May 1, 2006

Six BIG Reasons to Reject the McEwen Candidacy (Never Mind the Large Number of “Less Serious” Ones)

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:05 pm

The four main reasons to reject Bob McEwen’s congressional candidacy covered at BizzyBlog so far are:

  1. Voting in Highland County when not even having a residence in Ohio and being in actuality a resident of Virginia for a period of several years. Whether of not the statute of limitations has run out in this situation, the acts, never in any way, shape, or form disputed by McEwen or his campaign as having been committed, constitute an unconscionable abuse of our most precious duty as citizens. Bob’s Sobs today at the Politics Extra Blog only refer to the treatment of the Ohio Elections Commission complaints relative to Hamilton County; the Highland County travesty is not mentioned, and I’m aware of no effort to dispute the facts of the situation or the contentions of that county’s Board of Elections.
  2. Taking on a consulting/lobbying agreement with Eritrea, a country characterized the in Evans-Novak report as “quasi-Marxist,” while claiming to the media that “he was not aware of any religious persecution in Eritrea. He said he thought “they are primarily a Christian nation.” He was apparently unaware of the government’s record of religious persecution.
  3. Commissioning a Zogby poll that asked and distributed the results of negative campaign questions while publicly proclaiming that the election should “only be about the issues.”
  4. Telling Bill Cunningham in a radio interview on April 20 that he had not and would not engage in negative campaigning, while a negative campaign flyer about Schmidt from the McEwen campaign was being mailed out to homes throughout the Second District.

There are about a dozen or more less serious disqualifiers, but believe it or not there are a couple more major ones. Yup, there is a fifth, and even a sixth major reason to reject Bob McEwen’s candidacy.

The fifth reason? It has seemed relatively unimportant in the hubbub aroused by the first four in the past two weeks. But perhaps in the long run, it could prove to be an even bigger problem than the first four items if McEwen ever became a congressman again.

BizzyBlog has obtained a VHS tape from the mid-late 1990s from a (presumably former) Amway distributor who had placed a group of the company’s videos for sale on Ebay (go here and here for a discussion of Amway Quixtar’s legitimacy as a business and what was known of Bob McEwen’s involvement in it as of last year).

After seeing the video, I sent the following e-mail to former Amway Founder’s Emerald Eric Scheibeler, author of Merchants of Deception, for his reaction:

Eric,

….. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to it, I’m amazed at what I’m looking at:- It’s a video (45 minutes of 90) on working as a team (as married couples) with the Florences, the Meadows, and the Storms in front of a studio audience.
- McEwen is the host (without Liz). He narrates the opening segment and the segment wraps and intros, and conducts the discussion like a pretty polished TV host.
- It HAS to be 8-10 years old (I think it’s 1998).
- I get the distinct impression that he knows these couples socially.

Doesn’t the fact that McEwen is hosting a program like this (as opposed to “only” giving a speech at a convention or participating in breakout sessions at these events) mean that he’s a lot more involved in the tools business than we might have previously believed?

Or am I overreacting? Not just any ex-congressman or politician would get to this point with the AQ people. So either he’s getting paid an extraordinary amount of money to do this, or it’s part and parcel of getting his cut from the tools business.

Give me your reaction, especially if you weren’t previously aware of this level of McEwen involvement.

Eric’s reply was this:

You are right on target with this….. we were told that one of the diamonds personally sponsored McEwen as an IBO after several speaking engagements. They all would use him for credibility to bring him to the group as “Congressman McEwen”…. he has a close personal relationship with several of the Diamonds and is anything but an impartial interviewer since he has taken tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from many of them. He too would then use his “credibility” as a “congressman” to get more speaking engagements….. When we were “in” we thought McEwen was a current congressman from how he was introduced….

What’s the significance? Two things:

  1. It seems more likely that it did a year ago that Bob McEwen is a knowledgeable participant in the tools business and that he is benefitting from it to a greater extent than originally thought. If he is indeed one of the very few AQ higher-ups who were directly or indierctly benefitting disproportionately from the tools business, while financially bleeding many of the lower-level IBOs (Independent Business Owners, formerly known as Distributors) to the breaking point (as Scheibeler painfully details in his book), and IF-IF-IF Amway Quixtar is the illegal pyramid scheme that many reputable people believe it to be, then Bob McEwen may indeed eventually end up on the wrong side of the law if the rumored state and federal investigations that are said to be ongoing ever lead to civil or criminal charges.
  2. From time to time, there have been attempts to cleverly rewrite consumer law so that any ambiguity about whether multilevel businesses like Amway Quixtar and many other similar operations are legal would be removed — in favor of unquestioned legality, no matter how many people get hurt (caveat emptor, regardless of the level of deception and misrepresentation). Whether or not that’s desirable is open to debate, but the fact that someone could enter Congress with an alleged high level of seniority on the Rules Committee and the apparent ability (more than the average congressperson) to slip amendments and riders into bills that would accomplish what the multilevel firms have been dreaming about for years, is at least problematic, and possibly worse.

The sixth and final “big” reason for rejecting Bob McEwen’s candidacy is his fluid stance on, of all things, the War on Terror.

Here are the final four paragraphs of The Cincinnati Enquirer’s story about the community forum in Bethel last week:

The two disagreed sharply on Iraq.

Schmidt argued that the U.S. military has already turned over much of the responsibility for keeping the peace in Iraq to U.S.-trained Iraqi military and police.

“We have to stay until the job is finished,” Schmidt said.

McEwen said the time has come to start withdrawing American forces.

I had to re-read Bob’s Sobs again to make sure that he didn’t dispute the accuracy of the Enquirer’s report. He didn’t.

Incredibly, The Enquirer excerpt indicates that Jean Schmidt is “to the right” of Bob McEwen on the War on Terror (yes, libs reading this, Iraq IS part of the War on Terror), and that Bob McEwen’s position, noted clearly in context as being indifferent whether or not the job is finished, is “cut-and-run”!

McEwen should know that the President’s position is that we should finish the job; that the majority of the American people, even of those who feel we made a mistake going to war, feel we should finish the job; and that the vast majority of soldiers returning from the war, including the people in this organization, feel we should finish the job. After what Jean Schmidt has endured for her so-called “cut-and-run” speech, for McEwen, the Cold Warrior, to be the one advocating “cut-and-run” is beyond comprehension.

Wow. Weak on the War on Terror. The transformation from candidate to caricature is indeed complete.

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5 Comments

  1. Tom,

    I just read your entry re: McEwen and the six reasons. And I can only conclude that you are so biased that you can’t even see straight.

    I know you aren’t a fan of the Whistleblower, but I’d love to get your take on the Pathological video from a day or so ago clearly catching Jean Schmidt red-handed lying about her degre by blaming her web designer. She did it again on 700WLW today. I have the audio and I’ve seen copies of the newspaper from 1989. How do you excuse that?

    I just want to get your honest reaction to what is obviously one of the biggest lies of the campaign – and one that the Democrats will punish Jean Schmidt for should she be fortunate enough to get a pass from the voters tomorrow. Her comments were so obviously false that I’m quite certain someone will file yet another compaint with the OEC for making false statements in THIS campaign.

    Thanks,

    Brian

    Comment by brian burgess — May 1, 2006 @ 10:35 pm

  2. Brian see this comment re the Highland County voting law violations (I have to admit I AM biased against them):
    http://www.bizzyblog.com/?p=2003#comment-8597

    Everything else (even the other 5 McEwen items) are not as important as violating the sanctity of the vote, though the Amway matter could end up being bigger down the road, with or without McEwen.

    You know, if a Dem had done what McEwen did in Highland County he or she would be skewered into political oblivion in about 30 minutes. I have to wonder who is biased when I see thousands of people who should know better allow him to skate on this.

    I’ve criticized Schmidt here:

    http://www.bizzyblog.com/?p=1921

    If that’s not strong enough for you, I am so not sorry.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 1, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

  3. #1 Brian I also notice that you’re following McEwen SOP, which is never to respond directly, and attempt to change the subject.

    It’s my post and my blog. If you can’t provide substantive responses to the six reasons listed, I don’t have to respond beyond my already-more-courteous-than-required response on what you’ve said re Schmidt.

    You see, I posted first. No partial credit. Respond to all six. If you can’t blow EVERY SINGLE ONE out of the water, don’t come back to this post.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 1, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

  4. Doh! Bravo, Tom!

    Comment by Anon — May 2, 2006 @ 8:42 am

  5. By the way Brian, remember how you are on Bob McEwen’s payroll? (Check the FEC disbursements page) How could you even begin to talk about bias. I guess you learned your hypocrizy from Bob, so I can’t really blame you.

    Comment by Ben Dover — May 2, 2006 @ 9:51 am

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