrong and every FEC lawyer in the world would tell you that Schapira would be in huge legal trouble if he tried to pull a stunt like this. The same page you linked says a candidate is no longer "testing the waters" if they "Raise more money than what is reasonably needed to test the waters or amass funds (seed money) to be used after candidacy is established." So he can't raise any real amount of money for his campaign and not file.

But secondarily...YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! Schapira is telling everyone in town he will raise $250,000 by the end of the year to prove to all the doubters that he can actually convince people to give him money. If he falls short of that everyone will know his campaign is not going anywhere. But if he doesn't even file a report and tries to just announce a total of something in a lame-o press release instead, it will be the end of his candidacy.