I want to answer Chuck DeVore’s surprising attack on Elizabeth Emken in Flash Report today. First, let me say that Chuck DeVore has been a friend and was helpful to me when I first became Communications Director for the CRP. And I was sad to see him leave California for safer ground in Texas.
But, I also understand that Chuck is just as human as any of us, and that’s why he’s still frosted over the Senate Primary, where he came in 3rd out of 3 candidates. I imagine that’s why he’s decided to come after GOP frontrunner Elizabeth Emken (whose campaign I’m working for as Senior Communications Adviser.). He sees some of Carly’s team helping Elizabeth in her Senate race, and it’s payback time. And that’s a shame.
For the record:
- Elizabeth Emken formally entered the U.S. Senate race in late January. Chuck, you are just plain wrong on this.
- Elizabeth Emken opposed passage of Obamacare, and she has made it her first priority to repeal Obamacare. Chuck, you are just plain wrong on this.
- Elizabeth Emken is a rock solid conservative. She has a team that can (and has) won statewide. And she is far outpacing all other GOP opponents in money and endorsements, including conservatives like Bill Jones, Lew Uhler, and Ron Nehring. Chuck, you are just plain wrong on this.
- By attacking Elizabeth Emken’s past financial “support” for an incumbent Republican U.S. Senator, Chuck is attacking Rick Santorum, Jon Kyl and other conservatives who also supported the re-elect of that incumbent Senator. Again, Chuck, you’re just plain wrong on this.
But the thing that really disappoints me about Chuck’s claims of having researched the Republican U.S. Senate field is that it’s obvious that he’s merely using opposition research someone handed to him.
Otherwise, he would have realized that the money he said Elizabeth Emken was paid to “professionally lobby Democrat Members of Congress” was in reality…her salary as Vice President of Government Relations for Autism Speaks, where she worked tirelessly with both Republicans AND Democrats to bring accountability and transparency to health care reform.
Chuck DeVore would have known all that, if he’d accepted my personal invitation to talk with Elizabeth Emken, express his concerns, and find out the truth right from Elizabeth’s mouth. But after this exchange on Twitter:
All I heard were crickets.
I understand Chuck’s motivation. But, let’s be real about this.
Only sour grapes from the 2010 US Senate contest would explain why Chuck DeVore would attack a woman who quit a successful career as a cost-cutting efficiency expert for IBM to become a “citizen activist” and fight bureaucracy on behalf of her profoundly disabled son and other children like him who do not have the ability to fight for themselves.
And if it’s not sour grapes…then what? I’d like to think that someone of Chuck DeVore’s integrity would want to concentrate on the merits of his candidate rather than pass along bad research about the opposition.
March 7th, 2012 at 10:48 am
[…] on the Republican side is Elizabeth Emken, whose Senior Communications Adviser, Mark Standriff, wrote this piece in response. For the […]
March 7th, 2012 at 12:10 pm
Mr. Standriff appears to forget the first rule in setting up a straw man argument: if you expect to divert from the point being made, at least make sure your diversion is true.
In his first bullet rebutting my Flashreport piece saying a few good things about U.S. Senate candidate Dan Hughes while questioning Elizabeth Emken, Mr. Standriff wrote:
“Elizabeth Emken formally entered the U.S. Senate race in late January. Chuck, you are just plain wrong on this.”
Really? I checked with the Office of the Secretary at the United States Senate and they have on file a Statement of Candidacy (FEC Form 2) from one Elizabeth Emken of Danville, California – dated, October 28, 2011. Last I checked, October 2011 was “last year” just as I wrote. Further, filing two forms with the Federal government, a Statement of Candidacy and a Statement of Organization both sound an awful lot like a “formal” entry into the race.
Thus, Mr. Standriff is factually incorrect in his assertion since Ms. Emken legally entered the race for the U.S. Senate a full three months before he claims she did. Which raises a question for Ms. Emken: Mr. Standriff claims to be working for your campaign “as Senior Communications Adviser” – do you approve of him issuing clearly false statements in your name and in his official capacity?
Secondly, the calendar-challenged Mr. Standriff then claims that Ms. Emken opposed passage of ObamaCare – perhaps this is a case of “I voted for the bill before I voted against it” as she was paid $151,486 to expand coverage of the provisions of ObamaCare as a professional lobbyist. Does Mr. Standriff claim that Ms. Emken wasn’t paid $151,486 to expand government involvement in healthcare, if not, why was she paid in the first place?
Third, Mr. Strandriff claims that Ms. Emken, someone who’s largest contribution prior to funding her own campaign for Congress last year, was to Arlen Specter, and who, advocating for larding up ObamaCare, is a “conservative.” This is a matter of subjective opinion since Ms. Emken has no voting record and we can only judge her on her past associations and actions.
Lastly, Mr. Standriff seeks to claim that Ms. Emken’s support of Arlen Specter in 2004 when he ran against now-Senator Pat Toomey was perfectly fine as other senators backed their colleague, then-Senator Specter. I have news for you, Mr. Standriff: Ms. Emken wasn’t a U.S. Senator in 2004 and, as such, couldn’t count Mr. Specter as a colleague. All of us with limited resources have to carefully consider whom we support with our time and money come Election Day. That Ms. Emken chose to support Specter with a large contribution, in the absence of a conservative voting record to the contrary, signals anything but conservatism.
Mr. Standriff intimates that, somehow, my critique of Ms. Emken’s candidacy was due to her campaign being run by the same people who ran Carly Fiorina’s campaign. Frankly, I don’t know who’s running Ms. Emken’s campaign, but I note that Marty Wilson, Fiorina’s campaign chief, is now working for the California Chamber of Commerce and is thus, unavailable. Further complicating Mr. Standriff’s “payback” grudge meme is the fact that Mr. Hughes’ own professional statewide team was the very same team that ran the main candidate opposing me in my first election to the State Assembly in 2004.
Mr. Standriff’s last demonstrable falsehood is that I finished the U.S. Senate primary “3rd out of 3 candidates.” The fact is, five people were on the ballot for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010 and I finished third of five with 19.3 percent or 452,577 votes. One of the 2010 candidates, Al Ramirez, is even running banner ads on Flashreport.org for his 2012 race for the U.S. Senate! Ms. Emken, on the other hand, did finish 4th of 4 candidates in her unsuccessful race for U.S. Congress in 2010, garnering 11,306 votes, or 16.7% of the total. Given that, here’s some irony for Mr. Standriff to chew on: Senate candidate Al Ramirez, a man Mr. Standriff said didn’t exist, garnered 42,149 votes in 2010, or almost four times more votes than did Ms. Emken in her losing effort.
So, Mr. Standriff can dissemble and divert all he wants, setting up false straw men to try to impress an audience, but the fact remains: between Dan Hughes and Elizabeth Emken, Dan Hughes is the more conservative candidate of the two.
March 7th, 2012 at 12:50 pm
Hmm…must have touched a nerve to get that excessive and desperately convoluted a response.
Mr. DeVore appears to have forgotten the first rule of modern debate: If the main argument for your cause is why the other side sucks, you’ve already lost.
March 7th, 2012 at 12:54 pm
One more easily proven falsehood for Mr. Standriff to answer for: in insinuating me a liar, he said Elizabeth Emken’s campaign started in late January. As I already noted, Ms. Emken filed two official U.S. Senate campaign documents with the government dated October 28, 2011.
Here’s another proof of her campaign starting in 2011, as I claimed in the piece Mr. Standriff tried to rebut with falsehoods: @Students4Emken, one of Emken’s Twitter accounts, started tweeting on November 28, 2011 a month after her paperwork was filed in Washington, D.C.
The point I was making, of course, was to show that Ms. Emken has been in the running for some five months now, significantly longer than has Mr. Hughes, and yet, she hasn’t raised much money to show for it.
I await Mr. Standriff’s formal apology for falsely claiming that I was, in his words, “…plain wrong on this.”
March 7th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
I have never known DeVore to shoot from the hip. The main argument was not that the other side sucks, it was that the other side did not have their ducks in a row in regards to the facts. Chuck does. Pissed at the establishment spinning their candidates.
March 7th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
The truth and Mr. Standriff appear to have a casual association. Too bad for Mr. Standriff and Ms. Emken.
March 7th, 2012 at 4:09 pm
I take exception to the implication of the phrase “paid to” in:
“Does Mr. Standriff claim that Ms. Emken wasn’t paid $151,486 to expand government involvement in healthcare, if not, why was she paid in the first place?”
She had a salaried position for Autism Speaks. The implication is that she did something either unethical or illegal.
That she had a career does not mean she is not a conservative.
I’m not sure I particularly agree with the tone on either article (and Chuck’s didn’t allow comments, so I am commenting here).