Reader kabramble posted a comment on that last post regarding the Chapman Campaign poll questions that I thought would be best “promoted” to a full post, so here goes:
Just got this in from the Chapman Camp:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Billy Kirkland, 703-200-5674
August 10, 2007
Chapman Responds to Poisson’s Poll Allegation
Ashburn – Today, the Lynn Chapman for Delegate campaign released the following statement from campaign manager Billy Kirkland regarding accusations from Delegate Poisson and his supporters concerning a recent public opinion survey.
“The allegations made in The Connection article by Delegate Poisson and his supporters regarding issues of illegal immigration and personal matters are 100% false. Our campaign has not and would not ever ask such offensive and inappropriate questions.
“Its unfortunate that Delegate Poisson has tried to use this completely false and untrue rumor to attack the character of our effort.
“Our campaign will remain focused on the important issues. We hope Delegate Poisson would do the same.”
For more information about Lynn Chapman and his campaign, please visit http://www.ChapmanforDelegate.com
Interestingly, when I check Lynn Chapman’s web site I can find no trace of this press release. Perhaps they’ll get it updated later? I’ll keep an eye on it just to be prudent. After all, while I have no specific reason to suspect that this release wasn’t issued by Chapman, I also have no specific evidence that it was. So, we’ll stay tuned.
So, I’m left with something of a dilemma, personally, if this release comes in confirmed from Chapman’s campaign. They have now issued a definitive statement that they never authorized such questions and would never ask them. However, I know the person who wrote the letter to the paper and I also don’t believe he’d lie about this. Misunderstanding? Rogue operation? Disinformation campaign? Hmmmm.
Did the Lynn Chapman campaign authorize poll questions implying their opponent is gay and/or criminally corrupt? Updated
Noted over on Too Conservative is this item regarding a poll apparently done at the behest of the Lynn Chapman (R) campaign, candidate for State Delegate, 32nd District. The poll, done over the phone, allegedly asks if the respondent’s vote for the Delegate position would be affected if he knew that incumbent Delegate David Poisson (D) were a “closest homesexual.” It goes on ask if their vote would be affected if they knew Poisson “harbors illegal aliens” or if his firm were connected to Jack Abramoff. The poll drew the ire of a Loudoun resident who wrote in to the Loudoun Connection newspaper.
There is no excuse for this kind of smearing tactic and there is also only one acceptable method of dealing with the issue. Lynn Chapman must immediately and forcefully denounce such activity. He must likewise come completely clean with whether or not these questions were actually asked in a poll authorized by his campaign or any other political body working with his campaign to get him elected. If some agency working on his behalf actually did ask these questions then he needs to cut that agency off at the knees, publicly and loudly. He needs to make a very visible break with such an agency. Nothing less will do. Anything less will show he was either in agreement with such a tactic and authorized it, that he has no general problem with the use of such a tactic, or (at the very least) that he’s completely clueless about what’s going on in his name during this campaign and that someone else is pulling his strings.
For the record, I know the man who wrote that letter to the editor and I do not for a second believe that he’s lying.
The clock’s running, Mr. Chapman. Get on top of this issue and be aggressive about it or pay the same price as the last man who ran as the GOP candidate for this seat.
Update: The Loudoun Connection has run a story on this issue and the response they got from Chapman’s campaign spokesman was exactly the wrong approach:
BILLY KIRKLAND, a spokesperson for Lynn Chapman’s campaign, said he did not feel comfortable releasing the poll to the press. However, the types of questions asked were your “standard issue questions.”
“There were no derogatory or incendiary questions about either candidate. There were no attacks,” he said. “They were standard politics, polling questions.”
Chapman did not return numerous phone calls as of press time.
If the questions were “your ‘standard issue questions’” then what’s the big deal releasing them? It’s not like they haven’t been shared with members of the public, so they can hardly be classified as “confidential.” Qualifications like “derogatory” or “incendiary” are subjective descriptions. What I consider incendiary might be considered just good, hard questions by someone else. The real question, here, was whether or not the poll contained the wording reported and that’s the question the Chapman campaign just ducked. Dissembling or evasive commentary isn’t used by people who haven’t done the deed. That’s not completely conclusive evidence, no. But it doesn’t look good. One would think that the GOP would have learned from Dick Black’s disastrous performance in 2005 where he resorted to juvenile name-distortion during a public debate with Poisson and would be avoiding stupid dirty tricks in this election.
Chapman can still pull this out but now he’s really got to be unambiguous with his condemnation of this poll and he’s got to do it fast. Come on, M. Chapman. Please don’t let us down.