The Initiative 933 campaign has a poll in the field, the kinda-sorta pushy kind that’s probably intended to help them refine their message. How can I be so sure? I got robo-polled this evening.
The poll starts off with the usual questions: Bush approval, gender, age, income, party and ideological self-identification. How likely are you to vote? Do you plan to vote for Maria Cantwell or Mike McGavick? That kind of stuff.
And then it started focusing on I-933. The recording described the initiative pretty much the way it’s described in the ballot title, while stating that opponents argue it would hamper government’s ability to regulate property and do proper planning. Do you plan to vote yes or no? I punched in no.
Then the questions started getting a little curious. Do you think local governments are operated well, or controlled by special interests who are in it only for the money? Hmm. I had to think about that one. I guess it depends on the local government, but I didn’t want to give them the answer they wanted, so I punched in no.
Are you familiar with the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision that says governments can take away property by eminent domain for use by commercial developers? Do you agree with the decision? If you knew that I-933 was intended to address Kelo, would you be more or less likely to vote for it?
Well clearly, you can see where the I-933 campaign is going. They are testing a message that focuses on eminent domain, even though they most certainly know that I-933 has absolutely nothing to do with eminent domain. Nothing. Nothing at all.
They are preparing to lie to voters.
So when the I-933 campaign starts inundating voters with broadcast ads and mailers citing Kelo and pushing the issue of eminent domain, I expect my friends in the press to come down on them like a ton bricks, for now you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the I-933 campaign didn’t just accidentally get it wrong. They polled on this lie. They tested and refined it. And when they run on this lie they will be running without a shred of regard for the truth.
The irony of the Kelo frame is that it’s not only based on a lie, it’s intended to entirely flip the debate on its head, for I-933 was written and financed by the same private developers and wealthy special interests who the Kelo frame is intended to demonize.
But then, that’s exactly the kind of cynical, dishonest campaign we’ve come to expect from the building industry.