Monday, December 12, 2005


We're right at the end of The Two Towers

You know, the bit where Gandalf chimes in "The battle for Helm's Deep is over; the battle for Middle Earth has just begun."

Maybe it's not that dramatic. Anyway. MDE is mad at me. With good reason; over the last couple weeks I've lit into MDE's claims about Steve Kelley and his campaign on a regular, frequent, and rapid basis.

So how about a little point-counterpoint, eh old chap?

MDE: I write a post that Kelley's campaign has a reporter writing op-eds for the campaign, but Minnesota Campaign Report says "MDE Wrong Again." If Matthew Thomas wasn't doing anything wrong, why did he remove the post discussing his work on Kelley's campaign from his blog?

MNCR: I believe my exact words in that post were "
I haven't met Matt Thomas...don't know him from a hole in the wall.....Perhaps asking either him OR the campaign about it might shed a bit more light than MDE is willing to lend to this piddling matter." In laymen's terms, ask Matt Thomas about the removal of the blog post, since neither I nor the campaign had anything to do with its removal. My point was that MDE was wrong about the circumstances under which Mr. Thomas was writing for the campaign.

MDE: I write a post that Kelley's campaign used taxpayer resources for campaign purposes. Kelley's campaign later admits using taxpayer resources for campaign purposes, but Minnesota Campaign Report defends Kelley.

MNCR: Umm......the Kelley Campaign didn't admit anything. The circumstances of that incident were laid out clear as day, and there was nothing inappropriate about them. A mistake in the age of "gotcha" politics in the blogosphere, but that incident fell far short of an "ethics violation".

MDE: Minnesota Campaign Report then posts that my blog is being used to do something called "freeping." I had never heard of the term or the act until I read about it on Minnesota Campaign Report. I know Minnesota Campaign Report had no responsibility to e-mail me about his/her concerns, but it would have been appreciated.

MNCR: Fair enough. I will endeavor to do so in the future. But this is something all of us in the blogosphere should be doing and protecting ourselves and our colleagues against. Politics gets stupid very quickly if we don't have at least some accurate information to go on, and that includes preventing Freeping.

The Duluth Budgeteer publishes an op-ed disagreeing with the decision by Kelley's campaign to put a sign in the window of their campaign office which lists the number of U.S. soilders killed and wounded in action. Minnesota Campaign Report than posts a comment on my blog claiming the op-ed was not accurate and had a "right-wing bent."

MNCR: Well, it did! I thought there was something wrong with Blogger initially, I couldn't tell that that comment actually posted. Anyway, that op-ed was inaccurate by virtue of not having all the facts - namely, that the geographic location of the campaign office was pure happenstance, and the fact that the sign did not simply appear in the window, but rather was put there by a concerned and active Vietnam veteran. That op-ed, in my most humble opinion, was more about politics than it was about supporting our troops. Again in my opinion, there is a large divide between supporting our troops and supporting the President and the war he decided to send them into on faulty, if not grossly misused, intelligence. It is possible to support the troops and not the President or the war. It may be a narrow line, but it's one that Democrats like Senator Kelley walk every day.

know the blogger behind Minnesota Campaign Report is a former paid campaign staffer of Kelley's campaign, but he/she should at least try to be credible.

MNCR: It's "he". And as for credibility, I don't try to be credible or incredible. I believe credibility comes from one's opinions, positions, and facts one uses to formulate them. Throughout this matter, going back to the bogus claims about that press release, when I need to know what happened, I've gone to the source instead of speculating on what "probably" happened, or what "I'm sure" happened. I don't defend Senator Kelley or his campaign simply because I worked for them, but rather because, to date, they've done nothing that I can honestly call "wrong" or "ethically challenged" or whatever negative term you like. I defend the Kelley Campaign from MDE's attacks because not to do so would let those attacks sow seeds of doubt about a man who can, should, and will lead the DFL and Minnesota past Tim Pawlenty, through 2010 and beyond.

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