Monday, December 21, 2009


Peggy Fikac has a fun column about civility (link). Excerpt follows...

As elections kick into high gear in the new year, is there a chance for civility to prevail, especially between Perry and U.S. Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison, whose backers paint it as a race between “Slick Rick” and “Kay Bailout”?

“There's always room for civility. People also want candidates and elected officials who are passionate about their ideas,” said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “The governor has been very cordial to the senator.”

Hutchison spokesman Jennifer Baker said her candidate will focus on issues and referred to campaign-trail hijinks: “If Rick Perry wants to continue to attack Kay Bailey Hutchison and harass her with childish antics that employ the use of farm animals and planes, he's going to have to deal with the backlash from voters.”

And what of Leach's reference to Perry? “He doesn't have his facts right,” Miner said. “He's a candidate who lost his office and is now in the back of a bus being driven around the country.”

Civility. Is there a chance? Well, it is the season for miracles.

Former Hutchison staffer Matt Mackowiak has been the staunches of her loyalists, so I wondered if he got any blowback when he called her “somewhat needy and demanding” in the New York Times. His response, “The short answer is no. The senator knows I am extremely supportive and feel tremendous loyalty to her.” Mackowiak said his full quote was, “She can be somewhat needy and demanding but she works harder than anyone else and she never asks anyone to do anything that she won't do herself.”

What is that phrase about glass houses and stones... which campaign had its web site banned from google and yahoo for using black hat tactics to smear her opponent and plant rumors that he is gay? Not Rick... it was Kay (link). Kay's negative web ads and white papers are also far more personally directed, make far more personal charges that Rick is personally a bad guy not just making wrong policy choices, and use more footage of Rick making funny faces and things of that nature than Rick's videos and press releases which are almost all issue and vote based with a few exceptions...

Kay was also attacking Rick for several months pretty incessantly before Rick ever launched into her over the summer with those cat videos and airplanes circling her campaign launch events (link)...

For the record incumbents can expect to be attacked, and I believe competition is good when it is on the issues... it makes a party's candidates stronger in the end. Challengers usually have to do the attacking. It's just that a strong majority of Kay's attacks are personal in nature rather than issue oriented, many of the attacks sound like Democrat attacks... on education or "cronyism" or Willingham , and almost none of them explain why she would be a better governor.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.