Awww, gee…I hate calling someone a liar.
Even as a degenerate “far left” liberal who grew up in a household colluding with Satan to destroy America (i.e. with a divorced parent), my mother taught me to give the benefit of the doubt. I call someone a liar only after other possibilities become implausible.
I can, in good conscience, call Tim Eyman a liar. I mean, he admitted to lying about taking donor money as personal compensation. Mike McGavick earned the moniker through a whole series of fibs and “parables” offered as fact (discussed here and here).
I’m not yet ready to pronounce Mr. Rossi a serial liar—even considering that he is (1) a Republican, (2) a Washington state Republican and (3) a real estate
broker salesman. Not yet…but, man, Rossi and his campaign are sure trying my good will.
Yesterday Neil Modie at the PI reported on the misleading rate of fundraising that the Rossi campaign was boasting about.
His campaign reported last week that he brought in “over $463,300 during the month of October. He announced his candidacy for governor on October 25th.”
Curt Woodward of the AP adds:
In that fundraising statement, spokeswoman Jill Strait bragged about Rossi raising nearly $500,000 “in roughly one week.” The campaign refused to offer any supporting documentation.
So reporters from the mainstream media were duped into writing about the spectacular rate of fundraising—for example, take this post from, umm…Mr. Modie:
Rossi bursts rapidly out of the fund-raising gate
A lot of checkbooks were waiting to open once Dino Rossi declared his long-expected 2008 candidacy for governor Oct. 25.
In the week between his announcement and the end of October, the Republican raised more than $463,000 for his race against Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, his campaign reported Thursday. And he raised an additional $110,000 the first two days of November.
Or, as Woodward explains:
Based on Strait’s statement and interviews, The Associated Press and other news organizations reported that Rossi’s initial fundraising burst began with his Oct. 25 campaign announcement.
The campaign never raised any issues of accuracy about those reports. But campaign officials knew, and never clarified, that Rossi had been collecting campaign donations for about two weeks by the time he officially announced his gubernatorial bid.
After examining the Rossi’s campaign finance records, Neil Modie learned that:
…[Rossi’s] campaign started accepting contributions Oct. 12 and took in $97,750 even before he announced his candidacy Oct. 25. Of that sum, $86,800 came in donations of $2,800 each, the maximum amount allowed by law for the primary and general elections combined.
An additional $60,873 came in on the day of the announcement, more than half of it in contributions of $2,800 each.
The campaign, seemingly coming to the realization that it’s not nice to fool political reporters, has now issued an apology.
“I apologize to you if you feel like you were misled,” Strait told the AP. “I agree that we could have clarified that the first check came in on the 12th.”
Yep…you could have, but you didn’t. Instead, in issuing the apology, the Rossi campaign lied to reporters again (my emphasis):
After apologizing, Strait claimed that “there was never a secret” that Rossi decided to run for governor on Oct. 11, the day before he collected his first donations.
That statement is untrue: when asked about an impending Rossi campaign shortly before the official Oct. 25 announcement, Strait refused to offer any details of Rossi’s plans, saying only that he would be talking about his political future.
Ouch! The publicly-disclosed Rossi campaign is less than a month old (or the not-secret-unless-you-asked campaign is just over a month old) and already the media is insinuating that the Rossi campaign is a pack of liars.
I’m guessing that one of the first things you learn in Becoming a Politician 101 is “Never, ever, ever piss off the press by getting caught lying to them.” (Lying to the people? Probably okay…but not the press.)
The rest of Woodward’s article sure reads like someone who feels betrayed:
The “nearly half a million dollars” raised in “roughly one week” actually referred to the approximately $365,000 Rossi collected in the last week of October, combined with some $110,000 the campaign says Rossi raised on the first two days of November.
The most recent campaign finance reports do not include November donations, making it impossible to immediately confirm whether Rossi actually raised that much money in the first two days of the month.
And Neil Modie seems a little peeved, too. In yesterday’s article deflating Rossi’s fundraising hyperbole, Neil meanders to the topic of a PDC investigation of illegal campaigning on the part of Rossi:
[Lori] Anderson [Spokeswoman for the state Public Disclosure Commission] said the commission is also investigating a Rossi campaign Web site, telldino.com, because it was registered Sept. 8, before Rossi says he decided to run. Strait, his spokeswoman, said a Rossi campaign volunteer, Thomas Swanson, registered it on his own without telling Rossi so that the Web address would be available if the candidate did decide to run.
Strait said Swanson took the action after he and J. Vander Stoep, a Rossi campaign adviser, discussed the idea of creating telldino.com to enable citizens to give Rossi their suggestions for improving government.
Wait a minute! That sure has the look and smell of a tenny-weeny little fib.
If Rossi had not decided to run by September 8th, what purpose would there be in discussing a new web site for folks to offer Rossi “suggestions for improving government?” Isn’t that exactly what The Washington Idea Bank (a wholly owned subsidiary of Forward Washington Foundation) was created for? The site has a web form for offering ideas…to Rossi’s pre-campaign organization.
Are we really to believe that on September 8th (three days before Rossi secretly resigned from Forward Washington Foundation) a (future?) campaign adviser had discussed creating a new “Rossi Idea Bank” site, but that was all “before Rossi says he decided to run,” and the site was registered for non-campaign purposes? Right.
Now the needle is pegged on my implausiometer.