April 9, 2006

Their Zogby Poll Proves That the McEwen Campaign Has Never Been, and Still Is Not, about “The Issues”

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 7:14 pm

Note: This entry was originally posted at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, and will stay at or near the top during the remainder of the weekend.
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Yesterday, the results of a Zogby poll on The Second District race were released. Zogby reports at the link’s 2nd paragraph that the poll was commissioned by the Bob McEwen for Congress Committee (i.e., this one) — not independently by other supporters, friends, or acquaintances. The poll was commissioned by THE campaign.

Last night, McEwen Campaign Manager Ed Jenkins, in the process of heatedly denying that his candidate ever appeared at the Clermont County Water Treatment plant that bears the candidate’s name (previous posts are here and here), also regaled me at length about how this campaign should be about “the issues.”

Let’s leave aside for the moment that there’s very little difference between Jean Schmidt and Bob McEwen on the issues (and not all that much difference from third serious candidate Deborah Kraus either).

My understanding from Mr. Jenkins is that he has been the candidate’s campaign manager for about six weeks (nice how the entire Mainstream Media missed the “McEwen Fires/Changes/Releases Campaign Manager” story in mid-late Febuary. — Ed.).

Mr. Jenkins assured me that the operation he’s running has no connection with COAST, the R-Rated Whistleblower, or those involved in filing the Ohio Election Commission complaints against Jean Schmidt, but noted that he can’t prevent all communications between individuals in the two organizations. He told me how he was constantly rejecting “helpful” suggestions from Schmidt bashers to do things like showing the stalled car Jean Schmidt was in at the Opening Day Parade and the like.

He also assured me that he has been inundated with requests from misguided well-wishers asking him to capitalize on Ms. Schmidt’s House floor speech in November to label her an embarrassment to the District and turn her into an object of ridicule, and has not (IMO they don’t need to, as their “restore dignity” mantra does that every day — Ed.).

So, for a few hours, I gave Ed Jenkins the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps he, his candidate, and his campaign might have turned over a new leaf from Mr. McEwen’s earlier dalliances with COAST and the R-Rated Whistleblower, including McEwen’s attendance at, and active enjoyment of, COAST’s infamous Schmidt cake-decapitation event (a full month into the campaign on February 20 — roughly when Mr. Jenkins would have arrived on the scene).

What, a, mistake.

We now know for certain that Ed Jenkins and the McEwen campaign don’t care exclusively about “the issues.” The content of the McEwen-commissioned Zogby poll proves it.

The Zogby poll included the following questions (PDF):
(10) Are you proud of Jean Schmidt as your congressional representative, or are you embarrassed because of her?
(12) It has been reported that Jean Schmidt has misstated facts about her college education and about endorsements for her re-election campaign. Do you believe that these were simple mistakes for which there are logical explanations, or do you think that she has lied in an effort to help her re-election campaign?
(13) Would it make you much more likely, somewhat more likely, somewhat less likely, or much less likely to vote for Jean Schmidt if you knew that she had wrongly stated that she had won political endorsements from individuals or groups when those people and groups had actually never endorsed her?
(14) Would it make you much more likely, somewhat more likely, somewhat less likely, or much less likely to vote for Jean Schmidt if you knew that she had wrongly stated that she had earned two college degrees when she had actually earned only one?
(15) Last fall in a speech in Congress, Jean Schmidt had harsh words for fellow congressman and decorated Vietnam veteran John Murtha’s opposition to the Iraq war, saying “Cowards run, Marines never do.” She has been criticized and ridiculed by national media outlets for her comments. Does this incident make it more likely, somewhat less likely, or much less likely to vote for Jean Schmidt?

So the campaign that only cares about “the issues” commissioned a poll that asked THREE questions (12, 13, and 14) about matters they supposedly don’t care about — matters that the campaign’s manager have personally complained are “distracting from discussing the issues.”

So the campaign that only cares about “the issues” commissioned a poll that directly asked a question (15) about something (the Schmidt House Floor speech) I was personally told by the campaign’s manager they have no desire to try to take advantage of.

So the campaign that only cares about “the issues” commissioned a poll that directly asked a question (10) designed to directly gauge how effective on an overall basis the Schmidt tear-down efforts of COAST, the R-Rated Whistleblower, and the OEC complaint-filers have been, even though the campaign’s manager claims to have, and says he wants to have, no association with them.

So the campaign that only cares about “the issues” asked a grand total of ONE “issues” question, and even that one wasn’t strictly about political issue positions (#11 — “In deciding for whom to vote in the Republican primary in the second congressional district, what issue is most important in helping you make up your mind?” — followed by a list of 15 items: 1-12, legitimate issues; 13, character; 14, Other (please specify); and 15, Not sure/none).

Uh-huh.

Additionally, Ed Jenkins and the McEwen campaign are either breathtakingly ignorant about how Zogby’s polls can be used, or they are active participants in the non-stop Schmidt smear campaign without the honesty to admit it.

Mr. Jenkins returned my phone call to him about this poll.

My main points were that if only “the issues” mattered, the campaign would never have designed a poll that asked Questions 10, 12, 13, 14, and 15; the fact that the questions were even asked proves that they are at least as, if not more, interested in the smear than they are in “the issues” (like, 5 times as interested, based on the number of questions asked); and that the public release of the information will succeed in keeping the campaigns away from those supposedly precious “issues” for at least the next 48 hours.

Jenkins’ responses were that they didn’t know the entire poll would be released; that it occurred because of Zogby’s all or none policy on releasing poll results that he and the campaign weren’t aware of (how convenient that a full “oops” release provides oodles of red meat to the Schmidt bashers — Ed.); that they need to know the answers to the five non-issues poll questions just noted, even as they promise not to use them in the campaign; that McEwen himself didn’t even know the poll was taking place (sigh — Ed.); and that the Schmidt campaign is asking similar questions about McEwen’s vulnerabilities, but not releasing them. (If so, shame on the Schmidt campaign, though thanks to the Zogby public release, it appears that doing so from this point forward would be sensible self-defense. — Ed.)

At Mr. Jenkins’ suggestion, I contacted Fritz Wenzel, the Zogby representative who apparently worked with the McEwen campaign on the poll. Mr. Wenzel confirmed Zogby’s all or none policy; that they attempt to ensure that clients are aware of the all or none policy; that the all or none policy is probably not in the contract that clients sign with Zogby; that he could not tell me whether Mr. Jenkins or the McEwen campaign did or did not know about the all or none policy at the time they contracted with Zogby; that the questions are always asked in the order presented on the script; and that the McEwen camp supplied the subject matter to be covered in the poll (though Zogby, as would be expected, designed the exact wording).

Last night, before I learned about the full contents of and who commissioned the Zogby poll, I told Mr. Jenkins that his operation had a well-deserved perception problem of guilt by association, and that if his campaign indeed wants to limit the final weeks of the campaign to a discussion of “the issues,” only a public, complete, and thorough repudiation of COAST, the R-Rated Whistleblower, and the tactics they are employing could do anything to correct that perception.

My opinion? “Accidental release” or not, the McEwen campaign-commissioned Zogby poll design proves that it’s wayyyyyy too late for any attempt at repudiation by the McEwen campaign to be credible. It proves beyond argument that discussing specific issues is at or near the bottom of their real list of concerns.

And IF, IF, IF Mr. Jenkins and the McEwen campaign aren’t telling the truth about not understanding Zogby’s all or none release policy, they are worse than associated with the Schmidt smear campaign. They are active participants.

Weekend Question 3: Is Anyone Surprised at This Any More?

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:08 pm

A West Virginia congressman may be involved in an ethical swirl of corruption that makes recently convicted former Republican congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham look like a piker.

The New York Times story (HT Instapundit) about Alan B. Mollohan waits until the 8th paragraph of the story to inform us that he is a D-D-D-D, D-Democrat.

Weekend Question 2: What Are the Top 10 Jobs Americans Won’t Do?

S.O.B. Alliance member Newshound, at his Along the Tracks blog, has the answers.

My three faves:

  • Opening available in a major media outlet for a journalist willing to investigate and report stories based on something more than his or her prejudices.
  • Serious inquiries only: Looking for a business negotiator for our labor contracts. Must only commit our company to retirement benefits we can actually afford to meet, rather than count on the government to bail us out when the bill comes due.
  • Needed: Anti-war foreign policy analyst with a practical alternative to offer.

Go read the rest.

PunditReview.com Reels in a Big One

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 10:25 am

BizzyBlog’s broadcasting and blogging buds at PunditReview.com have scored a first-class coup, lining up Daniel Henninger, member of The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board and author of the weekly Friday WSJ Column “Wonderland,” at 8PM tonight.

Catch the live stream at WRKO in Boston.

Way to go guys.

Weekend Question 1: On One of the Inevitabilities of Nationalized Health Care

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Economy,Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 9:38 am

Why Does This Positive Story Have an Ugly Underside to It?

The Positivity part is that an English couple got to spend time with their prematurely born twins before they died.

Horribly, there are those who think the babies should not have been treated:

Mrs. King, 36, and Mr. King, 46, from Sprowston, said those two weeks they spent with their daughters were precious and they were horrified that health experts have even suggested premature babies should be left to die.

Experts at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists urged medical chiefs to consider the implications of treating premature babies (born before 24 weeks) as they were “bed-blocking” and preventing other children from being treated.

Mrs. King, an accounts clerk, said: “When I heard about this I was so angry. That small time we spent with our daughters was so precious; I will always treasure that. The thought that some doctor could come along and tell me he wasn’t going to help my children because they were premature is beyond belief.

“Doctors did all they could to save them. They didn’t survive, but they could have done, and who has the right to intervene in that?

“They were almost fully formed. My little girls had all their features but they couldn’t open their eyes. They cried just like other babies. They were just too small to survive, but while I was with them I expressed milk and we got to hold their hands. That was so important and we would not have had that if doctors had not treated them. It was a short time but we got to give them something and act like parents to them.”

….. “We were told their chances were slim,” Mrs. King said. “But I was so grateful that the doctors were prepared to give them a chance. It was worth the highs and lows just to spend that time with our daughters. It is bad enough to give birth to a premature baby but for a doctor to then tell you they are not worth treating is horrific. I cannot imagine any doctor who would be prepared to tell a patient that.”

What kind of monsters use terms like “bed-blockers”?

Inevitably, medical personnel in nationalized health-care systems.

Remember that.

Florida Teenager Lives His Low-Riding Dream

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:32 am

He overcomes being born with cerebral palsy:

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