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"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, February 17, 2012

I guess we know who the frontrunner is.

From PennLive.com:

Email asking for negative stories about Santorum draws flak from Pennsylvania Democrats

A high-ranking state figure in President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has sent an email seeking negative information about Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, and some Pennsylvania Democrats are angry about it.

Obama for America Pennsylvania Director Bill Hyers sent the email, which calls for state party activists to “make sure the rest of the country sees Rick Santorum’s true colors.”

It asks them to submit stories about the controversial conservative former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania online.

Plenty of state party activists said they were comfortable with the common campaign tactic, known as opposition research. Others lambasted the solicitation of negative information under the president’s name as being beneath the presidency.

“I am shocked to see a communication of this sort from anybody connected to the Obama campaign in Pennsylvania,” said Peter Buttenwieser, a Philadelphia financier and finance chairman of Bob Casey Jr.’s successful 2006 campaign that ousted Santorum from the Senate.

“It’s out of keeping with the normal principles and ethics of the Obama campaign as I have known it over a long period of time,” said Buttenwieser, who described himself as an ardent Obama supporter. “This is a Republican matter within a Republican primary ... and to provide the kind of information that Mr. Hyers is seeking is unseemly.”

Sandy Wolfe, a Cumberland County Democratic Party state committee member, was also uncomfortable with the email coming in the midst of a contentious GOP primary.

“I found it just a little bit unusual,” Wolfe said. “It’s kind of like beating a dead horse for us to do this. I really did just delete the email.”

A spokeswoman with the Pennsylvania Obama campaign had no comment beyond the email itself.

But a campaign news release issued Thursday celebrated the email as a response to attacks on Obama by the GOP candidates.

“This is an example of how the grassroots truth team will play a role,” it read.

Santorum has gained momentum in the race for the Republican nomination. National polls show him leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Santorum also leads in Michigan, and a win in that state’s Feb. 28 primary could be a huge blow to Romney, who has long been considered the front-runner in the GOP field.

Many party leaders found no issue with the email.

“It would be appropriate for the Obama campaign to send out an internal communication to party members seeking information even from an anecdotal point of view on Rick Santorum,” said Berks County Democratic Chairman Tom Herman.

Lebanon County Chairman Chris Tarsa said the email is intended to get Democrats engaged in the election. “They’re trying to motivate the base,” Tarsa said of Obama’s Pennsylvania campaign staff. “The campaign is starting to wake up.”

Philadelphia attorney and influential state party member Marcel Groen said the email was meant to inspire state Democrats to get involved.

“I’m reading it as asking people to send in times when they heard Rick give a speech, like when he compared gay sex to bestiality,” Groen said. “I don’t think they’re asking if he had an affair, or if he did something that’s wrong.”

G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, said making the solicitation on campaign letterhead ran contrary to the way opposition research was conducted in the past.

“It is surprising that they aren’t having that kind of work done by somebody else and let the president take the high road,” Madonna said.

Democratic campaign strategists were adamant that opposition research is a basic component of every political campaign, but said they would have done it differently.

“I would have used a third party to create some distance,” said Bill Wachob, a campaign strategist and former Democratic state legislator. “It has not been standard practice in the past, but every cycle, the limits get pushed a little bit further.”

David Sweet, who managed Ed Rendell’s successful 2002 gubernatorial campaign, said some people might find the email distasteful because it appears to be fishing for dirt on Santorum.

“I don’t think it would be the wisest thing to try and generate that type of information with that sort of broad-based email,” said Sweet, adding that it’s premature to target Santorum.

However, Shirley Warshaw, a political science professor at Gettysburg College, said the email was an ancient campaign maneuver executed in the age of cyberspace. “It’s an Internet campaign,” Warshaw said. “This is part of the modernization of the entire election process.”

She pointed out that Obama’s 2008 campaign was renowned for its effective use of the Internet to communicate and raise money. It’s only logical, Warshaw added, for the 2012 campaign to expand on that success.

Sweet pointed out that this type of information-gathering was done stealthily in the past, and said Obama should be praised for conducting this opposition research in the light of day. “It would be closer to something improper if it were a SuperPAC and you had no idea who was really behind it,” he said. “Here, it’s pretty open and up front.”

But Buttenwieser, an influential party fundraiser, was adamant that the email was not in tune with Obama and his chief campaign strategists. “I cannot believe the people I work with and know and respect in Chicago [Obama campaign headquarters] would want such a thing to be done,” he said. “I feel terrible that this has been done, and I can’t believe [Obama] would be happy to hear about it.”

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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