Freshman GOP Rep. Dave Reichert has a well-earned reputation for being hot-headed and thin-skinned. But apparently, he’s also a hypocrite.
For example, remember that candidates forum back in 2004, in which Reichert dramatically walked out, whining that his Republican primary opponents (Luke Esser and Diane Tebelius) were playing “dirty politics”…?
“I’m disappointed that there are a couple of people who are on this stage with me today that decided that it’s more important to mislead and misinform the public, and as we refer to the dirty politics across the country and in our community and in our state, I, for one, am sick and tired of it.”
Reichert said that he wanted to run a clean campaign and that he has been doing so since he began campaigning.
[Bruce] Boram, Reichert’s spokesman, said the accusations were “cheap shots” and the sheriff wanted no part in that type of debate.
Funny thing is, at the same time Boram was defending his client’s public hissy fit, he was also preparing to launch some dirty politics of his own. It was Boram, in case you forgot, who was the local operative behind the US Chamber of Commerce’s unprecedented, multi-million dollar smear campaign against Deborah Senn in the Democratic primary for state Attorney General. It was Boram who refused to reveal the source of the money and who initially refused to comply with WA’s public disclosure laws.
When asked by KING-5 news if there was “any room for Bruce Boram” in a campaign that has disavowed “dirty politics,” Reichert said: “He and I are going to have a talk today to see where we go from here.”
Well, we can only imagine how that conversation went, because the next day, Boram purportedly resigned.
Boram, who was Reichert’s spokesman, strategist and a key fund-raiser, said he was stepping down because the furor over the ads was threatening to spill into the congressional race.
“When I’ve become the issue in the campaign, that’s just not good. So I decided it was just for the best,” Boram said yesterday afternoon. His resignation was effective immediately, he said.
Reichert said he had not asked Boram to leave, but said Boram made the right choice.
So imagine my surprise reading about Darcy Burner’s surging campaign in Roll Call last week, when I came upon the following quote:
“The 8th is a swing, Democratic district,” concedes Reichert’s political consultant Bruce Boram. “Any Democratic opponent who runs against Reichert starts at 43 percent [of the vote].”
Wait a second. I thought Reichert dumped Boram back in 2004 because somebody had to stand up to dirty politics? Perhaps Roll Call simply got it wrong? So I checked Reichert’s 2005 expenditures, and what did I find? 19 expenditures totaling over $90,000 to Boram and his company Catalyst Consulting… by far Reichert’s largest vendor thus far.
Um… apparently, Boram was too dirty for Reichert’s campaign back in the fall of 2004, but somehow managed to clean himself up by April of 2005. And he’s been on the payroll ever since.
So I’m not exactly sure what message I’m supposed to take away from this. Was Boram’s staged “resignation” merely a disingenuous act of political expedience? (You know… a lie.) Or has Congressman Reichert become so indoctrinated in the culture of Republican Party politics, that, dirty politics… eh… not such a big deal anymore?
Or perhaps there’s another answer. Perhaps Reichert is so disengaged from his campaign and so hands-off its operations, that he doesn’t really know or care about the personal and professional behavior of the people running it? You know, the way he didn’t really seem to care about the mismanagement of the Sheriff’s office during his tenure there, or the abusive behavior of many of his deputies? Or the way he doesn’t seem to care about the corruption rampant in the Republican controlled Congress?
I dunno… either way it looks like a pattern to me. Though, I wouldn’t want to be one to cast aspersions.