LB3, candidate for the Democratic nod for the Va-11 seat, is desperate.
You can get the links here, but essentially LB3 is calling ChairGer, an employee of SAIC, unethical because he claims to oppose the Iraq military effort yet works for a defense contractor. More than that, it is a contractor has received no bid federal contracts and that the “Air Force charged with cheating tax payers”.
LB3’s most recent mailing goes on to say “Gerry Connolly claims to oppose these practices, but his actions speak much louder than his words”….
…and after that there is a yawning silence. What is especially telling is that if you look at this mailing, every sentence has a footnoted source except one-the one where LB3 talks about ChariGer’s actions.
Ultimately, no matter what LB3 partisans claim, this hit piece attacks ChairGer because he works for a particular defense contractor. RK talks about “possible conflicts”, but I guess I missed the part where the “possible conflicts” are detailed. In fact, the WaPo story that RK and the LB3 partisans are so fired up about specifically says:
Connolly (D) had nothing to do with SAIC’s more controversial contracts. He has worked at SAIC only since 2002 and leads the company’s involvement in community activities and charitable events.
The fact that LB3 is attacking an opponent for where he earns his living shows that perhaps the polls showing her way behind are more accurate than she lets on.
Why does all this bother me? Well, while I am not voting in the Demo primary, this subject strikes close to home as my father in law works at SAIC. Example-LB3 says in the WaPo:
Byrne said Connolly’s proclamations are hypocritical, given his employer.
So if you disagree with company policies, you must resign? Even if these decisions do not occur in your area of activity? Or is she saying that even though she cannot produce proof of conflicts of interest, or anything beyond a simple accusation that he will do SAIC bidding, Connolly should resign from SAIC if he is a candidate? Because that is where she appears to be going with this.
But if that is the case, does that mean that LB3 thinks that any SAIC employee who is not in lockstep with the Bush administration on the Iraq war-even if their area of work does not intersect with the aforementioned contracts-should resign from SAIC?
Sure seems that way.
Now, the reality is that ChairGer is a weasel. He has a well documented temper, and a habit of saying and doing things that do not really come across well. He likely is staying away from this issue for fear that any substantive comment will turn this into a political tar baby (OH, there is that term again!!!) from which he will never get clear…and his failure to do so is on the one hand what RK considers his lack of leadership.
But before we get to that I have to ruminate over this tactic. The LB3 campaign suggests-without any proof being offered-that Connolly was a part of or otherwise connected to the no-bid or otherwise questionable contracts that so many are rightfully upset about simply because he works at SAIC. Connolly is attacked for his actions speaking louder than his words, but his offensive actions are not referenced in a mailing. LB3 attacks him on the one hand for saying he is a hypocrite for opposing the war and staying in the employ of SAIC…but that somehow this term does not apply to the potentially thousands of SAIC employees who are in the same boat.
This all sounds like a desperate fishing expedition by a campaign that is running behind and needs an issue. In fact, it sounds so very much like the old (and possibly apocryphal) story about LBJ, of whom it was said during his first run for congress that he told his campaign manger to put out a rumor concerning an opponent and inimate acts with barnyard animals.
The campaign manager said, “We can’t say that! It isn’t true”
LBJ replies, “I know, but let’s make him deny it”.
Of course, putting out such rumors and hoping they stick to the wall is the stuff of a desperate campaign.
Bottom Line: If the Byrne campaign thinks Connolly should resign or shold have resigned from SAIC, say it and say it straight out. If they think he was involved in questionable activities regarding contracts, they should say it straight out. If they believe he will be nothing more than the SAIC representative to the House of Representatives, give us something besides a bald assertion to undergird the claim, and say it straight out.
Otherwise, this type of stuff is and will continue to look like desperation tactics…and will not rebound to the benefit of either LB3 or ChairGer and will help D-Day and/or LoriBLue.